Tag Archives: Mavrix update

1930s Hindi Film Music – Now Available on MySwar

We had promised in February to complete the task of cataloguing the first decade of Hindi film music, starting with “Alam Ara” (1931), by April. We’re happy to report that the task is done right on time. MySwar now lists all the films released between 1931 and 1940 and their songs.

At this point, the data for film names, song listings and music related credits is complete to the extent that we have information for them. We have updated credits for directors, actors, banners for some of the films but this remains a work in progress. The task of linking to YouTube and iTunes (where available) is also in progress.

We hope you find this effort useful and invite any feedback you may have.

MySwar Updates

We’ve been busy making MySwar better these past few months and although we’re far from done, it’s a good time to review two of these updates:

  1. A few months ago, we started entering information for Hindi films released between 1931 and 1940. In a first pass, we entered the most important films released in this decade – films like “Alam Ara” (1931), “Devdas” (1935) and “Street Singer” (1938). In a second pass, we started filling in information for the remaining films. As of now, we’re done with the filmography for the period 1931 to 1936. Work on the period 1937 and 1940 is currently in progress. We expect this work to be done by April.
  2. MySwar now provides listing of albums by Label and listings of films by Banner/Production house. Labels displayed on album listing pages and on album pages are now hyperlinked. So is the Production company displayed on the album page. One cool thing about these listings are that we have linked related labels and production houses to provide a consolidated listing. For example, Polydor and Music India labels were merged into Universal and so clicking on either of the three gives the same consolidated listing. Same for NFDC and National Film Development Corporation Of India.

Please check out these updates and share any feedback you may have.

MySwar Mobile Web Version Now Available

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Over the last few weeks, we rolled out mobile web updates to the MySwar website. When you access myswar.in from a mobile device, you’ll see an easy-to-navigate, mobile-friendly version. Almost every feature available available on the desktop website is available in the mobile web version. While the UI is different, the flow is very similar to the flow of the desktop website. The mobile website is intuitive but do take time out the check out the feature-rich, context-sensitive Settings option. Depending on what page you are in, the Settings pop-up provides you options to do various things including starting a playlist, filtering lists, logging in, changing the display language and switching to the destop UI. We hope you enjoy this update.

MySwar App Now Available In Hindi

Updated on Mar 12, 2015: The MySwar Android app is also available in Hindi now.

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A little more than a year ago, we had announced the availability of content on MySwar in Hindi in addition to English. We finally got to roll out an update that makes Hindi content available on the MySwar iOS app and the MySwar Android app as well.

Pretty much all content on the app, artist bios and trivia being exceptions, is now available in Hindi. Just go to Settings -> Language -> Choose “हिन्दी में” and Voila! As in the website, regardless of the Language setting in the app, you can search for songs/albums/artists by typing in either English or Devanagari.

Here’s a quick view of how the language setting works:

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2014 Bollywood Music Review

2014

2014 was not a great year for Hindi film music. The Indian Express carried a bleak piece discussing the death of Hindi film music in 2014. We have observed the rise of multi-composer albums and albums riding on one or two item songs for a few years now. This trend continued in 2014. The other thing that happened in 2014 was that there were fewer solid, single-composer albums to offset the mediocre ones. For example, while 2014 had only Queen, Haider and Highway as the hit-the-ball-out-of-the-park albums, 2013 had Lootera, Kai Po Che, Raanjhana, Aashiqui 2, Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani, Bhaag Milka Bhaag and D-Day.

Moving on, to digging deeper into the year. 2014 saw the release of 142 films with 982 songs between them.

