Mar 122011

Indian classical music is based on ragas (melodies). The classical music that originated in South India is called Carnatic music. I have written a web application that can be used to listen to about 100 ragas. You can choose to play a raga that is randomly chosen; or you can select the starting letter of the raga name.

When listening to a raga, the raga name can be queried after 2 minutes when the disabled “Show Raga” button is enabled. This will give you time to guess the raga. However, you can enjoy the music without worrying about the name of the raga.

I wanted fast response (i.e music should play immediately) when using a decent broadband connection and so I reduced the quality to 24 kbps and mono. It sounds good to me. You can also quickly switch between 2 ragas if you want to compare them. Also, this reduced bit-rate will keep the cache size (in your browser) manageable.

The app caches the audio for the snippets that are played — even for a short duration. This means that you can play the snippets offline if they are in the browser cache. The cached data is removed automatically after a few days. You can manually clear the browser cache any time. If you don’t have a fixed-rate broadband plan, you should assume that each song is about 1 or 2 megabytes.

You can run this app by clicking on raga malika. The instructions are displayed on the web page. It requires flash 9 and all modern browsers on Windows, Linux and Mac have flash support. In theory, it should also work if html5-audio is present but I have not verified this. It may work on ipad if it has html5-audio support.

I hope this is useful and fun. Please report bugs. There are a couple of known issues but they are minor.

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