Saregama launches iPod-like Carvaan Go

Content curator and record label Saregama has launched a portable version of its runaway success, the Carvaan digital music player.

The original Carvaan, shaped like an retro radio, comes with about 5,000 old Hindi songs preloaded, and can also play songs from USB and Bluetooth.

The device became a big hit, primarily because it came with preloaded songs that can be played according genre, artist, playlists etc.

Saregama, also known as HMV, said it is now wants to target those who want to listen to songs using earphones, and want something that can fit in their pocket.

The device, which looks like an iPod, comes with 3,000 songs, radio and a microSD card slot. The retro songs have been “curated by artistes and moods without any ad breaks,” the company said.

It weighs 88gm, or about half as much as a mobile smartphone, and has a playback time of 7 hrs.

It also has a small in-built speaker similar to those found on smartphones.

“Just how Carvaan reinstalled lean back listening experience for its users with pre-loaded songs and other features, Carvaan Go is aimed to rejoice the active and on-the-go life of music lovers who want to carry their evergreen classics with them but somewhere struggle find simpler ways to do it,” it said.

It remains to be seen how successful Carvaan Go is, as the audience for retro songs tends to be the older generation, which does not usually like to listen to songs using earphones.

In fact, the success of the original Carvaan depended on its extreme simplicity and familiarity, compared to alternative products, which appealed to the older generation who are not as tech-savvy.

In case of Carvaan Go, the company seems to be targeting the younger, on-the-go generation, which poses two problems. First, the younger generation already has a smartphone that can do almost everything that the Carvaan Go can do, and secondly, it has a wider taste of music compared to the older generation.

Saregama began operations in 1901 as the first overseas branch of Electrical & Musical Industries Limited, or EMI, London. It was incorporated in Calcutta as The Gramaphone and Typewriter Ltd.

On 13 August 1946, it was incorporated as a Private Limited company with the name of ‘The Gramophone Co. (India) Limited’.

Gramophone Co was converted into a public company on 28 October 1968. RPG Group took over the company in 1985 from EMI when the company’s financial health was poor.