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Singing Praises Of Karaoke Machines

The karaoke craze is more than 30 years old, and still going strong. In fact, it may be hotter than ever thanks to all those TV talent shows.

The pop culture phenomenon of electronic sing-a-longs has experienced a tremendous resurgence, thanks to TV shows such as "American Idol" and "America's Got Talent." Many aspiring "Idol" contestants prepare for their auditions with karaoke.

Karaoke machines are fun for the family and great for parties, as well as affordable and easy to use.

Friday on The Early Show, BestStuff.com Senior Editor David Gregg offered a roundup of some of the best new karaoke machines on the market, with the newest formats and features, and in various price ranges.

doPi Karaoke — "Party in a Pod"

The doPi Karaoke system transforms any video-equipped iPod into a karaoke machine. The doPi system includes a durable microphone, mixer box with twin mic inputs, an echo effect, and video in/out ports, plus all of the cables necessary to connect your iPod and microphone to the box, and to a wall outlet. The doPi system includes a song card with three free downloads from the company's song download Web site. Songs are downloaded in MP4 video format, with lyrics appearing on your iPod's screen and highlighting in a new color as you're singing. Video synchronization is handled through iTunes, allowing doPi Karaoke to be compatible with Mac and PC iPods, as well as other video player devices. PRICE: $60; www.dopikaraoke.com

"Karaoke Revolution Party"

(Video Game Software by Konami Turns Your Video Game Console into a Karaoke Device!) Grab your friends, plug in the mics, and get the party started! Karaoke Revolution Party adds even more life to the party, expanding on what has already made this game series a popular hit at social gatherings. Now you can sing and dance to a collection of 50 songs featuring classics like "Sweet Caroline" and recent hits like "Crazy In Love." Combined with more multi-player and party modes than ever before, as well as downloadable content via Xbox Live, Karaoke Revolution Party is a truly interactive karaoke experience. Game versions also available for PlayStation2 and Nintendo GameCube. PRICE: $30; www.konami.com

The Karaoke Microphone (Model: LS-3000)

The perfect gift for budding "American Idols" or "Idol" wanabees! The Leadsinger Microphone offers all the fun of karaoke without having to haul around bulky machines and loads of CDs. Just plug this microphone into your TV, choose your tunes and the lyrics will pop up right there on the screen. Want more songs? There are thousands of 'em! The Leadsinger features a built-in video processor that displays high-resolution video graphics and highlighted lyrics right on your TV. Sing along to 300 popular built-in songs. Additional song cartridges are available. $149.99; www.leadsinger.com

The Singing Machine Pedestal

The Singing Machine (STVG-998) Pedestal CDG Karaoke System will provide you with loads of fun and entertainment. This unit has many useful features: Auto Voice Control (AVC) — When the AVC function is activated, the vocals on a multiplex recording are eliminated as soon as the singer begins singing into the microphone. When the singer stops singing, the vocals on the multiplex recording are automatically re-activated. This useful function is used primarily during practice sessions while a singer is learning a song. You'll be able to use key control, echo and pitch control to fine tune the song to match a singer's voice. This all-in-one system comes with two microphones and a built-in camera to watch yourself singing on the monitor. You can even record yourself to tape by connecting a VCR or DVD Recorder to the RCA output of this machine. PRICE: $199; www.singingmachine.com

Guitaraoke by Karaoke Warehouse

From the makers of All Star Karaoke comes Guitaraoke — karaoke for your guitar! Amp up your guitar and pop in a Guitaraoke disc in any CD player, karaoke player or computer. Play Guitaroke's visual track which provides on-screen guitar chords and rhythm markings While its audio track supplies back-up music and all vocals to create a virtual band. Select from five different discs of a variety of music programmed to satisfy any music taste and skill level. Guitaraoke comes as a nine-song three-disc set. PRICE: $16.95 MSRP; www.karaokeWH.com

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