Not too long ago, I got an email. That, in itself, was nothing special. However, the question the email contained was. The answer two which would lead me on a quick, yet interesting learning experience. Have a strung you along enough? Yeah? Right. Well, the question was:
I have some (8) very old karaoke disks and would like to make disk backups. Can you help me make them?
That’s right, ladies and gents, Karaoke. I know it’s not a proper noun, but doesn’t it fell like it should be? Personally, there’s not enough beer in a booze hound’s basement to get me to do Karaoke. But we’re not talking about me. We’re talking about the 80 year old retired gent that wants to, and I quote, “entertain the old folks” down at the assisted living facility. He was concerned the discs were on their last legs. And looking at them later, I felt he was rightly concerned. So I did a little digging and found out how to to the deed.
I knew right off that we weren’t going to be able to use plain ol’ blank CDs; not with the need to display lyrics. At first I thought that said lyrics were just the video portion of the file and blank DVDs would work. But the Great and Powerful Google said I was mistaken. I was directed to the appropriately name Karaoke Tutor. There I learned that the format of a Karaoke disc is called CD+G. Naturally, it’s a unique format; more than audio but less than video. As such, none of my current media players would work. Fortunately, the sight pointed me farther down the road to an app that could help.
There is a company called Power Karaoke, that builds Karaoke applications. Among them is Power CD+G Burner With it you can rip a CD+G disc to the computer and then you can copy the files to a blank CD-R. You can’t use a CD-RW. Something to do with the fact you can write more than once doesn’t play nice with Karaoke discs. The Power CD+G Burner is not a free app, however, and the trail version only allows you to burn a portion of each song. At $39 it’s not going to break the bank, but since I’ve never had a request such as this before I don’t think I could justify buying it. So I did what librarians have been doing for centuries and I begged for a free copy of the full version. They were kind enough to allow me to have a copy provided I mention their product on the library’s social media pages. Which I did.
As is usually the case, with the right tool a hard job becomes easy. Pop in the original, rip to the hard drive, burn to a blank disc, and revel in your genius. Well. Ok. So it wasn’t without hiccups. First was that Power CD+G doesn’t have a way to actually play the Karaoke disc. For that you need another one of their apps, Siglos Karaoke Player. I should have downloaded that before sending the poor dude on his way. Because the second hiccup was far more nefarious: you have to burn the disc at 1X. The patron had to come back in later that night for us to try again. In the meantime, I did more research as to why the lyrics weren’t showing up and that pointed me to the aforementioned Siglos and the need to burn at a slower speed, than our original 28X. Once those two hiccup were cured, it really was a breeze. The only critique I would have is: if we can’t use the 28X burning speed, why is it an option? Perhaps it’s just a hardware limitation.
In any event, that’s it! If you have Karaoke discs, I strongly urge you to buy a copy of Power CD-G Burner because copies Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe.