With "American Idol" making news by drawing upwards of 40 million viewers, it's no wonder that "The Singing Bee" and "Don't Forget the Lyrics!" jumped on the musical television bandwagon. It's not simply that Americans are keen on choosing the next singing sensation; rather, they have aspirations to BE the next music superstar. That's why the latest trend in hot gadgets is to turn MP3 players and MP3 downloads into personal karaoke machines.
The concept is simple but ingenious. With specialized MP3 players, users can buy MP3 downloads, load them into the player, and input the lyrics of the songs - the original lyrics or their own versions. They can then remove the voice track from the song and record their own voices over the music while reading a display of the lyrics. After that, they can listen to their own voiceovers and share them with others.
The advantages of these types of players are obvious. For one thing, you don't have to wait for a Karaoke Night at your local watering hole to sing your favorite tunes. For another, you actually have the opportunity to record your own voice and listen to what it sounds like - and record it again and again until you get it right. In addition, most karaoke CDs are from songs that are out of date and out of fashion. With these new players, you can purchase and download new releases of songs and current hits without having to wait for them to come out on karaoke CDs. Further, people of all ages can use it to sing their favorite tunes - in a truly convenient and portable handheld device. In addition, you can customize the lyrics by inputting your own version of the words to a song. Finally, it's perfect for both those who have aspirations to become professional singers and those who just enjoy the pleasures of singing.
With these new devices, singing for pleasure is just the beginning. With an internal speaker and microphone, as well as a display screen, music fans can certainly remove the vocals from their favorite tracks and sing their own versions of their favorite songs. But they can then take their "albums" and incorporate them into social networking sites like MySpace or even upload them to YouTube. If they want to be America's next singing sensation, they can even send them as auditions to shows that are looking for the next big star.
Pre-teens and teens in particular are causing this handheld karaoke phenomenon to gain momentum. After school gatherings and evening get togethers are abuzz with kids clamoring to try these new hot gadgets and urging each other on to record over their favorite songs.
Handheld karaoke machines are definitely heating up the electronics market and represent the next logical step in the singing phenomenon that began with "American Idol."