The year saw the passing away of Chandrashekhar Gadgil, Juthika Roy, Raghunath Seth and Sitara Devi. It also saw influx of new talent. Some of the notable debuts of 2014 were:

The most prolific composers in 2014 were:

  1. A.R. Rahman – 7 films, 68 songs
  2. Himesh Reshammiya – 4 films, 46 songs
  3. Shankar – Ehsaan – Loy – 4 films, 24 songs
  4. Vishal – Shekhar – 3 films, 24 songs

Since Rahman’s list includes 2 Hollywood films (“Million Dollar Arm” and “The Hundred-Foot Journey”) and 3 Tamil films dubbed in Hindi (“Kochadaiiyaan”, “Lingaa” and “I”), we have included 4 composers in this list instead of the usual 3.

The most prolific lyricists in 2014 were:

  1. Kumaar – 22 films, 60 songs
  2. Irshad Kamil – 9 films, 55 songs
  3. Amitabh Bhattacharya – 8 films, 39 songs

Kumaar tops the lyricist list again. As we had mentioned last year, the disconnect between how much he gets talked about and the volume of his work output is stark. Other than Irshad Kamil and Amitabh Bhattacharya switching spots, this list is the same as last year’s. The stability of this list gives us an indication of how much value Bollywood places on these three lyricists.

The most prolific male singers of 2014 were:

  1. Arijit Singh – 62 songs
  2. Mika Singh – 37 songs
  3. Himesh Reshammiya – 22 songs

If 2013, with Aashiqui 2, was Arijit Singh’s breakout year, 2014 was the year he established his dominance. With 62 songs, he ruled the charts and the airwaves. Despite murmurs of “over-exposure”, Arijit has managed to appeal to both the masses and the critics. Mika Singh’s presence on this list shows Bollywood’s continued and, for us, inexplicable, fascination for his voice and/or the genre he represents. Singer Himesh Reshammiya can thank music director Himesh Reshammiya for all the songs he got to sing in 2014.

The most prolific female singers of 2014 were:

  1. Neeti Mohan – 42 songs
  2. Shreya Ghoshal – 32 songs
  3. Shalmali Kholgade – 21 songs

The careers of Neeti Mohan and Shalmali Kholgade continue to be on the rise and deservedly so. Shreya Ghoshal is still placed comfortably although she seems to have lost a bit of her sheen. It is very clear that Sunidhi Chauhan is getting fewer offers, although, as you’ll see below, the songs she does sing are well-liked.

Finally, based on a combination of ratings and number of well-rated songs in 2014, the most popular artists of 2014 were:

  1. Most popular composers: A.R. Rahman, Shankar – Ehsaan – Loy, Vishal – Shekhar, Pritam
  2. Most popular lyricists: Amitabh Bhattacharya, Gulzar, Irshad Kamil
  3. Most popular male singers: Arijit Singh, Vishal Dadlani, Papon
  4. Most popular female singers: Shreya Ghoshal, Neeti Mohan, Sunidhi Chauhan

Non-Film Albums Now Available On MySwar App

So far we had only Hindi film albums available on the MySwar app. Over the weekend, we rolled out an update that makes non-film albums also available. This means that the best works of artists like Jagjit Singh, Indian Ocean, Shubha Mudgal, Raghu Dixit, Swarathma and Vasuda Sharma are now available on our app. It also means that we get to see another dimension of popular film artists like Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Manna Dey, Mohammed Rafi and Talat Mahmood.

We hope you enjoy this update: Android, iOS.

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Film Credits On MySwar

Since MySwar launched 2011, we have steadfastly focused on crediting musicians making Hindi film music – music directors, lyricists, singers and when the information was available, arrangers, assistants, instrumentalists and so on. We believe that musician credits is a sadly overlooked aspect of music metadata in India. That is the reason you didn’t see any credits for the film cast and crew all this time. While we continue to hold that belief, we believe we have made a significant contribution in cataloguing comprehensive and accurate musician credits and it’s now time to start adding other film credits as well.

