I had a fit last week

I had a fit last week. Not the type when you froth at the mouth, face twitching, eyes rolling skywards and finally, you drop down dead on the floor ..with a thud. Mine was different. I chanced upon a website called suhanegeet.com. What I saw there was amazing stuff. Vintage hindi film songs from 1930 onwards. I am not a big follower of hindi film songs really, but I love collecting artifacts of antique value, be it coins, paintings, or any old titbit piece of art for that matter.

Achhut Kanya (1936) – Ashok Kumar & Devika Rani :  (Download)

To me the glorious black and white era of hindi films ended with the release of Mughal-e-Azam in 1959 (or was it 1960 ?). This was the period which saw the evolution of hindi film songs from the unbearably harsh sounding songs of the early 1930s to the refined voices of singers like K L Saigal, Amirbai Karnataki, Zohrabai Ambalawali, C H Atma, Talat Mahmood, Suraiya, Khursheed, Shamshad Begum, Noor Jehan and many others. The emergence of Lata Mangeshkar and company in the late 1940s however, changed the face of hindi film music forever.

Mughal-e-Azam (1959) – Lata & Shamshad Begum :  (Download)

So I went down to work. Suhanegeet.com is not a fanciful site, infact it is a bit drag on at first look. It has a great search engine though. Above all, it has an archive of some 8000 songs, but I was interested only in songs of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. The songs can be played on an onsite flash mp3 player but cannot be downloaded. I somehow managed to download ‘quite a few‘ songs, all of them from the above mentioned vintage period. I have this strange thing going for me. When I get down to do something, I try very hard to be meticulous about it.

I had a fit last week :

Thirsting for more of such vintage songs, I discovered another site : ansarimusic.net (or songs420.com). Applying the same ‘method’ which I did with suhanegeet.com, I downloaded ‘some‘ of the songs, mostly of the legendary singers. I finished the job by downloading a ‘few‘ from smashits.com, most of them from the 1930 through the 1950s. Finally, I have a handsome collection of select old hindi film songs now, all vintage. All this took me a few hours of nosing around ..and a little application of mind.

Comments are welcome.

indianraga

Advertisements

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 !!