Apple’s planned classical music app still MIA as 2022 ends

With many Apple employees approaching the holidays, Apple Classical is becoming more and more likely to be an end-of-year surprise.

In its original press release from August last year, Apple said that Apple Music Classical “will combine the classic UI of Primephonic, which fans have come to love, with more additional features.” (The Apple Classical app name has been identified in code sequences in other Apple software.)

As time is running out in 2022, there are now three possibilities:

This was already part of the plan, according to the press release:

With the addition of Primephonic, Apple Music subscribers will enjoy a significantly enhanced classical music experience, starting with Primephonic playlists and exclusive audio content. In the coming months, Apple Music Classical fans will enjoy an exclusive experience with the best of Primephonic, including better browsing and searching capabilities by composer and repertoire, detailed displays of classical music metadata, and new features and benefits.

Depends on discoverability and organization. Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, and other mainstream services with tens of millions of subscribers are not cut out for the level of in-depth search and rigorous metadata accuracy that classic fans demand and Primephonic gladly delivers.

When announcing the acquisition, Apple praised this aspect of the service and credited Primephonic for “optimized search and browsing functionality for classic, premium audio, handpicked expert advice, and extensive contextual details on repertoire and recordings.” A standalone classic app gives Apple Music a unique edge and keeps up with other paid music services. Whether this will help move the needle in overall subscriber count is less clear.

It’s easier for classic fans to provide this kind of in-depth functionality in a siled app rather than cramming everything into Apple Music. But Primephonic’s service shut down in September 2021, shortly after the purchase, leaving listeners without their exclusive experience. And waiting for a replacement is taking longer than some might expect.

Primephonic customers got six months of free Apple Music, but that access expired in February. Curiously, February was also the time when the phrases “Apple Music Classical” and “Apple Classical” began to appear in some of Apple’s code. 9to5Mac I did some legwork and realized that most of the Primephonic team is on Apple Music right now, so even though the new app is MIA, the band is mostly still together.

Boundary On Monday, Apple spokespersons Jessica Bass and Sam Citron reached out for comment and have yet to receive any updates on the status of Apple Classical.

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