Saturday, January 17, 2009

KAR and MIDI release. 1 Gagillion songs in just 130 MB


.Kar file are MIDI files with lyrics. They don't store digital audio, just the instrumentation (like sheet music). So the sound is cheezy (sometimes awesomely so).   

If you're looking to start your karaoke collection quick, this is the way to go.

Download Link:

Free Karaoke Music Megarelease iPod/VJ edition 4 of 60

Karaoke videos from Alabama to Alanis Morissette. Formatted especially for your iPod or favorite VJ app.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Free Karaoke Music Megarelease iPod/VJ edition 3 of 60

Part 3: Aerosmith -> Al Wilson. A large karaoke collection with (mostly) consistent metadata, all converted to h.264 video.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Free Karaoke Music Megarelease iPod/VJ edition 2 of 60

Part 2: 98 Degrees up to -> Aerosmith.

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Free Karaoke Music Megarelease iPod/VJ edition 1 of 60

Part 1: 10,000 Maniacs -> 50 Cent. A large karaoke collection with (mostly) consistent metadata, all converted to h.264 video.

  • No special karaoke software required

  • Works with iPod, iPhone, Apple TV

  • Works in most DJ/VJ software (Ableton, PCDJ, Tracktor, and more)

Notes on the collection:

  • Sunfly, SoundChoice, THM, PHU, Zoom, EKI, EZH, DKK and more

  • Golden oldies and hot jams of 2009.

  • Includes some Spanish and Portuguese karaoke.

Download Link:

Songbook for upcoming releases

The first megaupload release (from "10,000 Maniacs" to "50 Cent") will be ready shortly. In the meantime, here's the songbook:

Download the Songbook (zShare) Songbook

Best practices for karaoke releases


People releasing karaoke on the internet should make it as useful as possible to the downloader. This means:

MP3+Gs should be unzipped in a single folder. Popular (and easy to use) players like Winamp and VLC cannot read inside zip files. Some players lack features for browsing within subfolders. By releasing files unzipped to CDG / MP3 in a single directory, you give users the greatest flexibility in their choice of player. In the age of Bittorrent and cheap external hard drives, bandwidth/storage savings (of approx 30%) aren't worth creating potentially confusing hurdles for users.

Include songbooks for large releases. Songbooks are necessary for karaoke nights, but making them is a hassle, especially for beginners. If you do a large release, assume your audience is just starting their karaoke collection, and include a songbook (sorted "By Artist") as TXT and PDF. In digital karaoke setups where KJ's can instantly search their collection, "By Song" songbooks aren't especially necessary.

Consistent song names and ID3 tags. Tools like kJams let you interpret filenames and add real Artist / Song / Album / Track info to the ID3 tags on each MP3, just like you would in iTunes or Winamp with your music collection. Adding this info (if it's not there already) will facilitate songbook maintenance. Use a consistent naming structure (beginning with "Artist - Song") so that users can easily browse the collection in their file manager if necessary.

Release both MP3+G and h.264. Releasing tracks as h.264 video files means that they work instantly in widely used media players like VLC, Quicktime Player, and iTunes. These players are often simpler than MP3+G players, and since most people use one already, they do not have to scour Google looking for shareware that plays an obscure format. Moving karaoke to devices like the iPod, the iPhone and AppleTV becomes effortless. DJ/VJ software like Ableton Live, Serato, PCDJ, and Traktor let DJ's mix, beatmatch, and even scratch karaoke tracks--once thye've been converted to video. While tools for MP3+G to video conversion exist, they are tricky and time-consuming to use; this burden should fall to the releaser. As an added bonus, the more karaoke we convert to video, the more Karaoke tracks will end up on Youtube.

Release over Bittorrent and on Rapidshare/Megaupload/zshare/Mediafire/etc. Some people prefer Bittorrrent, others prefer downloading files directly from one-click hosting sites. Hosting sites are a must for small releases (<1GB).

For old stuff, release by artist or genre. Unfortunately, karaoke discs often combine a dizzying variety of genres, styles, and decades. Because of this, getting a single karaoke disc is rarely if ever satisfying. People search for music based on their tastes--aka by song, artist, and genre. If we are going to pack several old songs together then, they should belong to the same artist or genre (e.g. "The Smiths" or "2000-2005 Hip hop"). For new music, where karaoke DJ's are all trying to stay up to date, releasing rips of each individual CD makes more sense.

We'll try to stick to these as closely as possible. Though timeliness and content (i.e. better to release a song with bad metadata than not to release it at all) will take precedence.