Tunesque: Spotlight For The iTunes Store

Posted by | January 02, 2012 | Apps | No Comments

Let me put you in a situation: you are browsing around, perhaps a music site, and you hear an amazing review of this new up and coming artist that just makes you want to hear it now. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a smart app that could help you find that album on the iTunes Store, right from your menu bar, and without having to go into iTunes and accessing the Store?

Well, the app that we are reviewing today is called Tunesque, and it works just like that. I like to refer to it as “Spotlight for the iTunes Store.” Let’s take a look and see how it can simplify music search.

Getting Started

Tunesque

Tunesque

When you run the app for the first time you’ll be greeted with a small window which will tell you how the app works. Tunesque will always be available in your menu bar, as any other menu bar app would. When you activate it, it will activate a search bar that can help you find pretty much anything on the iTunes Store: be it movies, songs, apps, podcasts, books, or whatever it is that you want from there.

How It Works

Tunesque In Action

Tunesque In Action

When activated, Tunesque will display a search bar very similar to that of the Spotlight (that magnifying glass on your upper right corner). It also behaves much like it, once you start typing, results will start being displayed and classified by the type of media (songs, movies, artists, etc.).

Along with the categories and items of each result, Tunesque also displays each item’s price on the iTunes Store. To the side of each category there will also be a keyboard shortcut that will put emphasis on that category while all the others fade out. You can also view more information of each item by hovering over it, which will activate a small window on the side with the corresponding image and information of each item.

Once you select a search result, iTunes will be brought up and the iTunes Store will open with the resulting search displayed.

Other Features

Settings

Settings

This app has a bunch of cool details that I appreciate a lot. For example, you can customize a keyboard shortcut, much like the default CMD+Space shortcut that brings up Spotlight. Also, you can select which kinds of media you would like displayed on your search results. For example, if you only want to be shown songs on your results, you can deselect all the other options.

The default color scheme for the app is a dark theme that doesn’t look very good on the interface of a Mac. Fortunately, you can also change the color to a more amicable (and Spotlight-like) interface under the settings.

Shortcomings

Unfortunately, Tunesque does not work with media that is already in your library, it will only work with stuff from the iTunes Store. This makes it exclusively an app to purchase media, and not to search it and play it quickly.

I know many people don’t use iTunes as their go-to media player, I’ve even talked about how to substitute it before. Personally, while I still use iTunes to buy and store my favorite music and keep it in sync with my iOS devices, I also use Spotify on a regular basis to listen to new music while I’m working on my computer. Instead of just pointing me to where to buy a song, I would prefer if an app like this allowed me to play a song from Spotify.

I know it isn’t easy to develop an app that works in conjunction with more than one media player app, especially when there are so many of them; but I still can’t fall in love with this app because of that. It’s just that for me, it’s not very useful.

Conclusion

The idea for the app is great, and the execution is also nice. I was honestly expecting to find a bunch of bugs before getting into it, but fortunately that was not the case at all. The pricing is right, if not cheaper than it should be (I would expect an app like this to cost at least a dollar). The interface is also good, I like how they take something familiar like the Spotlight look and adapt it to their app to make it seem more familiar.

It’s just that, like I mentioned before, the way I use my media player apps does not completely fit into the idea of this app. I would really like an app like this that worked exclusively with my iTunes library. Spotlight does it, but it also brings up a bunch of other results that aren’t what I’m looking for most of the time. What about you?