A few weeks ago we started showing credits for the film crew – specifically Director, Producer, Writer (Story, Dialogue, Screenplay), Cast and Studio. So far we have credits for over 1500 films and you should be able to find complete filmographies of the superstars – Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan – and the major directors – Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee, Gulzar, Guru Dutt, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Manmohan Desai, Nasir Hussain, Shakti Samanta, Subhash Ghai, Vishal Bhardwaj, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Yash Chopra, among others. This remains a work in progress effort as we continue to add film credits for other films based on priority decided by the film’s significance and the significance of the film’s cast and crew.

This additional information is available on the website in the album page as well as in the app in the additional information screen for albums. On the website, this information is available in Hindi as well English.

Sholay

One of the challenges we faced in this project is reconciling artists with same or similar names. For example, while Nasir Hussain (नासिर हुसैन) is the producer/director behind films like “Teesri Manzil” (1966), “Yaadon Ki Baarat” (1973) and “Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak” (1988); Nazir Hussain (नज़ीर हुसैन) is the actor known for his role in films like “Devdas” (1955), “Kashmir Ki Kali” (1964), “Jewel Thief” (1967) and “Amar Akbar Anthony” (1977). We have tried our best to ensure proper credits by using the primary source where we could – the credits in the film itself – as well as a number of other sources including the venerable Hindi Film Geet Kosh. If, however, you find mistakes, please do let us know and we’ll fix it.

In addition to regular search and display, you can also use Advanced Search to find songs that include actor/producer/director/writer/studio parameters. The results from these searches are indicative since – a) we don’t have all the films covered yet for these new credit attributes, b) the credits are at the film level, not the song level (relevant specially for actors).

I hope you like this new facet of MySwar and enjoy the delicious nuggets of information it offers.

MySwar App Update On iOS – Going Free!

We released a new version of the MySwar app on iOS yesterday. This update makes the app free and displays banner ads. There is an option to make an in-app purchase to remove the ads for a period of 1 year (Upgrade option in Settings).

We realize that some of you have purchased the app only recently and this move may appear unfair. To address this scenario – we ask you to send us an email at admin@myswar.in with your iOS device UDID and we will help you get back to the ad-free version (for one year). If you need help figuring out the UDID, let us know and we’ll help you.

If you still haven’t downloaded the app, there really is no excuse now. Get it from here: https://itunes.apple.com/app/myswar/id622503117?ls=1&mt=8

The Android app was always free and remains free: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mavrix.myswar

2013 Bollywood Music Review

Another eventful year had come to an end and it’s time to take stock of year that was for Hindi film music. We did a similar review last year, if you’re interested.

2013 saw the release of 154 films with 999 songs between them.

We lost a number of artists in 2013. Some were young and their end was unexpected – Ajay Jhingran, Rituparno Ghosh and Sandeep Acharya. Others left behind a substantial musical legacy – Lakshmi ShankarMadhubala Zaveri, P.B. Sreenivas, Pran, Reshma, Shamshad Begum, VaaliVitthalbhai Patel and the last of the male singers from the classic era of Hindi films – Manna Dey.

But the show went on and a number of new artists made their debuts. While some of them were indie artists making what might just be a brief foray into Bollywood, others are probably going to be Bollywood staple in years to come. Some of the notable debuts of 2013 were:

  1. Composer: Advait Nemlekar,  Akshay Hariharan, Atif Afzal, Bramfatura, Harpreet Singh, Indraneel HariharanKaran Kulkarni, The Lightyears ExplodeMaatibaani, Mangesh DhakdeModern Mafia
  2. Lyricists: Ali Hayat RizviGurpreet SainiPunam HariharanRam Ramesh SharmaSiddharth – GarimaUbaid Azam Azmi
  3. Male Singers: Atif AfzalGeet SagarGopi SunderIndraneel HariharanMunawar MasoomNajim ArshadNitesh KadamOsman MirPadmanabh GaikwadSanam PuriVikas Ambhore
  4. Female Singers: Chaitra AmbadipudiJonita GandhiMili Nair, Nirali KartikSaba AzadZebunnissa Bangash

The most prolific composers in 2013 were:

  1. Pritam – 8 films, 51 songs
  2. Sachin – Jigar – 7 films, 37 songs
  3. Sajid – Wajid – 5 films, 23 songs

While Pritam’s appearance at the top of this list is no surprise, 2013 will be seen as the year Sachin – Jigar established themselves as bankable composers and entrenched themselves in Bollywood. Surprisingly, Sajid – Wajid continue to be on this list despite their lackluster scores.

