How to Download from pz10.com

Yet another very good, but not very popular resource of hindustani classical music is pz10.com (the pz stands for Punjabi Zone). The reason it being not too well known in the classical music circuit is, it’s rather unfriendly interface and strange indexing system. But, once you get the real feel of the site it could prove to be a true bonanza to all music lovers. One good thing about this site is that it streams it’s music in both .wma and .mp3 formats. Moreover, the mp3s are of 128 Kbps (near CD) quality, which is good enough reason to download from this site.

To music lovers for whom retrieving music from the Internet Explorer Cache is becoming a habit, I recommend they install ExploreXP (click here to download), a very small and free alternative to Windows Explorer which is easy to setup and can be configured to view all hidden and system files. Moreover it lets you view the filesize in Bytes rather than KBs which is the standard view in Windows Explorer.

ExploreXP settings :

Before attempting to download, clean your Internet Explorer cache completely, by either using the standard method of Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup, or by using an utility like CCleaner or even Index.bat (a batch code written by me for those who know their way around with the Command Prompt and Safe Booting).

Visit the music section of pz10.com. Click on the Hindustani Instrumental Music (its more than just instrumental really), and then on the View / Browse All Hindustani Instrumental Music Albums (or simply click here).

Choose the album you want to download.

Choose Flash Player, Select All Songs and click on the Play button. Let the songs play to their full length.

Inside the IE Cache, the song file will start to grow as it plays on :

After the caching is complete :

Retrieve the songs from the Internet Explorer Cache. ExploreXP will help you to do it with ease.

Another way to download is to search for flash[1].htm file in the cache which is the playlist file (this is tricky because sometimes it could be a jumbled 8 character name like CAX8KNTH.htm). If you are using the Windows Media Player as your player option, the playlist file will be named playlist[1].htm.

Open the file in notepad and copy the song URL (highlighted part) which looks like this :

[http://media.cdn.pz10.com/mm6/files/40/17812/17812-1.mp3 ?voxtoken=9c7c035c20238f84ff7b85b7b882ce65d204e35f]

Use a downloader like Flashget to download the file.

Note: The voxtoken=(+ a combination of letters and numbers) is a part of secure webcasting code by Voxel meant to prevent the users from downloading the music. As the voxtoken code changes every time you load the player, so does the URL of the song, preventing people from posting the songs on their blogs or elsewhere. This means, the URL is good enough for single use only.

The pz10.com team has a sense of humor too. An attempt to open the flash.asx (seemingly a playlist file, the path is mentioned in flash[1].htm), will give you this mocking message :

NO SOUP FOR YOU SHAME SHAME!!!!

Well, here is a spoonful, (of soup ?) for everyone to savour.

Girija Devi – Humse Najariya Kahe Pheri – Thumri :  (Download)

Apart from a sizeable collection of hindustani classical music, pz10.com also has a good number of regional songs including Bhojpuri and Rajasthani folk.

Enjoy !!

indianraga

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How to Download from imeem.com

Imeem.com is one of the more popular sites among the music communities. One unique thing about imeem.com is that it converts all its .mp3 uploads into .flv format (flash video format minus the video) for streaming purpose.

It does another thing to the files : it gives them unusually long names and an extension that confuses the person who is figuring out a way to download a music file. In the Internet Explorer Cache the files are seen as .gif files which normally are graphic images. The long names allotted to the files is probably to prevent the users from copying the files from the Internet Explorer Cache. A typical Imeem song has a name like this :

jnqaSyDSXHO13HPqVv…YsqZOQR3BtEZZ3TMO_pj6s9w.gif

With almost 200 or so more alpha-numeric characters in place of … and in between.

Now a file name as long as this (it may even extend beyond your computer screen) usually freezes your computer when right clicked with the mouse (in your attempt to copy it) resulting into a system crash or forcing you to close the Windows Explorer. In other words downloading music from imeem.com is banned officially (or at a price).

So how to download from imeem.com ?? Follow some simple steps and you may be able to download from imeem.com :

As usual clean your Internet Explorer Cache thoroughly. For a detailed description of how to clean your Internet Explorer Cache read my previous post How to Download from musicindiaonline.com. Apart from the routine Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup, I would highly recommend to delete the mysterious index.dat files as well. Index.dat files are not easy to delete when Windows is running, and you will need a special tool for this. The best tool that is easily available and most importantly, a freeware is CCleaner (formerly known as Crap Cleaner).

A portable version of CCleaner is highly recommended which will spare you from the installation process. If you are comfortable enough with booting up your system into Safe Mode, then I have a little surprise for you : a nifty utility (only 3 KB) that I have devised for my personal use and which I am willing to share. Find the link in the sidebar of this blog or click here. Go through the Readme.txt file before using it.

Once the index.dat files are gotten rid of you are left with only 4 sub folders in the Temporary Internet Files folder making it easier to find the music files.

Now go to Imeem.com and start playing the file that you want to download. At the same time go to Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup. Click on the View Files button on the next window. You will find the file in one of the 4 folders, growing in size as it plays on.

Once it has played its full length or when it stops growing in size and has buffered fully, you may rename the file by a ‘delayed‘ double-click of the mouse (do not right click as it may freeze your computer), to a short name of your choice (e.g myfile.flv) with the .gif replaced with .flv as it’s extension.

Copy (or Cut and Paste) the file in the folder of your choice and play it in a Flv Player. You may convert this file into a mp3 file if you wish using a file converter. I use SUPER for most of my converting jobs.

