Before I continue, let me say I am a novice to finding music online, so if there are more options than I list here, please leave a comment about them. I normally just buy CDs from shops and on coming home rip them immediately to my laptop. Then I burn MP3/WMA versions for listening in my car for personal hearing.
When it comes to genuinely buying Indian Music online (Tamil film and Carnatic Music in particular) there are few choices available. Most of the sites sell CDs and since they are in physical format their catalog is very limited. Even those whose catalog is sizable, the site design and the search features are pathetic. Most of them require you to browse their catalog page after page rather than a simple search box.
So no wonder last week I was not able to find what I wanted. I suddenly recollected the good numbers that A R Rahman has done in “DUET” movie. Accompanied by Kadri Gopalnath’s mesmerizing Saxophone music and brilliantly acted by “இளைய திலகம்” Prabhu, I believe this album to be one of all time bests of Rahman. I am certainly not impressed by Rahman’s recent works including Sivaji.
So I searched for “DUET” CD in various shopping sites including Rediff, Indiatimes, Fabmall and also in ChennaiOnline’s Tamil Songs database, I didn’t find it. Then I went to HamaraCD – where you can create your own audio CDs of your favourite songs. Unfortunately the site allows only Audio CD format so the number of songs are limited to about 13 and so no MP3 formats. And it costs Rs.300 including shipping.
Anyway’s, I went ahead and compiled DUET and some of the other what I consider best songs of Rahman into an album. Surprisingly I got the CD delivered in less than 3 days and the whole CD was neatly printed, customized and music quality was excellent. Great show!. I just wish they did their website a little better designed and intuitive.
I had a very similar experience last month as well, when I wanted to buy few India Music CDs and gift it to one of my American friend in USA. None of the sites ship to USA and those who do don’t have any choices. I thought I cracked this by finding and ordering a set in IndiaPlaza, but after few days they come back and asked me to fax my credit card number with the 3 Digit code for verification. Forget it, I called one of my colleagues in USA and asked him to buy it in local Indian Store and post it.
So much for legal music online!