Sunday, February 08, 2009

How to Download from ITC-SRA

The origin of hindustani classical music can be traced back to Vedic times, nearly five thousand years ago. Some say its origin is far older, lost in the mists of distant times and places beyond the lives and memories of humankind.

From this obscure point of indeterminate origin, it evolved over thousands of years in temples and spiritual traditions throughout the Indian subcontinent. And many centuries ago, it moved from the temples into the palaces of the kings and queens of India, who were its most fervent and avid patrons. The stalwart kings of India have nurtured our music with tender care and have been its willing captives. In fact, musical training formed an indispensable item of royal education. Nowhere else in the world has royal patronage and encouragement to music probably been as continuous and rich as in India.

After India's independence, the loss of royal patronage threw the arts open to public mercy. Hindustani classical music, in its pure form, is fundamentally a complex study and therefore, cannot come within the reach of the uninitiated. As a result, serious music suffered. During the mid-seventies, ITC's top management envisioned that the Company (ironically, a tobacco company) could play a major role to preserve and propagate the rich Indian musical heritage.

ITC-SRA (ITC Sangeet Research Academy) was created in 1977 as an independent Trust. In creating ITC-SRA, ITC's farsighted endeavour was to establish a modern 'Gurukul' and revive the traditional 'Guru-Shishya Parampara'. Corporate patronage of music on this scale was unknown before. It's website holds a treasure, classical music that is unavailable elsewhere, recordings that are exclusive and rare to find. You may visit the site and hear all the music to your heart's fill but you are not supposed to download it. It uses Real media for streaming music and video, hence files are playable only if you have Real Player installed in your system.

But for obstinate people like many of us, there is a way to download music from ITC-SRA too. First of all you must have a downloader installed. I use Flashget (I recommend Flashget Classic version 1.73), but Orbit downloader and for that matter any downloader that supports rtsp (Real Time Streaming Protocol) will do. Once the downloader is installed, open it and visit the ITC-SRA site (or click here). Click on the Raga Online option (see image) or straightaway click here :

Choose your desired artist from the dropdown menu :

A list of songs available on the site will appear :

Right click the small speaker icons and save the file by choosing 'Save Target As...'. But hold on, this is not the actual music file but just a playlist and could be as small as just 1 Kb (e.g. bhimsenjoshi_bhairavi.ram for the encircled song). Open the file in any text editor (notepad will do) and you will be able to see it's content, a single line with commands for your Real Player :

rtsp:// ?cloakport=80,554,7070

Copy the highlighted part (leave the ? and the part after it). Paste the link in the downloader's URL window (if the URL snatcher is on, it will paste the URL automatically). This is what it looks like in Flashget :

Click OK and your file will begin to download :

The files are Real Media files with a .rm extension and can be played with Real Player or any other player that supports this format.

You may convert .rm files into .mp3 if you wish. I use Super for most of my converting jobs.

Listen to two songs from the above list, downloaded in similar fashion, converted to mp3 files, uploaded and posted here for your listening pleasure ( now, who says I am not doing the hard work...and making your lives easier ?? ) :

Bhimsen Joshi - Bhairavi (Jo Bhaje Hari Ko Sada) :  (Download)

Bhimsen Joshi - Khamaj Thumri (Jadu Bhareli) :  (Download)

Comments are welcome.

Enjoy !!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip.
Please also help me out wit the following -
I am only able to play , not download the 2 recordings. I have a Firefox browser. When I click on the Download button, the quick Time player opens and starts playing the recording, but there is no option to download or save the file. What do I need to download?

indianraga said...

Don't click the 'Download' link normally. Instead right click and choose 'Save Link As...' from the menu.

Rajiv said...

Dear Indian Raga,

Thanks. This works. Great. Jo Bhaje Hari ko Sada, wohi aisay sundar karya karta hai. Dhanyavad.


Anonymous said...

Dear Guptaji,

Thanks again for the concerted efforts and sheeer dedication on your part to render such a selfless service to music lovers !!!!!

FYI I have in my possession the "madhukauns" Vilambit by Dr Vasantrao Deshpande which goes by: " Deho Taras re Mohe Raam".

I had requested you the same a few days back, but you do not seem to have it and niether is it in your " Raag Collection".

Kindly know if I can be of service.

Capt Ajit Sathe

Anonymous said...

So great! Thank you!!!!

Abhimonyu Deb said...

Thank you VERY much!!!


thank you very much it really works........u really rocks.

Ravindra BC said...

Dear MR.Indian Raga,I've followed your instructions and am very happy to say I have successfully downloaded music from Raga Online.But it seems I'm less tech savvy than others & I don't know either how to play the music I've downloaded or how to convert songs into mp3 format.I don't know how to drag music from the folder into which I've downloaded music to audio converter.I even do not know whether it is necessary to conver downloaded songs before playing them using real player.Please heip. Thank you.

Ravindra BC said...

Dear Mr.Indian Raga,Pleae help me with the following:I have followed your guidelines and downloaded music from Raga Online of ITC SRA.I also have downloaded Real player.But I have failed to play the songs I have downloaded using Real player. Also please clarify if it is necessary to convert songs into mp3 format using audio converter in order to play them using Real Player? How do I drag music files to audio converter in order to convert them from rm files to mp3 format? Please help. Thank you.

Post a Comment