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Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
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Apple Music Classical set for late March with exclusives, spatial

Another addition for Apple Music subscribers is on the way, and if you like classical music, it could be a way to learn more about what you’re listening to.

It’s been over a year since Apple acquired Primephonic and went to work integrating the classical music service with its own, and there’s now an indication of what that looks like.

With a release set for later in the month, the good news is it will be a little more than music to stream, with music and information available for listeners keen to learn more about what they’re listening to.

Apple Music Classical has been announced as that release, an extra app and service that will come with most Apple Music subscriptions, except those under the less expensive Apple Music Voice Plan. Everyone else with an individual, student, family, or Apple One plan will have access to Apple Music Classical, which will exist in an iOS app to begin with, while an Android version of Apple Music Classical will come later.

The app and service will include what Apple says is the world’s largest classical music catalogue with over five million tracks and covering thousand of exclusive albums, some of which are in high-res lossless up to 192kHz and 24-bit. You’ll still want an external DAC like the THX Onyx or a pair of headphones with an external DAC built inside such as the Focal Bathys if you want to stream at that level, but it will be offered in Apple’s classical service.

And it’ll come with the ability to find music in the classical genre by way of nearly any conceivable way, expanding a basic music search capability to cover composer, work, conductor, and a catalogue number.

There is a lot of classical music and a lot of versions of recordings, so if you know what you’re looking for, you should be able to find it, with lots of data on each work and track. Expect lots of descriptions, biographies, and details, if that’s the sort of thing you’re into.

Apple is also working with major classical artists and institutions to offer new recordings, with some of what’s on Apple Music Classical also covering spatial, ideal if you like the immersive sound Dolby Atmos music offers and want music to play all around your head.

One thing that may surprise you, however, is how you listen.

While Apple Music Classical is a streaming service, and an addition to what Apple Music offers, you won’t be able to download music from the app like you can the regular version of Apple Music. Rather, you’ll need an internet connection to stream from the app, suggesting that downloads will work from Apple Music’s classical section, much like they do for any music genre on Apple Music, just not from this dedicated classical app.

If you’re a touch confused by that, you’re not the only one, though we’ll be particularly interested to find out whether any of what’s inside Apple Music Classical will sync with regular Apple Music, and let the playlists you make jump between each other. There hasn’t been an announcement to that, but it would make sense if both libraries were shared, and given you can download classical music from inside Apple Music already, this release should just expand the classical offering on the regular app while giving a more detailed experience in the dedicated Classical app.

We’ll know more soon when we get to try it for ourselves, with March 28 when Apple Music Classical goes live for iOS, while Android will see a version later on.

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