About This Site
You crave more information? Good! A burning sense of curiosity is the sign of a healthy mind.
What this site does
iTunesCharts.net monitors iTunes charts. It measures the performance of downloads over time. It means you can see how a certain download has performed in the chart throughout its lifetime, rather than just within the current chart.
Since iTunes only publishes the current chart, it's difficult to tell what that means. Is that just "today's chart"? Technically, yes, it's the chart RIGHT NOW. So what happens to old charts? Apple don't publish those. But we do!
This site was born out of an interest in how iTunes charts work. The podcast charts are particularly intriguing. If the charts are compiled based on a direct comparison on the number of downloads, then surely when a podcast channel published a new episode it would leap up the charts, right? Well, it doesn't appear to be that simple. The iTunes charts are intriguing things...
How this site works
We collect the charts at the end of every day - we count that as the chart for the day. Since iTunes charts are updated more frequently than once a day, but it's difficult to be more accurate than that, and here's why:
- iTunes charts are subject to caching.
- The RSS feeds which power this site are cached independently of the apple.com's HTML pages - meaning the feeds and the site not always in sync.
- The charts on apple.com are also sometimes subtly different to the charts presented within the iTunes application!
This site aims to offer information on a larger scale than a single day. You can view a chart item's performance throughout its lifespan, which, we hope, is richer data than a single position at a single point in time.
How the iTunes charts work
If you've read this far you'll have realised that we don't really know how iTunes charts are complied. We possibly have more insight than most, but it remains a dark art. We should also make it clear, the team behind Apple iTunes have never disclosed how their charts work and could, in theory, completely change how the charts are compiled without notifying the public. What is certain is the charts reflect the buying patterns of iTunes customers - it makes commercial sense. The charts are a technique iTunes uses to put more product, in a structured way, in front of customers. The easiest way to sell stuff is to promote the most popular products.
We have... Plans. Ideas. Thoughts. Schemes. Dreams. Hopes.... (And some fears, naturally.) We're aware you do too. So, if you have a good idea (or an insightful criticism) you think we'd be interested in, then get in touch. Maybe your ideas are better than ours.
- What is iTunes?
- Why don't your charts match the charts I can see on the official iTunes site?
- Why do some songs appear in the same chart twice?
- How are these charts calculated?
- Why can't I find charts dating before 2009?
- Where are the charts for my country?
- Do you offer RSS feeds?
- How do I report a bug?
- How do I buy these songs/TV shows/films?
- I demand satisfaction. How do I get that?
- Read all the FAQs
About iTunes Charts
There's some stuff out there that makes for interesting reading:
- Blogpost: How the iTunes Charts work
- How 'Answer Me This!' Cracked the iTunes Top 20
- Adam Curry's dissection of the podcast charts
- Discussion thread on Yahoo! Answers
We're not responsible for content on sites outside of iTunesCharts.net. But you knew that, right?