Easy cache digging tools

All this while, ever since I started writing this blog, I have been giving you tips and tricks to download media files via the Internet Explorer cache. Now take a breather. Digging out media files, both audio and video, was never so easy. Here take a look at these wonderful tools developed by Nir Sofer. These tiny utilities need no installation, just unzip the executable program and run it from any folder you want.

IECacheView is a small utility that reads the cache folder of Internet Explorer, and displays the list of all files currently stored in the cache. For each cache file, the following information is displayed : Filename, Content Type, URL, Last Accessed Time, Last Modified Time, Expiration Time, Number Of Hits, File Size, Folder Name, and full path of the cache filename. This utility works with Windows 98/2000/XP/Vista, with Internet Explorer version 6.x or 7.x or 8.x. After you run it, the main window displays the list of files currently stored in the cache of Internet Explorer. This tool supports all file types. You can extract the actual files from the cache, and save them into another folder. You can do that by using the ‘Copy Selected Cache Files To’ option (F4).

Download IECacheView 1.31 (46 KB).

MozillaCacheView is a small utility that reads the cache folder of Firefox/Mozilla/Netscape web browsers, and displays the list of all files currently stored in the cache. For each cache file, the following information is displayed: URL, Content type, File size, Last modified time, Last fetched time, Expiration time, Fetch count, Server name, and more. This utility works on Win 98/2000/XP/Vista and Windows 7. You can use this utility even if Firefox is not installed on your system, as long as you know the path of the cache folder that you want to inspect. You can easily select one or more items from the cache list, and then save the files to another folder. You can do this by using the ‘Copy Selected Cache Files To’ option (F4).

Download MozillaCacheView 1.27 (59 KB).

VideoCacheView too is a tiny utility for saving video files from web browser cache. After watching a video on a Web site, you may want to save the video file into your local disk for playing it offline in the future. It automatically scans the entire cache of Internet Explorer and Firefox (also supports Opera and Chrome) and finds all video files that are currently stored in it. If you have a FLV player that is configured to play flv files, it allows you to play the video directly from your browser’s cache. After the video list is displayed, you may copy the video files from the cache into another folder. You can do that by using the ‘Copy Selected Files To’ option (F7). This utility is best for saving videos (flv files) from youtube.com and also mp3 files. However, as of now, it does not support wma files.

Download VideoCacheView 1.53 (68 KB).

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Gharana tradition : Gwalior

The Gharana tradition of India has fascinated music connoisseurs across the globe. In India a lot of importance is given to family heritage, be it wealth, profession or be it any form of art. The Gharana style of classical music being passed down through generations shows how much people of the subcontinent respect the presence of music in their lives. Although this style of classical music was more widespread earlier, it began to fade away as musicians began to travel, spreading their talents. During their widespread traveling they would give performances and also attend other concerts. They came across musicians from other musical Gharanas. And so instead of adhering to what they had been taught they began to imbibe other styles. Today, Gharana style of music has more or less faded away into oblivion with only a few musicians adhering to where they originally belong.

Gwalior Gharana is the oldest among all the Khayal Gayaki style Gharanas. The founder of this Gharana was Nathan Pir Bakhsh of Lucknow. During late 18th century he moved to the Gwalior court of Maharaja Jankoji Rao Scindia to escape the professional rivalry with another musician that had taken an ugly turn. The distinctive feature of this style of singing has been known for its lucidity and simplicity. Without going into further technicalities of this Gharana tradition, let us listen to some of its well known exponents.

Krishnarao Shankar Pandit – Tappa Kafi – O Miya Janewale :  Download

Vasundhara Komkali – Mishra Mand – Mriganayani :  Download

Madhup Mudgal – Alahiya Bilawal – Kavan Batariya :  Download

Meeta Pandit – Gaud Malhar – Umad Ghumad Aayo :  Download

Some of the more famous musicians belonging to Gwalior Gharana include D V Paluskar, Omkarnath Thakur, Kumar Gandharva, Malini Rajurkar, Amjad Ali Khan, Veena Sahasrabuddhe and many more. The list is long and one can go on and on. And of course the vocalists, and songs posted above, belong to the Gwalior Gharana.

.. more songs of other Gharanas coming soon.

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78rpm vintage : Achhan Bai

History will always remember that the first gramophone record in India was cut in 1902 and the singer was Gauhar Jan. It is believed that very few women, during those early days, ventured into recording. It was Gauhar Jan, an artist of considerable repute, who broke this taboo. She was called the Gramophone Girl and in some of the later records she was described as the Dancing Girl of Calcutta. That first record of hers turned a best seller. Thereafter, during 1902-1910, some 500 artists made recordings for the Gramophone Company. One of them was a teenage dancing girl called Achhan Bai. Here I present to you some songs recorded by her, which I presume are the only ones left preserved. Take note of the announcements in first three songs.

