Apple Music Classical is a brilliantly designed app with the kind of detail and breadth of content that other music apps lack. But there was one element of the service which raised some eyebrows.
This is the fact that to listen to classical music in the app you need an internet connection, the small print says. In other words, you can’t download tracks to your iPhone or iPad in the way that you can with music in the main app.
That’s annoying but, rest assured, it won’t be the case forever. I believe Apple will update this so that it’s possible to listen offline. And I suspect this will be sooner rather than later.
However, it turns out that the way the app has been created means there’s a simple workaround to sort this issue right now.
Apple designed Apple Music Classical with a library that is unified with Apple Music. This means that if you add a track, an album or a classical music playlist to your library in Apple Music Classical, it automatically and instantly saves it to the other app as well.
That’s good because it means that you have access to your favorite classical tracks even from the regular Music app, where you may be listening to non-classical music when you feel the need for something less Bieber and more Beethoven. You don’t need to change apps to do this, thanks to the unified library.
And the consequence of this is that if you want to listen to something offline. Just choose the classical music, album playlist or track that you’d like to hear offline to the library and you’re done.
Now, by switching back to the Apple Music app, it’ll be there where you can download it and listen offline.
Sure, it’ll be even better when it’s available in Apple Music Classical as well, but this is a simple way to make things work. In the Classical app you have the benefits of being able to discover by composer name, work type, work title, the work’s nickname, the opus number or by browsing musical periods and instruments. Then, when you’ve found the tracks you know you’re going to want to download, just add them to the Classical library and then move to the regular app.
The new app is a significant event. The world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma also had something to say about it, calling it an exciting announcement. “As you know, classical music, like all culture is all about connection, connecting people. What’s better than an app that helps make those connections more possible, to get people to be more curious or for them to re-explore the familiar and to look forward to the unexpected.”