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Creating Karaoke Files
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There are several karaoke players & editors or lyrics plugins available, that allow the user to manipulate midi or mp3 files and lyrics text to create their own karaoke files, however, unless you are also competant at composing or sequencing music using programs like Cubase or Cakewalk then you will have to search on the internet or purchase midifiles from commercial suppliers.

Although there are many websites still offering free midi and lyrics files for download, there are several things you need to take into consideration before using them.

1. Midi & lyrics files are usually released for personal, private or educational use only - adding them to your website or using them to create files for use in a professional capacity is a breach of copyright and you may be liable for court action. Always check the information inside the midifile or the copyright notice at the website.

2. Midi file quality varies considerably! Tracks may be in different arrangements, styles, keys or have instruments missing (i.e., guitar, melody line).

3. Accuracy of lyrics is not guaranteed and may vary according to the performing artist or song version.

4. Two midi formats are used - Format 0 (single merged track) and Format 1 (multiple tracks). It is difficult to isolate tracks on Format 0 midi files which require the use of a program capable of opening and resaving the file to Format 1 before you can use them. (i.e., Cubase or Cakewalk).

Once you have chosen a song and found or created a suitable midi file, open it with your default midi player and listen through to the complete file. A good file should contain the melody line, be in a comfortable key and arrangement (preferably the same as the artists recording) plus the basic instrumental parts i.e, drums, bass, guitar, keyboards. To edit the file you will need a sequencer application like Cubase which also allows you to change the key, tempo and assign different instruments to each track. There are several shareware sequencers available on the internet.

If you have the lyrics, paste them into a text program like Word. All special text formatting should be removed from the lyric file like double spacing (i.e., this  space - should be reduced to single spacing) then launch your karaoke software and load the midi and lyric files. How easily these are syncronised depends on the karaoke editing programs capabilities, an auto-sync feature is helpful but you may still need to adjust the files to get the timing and scrolling correct, some software does not allow .txt or lyr import and you'll have to type the words in manually.

When you have completed the karaoke file, sing along with the track a few times and check for errors in spelling, timing and lyrics syncronization.

All finished? Why not add backgrounds or pictures? Ok so maybe your karaoke software doesn't have that facility - but if it does - why not go the whole hog and make your track appear like a real karaoke song with pictures, words and music!

Creating MP3i Karaoke Files

What is MP3i?
MP3i is a multimedia MP3, in other words it is an MP3 file with added features such as lyrics, photos, text and/or more that accepts .cda, .wav, .mp3, .jpg, .bmp, gif., and .txt files. You can play an MP3i by downloading, installing, and running Winamp and the MP3i plug-in for Winamp which can be found Here.

The MP3i Plugin is a free Shareware download that allows you to play back the visual part of the MP3iís using Winamp, which means if you wish to continue using it after the trial period you must register and upgrade for all of its functionalities to continue to work.

Because MP3i uses the .mp3 extension they are 100% backwards compatible with any mp3 playing device

MP3iís are bigger than regular MP3 files depending on how much, and what size media you load into the MP3i. The total size will be the original size of the MP3 plus the size of all files you input into it which can also affect the streaming capability if you edit the ID3 tags of the MP3i.

There are two ways to get media for your MP3i:

1. You can compose your own media such as music, images and lyrics and load them into your MP3i.

2. You can use media from your favorite artists provided you have written permission from the artist to use their media. For example, many artists have a statement on their website granting you permission to copy and distribute their music and media. If no such statement exists we encourage you to email the artist requesting permission to use their media.

To create an MP3i Karaoke file open the MP3i Creator and select New Project, then using the 'Action Label' place the appropriate media into itís respective category (Album Cover, Band Photos, Biography, Discography, etc), click on the Synchronized Text tab to insert the lyrics which can be manually aligned as the song plays using the space bar on your keyboard. When you have finished editing your MP3i and you are happy with the preview, simply click the Encode button. When it is finished just load the MP3i into Winamp and play it.

MP3i Creator
The first software for loading media into mp3s

Load images, gif animation, lyrics, text files and web links into a standard mp3 file

Choose from a variety of MP3i display skins

Playback your MP3i using Winamp and a free MP3i Playback Plugin.

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