The most prolific lyricists in 2013 were:

  1. Kumaar – 16 films, 72 songs
  2. Amitabh Bhattacharya – 11 films, 42 songs
  3. Irshad Kamil – 5 films, 37 songs

Kumaar has been perhaps the most low profile of the current lot of lyricists so his name at this top of this list and the margin between him and the Amitabh Bhattacharya comes as a surprise.

The most prolific male singers of 2013 were:

  1. Mika Singh – 49 songs
  2. Sonu Nigam – 31 songs
  3. Arijit Singh – 28 songs

Mika Singh appears to be the industry’s favorite singer right now. It’s pity though that he is stuck in a rut in terms of the kinds of songs he sings. 2013 was Arijit Singh’s breakout year in terms of both the number of songs he sang as well as the mass appeal he was able to generate, thanks primarily to Ashiqui 2.

The most prolific female singers of 2013 were:

  1. Shreya Ghoshal and Sunidhi Chauhan – 38 songs each
  2. Monali Thakur, Palak Muchhal – 14 songs each
  3. Mamta Sharma, Shalmali Kholgade – 13 songs each

While the divas – Shreya Ghoshal and Sunidhi Chauhan – continue to dominate the scene, there seems to be a lot of competition amongst female singers. It’s good to see a newbie – Shalmali Kholgade (2012 was her debut year) on this list as it is to see Monali Thakur, who as been around for a few years now, finally get her due.

Finally, based on  a combination of ratings and number of well-rated songs in 2013, the most popular artists of 2013 were:

  1. Most popular composers: Pritam, Amit Trivedi, Sachin – Jigar
  2. Most popular lyricists: Irshad Kamil, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Kumaar
  3. Most popular male singers: Arijit Singh, Sukhwinder Singh, Amit Trivedi
  4. Most popular female singers: Shreya Ghoshal, Sunidhi Chauhan, Palak Muchhal

MySwar.Com – अब हिन्दी में

If you can’t wait to check it out, go right ahead to MySwar.Com in Hindi. If you’re interested in the backstory, carry on.

For some time now, we have felt the need to provide a Hindi version of MySwar. For a website about Hindi films songs, that seems kind of obvious. However, we’ve been guilty of staying in our comfort zone – English – for various reasons (excuses?), the primary being higher priority features we needed to get implemented.

Over time though, we realized that by publishing only in English, we are excluding a large segment of music lovers from our website. Seeing “wrongly” transliterated search keywords in English (through search engines and on the website) gave us an understanding of the difficulties people from this segment face in English-only websites. This interview with Google India’s MD Rajan Anandan, gave us the nudge we needed to kick-start this project. In the interview, Rajan talks about how the dearth of content in regional languages is holding back internet penetration and that he expects the next 300 million users of Google India to use regional languages.

Thejesh’s experience using the Google Transliteration API helped but the extent of changes ensured that we had to put in a lot of effort into the project. A combination of the Google Translate API run on our database helped automate the transliteration effort to an extent but we did have to mark about 50% of the transliterated text for manual verification. The manual verification was required because the same word in English script could be written in different ways in Hindi. For example, “bahar” could be बाहर or बहार; “to” could be either तो or टु. We also had to spend some time translating the static pages, literals and messages but that was a piece of cake compared to the database.

The other significant work was of course the extensive code changes as well as positive and negative tests.

This implementation leaves some English text behind – including artist bios and trivia – but we believe that this version is enough to make the website a lot easier to use for those more comfortable with Hindi. I hope you like this update as much as we do.