Monday June 25, 2018

Milliblog Monthlies – ItwoFS Retrospective

Posted by Karthik

It’s almost 2 decades since I started ItwoFS! I started the background work in 1999. By the way, it’s pronounced I2FS (eye-2-f-s) – it is simply, and embarrassingly, Inspired Indian Film Songs (so 2 Is and FS).

I was in my early 20s, away from home, on my first job in Delhi. I had experienced ‘the internet’ in my MBA, to have my own email and even built my first corny website, a fan-site for George Michael. Finding music on the internet back then was a massive chore, given the abysmal speed and the very limited sources available.

From that point…
… to downloading and uploading just ‘originals’ (of the 2 songs from Nadeem Shravan’s Dhadkan), those 2 links finding a place in India Today…
… trawling the internet for leads to potential copied songs…
… building a full-fledged barebones website on a Spanish free server called ‘iespana’ (because Geocities kept deleting all my 30-second audio clips)…
… someone in the US offering to buy me server space and pay for registering a URL…
… moving the whole thing to my own server…
… many, many composers getting in touch with me through email/phone, but not even one was angry about the whole site (most of them were both pleased that they were not the only one!)…
… it’s been a long, eventful journey.

(I do intend to write a more detailed post on the experience of managing this curious passion… the connections I have made and the recognition it has given me over 20 years… but that’s for another day.)

In the process, the effort has been featured in many mainstream media, including me joining Karan Thapar’s show, with the other participants including 2 composers (See: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3), and also featuring in a documentary!

The site is positively outdated in present times – it still has real audio files 🙂 I don’t think I’ll have the time or patience to spruce it up from scratch.

But here’s an alternative – I have picked, depending on availability (on Apple Music – June Monthlies is exclusive to Apple Music) and my own preferences, 200+ Hindi songs from ItwoFS and created 11 playlists (covering Hindi film music from 1950 – 2000+). The playlists are in the format of one Hindi song followed by its original.

Each playlist has about 30-40 songs (roughly) and plays for about 2-3:30 hours. I have avoided including Indian film songs copied from Pakistani originals because I believe that requires a separate playlist in itself!

Why only Apple Music and not YouTube? Mainly because almost all uploads on YouTube are illegal and can be removed without notice (which will affect the playlists too).

Click on the covers for each playlist. Enjoy!

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