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.