You have three basic options when selecting the type of player you will use. A disc player, a hard drive player, or a computer and software.
Karaoke Disc PlayersKaraoke Disc Players are multi-format disc players that typically will play CD, CD+G, DVD, and VCD discs and possibly some other formats as well. They will have features like digital key control, single play mode, and vocal cancel. Some later model disc players have slots for SD cards and/or USB ports for thumb drives. You need to carefully read the specs on these players to find out exactly what file types they will play from these portable devices. While some will play MP3+G karaoke files, many will play only MP3s and some video formats. Many of the players that support these devices will allow you to record your karaoke performance and save it to an SD card or USB thumb drive.
Hard Drive PlayersHard Drive Players are basically karaoke disc players that also contain an internal hard drive. With dedicated software, or often directly from the player's CD tray, you can import the songs from karaoke discs onto the machine's hard drive and eliminate the need to insert the disc again. There are on-screen search and menu functions. Some of these machines even have touch screen support. These players can be a bit pricey but well worth the money if you can afford one. Like with standard music, karaoke is also moving away from discs going in the direction of files stored on a hard drive. While there are still disc players being produced and sold most karaoke music is becoming available in computer file formats. Also, disc players cannot offer all the features that software players can.
Computer with SoftwareComputer with Software is rapidly becoming the preferred way to play karaoke songs, and for good reasons. All your music is stored on a hard drive, you have the maximum options for obtaining songs, and karaoke player software offers more features than can be found with any disc or hard drive player. More about this can be found on the Karaoke Laptop page.
All-In-One SystemsSome might seriously consider one of the all-in-one karaoke systems. These units have a karaoke disc player, amplifier, mixer, and speakers, mounted into an easily portable case. They are available in a variety of sizes and power ratings. Most will have options to connect an external player which means you could use a karaoke laptop as the player. Of course the biggest advantage to these systems is the ease in which you can take karaoke entertainment with you anywhere.
Which is Best for You?Some people are "old school" and still like using discs. Nothing wrong with that and CD+G discs are still being sold in stores and some may be found cheaply at auction sites. Disc players are also very reasonably priced. Hard drive players are sort of a cross between a disc player and a computer with software player. They offer disc free performance and the touch screen support makes them very attractive although they still don't offer everything that software can. If computers are your thing then by all means go with a laptop and karaoke software. If you already own a descent laptop, with the proper software and possibly an external hard drive, you're in business. Be sure to visit the Put Your Karaoke System Together page.
Article by Richard Wise. Follow me on