Achhan Bai – Chaiti (1908) :  Download

Achhan Bai – Raga Desh (1908) :  Download

Achhan Bai – Piloo Thumri (1908) :  Download

Preserving these 78rpm discs were always cumbersome and so naturally, even the Gramophone Company of India, that held monopoly over recordings for a long while, dispensed with most of their collections. Many people even painted on these discs and used them as wall decorations, while others moulded them into shapes that could be used as Paan daan (betel leaf box). These boxes were sold for one Rupee, while the 78rpm record cost just four annas (16 paise).

Then, there were these businessmen from Bombay who reportedly bought all the 78rpms they could from the market and even from private collectors, on the pretext that they were attempting to save those ancient recordings through some modern technology. It was just after the World War, and there was restriction on the import of lac or shellac, which these shrewd businessmen knew, would be in short supply. The 78rpm gramophone records were made of high quality, purified lac. All the piles of records they gathered were then melted to obtain this substance. And thus was lost precious music and documented history.

Achhan Bai – Holi (1910) :  Download

Achhan Bai – Raga Kafi Holi (1910) :  Download

Achhan Bai – Raga Khamaj (1910) :  Download

Achhan Bai – Thumri (1910) :  Download

Rising from the ruins, some gems from the past will, however, continue to surface, thanks to a few passionate collectors living unrecognized in several parts of India.

.. more 78rpm vintage Songs »

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Four Songs : my Choice 9

Once again I am posting a few songs of my choice. All the artists featured this time are very well known to real connoisseurs of classical music, hence I am skipping the introduction bit.

Mallikarjun Mansur – Basanti Kedar – Atar Sugandh Gulab :  Download

Kumar Gandharva – Shuddh Shyam – Moye Bula Ke Poochho Na :  Download

Roshanara Begum – Maru Bihag – Rasiya Aayo Naa :  Download

Jagdish Prasad – Dadra – More Naina Bhar Bhar Aaye :  Download

.. more Songs of my Choice »

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Salamat Ali Khan : master of layakari

Ustad Salamat Ali Khan (1934-2001), born in Shamchaurasi, a small village of district Hoshiarpur, Punjab, belonged to a family of traditional musicians representing the Shamchaurasi Gharana. Mastery over Layakari can probably be regarded as Salamat Ali Khan’s greatest contribution to classical music. He was highly acclaimed for the ease at which he would render intricate Sargams and Bol Tans. Salamat Ali Khan was initiated into classical music together with his elder brother Nazakat Ali Khan under the guidance of their father at the tender ages of 5 and 7 respectively. They were initially taught the basics of Dhrupad but later concentrated on learning Khayal due to its increasing popularity. It was only after two years of training that they made their debut at the prestigious Harballabh Mela in 1941.

Following their stirring debut, the youngsters gave numerous performances in Punjab and Sindh and began to attract the attention of the musical fraternity who predicted a bright future for the pair. During this period, the brothers began to give regular broadcasts from All India Radio, Lahore and two gramophone records of the young Salamat Ali Khan were published. In 1943, the duo received their first official state invitation from the Maharaja of Champanagar, a small princely state in Bihar. Their stay in Champanagar lasted a few months and was followed by performances at the Allahabad and Gwalior music conferences.

Legend has it that the song posted below was sung in praise of the Maharaja of Champanagar, who had just won some sort of a battle with a neighbouring state. The song is in Raga Basant Bahar and the lyrics go like this : “Des Des Ki Thi Jung, Dushman Sub Har Gaye”.

In 1943, just 9 years old, and raring to go – Basant Bahar :  Download

After the creation of Pakistan, the family settled in Multan and lived in relative obscurity for the next couple of years. During this period of anonymity, the brothers concentrated on rigorous practice and performed occasionally. By 1950, the brothers had achieved fame throughout the subcontinent. In June 1974, the career of the duo was rocked when they decided to split up due to personal differences. This ended one of the most successful vocal partnerships in the history of Indian classical music. Any hopes of a musical reunion were later dashed when Nazakat Ali Khan passed away in 1983. The maestro received another setback in 1978 when he suffered a paralytic stroke during a concert in London. However, he made a courageous recovery and continued with his rigorous schedule of performing.

Thumri Zila Kafi – Joban Beeto Jaye :  Download

Thumri Jogiya – Aan Milo Ek Bar :  Download

Thumri Pahadi – Tore Nainon Ne Jadu Kiya :  Download

Thumri Bhairavi – Chhor Ke Na Jaa Saiyan More :  Download

The final years of the maestro were marred with ill health connected to the paralytic stroke and thus affecting his ability to perform. During the 1990s, Salamat Ali Khan was diagnosed with diabetes and a heart ailment that further weakened him and resulted him to restrict the number of performances he could do. Further complications related to diabetes resulted in the loss of his vision and thus he retired from classical music in 1998. The end finally came on the 11th July 2001, the world of classical music losing a musical genius whose life was wholly dedicated to the cause of classical music. There will be many other musicians who will achieve fame and glory in years to come but very few will ever attain the stature and excellence of Ustad Salamat Ali Khan.

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