ECM Records Now Available on Apple Music

ECM Records is now available on Apple Music. You can stream their excellent roster of jazz, classical, and world music (which they call “transcultural) on this and other streaming services.

Most of ECM’s presence is in the Jazz genre, where Apple is highlighting featured playlists, other playlists, and “new releases” – new to Apple Music, not recently released albums. (As you can see, the first is the landmark Köln Concert by Keith Jarrett.)




ECM is one of those rare labels that has their own sound; something you don’t find much any more. Check out music by Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheney, Jan Garbarek, Bill Frisell, and so many more. This 10-hour playlist will give you a taste of the ECM sound.

While ECM isn’t as visible in the classical section, they have an excellent line-up of classical recordings, including works by Steve Reich and Arvo Pärt, and the wonderful recordings of pianist Andràs Schiff. On of my all-time favorite classical recordings on ECM is the Hilliard Ensemble’s 1989 recording of music by Pérotin, a haunting recording of early polyphonic music.

This link will take you to the ECM “curator” page, where you can browse their catalog.

So, stream away that great jazz and classical music that has made ECM one of the great record labels.

11 thoughts on “ECM Records Now Available on Apple Music

  1. That Hilliard Ensemble’s recording is also among my very favourites.

    I just checked Spotify, but the ECM catalogue doesn’t seem to be available yet. Nothing in the New Releases, and checking Arvo Pärt and Keith Jarrett’s discographies only returns very few non-ECM albums.

    I’ve been purchasing ECM CDs and LPs since the early 1990s, still I can’t wait to be able to browse their catalogue on Spotify!

  2. You can search for ECM or ECM Records on Apple Music and find the same page, not just the jazz page, anywhere in the world. Just click on the icon.

  3. Was delighted to find out about this via your site. The “High Resolution Masters” (Mastered for iTunes?) versions sound amazing.

    However, I’ve noticed that some albums have a poor, “wishy washy” sound, as if they were transferred from a poor source or their AAC encoder was badly configured.

    Check out this track with decent headphones:

    And compare to the clearer version on Spotify:

    This is not a “I hate compressed music” thing, I find that anything above 128kbps AAC is very good indeed, it’s just some of these fantastic recordings are being short-changed here.

    Here’s another example:

    Would love to know if anyone else can hear this.

    • I did a bit of searching around this issue, especially with the buzz surrounding the ECM releases. It appears that what I am hearing is the Universal Music Group’s audio watermarking technology.

      ECM are being distributed to streaming services through UMG. This explains why I hear it on many Deutsche Grammophon recordings too (again more common on iTunes/Apple Music than Spotify). The Mahler example in the comments at the above link is appropriate.

      If deliberate, this is a terrible way to treat music lovers and customers.

      • That article says the watermarking is used on Spotify, but you say that they sound better on Spotify. I can’t imagine that they are now only using watermarking on Apple Music.

        • There are certainly audible examples of UMG watermarking on Spotify but they are not as prevalent. In the ECM examples, I can detect the watermarking in a blind ABX test on the Apple Music examples but not the Spotify ones. Some possible explanations:

          UMG are investors in Spotify and therefore give them a pass
          The Ogg Vorbis codec used by Spotify masks the watermarking
          The Apple Music streams are generated from historical iTunes files, which have the watermarking, whereas more recent encodes, such as Spotify’s no longer have it. DG’s back catalogue certainly suffers more than newer releases.
          I am going slightly mad

          • I can’t imagine that the date of the rips is any different. Apple is using files that they were selling in the iTunes Store; they didn’t just do a conversion for the streaming.

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