Karaoke 2.0

Karaoke 2.0

We’ve been looking for a good karaoke solution here at our college for a while. In our language dorm students have sung songs with native speakers in their free time, and responses have been very positive. The use of music in language learning has been documented quite well, and advantages are numerous. But that’s not what this post is about.

From a technical standpoint, karaoke isn’t really a perfect, neat system that is easy to implement. There are several standards, and it’s difficult to get good music in many languages. Then there’s the whole issue of checking out players and discs, carrying and setting up equipment,… One more thing to administer for the language lab, one more thing to take up room and to get outdated quickly. If only…

If only this could be done online. Well, this is where SingShot comes in. Not many foreign languages are supported yet, but I assume it’s only a matter of time. ESL teachers can already rejoice, and I did find a few Spanish songs. Did I mention it’s free?

So here’s how it works: register a free account (or try it out without one first), pick a song from the ever growing library, and sing when the words appear in the browser. You may record the audio portion with a slideshow (default or customized with your own pictures) or record yourself via webcam. You can share your masterpieces with others, including non-users, as well as comment and rate the songs. That would be nice if all of it were in the target language, perhaps there’ll be some language-specific sites at some point.

At no cost, this is a glimpse of hope for us here as we will be able to deploy a huge karaoke library on every computer, without having to purchase karaoke machines and special discs. Let’s hope for better language support and more language titles. In the meantime, I’ll go and practice my English.

Link to SingShot

Felix Kronenberg is working at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. His research interests include academic space design, video games and language learning, digital storytelling, and the culture of advertising. He teaches German and language pedagogy, and maintains the Language Technology Boot Camp blog and web site.

7 Comments

  1. Larry Ferlazzo · July 6, 2007 Reply

    This sounds like a great resource. I’m looking forward to checking it out.

  2. itsalljustaride · July 6, 2007 Reply

    What about software solutions like iStar or kJams?

    Have you tried either of these?

  3. Barbara · July 6, 2007 Reply

    Thanks Felix! Looking forward to Tech-o-Tuesday too!

  4. Doug Canfield · July 6, 2007 Reply

    I’d be interested to hear you compare/contrast SingShot and other services like kSolo.

    On a completely different note, for those of you who were at the Closing Party @ IALLT ’07, we missed our chance @ Splice by about a month:

    http://blog.splicemusic.com/2007/05/22/weekly-contest-more-cowbell/

  5. Barbara · July 6, 2007 Reply

    No way! Oh I am crushed….

  6. Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites Of The Day For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL » Blog Archive » Amazing Karaoke Site · July 7, 2007 Reply

    […] I learned about a fascinating site called SingShot from two different blogs on the same day — Language Labs Unleashed and Mashable. […]

  7. Language Lab Unleashed! - it’s not your middle school language lab anymore… » The Sims again… · October 10, 2007 Reply

    […] The Sims again… By felix I have recently written about online karaoke. Well that site got an update (read=”was taken over”) and now features a lot more than online karaoke. Loosely based on the Sims, a language learning and technology classic, the site (called”Sims On Stage“) allows users to write or record stories, poetry pr comedy clips. Standard web 2.0 fare. […]

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