Apple Classical streaming app goes live. Finally

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Apple Classical streaming app goes live. Finally

Post by pmp »

About three years after it was announced, Apple Classical is finally going live at the end of this month. Streaming classical music is something of a nightmare, and always has been. Idagio and Primephonic are/were both dedicated to classical music - a genre where it's difficult to search because you have the issue of composers and artists being searched for as well as titles. Most classical collectors file their music by composer rather than artist, but something like Spotify is artist-led. Idagio makes a good stab at working through this minefield - but it's not possible to stream it through Alexa devices, leaving you with streaming bluetooth from a phone, and not in good quality. Primephonic, meanwhile, was usable with Alexa devices, but then ceased, and said it was joining forces with Apple to create Apple classical - which has finally arrived. Apparently it's a separate app to Apple music, but not at any extra cost to subscribers.

Certainly, the screen grab examples look promising. I guess when it goes live in a couple of weeks, we'll see if it's managed to find a way to navigate the streaming of classical music. At the moment, classical CD sales have been improving over the last few years in the UK - probably because of the age of the people listening, and probably because no streaming service manages the genre well. Apple will, no doubt, hope to change that trajectory. However, it's still the case that some of the major classical indie labels are still not playing ball. Hyperion, for example, who also own Helios, are one of the best labels out there (and concentrate on more obscure works), but it doesn't appear their hundreds of titles will be available - just as they aren't on Spotify. Unless that kind of issue changes, Apple Classical will still struggle to convert classical fans to streaming.
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