Hong Kong iMusic Station: Most ambitious iPod karaoke
Hong Kong's iMusicWorld has come up with a portable karaoke station for iPods. Small enough to fit in a gym bag and weighing under a pound, the iMusic Station is an iPod dock with speakers and line-in for two analogue microphones so users can sing along to their MP3 collection or karaoke songs purchased from iTunes.
But iMusicWorld founder Kenneth Chau Kin-wang has much bigger aspirations for his Station than being just another gadget. The iPod karaoke device can enable budding musicians around the world to share their work.
"Music is too localised," said Chau to the SCMP. "Music is usually split by region depending on language. The language barrier is hard to overcome, but melodies can be shared."
Chau plans to create an online community of music composers and performers who can share their work through iMusicWorld.com. Members of the community can upload and share melodies with lyric writers and vocalists via the iMusic Station. Chau also holds songwriting contests where winners are not only awarded cash prizes, but get their winning composition placed on iTunes for sales distribution.
"The goal is to create iMusicWorld events around the world," says Chau. "I have this vision that in a year or so we'll have melodies from all around the globe available on iTunes."
The iMusicWorld server is scheduled for launch later this month and while the iMusic Station is now only available at select US outlets, there will be an improved second generation iMusic Station to be launched Asia-wide tentatively in April.
Meanwhile, the karaoke-crazy can download iPhone app iOKi for a public performance (especially if they are a Lady Gaga fan), or get a discontinued iKaraoke device from Amazon (read the review). Watch out for situations such as these street karaoke scenes coming to a street corner near you. The karaoke-phobic should be afraid, be very afraid.