I am a music lover, and I am puzzled by the way prices of cassettes and CDs are fixed.
I usually buy old film songs, and they are priced around Rs 40 per cassette, mostly RPG HMV. New film cassettes in Telugu, Kannada and Tamil cost about Rs 40 to 45. One company called Lahari is selling at Rs 20. Hindi cassettes cost Rs 50 to Rs 60. My daughter wanted me to buy her a cassette of Michael Jackson's Invincible, and I was taken aback to find that it costs Rs 150. The shopkeeper said since it was an international release the price was high. I don't understand how I can get a tape of the same length with Indian music, and with well-known musicians, for less than half that price. Michael Jackson being an international pop star, sells more than Indian musicians, so shouldn't the price come down? Is the price of cassettes dependent on the artistes? I also find that songs from two films are clubbed and sold in one cassette, some time after the movies are released. They sell music worth Rs 80 at Rs 40 once the movies are a little old.
I am also puzzled by the pricing of CDs. T-Series CDs are sold at Rs 95, but classical CDs from other companies cost Rs 350 and more. Is there any difference in the quality of the tapes and CDs used by different companies to record music? Please, can anyone enlighten me?
Parimala M Rao
Factors behind the price
This is in reference to the letter from Ms Parimala M Rao.
She seems to be a bit confused about the pricing of audio cassettes and compact discs from various music labels. I would like to bring to her notice certain facts that go into the pricing of these products.
Market demand (forecast)
We have priced our audio cassettes at Rs 20 and compact discs at Rs 100. Two years back the same cassettes were priced at Rs 32. We reduced the price to check piracy and cut competition. The quality of the hardware that goes into the physical product has not changed. We have an in-house mastering, recording and production unit. Consequently, Lahari can afford to sell cassettes at this price. Lahari's cassettes and compact discs are in high demand in the US, Europe, and the Middle East, besides in India. Do you think that poor quality of products would have been accepted by people abroad and in India.
A vegetarian lunch in Taj West End will be at least five times costlier than one in Shanthi Sagar. This does not mean that the food in Shanthi Sagar is of inferior quality. On the contrary, I have heard people praising the food in small outlets rather than what is available in star hotels.
It is thus not the quality of tapes that influence the pricing but the above points. Hope I have cleared Ms Rao's doubts.
Lahari Recording Co
Sivaji: top 10
These are my favourites among Sivaji Ganesan songs:
1. Meluguvathi erigindradhu (Gauravam)
2. Chellakiligalam (Enga Mama)
3. Oru naal (Paadhukaapu)
4. Nallarvarkellam (Thyagam)
5. Annan Kaatiya (Padithal Mattum Pothuma)
6. Deivame deivame (Deiva Magan)
7. Aattu vithal (Avanthan Manithan)
8. Manithan ninapathundu (Avanthan Manithan)
9. Naalai Naalai (Uthaman)
10. Aru Maname Aaaru (Aandavan Katalai)
Where is Harris?
Some songs of his sound just the same as A R Rahman's. Let me give you a list:
1. Gulmohar malare =
Pachai nirame (Alai Payuthey)
2. Muthal kanave (first part only) = Narumugayee (Iruvar)
3. Hari gora = Chandirenei thottuthe yar? (Ratchagan)
4. Pada pathampuchi = Uppu karuvadu (Mudhalvan)
1. Venmathiye = Evano oruvan (Alai Payuthey)
2. Azhuga theeya = Mustafa (Kadal Desam)
1. Love pannu =
Kanai Kathikolathe (Iruvar)/Kichu eruthe (Padaiyappa)
2. Poove vai pesum bothe = Katre yen vasal (Rhythm)
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