Hey, Apple Music, Classical Music Is for More than Just Elevators

When I set up Apple Music, I told it some of the genres I like. I included Classical and Jazz, among some others. In the For You section of Apple Music, you see recommended playlists based on what you like. I’ve seen just one classical music playlist, so far, and it’s this:

Classical music elevators

I know Apple Music is just getting started, but they can certainly do better than just provide “Classical Music for Elevators.” Maybe Apple needs to hire some classical music “curators.”

12 thoughts on “Hey, Apple Music, Classical Music Is for More than Just Elevators

  1. Lol… :) that doesn’t sound like a great match, based on what you’ve told us about your music listening / purchasing habits.

    Me would like to find a way to tell Apple Music that there is lots of Jazz music composed/played/improvised/created after, let’s say, 2005. So far, the most recent work it has played is a minor Anthony Braxton composition from 1979. And yes, most musicians —on indie labels often— I’d like to hear are available through Apple Music, I can find them by selecting the “new” tab, and searching for their names. So far, the “For you” selection hasn’t been a very successful match here.

    • It certainly is. I’ve bought a fair amount of classical music on the iTunes Store, and I did select Classical among the genres I like.

      Yes, all the jazz I’ve seen so far is mostly pre-electricity.

  2. I have two classical playlists suggestions, Pierre Boulez Introduction and Symphonic Ecleticism: Showpieces by Bernstein.

  3. My expectations about Apple’s competence in handling classical music were so low that I was actually pleased to see that they managed to roll this out without nuking the composers field again.

    • Like the mess amazon.com makes of Classical CDs, James? For instance, Classical musicians, singers, conductors, etc., are “performers” as though they work for a circus. I think I’ve bought only one download, and that was from Hyperion, mostly because it was a lot cheaper than buying the CD and the files weren’t compressed. But then I had to burn it to disc so I could play it on my CD deck. What a pain! And BTW I’ve never heard any classical music in an elevator; only the garbage generally referred to as Muzak. These days, wherever I go, I am blasted by a horrendous noise masquerading as music. Sometimes I find myself saying, to a complete stranger in the supermarket, “My goodness! Somebody has an almighty bellyache.”

  4. This is all part of what is, for me, a big ‘Meh’ with regard to Apple Music. I tried it for three days and decided it has no advantage over:
    – The curated music I have been listening to for over 40 years: my local radio stations, both free (advertising) and paid (Public Radio at $10/month).
    – Rhapsody: Family plan — 5 devices — is $9.99, not $14.99, plus it doesn’t co-MANGLE my music (see more below)
    – Beats 1. I don’t like Hip-Hop, Rap, Pop or Opera; I like Jazz, Classical, Classic Rock, Folk Rock. Beats 1 is never going to satisfy someone like me. Plus, I have my old trusty curated stations, as mentioned above but also all over the world via the Internet and apps like TuneIN Radio. And local DJs are like friends who live in the neighborhood…Zane and Co., not so much.

    Unless the NY Area is the only one to have vibrant local music stations (corporate, public radio, college) I can’t understand all the fuss about Beats1. If it is knowledgeable curating you are looking for, they never left. Turn the dial/click the stream.

    Finally, regarding Apple Music co-MANGLING — Kirk has written about this — what a mess. I never had iTunes Match, but when I upgraded to 8.4 and 12.2, and turned on iCloud Music Library, the horrors began. By the time the music scanning, uploading and downloading was completed, the iOS and iTunes processes had:
    1. In Apple Music app, several of my playlists were empty, because the songs had vanished from my library (see #3 below)
    2. On iTunes, changed the file names of hundreds of songs to begin with the prefix ‘1-‘. and also changed each one’s metadata for “Disc number ___ of ___” to be ‘1 of 1’. Even if I changed the file name to remove the prefix, unless I also removed that metadata change, the file name always reverted back to the new prefix. Solution: using Music Tag Editor and Rename It, I batch changed both the metadata and the file name. In some cases that was all I needed to do, in others, iTunes wanted me to locate each file. Too tedious; it was easier to delete the tracks/albums in iTunes and re-add them.
    3. On iTunes, about 20 tracks that had been syncing with my phones for years became denoted as ‘ineligible’ . They were now gone from my phone with no way to put them back (I tried, believe me)
    4. on iTunes, changed the metadata paths of about 47 individual tracks to program framework sub-folders. I had to ‘Locate’ each one in its original location in the Music folder.

    The fact that this happened at all, and that, when it happened, it seemed so random (which means you never know which of your albums and playlists successfully synced to your phone) is maddening.

    Performing the replacement of the iTunes Library.itl from a pre-Apple Music backup fixed some of the Playlist issues, but did not fix anything else.

    Needless to say, I am sticking with Rhapsody and only using iTunes on my phone and Mac for purchased and ripped music. I the it will take many months of trial and error and repair before I am back to normal.

  5. Why can’t Apple look at all the classical music I’ve PURCHASED from them (several thousand dollars worth) and come up with recommendations. My tastes tend to be away from symphonic and toward quartets, quintets, and chamber music; heavily toward the woodwinds and horns. It’s taken me years to painstakingly curate my library by checking and previewing “related” categories … it’s very time-consuming, and I must have missed thousands of pieces I would enjoy.

    I have found lots of good jazz from the “For You” recommendations, but my classical lists so far are reduced to London Symphony Orchestra, and Sir Colin Davis.

    I’m so disappointed.

  6. Addendum:

    In fact, Apple already does something similar in creating Genius playlists, and they already know the play counts of my songs, so it’s not much of a stretch for Apple Music to massage the data. They also have all that data in my iCloud account.

    After writing the message above, I went online to find out how to alter my profile so they could make more accurate recommendations. I went through several rounds of picking my preferences in bright red bouncing balls. The software went to lengths to avoid classical music altogether, and my “For You” choices are not improved.

    And, why can’t I tell them what I’d like; for example, 50’s trombone jazz quartets, bossa saxophone, baroque bassoon sonatas.

    While it might be convenient for some users to score their preferences when they’re walking around with earbuds all day, it’s not something that I like to do, and it seems redundant compared to my (very accurate) purchase history.

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