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Karaoke - make your own CD+G discs?

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Karaoke - make your own CD+G discs?

Postby howitzer17 on Sun Dec 21, 2003 11:52 pm

I just purchased a Karaoke (CD+G) capable DVD player (Daiwa 6038) and I've heard their is a way to:

1) acquire free karaoke (CD+G) songs through the internet, then

2) burn these files on a CD-R or CD-RW.

3) Will my Mitsumi CR-48XTE CD burner be able to do the "burning" for me?

How do I accomplish the above?? Websites/Web resources you could steer me towards?


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Postby CameraMan on Tue Dec 23, 2003 3:54 pm

Yes, you can do it, but it's rather a pain in the back side.
A quick primer.

There are two parts to a traditional CDG disc. The Audio stream (same as you would find on any standard CD-Audio music disc) and the CDG stream. The CDG stream is somewhat like a very crude MPEG type of info stream, it contains graphic commands and bit mapped images.

The thing to know about the CDG stream is that if the disc is scratched, the audio part might not sound affected (as all audio tracks on a CD have error correcting code), but the CDG part has no error correcting protection. So this scratch might show up as garbled 'words' (which are just a series of do/don't draw pixel commands), or even blue text on a red background, or the screen clears in the middle of the song.

Hit any Karaoke bar, and you can tell how well kept the collection is by how much garbage shows up on the TV screens. Nothing ruins the moment like a screen glitch.

A newer way to buy Karaoke Discs is in VCD or DVD format. These are a better deal, because almost ANY player can use these, and with multiple audio tracks, you can select back-up singers and such. Also there are pretty videos, and the words are part of the MPEG stream. A glitch/scratch on the disc wil show up as a few blocky pixels. Not too bad.

On the PC:

On-line, you will find sites with two files per song. An MP3 (nothing special) and the .cdg file. There are CDG software players for the PC that will play CDG discs, or the mp3/cdg files. I've used a plug-in for WinAmp that will look for the .cdg file from a song and open up a little window displaying the words/graphics. You can make it full-sized for all to see. I used this system last Xmas with the family, put the video out to some TV sets. We had a good time.

There are tools that will convert the MP3 and CDG files to a disc image for burning, or convert them to VCD, but it's all slow and pretty rough.

Your CD reader:
Some burners don't support CDG, some do. Check the web, you won't find it on the box. CDG isn't a popular enough feature to shout about. If you can read the discs, use a program like Alcohol 120% to make a bit-perfect copy of the discs the day you buy them. Scratches kill.

If you wanna make some cash at the local bar and host Karaoke nights, I suggest you burn your collection to DVD-Video, get a mixer and a video distribution amp. This way, if anything breaks, it's pretty easy to come up with a fix.

As for what to buy, the VCD discs are maybe the best, DVD is better. Look on some news groups, you can find the MP3/CDG files too.

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