Do you like karaoke? Okay, that’s a trick question – no one likes to admit they actually enjoy karaoke. It’s a curious activity that is both exhibitionistic and fun, and it is often only performed by inebriated bar patrons after being egged on by their friends.
Well, with the iKaraoke, there’s no need to wait for your friends to goad you on; you can karaoke at home, on the subway, and even at work (the last two may get you kicked off/fired, though). The idea of a portable karaoke system is a little strange. You’re paying $60 for the opportunity to make a fool of yourself in public, without being able to fall back on the classic excuse, “Aw man, I was so drunk when I did that!” But you’re a fearless soul, right? Public shame is no obstacle to belting out your favorite Glee tunes.
In terms of features, the iKaraoke has everything you’d expect in a karaoke system. The device itself is shaped like a microphone, because if you’re going to be singing in the park and scaring the pigeons away, it’s less embarrassing when you’re doing it with a mic. There’s also an option for dimming vocals or removing them completely, though in practice I’ve rarely seen that work as well as a real karaoke track.
You also get TunePrompter with the device, a piece of software that lets you create your own karaoke videos according to the lyrics you type in. I don’t see much use for it unless you’ll be singing the same song multiple times, as you have to actually go through each song and time the words properly. Hopefully, it’s easy to find pre-made karaoke videos of your favorite songs so that you won’t have to manually do everything. I’d rather just read the lyrics of a text file or printout, but I suppose that does take away from the genuine karaoke experience that iKaraoke is trying to provide.
There are two versions of the iKaraoke – one for the iPod Touch and one for other iPods. You can’t use this on your iPhone though, and I’m going to go ahead and say that’s probably a good idea. You probably wouldn’t want to accidentally take a call from your grandma while singing Cee Lo Green’s “F*ck You”. Just putting that out there.