Gadgets 368

Published on April 27th, 2009 | by Greg


The Ultimate Karaoke Experience Doesn’t Quite Live Up To The Name

Two microphones. A USB mixer and base unit that is easy to setup. Access to over 5,000 karaoke-ready songs. And it’s pretty easy to record yourself singing, if you have a webcam, so you can upload your videos to Youtube and show your friends (or make new enemies). Best of all- it’s only $40! Sounds great, especially for those tired of karaoke machines with the same limited supply of songs.

But the problems are, unfortunately, many. We don’t know about you, but a good part of the fun of karaoke around here is using it in a party- around a TV, not your computer. Sorry, if that’s what you want, you are mostly out of luck with the Ultimate Karaoke Experience. And what about singing to your favorite song? Sorry, a lot of stuff are songs like Amazing Grace or Ave Maria, due to the fact that the songs are licensed legally. There are some great tracks available, and more tracks are added regularly- R.E.M., even Afroman and Ace of Base and Lily Allen and The Killers- but the selection isn’t as amazing as the thousands of songs might indicate. And we haven’t mentioned the monthly fee- actually fairly reasonable, with a very limited ad-supported free service, or a monthly unlimited plan for $10 a month, with a two-month minimum. A $100 a year plan is also available.

The interface is pretty good, even if the equipment itself doesn’t feel all that sturdy or attractive. But the biggest problem for us was Lips (and Rock Band and Guitar Hero to a lesser extent). Sure, you need to have an Xbox 360 (or a PS3 for Singstar), but if you already do, they form a much better all-around platform for karaoke. After having karaoke with wireless mics and fancy videos and fun gameplay, on our big HD screen, with a modern and cover-free music library, it’s hard to go back to old-school karaoke. Where are the pitch guides?! The so-called Ultimate Karaoke Experience fails to live up to the name- strictly entry-level, fun if limited. Available directly online.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

Back to Top ↑