Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Flipping Indian Mp3s the Legal Way




Just today I was pleasantly surprised to notice two new categories in Flipkart - 'flyte The Digital Store' and MP3 Downloads. We should probably have seen this coming, considering the fact that Flipkart has recently been foraying into newer segments including Computer Peripherals. I decided to try buying some music on the service and here is my review after the procedure.

There seems to be a large collection Indian Music - Bollywood and Regional cinema as well as Music Albums in various languages. There is also an International section with many different genres listed. It would be interesting to see what the Indian market makes about this sudden access to Legal Bollywood MP3 and other music on Flipkart.
 

Music Categories

Note that there is a new Cart called 'Digital Cart' apart from the regular cart. While currently the only digital downloads may be MP3 files, the 'flyte' Digital Store seems to suggest that a slew of other Digital media downloads is on the cards for Flipkart. Music can be downloaded as entire albums or as individual songs. In most cases it seems to be slightly more economical to buy the entire album, whereas in some cases, strangely, it turns out cheaper to buy the songs separately! eg. MTV India Coke Studio Ep 1. Also notable is that certain songs may be priced higher, within the same album, as in the case of Kaminey below.





              Balabhaskar                                     Coke Studio                                   Kaminey                                       Rudaali


The payment process is the same as other products on Flipkart. On successful payment the songs can be downloaded from the 'MP3 Library', which shows up at the top right corner of the flyte Digital Store page. I bought one song, and the Library showed '4 left' under the download tab.Every song one buys can be downloaded upto 4 times, which means you don't have to worry too much about losing the purchase if the net connection gives up on you in the middle of the download. Also you can directly download the song onto multiple devices.

The songs are in DRM free Mp3 format. There are options to download it in 64, 128 or 312kbps formats. Downloads can also be done after installing the 'Flyte Download Manager' which makes its easier to manage downloads, with options to pause/resume downloads. Flipkart offers a preview option that can be streamed before buying the song. It would be interesting to see how the Indian customer base will take up these new offerings, now that sites like Flipkart, Infibeam and the like have gotten increasingly popular for other products. Perhaps this may also help the music industry recover some of the revenue that is currently lost through online piracy.

Note: 'Currently purchases can be done only within the territory of India' says the flyte help FAQ section. It is probable that people from other countries can buy music using a billing address in India.

Links:
flyte Digital Store
Flyte Download Manager

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