You probably think that when you're buying movies from Amazon or iTunes, the price is what the price is. It's not like there's some magical way to score a better deal.
Actually, there is: Movies occasionally go on sale. Unfortunately, there's no way to know when that's happening for something you want to buy. Your only option? Check Amazon and 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 not just movies, but also albums, audiobooks, e-books and TV shows you want to buy. Whenever an item goes on sale, it notifies you. It also catalogs everything that's currently on sale, a great option for folks who like to browse deals.
Until recently, the app was limited to iTunes media, but a recent update has added Amazon Video movies to the Deals tab, so you can now browse price drops there as well.
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.)
Once you start the app, tap Search and enter the name of an item you want to track, followed by the appropriate category: Movies, TV Shows, Music, 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 toggle between HD and SD versions of movies and TV shows, as they're sometimes priced differently.
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 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, Man of Steel and Galaxy Quest are priced at $4.99, down from their usual $14.99. And the Kurt Vonnegut novel Palm Sunday is $4.99 (regularly $12.99).
You can now also toggle between iTunes and Amazon, at least for movies, as one store will often have different sales than the other.
If you're hoping for an even better sale, you can add items to your wish list from this page as well. But for now, wish-list remains an iTunes-only affair.
Finally, all the listings here can be sorted by discount date, percentage or amount, just by tapping an icon in the corner. If you want to know, for example, which items have seen the biggest price drops, toggle to the percentage view.
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: Water.org, Wounded Warrior Project and the like. So finding and purchasing digital deals this way is very much a win-win.
Originally published on Feb. 23, 2017.
Update, June 4, 2019: Added Amazon Video update.