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Friday March 24th 2017
Technopark Living – downloading MP3s legally

Manoramics - legal MP3 downloads

[Update 28-Apr-2011: has announced that it will close its services from May 15, 2011. Payment systems have already been closed. Only those with credits can avail their services till then]

Paying for an MP3 seems to be an alien idea for most Indians – what with the rampant piracy of titles all over India. Sites like, meanwhile, charge Rs.12 per song for a download, and worse, it is DRM-protected, meaning, you have to authenticate each song on each device. If your device does not support WMA DRM, forget it.

A new site which is building up reputation is (no relation to Malayala Manorama), which have signed deals with all major music companies in India and their associations to sell MP3 legally. While each individual song still costs Rs.12, you can buy a package of 40 songs for Rs.240, making it Rs.6 per song. Packages are also available in 20-songs@Rs.160 and 10-songs@Rs.100. Packages don’t expire, unlike many other sites. The songs are DRM-free MP3, so you can copy to any of your devices which support standard MP3s. also has a streaming player in their website, which is one of the simplest and easiest streaming players among similar Indian websites. The ability to play from playlists, which can be saved in one’s user account, is also useful. (Hopefully, you are using an unlimited broadband connection, otherwise, buying legal CDs might turn out to be cheaper!)

The number of songs available in truly mind-boggling – over 15000 in Malayalam, 27000 in Tamil, 36000 in Hindi, and likewise in all major Indian languages. Since HMV/Saregama titles are included, you get access to almost all the old hits.

And the minus points? For one, songs come in 128 kbps quality, which, while acceptable in most cases, might not find favor with true music aficionados. Also, the MP3 ID3 tags are not available – which means the user has to tag each song using an external application, like mp3tag. Interestingly, Nokia India’s OVI music service brings out DRM-free high-quality 256 kbps songs, with ID3 tags and all. Unfortunately, you cannot buy it; you get only a limited number of songs for download with specific Nokia mobile phones.

Since buying legal MP3s enables royalty payments to the creators of music, it will be a true token of appreciation for the artists involved if we pay for the MP3s. And is certainly an easy yet effective platform for buying legal MP3s.

7 Comments for “ – downloading MP3s legally”

  • Dinesh says:

    stupid nokia..they started their app store much before apple, but kept it as their own secret, and look where is apple now?
    same mistake they are doing…buying online music will be the future, and nokia will soon find someone else doing it better

  • Raj says:

    From manoramaonline you can buy it cheaper I guess

    • George says:

      Costs 12 at manorama also. There is also for Hindi…Interface in appears good – has nyone actually purchased a song? havent read abt it anywhere else!

  • Swati says:

    @George- I have actually downloaded music from manoramic and it works fine. The payment gateway was not an issue either.

  • Shailesh says:

    I just downloaded 3 songs and it seems to work well. It even allowed me to download the song later after I lost my net connection after paying.

    I would like an interface to get it directly on my iPod though.

  • Manoramic Fan says:

    hi i am a pakistani and have been searching for music from films that are not from the main stream but have amazing music.. such as Godaan, Jogan, Kabuli wala, etc.Guess what Manoramic had each of these titles. Plus unbelievable range of K.L.Saigal, Begum Akhtar etc. Thats actually how i found Manoramic. Manoramic was an amazing treasure trove. Its shutting down will be a major loss for those of us who do not have easy access to music and have to spend hours pouring over a computer trying to find music. I loved Manoramic and i wish it wasn’t shutting down.

  • shakeelnarath says:


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