Sometimes it’s just amazing what the internet has done to things we used to have to pay for, or at least pay a lot more for. Consider Karaoke. This used to involve either going to a club that had invested in expensive equipment and a large music library, or buying some kind of karaoke system designed for the home. But not anymore.
If your party plans involve Karaoke I see two cheap ways to do this right now.
Karaoke Party On Demand on Roku
This is a free channel on Roku that offers a free preview, and a “few thousand” free songs. Access to the entire library is $4.99 per month. Even with that fee if you have Roku already, I suppose you could subscribe for one month and consider your entire fee for one party night to be only $4.99.
This one is an online service. And highly entertaining. They claim to have 8328 songs available. I did a quick check and found many of the Karaoke classics (e.g. Crazy by Patsy Kline and Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd) and a lot of new pop as well. They also let you watch recordings made by individual users a la YouTube. In the one I sampled the singer seemed to miss the first few lines.
But in any case if you don’t have the Roku channel and hardware this could be an inexpensive solution. For the cost of the right cable (see connecting your PC to your TV) you have an instant Karaoke machine. Prices range from $4.95/two days , $9.95/month or $59.95/year. So again like on Roku, you could take the 2 days and consider your event cost to be $4.95.
I’ll be testing these both out. The technical issue to be concerned about is buffering. Jitter would be a deal killer for any audio performance. Let me know your own experience in the comments below.