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Microsoft sings new Zunes October 3, 2007

Posted by sk in Apple, iPod, Microsoft, Music, Zune.

OK, y’all* knew I was going to post about this, especially after writing an extensive article about the first Zune. Microsoft released details about the v2 Zunes yesterday. They’re not revolutionary, but I’m impressed nevertheless (you knew I’d say that too). The new Zunes basically come in 3 versions – 80 GB hard drive based and 4 and 8 GB flash based. The 80 Gig Zune (aka Zune 80) is available in black and is easily the most eye catching Zune in my opinion. The 4 Gig (Zune 4) and 8 Gig (Zune 8 ) models come in red, military green (which replaces brown as the new black), baby pink, and black.  See more images here. The old 30 GB model is not being discontinued. All new Zunes come with a squircle shaped click wheel known as “Zune Pad”, which is apparently easier to use. The Zune software has also been overhauled. Overall, there’s less to separate the Zunes form iPods this year (except for Touch) and I think Zune may do better than the 3% overall marketshare that it had last year. I don’t see it threatening iPod’s dominance any time soon, though.

Here’s a comparison of Zune 80 with iPod Classic.

*the two people who bother to read my posts. 🙂

Harder, better, faster, stronger September 7, 2007

Posted by sk in kanye west, Music, stronger.


Not a big fan of hip hop but I love this song!

Music, Yahoo, Microsoft, and more December 19, 2006

Posted by sk in Bollywood, Hindi Movies, Microsoft, Music.

We’re back. After a brief hiatus, here’s another random post. I’m going to start off with the current playlist on WMP 11 on my comp:

  1. All songs of Guru (except Baazi Laga)
  2. Kabul Fiza (from the movie Kabul Express)
  3. Carry on Wayward Son by Kansas*
  4. Dust in the Wind by Kansas
  5. Point of Know Return by Kansas
  6. My December by Linkin Park
  7. Feel Like Making Love by Bad Company
  8. Songs from Sillunu Oru Kadhal (Tamil movie) – if anyone says New York Nagaram was copied, I’m going to break their bones.
  9. Songs from Tehzeeb (A. R. Rahman)
  10. Saathi Na Koi from Bambai Ka Babu (An old Rafi song)
  11. A couple of songs from Zeher
  12. White Album by the Beatles.

Does anyone care what I’m listening to? I don’t know. Just wanted to let you know. 🙂 Anyway, thanks to Guru, I’ve started listening to a few Bollywood tracks again. What are you listening to, dear readers (if there are any left)?

*I actually heard this song on the radio while driving to Tucson and tried to remember a few words so that I could search for it on the net. Unfortunately, I couldn’t. Thankfully, the song played again a week later and I remembered three words, “Don’t you cry.” I searched for the phrase, “Don’t you cry rock lyrics” on the net and couldn’t find the song. Later I remember two more words, “Carry on”. This time, I searched for “Carry on don’t you cry lyrics” and found the name of the group on Google. I love Google search. I really do.

On the topic of Google, do you think Microsoft will acquire Yahoo next year? I really hope they don’t. But the way Yahoo! has been doing lately, it does seem possible. And Microsoft has already tried once this year. What do you think?

ish, I’ve taken care of the pr0n links. Thanks for pointing it out. 🙂

High five!!

1st gen. Zune didn’t impress me a lot.. November 20, 2006

Posted by planetsk in Apple, Blogroll, iPod, Microsoft, Music, Zune.

Brown Microsoft Zune


Went to an electronic store in the weekend to kill some time and found this..Zune wasn’t the buzz..Zune is no eye-catcher..may have good features..but cosmetically ( I usually dont go just by looks for electronic gadgets but..), iPod is much better..by looking at Zune physically..I forced myself to compare it with iPod..iPod’s wheel is way better than the click thing (whatever MS calls it). Except larger display( it may matter to some) and wireless connectivity..Zune could boast of a very few things to draw attention of the consumers..Did MS make a mistake by spending time and money on this?? I don’t know and it’s too early to say..Brown color and plastic (didn’t reduce its mass a lot) looked sloppy…though Zune seems promising it looked more conservative..Does Zune work with Windows Vista?? If not, there’s a problem..Also heard Zune Marketplace wasn’t that great.. Another problem to Zune’s future is the mixed reviews..but these were expected..My so-called expectations about Zune( its sales, looks, features etc., ) weren’t met in full..Hopefully, marketing helps MS during Christmas holidays..but Zune is competing against the titanic of MP3 players..I also hope that this product gets better with time and consumer will get the best..however, Zune 2.0 might compete against iPod 6.0 PS: I have no plans to buy a MP3 player for now..pretty happy listening to songs on web..just blogged about what i felt..


