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Major New MSE Website - TuneChecker pls help test it

edited 27 November 2009 at 9:44PM in Music MoneySaving
112 replies 12.6K views


  • Heck - have them all
    TuneChecker FAQs
    Q. How does it work?

    Each week the Official Charts Company supplies us with the top 40 pop albums & singles plus the RnB, Classical & Dance top 40 which get loaded into the Tunechecker.

    It then zips to nine major music download retailers. It repeatedly builds a database of prices by scanning the various retailers, and stores them for you to be able to check them all. There can be small pricing errors in between scan times. If you spot any errors please email [email protected]

    Simply use the menu to browse the top 40 or use the search box to look for a specific artist, track or album.

    Who's included?

    Currently the following retailers are included in the TuneChecker: iTunes, Amazon, Play, 7digital, HMV, we7, Tesco, Orange & Tunetribe. If you think we're missing a provider please email: [email protected]

    Q. Are they DRM free tracks?
    See above

    Q. Is an mp3 player needed?

    You don't need an mp3 player to listen to downloads, you can play them off your laptop or PC using free software like iTunes or Windows Media Player.

    Q. MP3s & CDs the same?

    Downloads are simply a virtual version of a CD, exactly the same minus the case the solid CD! Occasionally CDs might have extra bonus tracks or vice versa.

    Q. Can't find a track?

    The TuneChecker lists the current top 40, the top 40 from the last five year's plus searches Amazon's entire download catalogue. Most mainstream tracks should be in there but if there's one you think is missing email [email protected]

    Q. Cashback boost?

    It sometimes possible to get cashback on top. Cashback sites are websites that list retailers/product providers and get paid if you click through them. Importantly, they then give some or all of this cash to you.

    If you're new to this concept, please read's Best Cashback Sites guide before continuing, as while there shouldn't be a problem with these deals, the payout on cashback sites is never guaranteed; if there's a dispute with the retailer and the cashback site doesn't get paid, you don't either.

    Please can someone reply to this question
  • edited 27 November 2009 at 10:27PM
    mrweeblemrweeble Forumite
    67 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 27 November 2009 at 10:27PM
    Entered Röyksopp as search term and it told me that it could find no results for "Röyksopp".

    It did however suggest "Royksopp" in the "Were you looking for ...?" list

    Had the same problem with Björk

    The other problems with this site are that, in my view, it is way to JavaScript heavy with not enough consideration to usability
    • If Javascript is disabled it does not work, but nor does it warn that this is a problem
    • The forward and back buttons do not work when using the central pane tyo search and navigate
    • it is not possible to bookmark results pages (and therefore it is not possible to set up a bookmark keyword to allow a Quick Search to access the page)
    • it is not possible to open results in a new tab (I often middle click things that are interesting to open them in a new tab, for instance if searched for an artist I might want to look at all their albums so I would middle click each album and then go to the tabs that I had opened. If doing so I would find them all blank with the address "javascript:void(0)"). The tracks and albums on the sidebar however do work ok.
    • When navigating using the keyboard, the tab order seems a little idiosyncratic
    • The FAQ doesn't work (mentioned by others)
    Also information about format and bitrate would be useful (unless they are uniformly MP3 and all the same bitrate). [STRIKE]If they are DRM encumbered this should also be noted (can't read the FAQ so no idea what the answer is)[/STRIKE] [Edit: when I started writing the post the above posts had not been made yet]

    Great Idea though, and hope it is a huge success
  • Former_MSE_ArchnaFormer_MSE_Archna Former MSE
    1.9K Posts
    MSE Staff
    jezza2412 wrote: »
    In your FAQ, you state that MP3s and CDs are "exactly the same"- quality wise, they most definitely are NOT the same: MP3s are always inferior quality, especially those encoded at the most common bit rate of 128kbps.

    Granted, most MP3s are 'good enough', and listening on cheap earphones, you probably can't tell the difference, but they are still not the same quaility as CDs...

    Hi Jezza,

    Thanks for the comments, it was meant in terms of tracks etc you get but I'll clarify it to make it clear about quality.

  • flibblesanflibblesan Forumite
    56 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    jezza2412 wrote: »
    In your FAQ, you state that MP3s and CDs are "exactly the same"- quality wise, they most definitely are NOT the same: MP3s are always inferior quality, especially those encoded at the most common bit rate of 128kbps.

