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Mobile Karaoke, Anyone?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on November 08, 2005

This summer, Grammy Thailand, a mobile carrier, had launched a mobile karaoke application. You can play a song over your phone’s speakerphone and sing along. Better yet, you can record your own voice singing the tune, overlay the recording over the music and send the whole thing to your friends.

This could be just the ticket for the next American Idol (or not).

Indeed, a lot of new mobile applications that have started popping up allow people to interact with music stored on their cell phones. Some others let users create their own ringtones (sure, go ahead and embarrass yourself). Others allow you to create musical voicemail greetings. Many such applications, such as mobile karaoke, will likely hit the U.S. market in 2006, says Jerry Skurla, director of marketing at NMS Communications, which helped Grammy Thailand provide the karaoke application to its users.

What I am wondering about is, How many people would want to sing along to a cell phone? Sure, karaoke is all the rage in Asia. But can such applications take off in the U.S., where karaoke and similar applications aren’t huge? Even music cell phones don’t seem to be taking off here as quickly as they did in Europe. What do you think?

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Reader Comments


November 8, 2005 09:01 AM

Well, you don't have to be Asian to like to sing. Maybe thinking that it will follow karaoke bar patterns is the wrong path. Maybe citizen performance is the natural corollary to citizen journalism. Maybe amateur everything is the trend.

Sakis Papakonstantinou

December 15, 2005 04:14 AM

KARAOKINI is one of the few "real" mobile karaoke applications, and probably the only one to have gained a coveted spot within Vodafone Live! (currently in Greece, Cyprus and Malta). To be launched in more mobile channels soon. More info at

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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