Enjoy !!

How to Download from Smashits.com

I wonder how many Indian Classical Music enthusiasts know that ww.smashits.com (note the ww instead of www) has a few gems of hindustani classical music stored in it’s seemingly bollywood centric server. This portal is not very new and does not boast of a large classical music content but still I managed to download a few pieces of music not available anywhere else. My favourites are about 75-80 songs featured in it’s ‘Smashits Collection‘ (8 CDs). These are now an important part of my indianraga.collection.

See the screenshot of the classical music collection in the category ‘Classical‘ :

And the collection in the category ‘North Indian Classical‘ :

However there is a catch. There is no way you can download a music file directly from this site (sorry, there is one but only by making a small payment). But for mortals like yours truly, who are forever downloading music and would go bankrupt in a few weeks if they continue paying for it, there is always a way out.

But first things first. I would like you folks to go through my earlier post :

How to Download from musicindiaonline.com

As we are going to retrieve the music files from the ‘Internet Explorer Cache‘ it is essential to clean it completely before going further. Firefox users will not be able to download using this method. There are a few tricks for diehard Firefox fans too, but let’s leave them for another time.

After you have cleaned your Internet Explorer Cache, follow the steps mentioned in the post : How to Download from musicindiaonline.com to view your downloading files.

Now unlike musicindiaonline.com which streams it’s music in Real Audio (.ra) or Windows Media Audio (.wma) format, smashits.com uses a Flash Player and streams it’s music in .mp3 format (usually 64 kbps) which is a big plus for those who want to download from this site. Moreover the sound quality of the files is much better than that on musicindiaonline.com (20-24 kbps).

Click on the album you want to download and select the files (you may select all, if you want).

Click on the ‘Play’ button. The Flash Player will open as a pop-up.

Open the Internet Cache folder and you will be able to view your file gradually growing in size as it plays on.

Let it buffer fully (you will see the ‘Bit Rate‘ and ‘Duration‘ of the file appear when it does). You don’t need to play the file to it’s full length but letting it buffer fully is very important.

Copy the file and paste it in the folder of your choice, rename it according to it’s original name and repeat the procedure to download another file. On a fast Broadband connection you may be able to download an album (5-6 songs) in 4-5 minutes.

Watch out for more downloading tips from other music streaming sites in my future posts.

Download and Enjoy Listening !!

eSnips removes Download button : Tips & Tricks

From Dec 1, 2007, eSnips, which was fast gaining popularity among music communities because it offered huge 5 GB of storage space for free and allowed users to download mp3 files from each other, has now removed it’s now famous green ‘Download’ button. As of now, one can only listen to a streaming mp3 but would not be able to download it.

But there’s still hope unless someone from eSnips catches with it. Although eSnips has given an option to all those who upload mp3 files, if or not they want to share their music with other eSnippers, through the ‘edit details’ settings, but this was not working till yesterday, atleast not with files which were uploaded before 1st Dec 2007.

For those of you who download a few files and are not into bulk downloads its not a big problem. Play the file you want till the end. Open your windows explorer > documents and settings > user folder (computer user’s name) > local settings > temporary internet files. You will find your wanted file in the Internet Explorer cache, though with a different name something like this : ?id=1196684437204 : you can detect the file by its icon (winamp or any other mp3 program icon) and filesize. Copy the file to the folder of your choice and rename it to it’s original name. A piece of advice before you venture out to follow this tip: Delete all the Temporary Internet Files of Internet Explorer completely. You may do this by clicking on Tools option of the Internet Explorer > Internet Options > Temporary Internet Files > Delete Files. After clearing the files it would be lot easier for you to find that saved file otherwise finding a particular file from the Cache could be as hectic as finding a pin in a haystack.

The other trick particularly for those of you who download music files more often from eSnips, is to first install Flashget (Download Manager). It’s free and is one of the best piece of software in it’s category and you will not be able to do without it once you use it. You can download the English version from here :

http://www.flashget.com/en/download.htm

A direct link to download Flashget ver 1.73 :

http://down6.flashget.com/fgf173.exe

After installing Flashget normally, start it and minimize it. It will be visible in your system tray though.

Now start playing the eSnips mp3 file which you want to download. Click on the player once. Right click > Properties. Copy the ‘Location’ of the file, which should be looking something like this :

http://www.esnips.com/nsdoc/3c7aface-d664-4ef8-a5d1-82feb9fe545c/?id=1196843373328

There must be a …../?id=(numbers) part in the location of the file.

As you copy the Location by selecting it with the mouse and right clicking on it and then copying, Flashget will automatically copy that URL in its window and you just have to click on the OK button and start downloading this file. If the window does not open by itself, maximize Flashget, click Edit option on the menu, select Paste URL. A window will open and your copied url will be already there, you just have to click on the OK button.

It is not necessary to play the full eSnips file. You play it for a few seconds, copy the file Location (URL) and start playing another music file and repeating the same. This way you may copy the download URLs of multiple files and download them later at your convenience. However there is a glitch here. The eSnips server does not have ‘resume’ capability for file downloads. So you have to download each file in one go without interrupting i.e. without stopping or pausing. However if your internet connection breaks or you have paused the download by mistake, you’ll have to start allover again.

I hope these small download tips will bring smiles on all those eSnippers who thought that the world has come to an end after eSnips removed the ‘download‘ button. Keep smiling and download as much as you can …. till eSnips people catch up with this.

Enjoy !!