Find out when iTunes items go on sale


TunesGenie now lets you browse the iTunes store for items that are on sale.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

You probably think that when you’re buying digital goodies from iTunes — books, music, movies and the like — the price is what the price is. It’s not like there’s some magical way to score a better deal.

Actually, there is: Apple occasionally offers sale prices. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know when that’s happened for something you want to buy. Your only option? Check iTunes regularly and hope you don’t miss a time-limited offer.

Thankfully, there’s another solution: TunesGenie is a free iOS app that lets you build a wish list of albums, books, movies and TV shows you want to buy, then notifies you when there’s a price drop. The latest version also catalogs everything that’s currently on sale, a great option for folks who like to browse.

I dream of deal-genies

In case you’re wondering about the name, TunesGenie started out as an album tracker. But then the developer expanded the scope to include books, movies and TV. (Alas, it no longer tracks apps. If you want that capability, there’s another way to get notified when app prices drop.)

Once you start the app, tap Search and enter the name of an item you want to track, followed by the appropriate category: Music, Movies, TV Shows, Books or Audiobooks. When it appears in the search results, tap the plus sign to add it to your Wish List. Repeat as needed for additional items. Then tap Wish List to see everything you’re tracking.

While in Wish List view, you can tap the gear icon if you want to specify HD or SD versions of movies and TV shows.

You can add items to your wish list via TunesGenie proper (left) or from within the iTunes Store (right).

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

There’s another way to build your list: If you’re browsing the iTunes Store directly, you can tap the Share button for any item and choose Add to TunesGenie. (If you don’t see the option, tap More and enable it from the Activities list.)

And that’s all there is to it. Whenever there’s a price drop on something you’ve tracked, you’ll know.

Browsing for dollars

TunesGenie now has a Deals tab as well: Tap it, then choose a category for a list of everything that’s currently on sale. For example, at this writing, both “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” and “Love Actually” are priced at $4.99, down from their usual $14.99. And Alan Dean Foster’s novelization of “The Force Awakens” is down to $1.99 from its regular $9.99.

If you’re hoping for an even better sale, you can add items to your wish list from this page as well.

Although the app is free, TunesGenie does earn affiliate revenue when you purchase something (which you can do by tapping it from within the app). Developer Frank Barret generously donates a full 50 percent of that revenue to one of several worthwhile charities: American Red Cross, Wounded Warrior Project and the like. So finding and purchasing digital deals this way is very much a win-win.

Editors’ note: This article was originally published on February 23, 2017, and has since been updated.

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