The Apple Music Classical app goes live on the App Store ahead of March 28 launch

The Apple Music Classical app for iPhone gives Apple Music subscribers free access to the world’s most extensive classical music catalog with search built for the genre.

The Apple Music Classical app icon set against a red gradient background
Apple Music Classical is launching on March 28 | Image: Christian Zibreg/iDB
  • What’s happening? Apple’s new app for classical music, called Apple Music Classical, is now available to pre-order ahead of the service’s March 28 launch.
  • Why care? The app is based on Apple’s acquisition of Primephonic, a music-streaming software dedicated to classical music.
  • What do to? Pre-order Apple Music Classical from the App Store.

Apple Music Classical goes live on the App Store

You can pre-order the app right now, but you’ll need to wait until Tuesday, March 28, 2023, when the new service is scheduled to go live to download it to your device. Apple says the new music service will be free for Apple Music subscribers.

“Instantly find any recording in the world’s largest classical music catalog with search built for the genre,” reads the description. The app’s Apple Music-like user interface is optimized for classical music and includes haptic feedback.

Spatial audio, bios and exclusive content

Apple Music Classical app showcasing the search feature
You can search by composer, work, conductor and more | Image: Apple

Taking cues from the now-shuttered Amsterdam-based streamer Primephonic service, the app includes hundreds of Essentials playlists created by human experts that should make it easier to find the music you like. You can also find specific recordings by searching by composer, work, conductor or catalog number.

Although Apple Music hosts a classical section curated by Deutsche Grammophon, the new service is billed as the world’s most extensive classical music catalog featuring more than five million tracks “with everything from new releases to celebrated masterpieces, plus thousands of exclusive albums.”

The Apple Music Classical app supports the company’s AirPlay feature and lossless audio with up to 192 kHz/24-bit audio resolution. In addition, “thousands of recordings” are available in spatial audio with Dolby Atmos support.

Digital portraits of famous composers

Apple Music Classical app showcasing You even get digital portraits of famous composers
You even get digital portraits of famous composers | Image: Apple

The software has educational value, too, as Apple Music Classical is packed with additional material such as deep-dive guides, descriptions of key works and thousands of composer biographies. Apple has even commissioned high-resolution digital portraits of the most prominent classical music maestros, such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin and Johann Sebastian Bach.

Apple told TechCrunch that it will update the catalog with new music over time. Meanwhile, you can keep tabs on the news about Apple Music Classical and new releases on the @appleclassical Twitter account.

The app will “soon” support Android.

Upcoming features

Offline downloads don’t seem to be supported—the description says you must have an internet connection to use the app. Future updates will create an even better overall experience with improved browsing, enhanced search, richer metadata, etc.

Following the acquisition in August 2021, Primephonic stopped accepting new subscribers and shut down. Apple appeased current Primephonic subscribers by treating them to six months of Apple Music for free with access to thousands of classical albums that support the lossless audio format and spatial audio.

Pricing and availability

The Apple Music Classical app will be available to download on March 28, 2023. In the meantime, you can hit the Get button to receive a notification from the App Store when the software is ready for download.

The app is free with an Apple Music subscription (Individual, Student, Family or Apple One). The service is not available with the Apple Music Voice plan. Apple Music Classical is available in the same countries where Apple Music is offered, excluding China, Japan, Korea, Russia, Taiwan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The iPhone-only app requires iOS 15.4 or later.