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Getting Started

Welcome to Find Cheap Music. Here you can search dozens of trusted online stores at once. The below information details the major website features and is also available via the link to the help page (help_outline) up top.

In a nutshell, Find Cheap Music is for the serious collector or bargain hunter. It searches dozens of online stores for cheap Compact Discs, Vinyl Records, Digital Downloads, Music Sheets and Music related books without displaying any additional ads.

Main Menu

The main menu contains the home button (home), links to the terms of service, the privacy policy, our blog as well as a link to this help page (help_outline). Located on the right-hand side is the login button. The main menu expands with links to the coupons / special offers and wishlist after logging in:

Main Menu after login

After registration or a quick social login - using your Google, Facebook or Twitter account - you get access to a list of store coupons and special offers, are able to maintain an album wishlist, receive price alert emails, set your search preferences or change the color theme.

2. Main / Home Screen

Simple Search

Search Bar

The search bar consists of a popup button with search tips, a link to the barcode checker and the search term input box.

searchSearch Terms

Search Term

The search algorithm is optimized to find the cheapest store offers for a specific album. Searches with generic keywords like “country music” or “rock”, or established artists like “Elvis Presley” or “Beatles”, will bring up too many results.

Simple Search or Advanced Search

The simple search with the name of the artist and the title of the album will in most cases suffice to find the desired album. You should switch to the advanced search in case you do not have the name of the artist and the title of the album or you want to explore albums. Here you can search by any combination of artist, title, track (song), barcode, record label, record label catalog number, country and year. Once you found your album in the matching albums section, trigger a store offer search from it to see the cheapest store offers.


The 12- or 13-digit barcode, normally located on the back, offers the best chance to find a specific album. You should use our barcode checker () to verify the barcode and then search for store offers. See our blog post for more information about music barcodes.

During the search, a popup with a percentage bar shows the progress. The percentage bar does not always move equally since some online stores provide the search results faster than others.

Search Progress Bar

The last 50 search terms are saved for convenience. The list is filtered as soon as you start typing; to see the full list, empty the search field by hitting the cancel_presentation at the end or press the down-arrow key. When you select a saved search term it will remember and restore an advanced search. The search results are cached for about 1 hour to accelerate switching back and forth between your searches.

Search History Dropdown List

Advanced Search

Advanced Search Bar

The advanced search screen offers individual fields for the criteria which leads to better results.

searchAdvanced Search Terms

Search Term

Use as much or as little criteria as you like; one criterion is necessary for a search. Capitalization is not important, only correct spelling.

Artist: The name of the artist or band. Do not use 'Various'.

Title: The title of the album.

Track: The name of a track / song on the album.

Barcode: The 12- or 13-digit barcode.

Cat #: The record label catalog number. Usually on the spine or sometimes the back of the album.

Label: The record label name.

Country: The country of manufacture. Use 'US' for 'United States'.

Year: The release year.

Barcode Checker

The barcode checker verifies Music CD barcodes or calculates a missing check digit. Online stores will not be able to find any results for invalid barcodes. The verified barcode can then be used for an online store search right away.
See our blog post for more information about music barcodes.

Verifying a barcode:

Barcode Verification

Calculating the check digit for a barcode:

Barcode Check Digit Calculation

The search delivers two different results. At the top is a card deck with up to 6 albums matching the search criteria. Below it is a table with online listings sorted by total price ascending.

Matching Albums Card Deck (Results Part 1)

Each card shows the name and artist of the album on top along with a thumbnail. Clicking on the thumbnail opens a modal with detailed information and track list. To keep the search efficient, the track list is only shown for the first 9 albums. The following buttons are located at the footer of the card:

  • library_add - Add album to wishlist
  • library_add_check - Album already on wishlist
  • videocam - Open Modal with list of videos for this album
  • searchOffer - Search for cheap online store listings
Matching Albums

Tip: You can swipe the album pages on a touchscreen or with the mouse on a desktop.

Detailed Album Information

This pop up shows the detailed album information including the track listing.

Album Information

Album Videos

This pop up shows the available videos.

Album Video Information

Matching Listings (Results Part 2)

This section displays the cheapest available listings from dozens of online stores. The results list can be toggled between a table view (view_list) or a card view (view_module).

Table View:

Search Results Table View

Table View (small):

On smaller screens some of the information is hidden on a card that opens when pressing the + sign in front of the row.

Small Search Results Table View

Card View:

Search Results Card View

Note: Every online merchant uses a slightly different search algorithm. Most return only results which contain all search words. There are some though who check for any of the search words and thereby deliver many unrelated results.

Result Filtering

The detailed filter allows selection by any combination of Condition, Media Type, Merchant or Shipping Origination. The number next to the individual criteria indicates the number of matching results in the list. After the filter is applied, the number of selected listings is shown in the title line.

Detailed Filter Options

4. Random Results

The random album suggestion button is only shown on the front page when you visit the site for the first time (or haven't visited the site in a while). It gives new users a quick start into the website's features.

Random Album Button

The random album list looks exactly like the matching album list.

Random Album result cards

5. Coupons and Special Offers

This page shows the currently active coupons and special offers. The entries are updated on a weekly basis.

Coupons and Special Offers List

6. Wishlist

This page allows managing the wishlist. Clicking on the heading (↑↓) for artist, title, barcode, format or ceiling price toggles the sort order between ascending and descending. The search filter (search) on top of the table hides all rows which do not contain the search phrase.

The following buttons are available for each entry:

  • edit - Edit artist, title, barcode, condition, format and ceiling price
  • cancel_presentation - Delete wishlist entry (after confirmation)
  • info_outline - Get detailed album information
  • search - Search for cheap online store listings
Wishlist Table

On smaller screens some of the information is hidden on a card that opens when pressing the + sign in front of the row.

Wishlist Table

Edit wishlist entry

Any wishlist entry with a non-zero ceiling price is picked up by our nightly price monitor search. This search checks for new cheap listings below your maximum price and emails a notification. To cut down on unnecessary emails, we only send emails with actual results. The standard search frequency is initially set to weekly but can be changed at the user account to daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.

Edit Wishlist Entry

New price monitor results are indicated at the wishlist menu entry at top

Menu with new price monitor flag

and the header at the wishlist page.

Wishlist with new price monitor flag

Once you checked your price monitor list, the new flag will disappear.

The price monitor results page is static. The system regenerates it at the interval set at your account if the account setting "Email Price Checks" is set to Yes.

The table of contents shows the albums from your wishlist, where the system found music listings below your ceiling price. The number of cheap offers is next to each entry. You can jump back and forth between the table of contents and the result list via the links.

Price monitor result list

7. Login / Registration

You can log in with your social account (Google, Facebook or Twitter) or register to create a new login for this site. Either way, you have to agree to the terms of serviceand the privacy policy. The webpage is fully functional without a login but the registration gives you access to the coupons / special offers, wishlist, price alerts, search preferences, and layout setup.

Logon / Sign Up Screen

Once you are logged in, the site preferences can be changed. The user image is optional and shows up in the top navigation bar. First name and email address are the only mandatory fields. It is recommended though to enter the zip code to get the accurate shipping cost for items listed using a shipping rate table.

The Layout section allows changing the color theme for the website and the initial result layout (table or card).

The Search Filter Preferences section allows limiting the search results by condition or media type. The default behavior is to search for all conditions and media types. Every time you log back into the website, these settings will overwrite the default search filters.

The Wishlist section governs the periodic price monitor emails for all items on your wishlist with a non-zero price cap. By default, weekly emails are turned on. The frequency can be set to daily, weekly, bi-weekly and monthly.

Account information Screen