A fan’s tale

Part 4: A Pause

I was anxiously waiting to get the audio tape of Pudhiya Mugam.
However, I am going pause for a moment to write about something that has been lingering in my head for past 20+ years.

Sub standard music tapes. Tamil film industry is notorious for poor distribution practices. I am against any audio piracy and my friends would vouch my claim. This habit did not form overnight, even way back even in the 80s when audio tapes were a luxury to a teenager, I use get original music tapes, LP records were totally out of my reach. Most of my pocket money was spent on music tapes.

Audio companies in Chennai never cared or knew the word “quality”. 1st in my list, a company called Echo. Many of the best and legendry Tamil classics were pathetically packed in a pink colored shell made from cheap plastic. The mastering process was just dumping music on to these poorly manufactured audio tapes. The little parts in the tape would wear out in few weeks and worst of all these tapes produced lot of white noise. Cost of a tape was Rs40 to Rs 50. The outer plastic case will break the moment the consumer open the case. If you ask the reseller he would blindly say “that’s how it came”. The consumer was totally ill treated by these music companies.

Sheer out of passion for music I would go and spend all my pocket money to get these substandard tapes. Music directors had no real say in the deal. Companies like INRECO, HMV, Lahari were in par with Echo. There was also audio companies like Pyramid that offered some good quality tapes, but was a rarity.

This greedy “taking consumer for granted” habit continues even today, “Surthilayam” that distributes Tamil movie aboard is doing everything it can to ruin the movie watching experience. In order to make more money, they bundle double movies on to a single DVD. However in order accommodate 2 movies on the DVD they kill the DTS or 5.1 sound tracks. In order to gain more space on the DVD, the sound channels are neutralized to mono and it is pushed to the 5.1 spectrum. You would get the same sound on all the 5 channels. As if this was not enough without any ethics they display a 5.1 logo or DTS on the label. Why? When someone pays $20 to get an original DVD, what not respect them? Why not provide the quality you promised on DVD inlay card? Tamil movie and music distribution is governed by non scientific distribution channels.

When situation was such, a Bombay based company called Magna sound published the songs from Pudhiya Mugam. Let alone the sound mix part, the overall manufacturing quality was few light year ahead from their Chennai counterparts. Tape Cost RS.35, it was worth the money, and the first track in the Tape said it all.

நேற்று இல்லாத மாற்றம் என்னது! (nEtRu illAtha mAtram ennAdhu)


Shihas said...

Superb :)

Pradeepan said...

vow.. your ARR blogs are great.
Is there anyway to share this on Facebook ?