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Guru – Song details November 18, 2006

Posted by sk in A.R.Rahman, Bollywood, Hindi Movies, movies, Music.

I had promised to update my previous post about Guru’s music with artist names. I found this and more on a Rahman fan site. It would have made my previous post too long so I decided to do a new post on this. Here’s some information about the songs:

  1. “Barso Re” – Shreya Ghoshal & Uday Mazumdar. Picturised on Aishwarya Rai in Athirapally waterfalls, Kerala. 
  2. “Tere Bina” – A.R.Rahman, Chinmayi, Additional Voices – Murtaza,Qadir.  A.R.Rahman termed it as his favorite song in the album, in his MumbaiMirror interview. 
  3. “Ek Lo Ek Muft” – Bappi Lahiri, K.S. Chitra, Additional Voices – Tanvi, Saloni, Boney, Jaidev. Mentioned as “Yammo Yammo and “Bolo Guru” in different sites, this is a Bengali number sung by Bappi Lahiri. This is a seven-minute song, which is reportedly used when the opening credits of the film roll up.
  4. “Baazi Laga” – Udit Narayan, Madhushree, Swetha, Bhargavee. Additional Programming – Pravin Mani.
  5. “Mayya” – Maryem Hassan Toller, Chinmayee, Keerthi. Programming & Additional Arrangements –  Ranjit Barot.  This song has been picturized in Turkey, and features Mallika Sherawat. 
  6. “Ay Hairathe” – Hariharan, Alka Yagnik. Additional Voices – A.R.Rahman, Aslam Mohammed. 
  7. “Jaage Hain” – K.S.Chitra , A.R.Rahman & Madras Choral Group.UPDATE (11/20):Here’s another review of Guru that I found interesting.Here’s a translation of some of the songs.UPDATE (11/21): Soundtrack with some nice comments is available here.

Guru music disappointing? HELL NO November 18, 2006

Posted by sk in A.R.Rahman, Bollywood, movies, Music.

I don’t normally blog about Bollywood and I’ve never reviewed any movie or album so far, but Guru is different. This was something I was eagerly awaiting. After all, it’s the Rahman-Mani Ratnam combination once again, the same combination that delivered great albums like Roja, Bombay, Dil Se, Alaypayuthey (Sakhi in Telugu, Saathiya in Hindi), and to some extent, Yuva. After Rang De Basanti (RDB), I had great expectations from this album, but, to say the very least, I’m disappointed (it’s actually a very high quality album if you discount Baazi Laga). And it has been a pretty long wait too, after RDB. That album was released in late 2005. Wow!! Feels like eternity. Since then, I’ve shifted apartments 5 times in three different cities. On a personal front too a lot has changed since then. This blog didn’t exist then. I hadn’t even started reading about Microsoft then. So, has it been worth the wait? Sadly, the answer to that question is an unequivocal “no”. The songs aren’t great. (While this is not his best album, I think some of the songs a really good) There’s no other way to put it. Here’s the list of songs and my comments about each one (note: I don’t know who the singers are… I’ll update that later):

  1. Barso Re – A decent song with a nice Rajasthani tune, probably one of the better ones in the album. I liked the background beats a lot. Also, I love the way the tune changes. It sounds a little bit like Yeh Rishta from Meenaxi, but there’s not much in common between the two songs to say Rahman was inspired by it.
  2. Tere Bina – As of now, I think this is by far the best song in the album. It’s Rahman’s tribute to Nusrat and the song is stylistically similar to some of Nusrat’s songs. My sister thinks it’s a poor copy of one of Nusrat’s songs and I tried to argue with her saying it’s only the style that has been copied and not any song in particular. She liked the song too. I know of many others who did too. By the way, Rahman seems to be singing better and better with age. Has anyone else noticed that?
  3. Ek lo ek muft – I think this song plays during the intro titles. At least, that’s what I’ve heard. It’s been sung by none other than Bappi Lahari and I think he’s done a pretty good job. Not bad for a tapori type song. I don’t like the way it begins though.
  4. Mayya – Now this is simply a product of Rahman’s Khalbali (from RDB) hangover (well, the song is shot in Turkey so he obviously wouldn’t use a Carnatic tune for it… d’ohh!). I don’t know what to say about the song. I hated it when I first listened to it. It’s slowly growing on me, but I still don’t think I’m going to like it much. I like only parts of the song. (It’s one of my favorites now. I love the way Rahman handles the tune-changes… in a way that only he can. I also like Maryem Hassan Toller’s voice. Who cares about the accent!!)
  5. Ay Hairathe – A good song, I guess… it’s actually not all that bad, but not all that great either. (This is one song that really grows on you. Beautiful ballad by Rahman.)
  6. Baazi Laga – Sounds similar to Yunhi chala chal from Swades and Humraahi jab ho mastaana from Pukaar. It’s a pretty bad song compared to those two. I actually liked those two songs. I don’t really like this one. It’s actually a pretty bad song by Rahman’s standards. On second, it’s a pretty bad song by any standards.
  7. Jaage Hain: Hmmm. I don’t know. Rahman hasn’t been able to get rid of his obsession with Western classical after Bombay Dreams. We saw that in Lagaan (O Rey chori), Kisna (Hum hain iss pal) and some other movies. The tune is actually pretty haunting, but.. A great song that caps a great effort by Rahman. But we all knew that Rahman wouldn’t disappoint us, right? Right?? :-))

