Mac Apps

Search the iTunes store from your menubar with Tunesque

The iTunes store is an amazing place where you can buy and gain access to a huge range of digital goods, from music and movies to apps, audiobooks, ebooks and university courses. However, if you’re in a rush to find and buy things it can be a bit clunky to navigate, first you have to open the iTunes store or the Mac App store, then you need to start your search and then narrow down the results by category until you find exactly what you’re looking for. You’re probably so used to doing this to buy something that you don’t even notice how time-consuming and slow the whole convoluted process can be, do you really need to open up a whole new app just to quickly search for stuff that Apple wants to sell you?

Unsurprisingly the answer is no, once you download Tunesque (don’t us us how you pronounce that one…) you’ll be able to search the entire Apple store just like you can search through your computer with finder. The freely available app (which you can download here) sits in your menu bar and provides you with a simple search box within which you can write your queries.

The searching process is surprisingly quick, with the results in the slick drop down menu appearing in real time as you type out your search term. Tunesque really does trawl every single aspect of app store so you’ll be able to find everything you need including podcasts, iTunesU material and ebooks as well as the more familiar songs and movies.

Once you’ve found what you’re looking for Tunesque even lets you use keyboard shortcuts to navigate between the different categories that it’s found. As an extra bonus the search results even show you the prices for each bit of content, so you can work out what the most cost-effective way of purchasing what you need, or for finding material that’s freely available through the app store. What’s even more useful is the information that that Tunesque gives you when you hold your mouse over an item, the pop up window will show you the material icon, a detailed and scrollable description of what the app does and the reviews that are feature, plus the five-star rating that it’s currently got.

The only disappointing thing about Tunesque is that, whilst it makes the searching process a lot easier and can streamline how you discover new material on Apple’s own store, it won’t help you at all when it comes to purchasing or downloading things. There must be some restrictions on how Apple allows developers to access the material on it’s store because as soon as you actually click on the item you want to get from the iTunes store you’ll be moved onto iTunes or the App Store to finalise your purchase and hand over your details.

Obviously personal security could be at risk here, and Apple would never want you to give bank details to a third party, but it’s a shame that although Tunesque really helps you out when you’re searching for items it won’t actually make the process of buying them any simpler and you’re still going to have to open another app to make the purchase.

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