As I browse the For You section of Apple Music, I see a new recording by lutenist Jakob Lindberg, a performer whose work I admire. It’s called A Lute by Sixtus Rauwolf.
Hmm… I’ve never heard of that composer. Who is he? What is this about? There’s plenty of room for descriptions of albums on Apple Music and on the iTunes Store, but this one has nothing. Not a word.
So I go to Google. I find the page on the website of the record label, Bis Records (if you scroll to the very bottom, you’ll see the label name), but the name of the album is slightly different. (A demerit to Bis Records for getting that wrong…)
No matter, there’s a description of the album:
The lute by Sixtus Rauwolf heard on this recording was probably built in the last decade of the sixteenth century. Some hundred years later, in 1715, it was converted to suit the musical tastes and demands of the baroque period. For this disc, Jakob Lindberg has chosen works that could have formed part of the repertory of the presumably German owner of the instrument at around the time of its final conversion.
And there is a track list, with the names of composers, many of whom I have never heard of (Reusner, Dufault, Kellner).
Apple could ask for and display this information. They do display composers, for some albums. And in this case, if I get info for any of the tracks, the composers’ names are visible. Yet they don’t get carried over to the Apple Music display, even though for many classical albums composers’ names are clearly identified.
I know, classical music is just a small percentage of the market. But Apple could try harder. I shouldn’t have to Google an album to find out even the basic information about it, such as the composers it contains. If I’m browsing Apple Music, I’m more inclined to want to listen to an obscure album if I know something about it.
But it’s not hip-hop; there’s no “Feat.” artists, which are carefully detailed for every song which contains such a credit.
This information is available. As for the composers, there’s no excuse; it’s in the tags. Apple messed up; they should be displaying those names. As for the rest, Apple could ask record labels to provide blurbs, texts that they already supply to online vendors of downloads and CDs; texts they include on their websites and in their catalogs. Not just for classical music, but for all music.
Apple isn’t trying.
(By the way; if you like old lute music, do check out this album. Excellent playing by Lindberg, as usual, and great sound.)