Apple Improves Classical Music Browsing for Apple Music in iOS 9.2

Apple released a slew of updates today, for OS X, iOS, tvOS, and WatchOS. One improvement that caught my eye was this:

See works, composers and performers while browsing classical music in the Apple Music catalog

Apple has started using the Grouping tag, which has been available in the iTunes Store and in iTunes for some time, to better display metadata about work names, composers, and performers. Here’s an example of how this looks an the iPad.

Classical apple music1

You can see, in between the track numbers, the work names, along with their composers and performers. It’s very useful to have this information, finally. However, it’s not consistent. Here’s another album:

Classical apple music2

Here, each work is indicated, and the performers are listed – which are the same for each work – but not the composers. For many other albums, there is no extra metadata at all.

I assume this requires that record labels have included metadata in the Grouping tag, and I hope that this inspires more labels to do so. I’m very happy to see that Apple is doing something specifically for classical music, and I hope they get lots of labels to include this metadata so we classical music listeners won’t look at albums in Apple Music so blindly.

Unfortunately, while this Grouping tag is available in iTunes, it does not display in the iTunes interface. Perhaps this is a change that we will see in iTunes in the future.

13 thoughts on “Apple Improves Classical Music Browsing for Apple Music in iOS 9.2

  1. One of the reasons I dislike streaming music, and left Apple Music and Spotify. Inconsistent and incorrect tags. It drives me nuts. Miles Davis, Miles Davis quartet, Miles Davis Quintet. Charlie Parker & Miles Davis, Miles Davis & Charlie Parker, etc.

  2. I’m curious about the Works tag. Is this user-accessible, and if so, how does one access it? I don’t see it when I get info on tracks in my library.

  3. I hadn’t noticed a “Work” tag in iTunes. I’ll look for it.
    I’ve used the “Grouping” tag to group the movements of a symphony, for example, into one work. Helps when browsing & searching in iTunes but can’t remember that Grouping tag ever exposed on i devices.

  4. Sorry, I mean the Grouping tag, which is used to display the name of a work. Unfortunately, it isn’t visible anywhere in the iTunes interface (I updated the article to mention this). The fact that it is now used with Apple Music rates the hope that it will get a boost in iTunes as well.

  5. The Screenshots you posted only apply if you are searching in the apple music library. As soon as you add the album to your music it doesn’t give you the work with the Artist like in the Screenshots. Why is that

  6. Now that I have deleted all the “Work” data that was screwing up my song listings on my iPhone, HOW can I prevent that data from being populated by default. I find when I “Add a folder” to my library of mp3s, the Work field is populated by default. I assume that is because by default, the Grouping data is auto populated and iTunes Work field is set use that data. I need that to stop. Can I either stop Work from pulling the Grouping data, and/or stop Grouping data from being populated?

    • You’d have to delete the data in the Grouping tag. But I don’t think this automatically transfers to the Work tag; I haven’t seen this happen.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.