Can Apple Music Find Harmony with Classical Music Fans?

“The whole concept of streaming doesn’t fit with the way people listen to classical music,” says Kirk McElhearn, a technology writer and senior contributor to Macworld, in this week’s episode of Conducting Business.

The launch of the online streaming service Apple Music has raised hopes and reinforced some of the persistent complaints about Apple when it comes to delivering symphonies, concertos and operas to listeners’ computers and mobile devices.

In test runs, McElhearn found that Apple Music repeats a problem familiar to the tech company’s iTunes store: it serves up individual movements from pieces rather than grouping them together in sequence. So a listener’s encounter with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony might only involve the third movement, not the whole work in sequence.

Apple is touting its streaming service, which launched on June 30 in 100 countries, for not only its depth — with more than 30 million songs — but its hand-picked recommendations. Some of its “curated” playlists are chosen by the company’s editors — à la the old record store clerk. There is also a section called “for you,” based on music you’ve previously purchased or rated. McElhearn complains that when he first opened this section he was given a playlist called “Classical Music for Elevators.”

Listen to Conducting Business.