I read this article about using a wired connection with the AirPods Max and it seems like that will still end up with good sound quality although not technically lossless.
Can’t go wrong with Clemency Burton-Hill. Great broadcaster (years at the BBC and latterly WQXR) and a highly accomplished violinist. Not to mention an example to the rest of us when it comes to overcoming adversity
Regarding music and metadata, this article is a decent explanation of some of the issues.
I’m curious about how university music libraries cope; I’ve written to my alma mater to ask. It was surprisingly easy to find pretty much anything the UCLA library had in the way of audio or sheet music.
Adding on… One of the best classes—maybe the best—I took in undergrad was an appreciation of music class. We used the third edition of this book, now in its ninth.
The book is costly, so maybe search out a used copy. And get the “six-CD” (or mp3) set of the music that goes along with it.
What’s amazing about this book is that is has “listening charts” that help you identify features of the music under study. It will point out when the oboes come in, or when certain motifs start and end. It’s a gem of a book. I wrote a letter to the author once, that I believe was published in the sixth edition.
Another great book, and even better is the free course on Edx, is First Nights by Thomas Forrest Kelly. He covers six important works with the focus on the first night they were performed live. He goes in great detail over the musical structure, what was going on, connecting the pieces with the times and geography. The chapter and course on Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is superb. Even my kids were glued to it.
I for one am pleased that Apple has chosen to promote a couple of the few remaining US classical music broadcasters left standing. I’d like them too add WNYC’s New Sounds to the lineup as well, although it’s admittedly Classical-adjacent rather than Classical per se.
They are fabulous. E.g. The Beethoven has four different recordings, with a real-time display of the scores and visualisation of the orchestra (e.g. there’s a graphic display of the orchestra, with each section being highlighted as the instruments play) as well as other interesting features.
The Vivaldi is similar. I think they’re both fascinating (as a music lover who’s almost completely ignorant of music…)
This is wonderful! I had not heard of these apps, but I’ll be downloading them today. (I don’t play any instruments (yet?), so learning about it is like learning about magic to me.)
I hope you enjoy them! In fact, I haven’t listened to them myself for a couple of years – I was only reminded of them when I read your post. Time for a concert this evening, I think…
As a former undergraduate Music History major in the 1980s, I can attest that this is the standard Music Listening textbook. Like all such, it accompanied a set of recordings, then on vinyl, now MP3s. The vinyl is fairly easy to find in a two-volume boxed set.
The similar text for music majors is Donald Grout’s History of Western Music, again, accompanied by recordings.
If you have an old OS 9 Mac, look for The Voyager Company’s CD-ROMs which use HyperCard and CD audio to explore Classical music.
See also the books by Alan Rich: Music, Mirror of the Arts (1969) and So I’ve Heard: Notes of a Migratory Music Critic. Alan was a wonderful person, an interesting, enthusiastic critic, and the least pompous, open, music critic.
For whatever it’s worth, I understand that this is a deficiency with all Bluetooth connections.
Here is a good article that goes in depth on the issue: https://www.xda-developers.com/lossless-audio-bluetooth/
The straight answer is no. Lossless audio doesn’t work via Bluetooth.
Bluetooth, as a technology, just isn’t capable of transmitting so much data at such high speeds which is the reason for the lack of support for lossless audio transmission. Bluetooth works on the 2.4GHZ ISM spectrum which is focused on short-range communication. That’s the reason why even audio transmission via LDAC is not perfect. You may experience jitters and overall an unstable experience with audio cutting off from time to time. The range is also quite poor with LDAC and it’s just not a very refined experience.
None of the codecs used for music transmission via Bluetooth can achieve the right bitrate and sample rate required for lossless audio. Apple themselves clarified that the AirPods, AirPods Pro, and the ultra-premium AirPods Max, all of which work via Bluetooth, will not be able to play back lossless audio from Apple Music. Not just these specific earphones or headphones, but none of the truly wireless earphone options (https://www.xda-developers.com/best-wireless-earbuds/) will be able to handle lossless audio regardless of how premium they are both in terms of features and price.
It looks like lossless is coming to Bluetooth in the future. Here is an article published in What Hi Fi last fall discussing it:
Maybe that means that AirPods and other bluetooth devices will be able to transmit lossless audio in the (near?) future. Crossing my fingers!
This is a great classical music podcast for beginners and experts… deep dives into classical pieces, composers and the work of an orchestra. An archive going back to 2017.
On the theme of really good programs explaining classical music, if you have access to the BBC, then you may want to check out the Discovering Music podcasts. It was a long running series (only 97 episodes) in the early 2010s and for a long time it was one of my main dog walk companions. Each episode is only about 20 minutes long, so it’s easy to browse through and find something which interests you.
I think my favourite was the one on Discovering Music - Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 - BBC Sounds, which starts off describing a meeting in 1907 between Sibelius and Mahler.
If you have BBC access, this is a superb programme about the impact of Bach today.
I enjoy “The Music Service” a BBC Radio 3 podcast. Each episode explores a theme or idea or piece of music and I particularly like that it’s eclectic - it will illustrate an idea with everything from Sibelius to Aretha Franklin to world music. It’s the opposite of snooty.
Huge and great archive too.
I’ve listened to the first four of these and they’re pretty good. They’re basic, but I guess that’s the point. I’d hoped that I’d learn about some new composers, but they stick to the big names. For instance, the Baroque episode is mostly Bach and Handel. I learned that apparently been pronouncing “Debussy” wrong my whole life.
In general, I’m thrilled with Apple Music Classical! But there are a few things that could be improved (which is to be expected for a 1.0). In particular, I’ve had trouble finding albums of the works of composers who are highly anthologized.
François Couperin was a French Baroque composer who is best known for his short, expressive harpsichord pieces. If I go to his composer page, I see an Editor’s Choice (which is solid) and a “Popular Works” section which isn’t very useful because he didn’t have any big hits.
But it’s the “Latest Albums” section that really bugs me. It seems that pianists and harpsichordists often include Couperin pieces on recital albums that are not primarily devoted to his work. Each of the first three albums listed contains less than 4 minutes of Couperin music. Some way of filtering out the “bits and pieces” albums would be really helpful.
Good point, more filtering would be helpful. I would recommend going into the “All Works” section under the composer and then you should be able to find more recordings for each piece Couperin wrote.
So now you can download it on the iPad, but it is restricted to the size of an iPhone! I wonder if anyone told the dev team that there is this framework called SwiftUI that allows you to target multiple Apple platforms.
I went in 2015, @tomtom — absolutely recommended. Looking forward to another visit.
Also try the name with and without an accent mark.