Overall, I don’t think this is a great album. It’s not bad, but not great either. I had expected a lot more from Rahman. Come to think of it, when Rahman starts giving bad music for a Mani Ratnam movie, I don’t think it’s good news, right? Does this mean he’s on a decline?

P.S. I’m a huge fan of Rahman’s music. I have probably listened to all his songs in Tamil and Hindi by now, even those from movies that no one has heard of. Also, considering that this is a Rahman album, I may change my opinion about it later, but for some reason I don’t think it’s going to happen this time. The songs seem like rehashed versions of some of his old tunes.

UPDATE: You can watch a clip of Tere Bina here and a trailer of the movie here.

UPDATE 2: I’m beginning to like some of the songs!!! 🙂 The song Jaage hain reminds me of a Rafi song from a Guru Dutt movie, “Dekhi zamaane ki yaari”.

UPDATE 3 (Nov 21): Lesson learnt: Never review a Rahman album unless you’ve listened to the songs at least 10-15 times. Except for Baazi laga, which I think is a very pedestrian effort, the other songs are very good. I can’t stop listening to Tere Bina and Mayya Mayya. While the songs do remind me of some of his old tunes, it’s indeed surprising that even after 15 years in the industry, Rahman is able to come up with some mind-blowing numbers. I’ve updated this review a little bit. The updates are in brackets.

UPDATE 4 (Nov 23): I am addicted to Mayya Mayya and can’t stop listening to it. Today I played Hamma Hamma from Bombay after listening to Mayya Mayya and I was surprised at how much Rahman’s music has matured during the last 10 years. While Humma Humma itsself was considered pretty complicated in those days, it’s nothing compared to the kind of music he composes these days. The tunes may not have changed much but there’s a huge difference in the kind of instruments he uses and the number of layers he uses these days. Fascinating.

Zune Update: welcome to the social November 2, 2006

Posted by sk in iPod, Microsoft, Music, Technology and Software, YouTube, Zune.

Meet Zune

With less than two weeks to go before the US launch, Microsoft has been trying to build up excitement slowly. First it was some viral ads on comingzune.com. Yesterday, the official Zune website, zune.net finally came up. Apparently, Microsoft couldn’t buy zune.com. Also, Cesar Menendez has posted some of the TV spots on YouTube. Microsoft’s advertising strategy is clearly apparent from this. They’re following the same strategy that brands like American Eagle, Gap etc. follow – targeting the youth. Only time will tell if this’ll be successful. Oh, and by the way, Zune does have some cool accessories.

UPDATE: The Zune team has released a cool theme for Windows XP. It’s based on the Windows Royale theme with black taskbars instead of blue. Not surprisingly, the start button is brown. You can get the theme here. Sadly, the theme doesn’t work with Ubuntu.

Wish you were here October 12, 2006

Posted by sk in Music, Pink Floyd, Rock.

Amazing song. This was performed by Pink Floyd during the PULSE tour by David Gilmour. Sadly, the song’s lyricist, Roger Waters had left the band by then. The song was written as a tribute to a former member, Syd Barrett.

Love me or hate me October 10, 2006

Posted by sk in Blogroll, Humor, Kollywood, movies, Music, YouTube.

Many of you may have already seen the famous “Eef you come today” video. If not, don’t worry, you can watch it here.

Well, here’s another great song sung by the Late Kannada Superstar, Dr. Rajkumar himself. Good stuff!!! :p

Now you know why Veerappan kidnapped him!

My first impressions of the Zune September 18, 2006

Posted by sk in Computers & Internet, Miscellaneous, Music, Technology and Software.

<More pics here

So, the Zune was finally (officially) launched last week. Newspapers and blog sites (the ones I read) have been abuzz with articles about it. So, why not add one more to the list? Here’s my take on the features, the UI, and the looks in general of Zune. I’ll list things I like and dislike about it and features that I’d like to see when it’s released. All this is based on what I’ve seen and read on the Internet and I’m liable to change my opinion in future. Let me start with the things I hate about it.