Apple said it was building a standalone app for classical music when it purchased, and subsequently shut down, the Primephonic streaming service. That was 2021, and until now, we haven't known when the new software would be available. The company announced today that Apple Music Classical will be available on March 28th as part of an existing Apple Music subscription. Users on the individual, student, family or Apple One plans will get access, but customers on the Apple Music Voice Plan won't be able to use the new app.
At launch, Apple Music Classical will be available on all iPhones that run iOS 15.4 or later. Apple says a version of the app for Android is "coming soon." The catalog includes over five million tracks spanning new releases to "celebrated masterpieces." Apple says you'll be able to stream up to192 kHz/24 bit high-resolution lossless audio quality and "thousands" of recordings are available in spatial audio. The company also explains that a portion of its classical library is "thousands" of exclusive albums.
In addition to the music, you can expect to browse written content like composer biographies, descriptions of key works and "deep-dive guides." Apple also says it rebuilt the app's search feature specifically for classical music queries and the app will serve up over 700 curated playlists. Overall, the app carries much of the same design as the main Apple Music software, although one key change is the company has swapped out the modern sans serif font for a serif for the main titles and section headings. The navigation bar is just four buttons in Apple Music Classical — Listen Now, Browse, Library and Search — as the Radio shortcut has been removed. Lastly, the music note on the app icon has been replaced with a treble clef.
Apple is letting eager listeners "pre-order" the app starting today in the App Store. Once you do, Apple Music Classical will automatically download on launch day as long as you have Auto Update selected in iOS settings.