For real music lovers, just playing music is not always enough. Singing along with your favorite songs can be quite fun. And if you invite your friends, a karaoke event is in the making.

Most people will use a special karaoke system for their group sing-along occasions, but you could use your Windows computer. Most PC’s have a pretty decent sound card installed, so all you really need is a set of speakers, a microphone and of course a way to show the song lyrics.

Hardware

A decent set of speakers is certainly required. Even with laptops, use external speakers, as the internal speakers will generally not produce quality audio. No need for surround sound, just stereo speakers will do. For some real bass, use a 2.1 system which has a separate woofer.

For the singing you will need a microphone of course. The most important thing to consider here is that you need to keep some distance between the speakers and the microphone to prevent something called feedback, which is the annoying high pitched sound you can hear in live performances.

Software

For karaoke you will need a program that can show the song lyrics for the music you are playing. A program that can be used is called MiniLyrics. MiniLyrics can be used with a large number of music players, including Windows Media Player, VLC, iTunes, and WinAmp.

Download and install MiniLyrics, and next time you start a compatible media player, MiniLyrics automatically starts and downloads the song lyrics from a large online database. The program is multilingual, so make sure you select the right language during installation.

MiniLyrics is available as a free download, in an evaluation version. The evaluation version does not expire, but if you like and keep using the software, you can buy a license for just $14.95. This will remove the reminder at program start.

Configuration and Usage

During program installation, you need to configure which media player should be supported. MiniLyrics will automatically select the programs that are installed on your system, so only de-select the programs you do not want to support.

When you play a song in your media player, MiniLyrics will automatically start and, if available, download and show the lyrics.

Show song lyrics in Windows Media Player

The lyrics scroll in the MiniLyrics window, from bottom to top, synchronized with the song itself.

The window actually fades out automatically, so you can place the MiniLyrics window over your media player, as only the lyrics will show in the end.

For best karaoke results, you would want the text to be very readable, and highlighted with the actual song progress. This requires a few changes in the setup.

In the MiniLyrics windows, select the View menu and then click Preferences. Next click the Themes button in the top row of icons, and then select the Lyrics Display option just below it.

MiniLyrics configuration options

For the best karaoke setup, you want to select a sans-serif font, which is very readable. Arial, Verdana, Helvetica are good examples. Set the font size to a large enough size depending on your monitor size and screen resolution. Also select a clear color for the lyrics normal and highlight color.

The final settings required are the option to show Fade in lyrics, rather than Fade out background, and select the Karaoke checkbox to make sure the highlighting is in sync with the actual singing of the words. If you want, you can also show just a single line or double line of the lyrics at the time.

If you want to use the floating lyrics, make sure to change the settings for that in the same way.

The song lyrics are automatically downloaded to your computer. By default they are stored in the C: drive, but you can change this to be the song folder, a different path, or even in an MP3 file using ID tags. These settings are available under the Lyrics button in the Preferences window.

Song titles showing karaoke style

The program has many more options, which you can explore for yourself, but to mention one, there is a lyrics editor that allows you to edit the song text and timing of the words.

There you go, turn you computer into a karaoke PC with these simple instructions!

4 Responses to “Karaoke with your Windows Computer”

  1. Anthony L says:

    I have been to your blog before. The more I read, the more I keep coming back!

  2. nice and informative post.

  3. Is this what I need to make my computer a karaoke machine for gigs. I have a professional karaoke system( 5000 watt amp and 2500 watt speakers) and I don’t want to have to lug it around anymore unless it would be a huge venue. I’d like to customize it to my computer so what software do I need to complete this.
    Do you sell the software? If not where can I get it?

  4. Geoff says:

    @Terry Rutledge – If you install the MiniLyrics software on your PC, and attach a projector or large screen to the PC (I assume you plan to use a laptop), and connect the audio out to a decent audio system, then yes, I assume you can use it for larger groups.
    The software is available on the site in the article (http://www.crintsoft.com). You can also buy a license there.

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