The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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To catch the Don humming, get an iPod
- Music hits net before shops

He drives the coolest cars, sports the funkiest shades and wears the most chic designer clothes. No wonder then that you need the must-have gadget of the times — an iPod — to listen to the tunes of the new Don, Shah Rukh Khan.

In a revolutionary step for the Indian film music industry, the soundtrack of Farhan Akhtar’s much-awaited remake of the 1978 Amitabh Bachchan superhit Don has been first made available on the iTunes music store — the online shop for an iPod user — before the CDs have hit the market.

So, fans who can’t wait to hear Shah Rukh join Udit Narayan singing Khaike paan Banaraswala, have to either buy the song online for $0.99 or the entire soundtrack for $7.92 from the iTunes store.

While an Indian iPod user still can’t buy songs online and can only sample them for 30 seconds, users in the UK and the US can download them onto their desktops or laptops before transferring them to their mini and mobile music machines.

“This is the first time that a Hindi film soundtrack has been made available on the iTunes store straightaway (August 26 for Don),” says Saleem Mobhani, co-founder and director of Hungama Mobile, iTunes’s “sole partner in India” and owner of the digital and mobile rights of the Don music.

“Usually it takes anything between 30-90 days for a Bollywood soundtrack to hit the online shop by which time the pirates have downloaded the song from other sources. With Don, we are making the original music available to you directly and quickly.”

For music company T-Series, which is releasing the cassettes and CDs of Don, the iTunes move is the introduction of “a new distribution channel for music”. Says Vinod Bhanushali, vice-president, marketing and promotions: “We are looking to reach out to the youth by releasing the music first on iTunes. Hearing the soundtrack on iPod is like a cool quotient for them. And this goes perfectly well for a film like Don, which is very young and gadget-friendly.”

While the “Bollywood” category hasn’t yet been designated, the Don soundtrack is available in the “World” music section and is being featured on the homepage alongside the likes of Brazilian jazz percussionist Airto Moreira.

The music of Don has been composed by Shankar Ehsaan and Loy. While they have come up with three new tracks, they have also reworked the Kalyanji Anandji chartbusters Yeh mera dil and Khaike paan Banaraswala. The CDs, priced at Rs 160 each, will be available in Mumbai from tomorrow.

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