“Compare market” returns 183m results on Google. TV is flooded with adverts for services that compare prices on everything from insurance, to deliveries, to flights, to car deals. It was only a matter of time until someone realised there was another market missing online.
Developed by MoneySavingExpert yet rather tragically designed; ‘Tunechecker.com’ instantly reminds you of one of those ill-fated, semi-illegal, Russian mp3 sites that sold you tracks ten-a-penny back at the decade’s midpoint (that is until they got shut down despite all being “150% legal”). The site, despite its design, is however, clear and to-the-point; straight away you’re given a search bar “Search singles, albums, or artists,” just below the site’s tagline and quick explanation of the site: “Compare cheap MP3 single & album downloads.”
Searching iTunes, Amazon, Play, 7Digital, hmv, we7, Tesco, Orange and tunetribe, the website instantly comes across as quite comprehensive. A search for “Jay-Z” returns his back catalogue, and the lowest price each album is available at. Choosing the album shows you the price comparison — website by website — and from here, you’re easily directed to your music store of choice.
The service is swift, and basic; there is no elegance in this site’s design or purpose, it will do specifically what it says on the tin and nothing else; but that’s okay. From a quick few searches I’ve discovered that on your average album there’s up to 50% to be saved and unsurprisingly most of these high-ends come from iTunes.
In six months this service will become as second nature, to some, as Spotify is now. It’s simplicity is part of its charm; in the time it takes you to open a website and type a title, you’ve found the best offer for your money, and the money-conscious music buyers will now have no problem finding their most frugal choice.
By no means a work of art, or revolution; TuneChecker is still a service that we now all realize has been missing, and we welcome it with open arms.