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iKaraoke Everywhere

Griffin Technologies, which has become synonymous to Apple accessories, came up with this simple gadget that transforms your iPod into an instant Karaoke machine. And it cost only $50.

Just like the Magic Sing, the iKaraoke is basically a microphone that attaches to any iPod with a dock connector. Roughly
the length of pencil, the mic has four buttons on the side to control various functions.
It comes with a four-foot cord that connects to an adapter to be attached to the button of the iPod.

This adapter has its own line-out jack for connecting to a stereo or your earphones. Another option is to use the iKaraoke's FM transmitter to broadcast your tunes through your radio.

Now here's the nifty part. The iKaraoke microphone- in principle- allows you to isolate the lead vocal track, lowering the volume so your voice can stand out. While vocal removers have become quite common-such as those of Winamp and DirectX-iKaraoke's easy plug and play setup doesn't require additional plug-ins.

But here's the rub. As with many vocal removers, iKaraoke doesn't work all the time. For instance, the Wall Street Journal was slightly disappointed that Justin Timberlake's tinny vocals on "Rock Your Body" couldn't be excesed at all, but the technology worked fine with Bob Dylan's "Like a rolling Stone".

Another possible downer is that it doesn't come with built-in lyrics; you have to manually enter the words using iTunes on your computer.

Of course, serious karaoke singers know their stuff better than most of the American Idol train wrecks, and many of us went through the "multiplex" phase, which essentially also removes the lead vocals.

But at least you don't have to sing along to some cheesy keyboard renditions of popular songs and are spared from watching videos of exotic beauties in pensive moments.

Despite the shortcomings, the iKaraoke is a indeed a fin accessory-much more than the drives you crazy iDog.


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