I don't know how many times I've been sitting around my apartment with my friends, and someone says, "Hey, I've got a hankerin' for some karaoke." Well, actually, that happened only one time, and we ended up wandering around Koreatown in New York City at 3 a.m., asking strangers, "Where're the tunes, man?" Don't let this happen to you — get yourself Griffin's iKaraoke and you'll be able to instantly conjure up a karaoke party right in your apartment. Connecting to your stereo either via a line-level connection or wirelessly through through one of those crappy FM modulator transmitters, the iKaraoke relays music sans the vocals, adding yours thanks to the supplied microphone. How does it do that? Probably by
sampling the audio and applying a filter to take out the specific parts of the midrange where you typically find voices inverting the phase of the left or right stereo signal an imposing it on the other (since vocals tend to be in both channels and instrumets generally aren't, you get music but no singing). Obviously, the lyrics won't appear onscreen or anything, so if you lose your place, you can always bring back the vocals for a second or two. And for when your tone-deaf cousin grabs the mike, you can throw in some reverb to ease the pain on your eardrums. The iKaraoke will debut in November for $50.
UPDATE: Thanks to a well-educated and informed reader, the speculation about how the iKaraoke works has been refined. Never let it be said we bloggers aren't open to learning a thing or two, although, for the record, "FM modulator" is generally accepted shorthand for "wireless FM modulator transmitter."