doPi Karaoke video iPod / video MP3 Player
[Editors' Note: On November 1, 2006, iLounge published The 2007 iPod Buyers' Guide, with more than 30 brand new, capsule-sized product reviews - only for products we considered to be amongst the very best we've seen throughout the year. The short review below is excerpted from the Guide, which you can download here.]
Halfway between Griffin’s iKaraoke and CAVS’ Karaoke Station IPS-11G is doPi Karaoke, a $60 package that - like IPS-11G - includes a large solo mic, a mixing box with dual microphone inputs and an echo filter, and the ability to output on-screen lyrics to a television set. But the difference is that doPi (iPod in reverse) allows you to see the lyrics on the iPod’s own screen if you want, using MPEG-4 video files to handle all of the music and singalong text. As you might have guessed, that means you’ll need to download videos from doPi’s web site to use with the iPod, and they’ll cost $1.99 a piece, compounded by the relative scarcity of video-formatted tracks in the company’s library. (As of press time, there are 1119 video-formatted songs, up a bit from when we checked the store in October, but still not many by contrast with the iTunes Store’s catalog.) On the bright side, the massive price difference between this and the Karaoke Station’s regular pricing will buy you more than 80 tracks of your choice, and you’ll get three free downloads with the unit. doPi also includes the audio and video cables you’ll need to connect your iPod to the unit, and the unit to a TV.
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.