Discovering and enjoying classical music made easy with Apple’s dedicated app, Apple Music Classical
There’s a problem when it comes to searching and exploring classical music on music streaming services. Apple Music is not different, and Apple tried to solve this problem by launching a separate app! In this post, we will explore why and how Apple did it.
Searching and exploring classical music differs from pop music or any other modern genre. Modern music has fairly short titles, such as the song’s name, artist, album, and release year. For instance, ‘Blinding Lights’ by ‘The Weeknd,’ Album ‘After Hours,’ and release date ‘2020’.
Classical music is a complex and diverse genre that poses many challenges for music streaming services. One of the main challenges is the metadata or the information that describes each piece of music, e.g., Name, Composer, Artist, Symphony, Partita, Key, Opus no, Key signature, Period, etc.
For example, a full title of a classical piece could be something like “Piano Sonata №14 in C-sharp minor ‘Quasi una fantasia,’ Op. 27 №2 ‘Moonlight’: I. Adagio sostenuto” by Ludwig van Beethoven performed by Daniel Barenboim.
As you can see, this title contains information vital for classical music fans to search and identify a specific piece. However, searching for such titles in a music streaming service like Apple Music can be frustrating for several reasons —
These problems make the niche group of classic music lovers find, explore and enjoy the classical music of their favorite artists on Apple Music harder. This also limits their discovery of new pieces and artists they might like.
Apple acquired the dedicated classical music streaming app Primephonic in 2021 with 5 million classic music titles. Later apple revamped the app and launched a standalone app named Apple Music Classical. The app is designed to make the experience of finding and exploring seamless and intuitive.
Some users appreciate separate apps for big genres. Many Spotify users would prefer a separate app for Spotify podcasts.
Apple definitely did its research and took this approach. Nevertheless, it would still be interesting to know what ideas the designers at Apple came up with. Did they try to accommodate the classical music service within the existing app? What kind of prototypes did they make? What was the result of the prototype testing?
These two apps come under the same apple music subscription, meaning users do not have to pay separately for the Apple Music Classical. Even though the classical app is a standalone app, it has some dependency on the main Apple Music app. These two apps work in sync. Here are some steps that Apple took to keep them relevant —
These features allow the user to have a unified music library. Discovered pieces can also be managed and played in the original apple music app.
It’s been a few months since Apple launched the app. So far, the reviews on App Store and Reddit forums are good, especially on how searching and exploring works. It proves that Apple’s approach is valid, and they are on the right track to solve the problem. The app still has a long way to go; however, it was a good start. Time will tell how it performs against competitors like IDAGIO. However, Apple will always have the upper hand because of the already existing user base of Apple Music since the new classical music app comes in the apple music subscription package. Lastly, the most audio streaming service Spotify also may consider such an approach for classical music. It’s wonderful to see that Apple cares for the niche market; it is a great sign of user-centered design.
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