kJams just went into proper beta this March, and now the venerable karaoke software has gone 1.0 as of June 21. The update brings some important features, especially if you are going beyond karaoke hobbyist and are considering a PC-based karaoke solution in a venue. Of particular note is a “ShowScreens” feature, which allows custom graphic overlays (venue logos, for example). There are also some welcome metadata tools, which is critical when you’re dealing with hundreds of songs at a time. The 1.0 version adds some foreign language support as well.
I have used kJams Pro quite a bit with friends, and it’s a ton of fun. Even for people who are wary of karaoke, the home experience is a blast because unlike a karaoke bar, you’re only making a fool of yourself in front of friends.
In the past I’ve connected an older MacBook Pro to my Bravia TV using VGA, then plugged in the audio to a louder home stereo, and I’ve run Magic Window on the desktop for some visual flair. Now I keep all of my karaoke songs on my 11″ MacBook Air, and use HDMI to plug into any modern HDTV. By bringing a simple USB mic from Rock Band 2 for Wii (or one from High School Musical, depending on how kitschy I want to be), I can set up karaoke in anyone’s house within seconds.
kJams is free to try, and comes in a Lite and Pro version, with some features limited or disabled until you pay (the app is shareware). There are several built-in song stores, although karaoke songs can get expensive. I recommend buying CD+G discs on eBay or Amazon, then ripping them in kJams. There’s also an iOS companion app, iJams, which is only compatible with the Pro version of kJams.
Full press release below, plus a photo of our own Mike Rose belting one out at the Beard Bash from WWDC 2013.
SANTA CRUZ, CA – June 21, 2013 – Metamuse Media today announced the 1.0 release of its popular karaoke platform, kJams, which allows professional KJs and home users alike to create and run their own customized karaoke shows. Earning high praises for its ease of use, deep feature set, and enterpriselevel customer support, kJams has emerged as the most comprehensive karaoke application available for both Mac and Windows. As KJ Ethan Feldman remarked: “kJams… blows every other PC karaoke software out of the water!”
Metamuse Media CEO and kJams creator, Dave Cotter, says he is “s00per siked” to have reached this milestone. “I started kJams in 2004 as a labor of love, because at the time there was no program that could play CD+Gs on the Mac; and actually kJams is still the only pro karaoke app available for Apple computers. But I really had no idea how much demand there would be, or how much joy kJams would bring to so many people! I just want the whole world to have the gift of happiness that comes with singing.”
Version 1.0 includes the following features:
● Familiar, easy to use interface
● Integrated Venue, Singer, and Rotation management
● Builtin music stores (100k+ songs) with optional online or offline streaming services (10k+ songs)
● Singers can search song book and manage their personal song lists from smartphone or web
● CD+G, VCD, and other Disc formats; QuickTime, Zipped MP3+G, LRC, and other file formats
● Independent ‘onthefly’ key change and tempo adjustment, AV resync
● ‘ShowScreens’ can show KJ or Venue logos / graphics and custom messages
● Powerful batch metadata editing and file name conforming
● Runs in English, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Chinese, and Romanian
Metamuse Media is a small, familyrun multimedia house dedicated to providing inspiring, creative entertainment.
David M. Cotter