A few years ago, the debate amongst KJs between disks users and computer users was fierce. Nowadays, disk devotees are a dying, but loyal breed. Contrary to what you might think, most disk-based KJs are holding on to the past not because of a phobia of technology, but for other reasons entirely.Prior to the advent of the karaoke CD, most karaoke music was sold on laser disks.In the 90’s, the cutting edge KJ began to use compact disks instead of the more cumbersome (and expensive) laser disks.
Although the karaoke CD format was a huge step forward, it still had it’s problems. To have a respectable karaoke music collection (10,000+ unique songs), a disk-based KJ would need to own and carry 1000 disks or more. And since he had so many disks, the KJ had to be meticulously organized in order to be able to quickly find the correct CD when a singer submitted a song.Additionally, hauling hundreds of disks to and from karaoke shows each week and slipping them in and out of their cases or sleeves greatly increases the risk of damage or loss.
Some KJs mitigated these risks by copying their CDs and only using the copies at their shows. However, this practice carried other risks since legally you cannot burn additional copies of copyrighted disks for commercial use.One huge advantage of buying music in the karaoke MP3+G format is that you can buy songs singly.
When buying karaoke disks, inevitably you end up with some songs that you want, and some songs that you already have. Since you can’t split up a CD and just buy the tracks you want, you’re stuck buying (and often times, re-buying) songs you don’t want. With MP3’s, you have more flexibility to download just the tracks you want.One of the few advantage of the CD over a computer based system is that it’s virtually foolproof: when you’re using a simple CDG player (similar to a DVD or CD player), Windows won’tcrash on you.
Having all your karaoke music available (and searchable) on a hard drive is a huge leap forward for the KJ. Not only can the modern KJ leave his crates of CDs safe at home, it’s much faster and efficient to run a karaoke show without having to worry about searching through CDs during your singers’ performances.So why is that there are still KJs who insist on using CDs when there are so many advantages to an MP3-based setup? Most disk zealots who choose to stick with their shiny round companions do so because computers can be so finicky.
Any computer-based KJ could tell you horror stories of software crashing in the middle of a song, hard drives failing, viruses, beer spills on keyboards, and more. And, CDG players are so cheap (under 0) that most CDKJs can easily afford to carry two just in case one breaks. Although the cost of laptops has greatly decreased over the past decade, it’s a much larger investment to carry around an additional, redundant computer in case your primary computer fails.So which type of KJ are you? If you simply must have 99.9% reliability in your hardware and you’re willing to work five times as hard, stick with disks.
If you’re willing to suffer through the occasional technical hiccup in exchange for a much easier KJ experience, you are probably better off using a computer-based karaoke system.Karaoke CDs:Disadvantages: Bulky and cumbersome, songs not easily accessible, risk of damage or loss of disks when regularly transporting, all-or-nothing purchasing format.Advantages: Stable, inexpensive, and reliable hardware.