Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Why a Separate App for Classical Music

Jessie Char (via Nick Heer):

Now here’s The Nutcracker. The composer is in the album title, the performer and conductor are listed as the artists, each track has a byline for the conductor, and while all 17 tracks are unique you can’t see the bit that sets them apart. And the play preview displays even less.

In fact when you tap to full screen the song it still doesn’t display the full title, you have to wait a few seconds for it to start scrolling.

And it doesn’t show it at all in CarPlay. Will that get Apple Music Classical, too?

The year refers to the year this particular version was was recorded, not the year the piece was composed. Year of composition AND year of recording are both important.

The “artist” tag is also really tricky, and often this’ll be tagged with composer, ensemble, soloist (if relevant), and conductor. It’s a lot of names, and these often get clipped or some just don’t get added to the mix.


Take Apple News vs iBooks- they’re both reading apps, so why is it necessary to have two separate apps? Because they’re extremely different reading and writing experiences and it doesn’t make sense to lump them into a one-size-fits-all approach.


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There are companies like Roon who have mastered this, and they don't have a separate interface for classical music. Just someone likes classical doesn't mean he doesn't listen to other kinds of music.

Now navigating by Composer is essential for classical, and most portable music players shockingly don't allow this, the iPod was one that did it right

I wonder who at the upper levels at Apple is a rabid classical music listener? Given that so much of their software is broken these days -- including the existing Apple Music app(s) and service features! -- I fail to see the point of assigning dozens of employees to work on a different classical app/service that caters to such an miniscule audience.

(I'm a music freak with nearly 100,000 songs in my digital library and 600+ vinyl records, and I don't know a single person that listens to classical music to such a degree that they give 2 poops about who composed what & when and which orchestra performed it where -- It seems so very odd that Apple purchased Primephonic, I don't see how it fits into their strategy at all.)

@Ben G — I'm sorry, but you don't know anyone who cares about who composed a piece of classical music? If I want to listen to the Requiem by Mozart, and you give me the Requiem by Fauré, I'm going to be a bit nonplussed. There are lots of titles in classical music that overlap — Beethoven has a 9th symphony, but famously also so do Mahler and Schubert, among a host of others.

In terms of performers, the difference between the E Power Biggs Toccata and Fugue in D minor and the Ton Koopman version is audible in the first few notes — both are great, but they are different.

On the same topic, but back to symphonies, comparing the Karajan Beethoven 9th symphony to the Hogwood Beethoven 9th symphony, again — very, very different.

Right now, in order to handle this, I have to do weird things with naming tracks and albums, which gets annoying. So having something that actually works for this would be great.

(I don't use Apple Music, so sadly won't be able to use this application, but I appreciate the idea...)

(I say "the E Power Biggs Toccata and Fugue in D minor", etc., but there's also the issue that the same piece performed by the same performer at different times is different — there's a great album of Glenn Gould playing the Goldberg variations twice — once from the 50s, early in his career, and once from the 80s, near the end of his career, and they are very different, and it's interesting to compare them...)

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