Today, I was at a shop in Adayar (near the Ananthapadmanabhaswamy Temple), buying books when I noticed this new state-of-the-art kiosk at a corner. I was clearly surprised. I didn’t expect a kiosk in such a small shop. I went over to it trying to figure out its earthly purpose in that shop. And guess what? It’s our own Indian version of Steve Job’s (read Apple’s) iTunes.
Just for some background on iTunes… It was a innovative business model for selling music introduced in the United States. This is how it works – If you own an iPod and liked a particular song in some album. You can go to the iTunes store and buy that song online. It gets downloaded into your music library and synced with your iPod. You pay for only the song downloaded and needn’t buy the entire album. You can even walk into a iTunes store and buy songs.
Now, the ADD (Anytime Digital Downloads) kiosk is just that! Only difference is that it does more than downloading to an iPod. It writes out a CD with the songs downloaded. So, this is how ADD works – You go to the kiosk. Check out the albums available. Browse through them, Search through them. Listen to the song and if its what you want, add it to your list. Once you have added all the songs, the kiosk will write out a CD of the selected songs in mp3 for you.
The songs are priced at attractive rates. The prices of some songs ranged from Rs 5.00 onwards. I think this is a wonder system. And its instant. You come, you hear, you buy and walk away! I can imagine many of you thinking – “So, whats the big deal? I download mp3 from the internet free of cost!” Well, this is LEGAL. All the songs are priced and copyrighted. You are buying the songs. This is not piracy. Downloading mp3 is. I guess that does make a difference! :) This is taking the music business to the next level.
And the icing on the cake is that the innovators behind such a beatiful idea are from Chennai – Giri Trading Agency Private Limited
Some FAQs from their site –
http://www.giritrading.com and http://www.addkiosk.net
Q. What’s ADDKiosk ?
A. addkiosk.net is part of GIRI network. As Distributors of various labels in India we are looking forward to distributing Indian Music all over the world and also distributing music from all over the world in India. We have also developed an innovative new concept called ADDKiosk (Anytime Digital Downloads – Kiosk). This Kiosk is installed in our showrooms and various musical cultural centres, and public places such as Airports, Cinema halls, Grocery stores, Shopping Malls etc. The response in India is already overwhelming for the ADDKiosk. You can download music, (videos, wallpapers and ebooks – coming soon) into CDs, Mobiles, USB devices and IPODs. We are in the process of exploring the possibilities of setting it up all over the world.
Q. What’s Giri Network?
A. Giri Trading Agency is a treasure house for Hinduism, Indian culture & tradition. Music Cassettes and CDs on various themes like Sanskrit, Vedic, Mantras, Tantras, Devotional, Carnatic Classical Music, Puja Rituals, Prayers and Religious discourses are released under the banner ‘Gitaa Cassettes’. GIRI has showrooms in various parts of India where you can find the ADDKIOSK too.