iKaraoke (by iPod peripheral company Griffin Technologies) is perfect little port-a-mic that plugs into any iPod that uses the flat, proprietary connector and not the firewire. Ideally, you'd plug iKaraoke into an iPod connected to speakers and not headphones, since there's not much of an advantage to singing and hearing your voice funneled back into your ears only. You can't hear what you sound like and people will look at you like you've got voices in your head. Which you do! I like to use iKaraoke in the car, for long road trips and those hours I'm stuck in LA traffic (see video below).
In terms of setting up iKaraoke, it was intuitive to plug the audio out into the iPod headphone jack (nothing happened). But what you actually have to do is connect iKaraoke to the iPod, and then plug the audio out into the headphone jack on the end of the iKaraoke mic dongle. A little trial and error at first, but once I understood it was all good.
Once you work out all the circuitry, you need to choose a song you know all the lyrics to. Since you're karaoking from your existing audio mp3s, you won't have song lyrics, or sadder yet, a matching cheesy video. "Poison" by Bell Biv Devoe? "A Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler? If you really need lyrics, you can buy karaoke songs in mpeg4 video format from the iTunes music store.
The mic itself is simple and easy to understand– it includes play, rewind, and fast forward buttons, and a switch to let you mute out the vocal track. Mind you, you can't ever completely mute out vocals on a pre-recorded song since you don't have access to the original tracks. The iKaraoke mutes vocals about 80%, which isn't bad. For some unknown reason, the vocal muting works better with older, pre-90s songs. But when vocals are set to "off," the music sounds like a cassette tape that's been sitting on your dash all summer. iKaraoke is recommended for karaoke hobbyist, but not recommended it for hi-fi sound junkies since the sound quality is so unpredictable.
To get the full scoop, check out my video demonstration on singing with iKaraoke in the car:
I'm a writer interested in technology culture: video games, personal technology, mobile phones, and even karaoke. I'm the author of Hit Me With Your Best Shot: The Ultimate Guide To Karaoke Domination(Chronicle … more
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