    Granted, most MP3s are 'good enough', and listening on cheap earphones, you probably can't tell the difference, but they are still not the same quaility as CDs...

    Except all these providers offer files higher than 128kbps. Most offer at least 192kbps, some offer 256kbps and some like offer 320kbps which you would have a hard job telling the difference between this and a real CD.

    It would be a good feature if TuneChecker could also tell you which bitrate the files are using in the search results. It's often worth paying more for a better quality file.
  • bnaboundbnabound Forumite
    85 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Ok here's my 2 cents' worth.

    First of all - awesome idea!!! It's a great way to find the cheapest music around!
    Secondly - after testing it for a bit I have to say I'm impressed at the range of music found. I'm not the type that likes the general mass/chart music so was convinced my artists wouldn't be found but they were. Very impressive!

    Now... on to the not so good stuff from my point of view.

    1. WAY too busy interface!!! It's just all over the place and looks very amateurish. Like one of those cheapo 90s HTML sites. Sorry but the design it really bad. I would suggest getting rid of the columns to the left and right of the actual search engine. If the search engine is what your 'product' is trying to achieve, then it should be at the forefront and very obvious. As things are now, the columns are very distracting. More is less, particularly when it comes to website design!

    2. The search engine itself - as mentioned above, awesome results for not-so-known artists which is great. However the result display lacks any kind of logical sorting.
    Take for example typing the name Tiffany into the search box.
    The results are neverending long and I only get to the Tiffany I want by scrolling through all the other bands that are alphabetically before T but contain some mention of the word Tiffany in either the album/single title or band name. This is not logical and very confusing. Also very irritating.
    This basically means that you have to know exactly what you are looking for in order to find it without a lot of painstaking searching/scrolling and doesn't allow for 'discovering' other music by the same artist or similar.
    It would help enormously if you had a way to narrow down the search by artists, bands, type of music... you know, the usual stuff you can do with all other standard music sites.
    Also, why are all the results upper case? There doesn't seem to be any distinction between albums names, song names, artist names that way (the colors just don't help much). Particularly when looking for classical music you get these big chunks of text telling you which orchestra, which soloists, which choir is performing - all of that in upper case makes you want to scream (pun intended!).

    3. Did I mention the design is lacking??? LOL I'm sorry, I know a lot of work has gone into this but seriously, purple and black and yellow and blue and white? Please, please, please reconsider. Two colors usually do the trick and look far more professional. Keep the purple and the white, get rid of everything else. I do like the headphone logo though so the blue in there is allowed ;-) And get rid of the side columns!!! (broken record, I know).

    Ok enough from me. I hope you guys take it with the intention this was written, which is well-meant criticism/praise. I love the idea and would love to see this site succeed like MSE has. As it is at this moment though, I can't say I would recommend it to anyone I know, nor would I actually use it. I will beg you again - REDESIGN!!!! :D
  • fc123fc123 Forumite
    6.6K Posts
    I am techy numpty too...I don't own an Ipod or MP3 player etc but I do buy CD's.

    I have been reading reviews today about SuBo and Queen greatest and have just listened to the samples...fantastic.

    I wouldn't buy Su Bo now (sorry..but I don't have tv reception and missed a lot of the x factor stuff about her) but would go for the Queen comp (I have most of their stuff on vinyl but own no record player now) so was considering buying it for listening to whilst having a bath.
    Dead handy this site. Shame Inniuendo isn't on it but, hey, nothing to do with Martins site.
    I am off to search some obscurer more nichey stuff now and will report back.;)
  • fc123fc123 Forumite
    6.6K Posts
    It's working great for me (untechy IE Browser) and I just searched my brothers stuff and it's all there. I am listening to samples now... I didn't knew that he made so much stuff. Loads of tracks to listen too.


    I would deff use this site...mainly for hearing what's on an album prior to purchase.
    I understand there may be other places one can do that...but I am classic, untechy type....a target demographic maybe?
    So thumbs up from me.
    I don't like the X Factor /mainstream look of the site but that's just personal and I may not be the target customer anyway.
  • Fast and accurate. Just needs some more obscure tracks to be added.
  • It appears unclear how to view the individual tracks on any album although I have worked out that these will display if you click on "listen to a track".

    I would agree with other comments about the size of the centre frames - for me they would be must more user friendly if they occupied more of the available space.

    Otherwise, a great site which I will regularly use.
  • After reading other forum commentsm I found the 'listen to the track'. It all links together really quickly. We will definately be using this site.
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