Apple is finally making iTunes better for classical music

“Classical music fans have long complained about iTunes, and the way it organizes music that just doesn’t work well with classical music,” Kirk McElhearn writes for Kirkville.

“It holds ‘songs,’ not tracks, and doesn’t have the concept of a ‘work,’ a multi-movement piece of music,” McElhearn writes. “While it does have a Grouping tag, which the iTunes Store uses for that purpose, iTunes itself doesn’t allow you to display music efficiently with that tag.”

McElhearn writes, “This seems to be changing. In the latest beta of iTunes 12.5, which is part of the beta of macOS Sierra, Apple has added some new tags: Work and Movement.”

Read more, and see the screenshots, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is very welcome news for classical music lovers!


  1. Finally!

    Apple Music is a godsend to a classical music lover, with the ability to comparatively listen to dozens (and in some cases, hundreds) of different performances and recordings of the same work, which can be incredibly illuminating. We do this on a glacial scale (when we listen to the same works performed in concert by various ensembles / performers), but this is with a massive distance of time between them, which blurs the differences. With Apple Music, I can hear several recordings consecutively, picking out same passages one after another if I wish, getting some incredible, and previously impossible-to-get insights into the works, as well as the performers. Unfortunately, the unfriendliness of iTunes towards the classical genre has always been off-putting.

    This is most welcome news!

    1. The varieties of transcendental emotional experience are severely constrained by Apple Music, as I discovered wanting to tunnel into Shubert’s Unfinished Symphony. Disappointment seems my lot in life; back to the practice of haunting out-of-the-way trade shops hoping for a find amongst bins of dusty vinyl recordings.

  2. A change I would like to see added is ….to define what “Recently Added” is…I would like to put in a date that says….what did I add from that date forward…at the moment Recently Added shows what I’ve ripped two years ago….???

  3. It’s about time! Steve Jobs, as smart as he was, never seemed to be able to see past his own limited musical tastes. The crippling of iTunes was one of those parts of Apple that held on to that legacy far too long. I do agree with Predrag in that it’s not at all uncommon to have multiple performances of the same work. Calling movements “songs” was just silly.

  4. Now if Apple would modify iTunes so it and Airplay would support more advanced audio formats. Many of us have music recorded in 5.1 audio/audio DVD/etc.

  5. So this is progress, yes, but what about all of the liner notes info? I realize it’s a big chore and very, very complicated. At the very least, perhaps when one buys an album, the liner lines and such could be attached as a .pdf?

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