Shruti – The 24hr Carnatic Music Channel from Worldspace

I bought a Worldspace satellite radio receiver last month here in Bangalore, mainly to hear Worldspace’s 24×7 Carnatic Music Channel called Shruti. I must say I am satisfied with the investment I made (Rs. 1499 for the receiver without speakers and Rs. 500 for a three month subscription), after listening to the channel for whatever little time I got to listen to.

It is actually difficult to keep running a 24-hour channel dedicated to a genre of music without much repetitions and I think the people behind Shruti have done a good job when considering this. Of course there is so much to hear to in Carnatic Music and so much to be learnt which makes their task a bit easier. Worldspace broadcasts not only Shruti but also other channels dedicated to different genres of music in the world.

One of the good things about Shruti is that it plays recordings of old maestros which you generally don’t get to hear unless you are a real fanatic who has gone hunting around for old recordings and tapes. For example, I have a very few recordings in my possesion where mridangam maestros of yesteryears like Sri Palghat Mani Iyer or Sri Palani Subramania Pillai have played but I have already been able to listen to at least 5-6 songs on Shruti where Sri Palghat Mani Iyer played the mridangam accompaniment. I have also been able to regularly hear compositions sung by maestros like Sri Chembai Vaidyantha Bhagavathar, Sri Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Sri Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Sri GN Balasubramaniam etc.

The two programs I usually try to hear in case I return home on time from office are Swara Sandhya from 7PM to 9PM and Swara Sandhya’s artist highlight section featuring a 2hr concert of a particular artist from 9PM to 11PM. On some days, recordings focused on a particular melakarta raga or very old recordings are broadcast from 9PM to 11PM. The Swara Sandhya program on Saturdays and Sundays is a request show where songs requested by listeners are broadcast. The program also features a ragam tanam pallavi almost everyday. Yesterday’s ragam tanam pallavi was one based in the raga mohanam by Dr. T.K.Rangachari. Yesterday’s artist highlight section featured Smt. D.K.Pattammal & Sri D.K.Jayaraman.

There is however one thing I wish the people at Shruti would do so as to make things even better. I would be happier if only they can at least indicate on the morning of a day (on their website) about the details of the programs that would be broadcast during the day with the name of the artist who will sing the ragam tanam pallavi in Swara Sandhya and the name of the artist whose recording would be broadcast in the artist highlight section. Though the names of the (standard) programs that are broadcast during the week are available, a few more details as requested above would really help.

Coming to Worldspace, there is one thing I wish they could do too …. though I am aware of some of the problems in doing this, if only they could convert the satellite signal reception to a terrestrial transmission and reception while still retaining their current revenue model, it would solve problems of portability of their radio set alongwith reception related troubles and increase their customer base by a huge number. Currently, you have to keep the Worldspace antenna pointed in a south-east direction with a clear line-of-sight to the sky (a glass pane in-between is fine but not a door or a wall) so that it can receive signals from their satellite up there. The reception though is very clear and of good quality.The receiver also, can’t be easily carried around along with you.

Though I have not encountered any issues till now with the radio set or with the service and I wish I don’t encounter any, it would be good if Worldspace’s call centre/technical staff is receptive and can solve the issue(s) fast just in case something crops up. Though every company these days claims to be customer-focused, its a pity to see the reality on the ground when the customer faces any issue with their product/service.

37 thoughts on “Shruti – The 24hr Carnatic Music Channel from Worldspace

  1. Hi,

    Regarding Worldspace’s MSN based service, shame they offer it only through MSN. Forces you to use a Windows-explorer combination. Wrote to them about this lack of choice, but haven’t heard back from them. For mac-users like me in Europe I will have to wait a while i guess.

    g s

  2. Dear Shruthi,
    I subscribed to Ws recently a week back.The experience in the last one week has been wonderful.The programs to commomorate Muthuswamy dikshidar swamy and the interview with geeta bennet about the unforgettable Dr ramanathanji was wonderful.I was touched to hear that the great man was breathing music during his last days.i hope shruthi will provide lot more in the days to come.My only suggestion is that WS should provide prompt and smart service on customer complaints.Long live Shruthi
    Kris

  3. hi, all,

    it is quite heartening to see these enquiries and responses regarding shruti’s programmes. since some of you are active listeners, why don’t you please consider posting your comments & feedback on the shruti website too?

    please visit http://www.worldspace.in/shruti

    the forum on this site is open to every registered user. registration requires some basic detail like name, user id, pwd, email address etc.

    the shruti website gives you access to the weekly specials guide. it also has one generic 24 x 7 programme chart. plus, there’s features, polls, trivia, blogs, and an occasional (as in once a month) online contest too. fyi, the contest is on now!

    hi, ram, please accept my apology for introducing myself so late?? i am part of the shruti team šŸ™‚

    priya

  4. Priya,

    That you were from Worldspace was evident from your email ID in your first comment itself. So you need not apologize.

    Its great that you posted the link to Shruti web site here …. else I would have very soon developed the feeling that I was running a customer service web site for Shruti šŸ˜‰

    Ram

  5. Duh šŸ˜‰ Thank you, Ram.

    I want Sri. K V V Unni to know that May 1st is GNB’s death anniversary, and The Artiste Highlight at 9pm IST features his music for two hours. GNB, to my knowledge, did not have a composer mudra. Sometimes the raga mudra can be found in his lyric. Many times, the songs are in praise of “Naadarupasundari,” or Devi, whom GNB saw as an embodiment of “naada.”

    For fear of sounding horrendously repetitive, please visit http://www.worldspace.in/shruti for programme updates.

    Thanks, and Bye!

  6. Dear Sir/Madam
    We are residing in Bahrain since 1987. This month my mother Mrs. Rukmani(aged 78) and my mother in law Mrs. Kalyani(aged 74) both have come to stay with us for few months.
    We got our WS shifted to Bahrain because of this 4 months back. But due to some reason the password was not working. Now it is OK and these two are enjoying Shruti very well.
    Both my mother and mother in law have good knowledge of Carntic Music and at this age, they are able to recollect their golden days when they used to hear though AIR.
    The programmes are excellent and keep it up.
    Best regards,
    KalyanaRaman
    Bahrain.

  7. Hi Priya

    I am from chennai and would like to get in touch with Shruti team for a business proposal as we are bringing out Digital Video Player and the details can be had in http://www.myboxhd.com. We are shortly launching this product in India. We would like to have the content of Shruti on a business model. If possible pl visit our website. http://www.godbtech.com

  8. Is there any way of my knowing the daily programs in advance? The names of the artists whom you will be featuring and the time of the broadcast on a day to day basis (preferably for a week if possible)will help me to note down in my diary. I often miss my favourite artist since there is no comminication of Shruti broadcasters with the listeners. Can you display this in your website? If so indicate the wedsite address. I would prefer to receive the daily 24 hour programs on my e-mail.
    Will my suggestion be considered at all? Can you send an acknowledgement of this request immediately? Thanks.
    Dr R Ganapati,
    rganapati@gmail.com / rganapati@yahoo.com

  9. Hi All,

    Did Shruthi came online? I’m eagerly waiting for that day. Even if it is a paid subscription, I dont mind…

    THanks,
    Narayanan

  10. I am very much found of Carnatic Music which was relayed by world space. Unfortunately it disappeared all of a sudden from 1st Jan.2010. I am anxiously awaiting to here from world Space. Any progress made them to return back to normal?

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