Updated: November 10, 2010
What is the best way to conclude a party? By singing. And what is even better than just singing? Karaoke. No matter if you're having a night with the buddies, just got married or having an international business meeting with co-workers from across the globe, making a total fool out of yourself and singing loudly and out of sync to the best of Africa by Toto or Japanese Boy by Aneka is probably the ultimate ice-breaker.
Forget Vodka. You want a full-blown multimedia experience!
Finding the right Karaoke software for Linux was not easy. I found too many matches, too few explanations. This article will spare you the long search for the best choice. It's called Performous.
Performous is a cross-platform music and rhythm game. It has the Karaoke mode, but it's more than just a teleprompter. Performous can display notes and lyrics and will score your singing. The program has tons of features, including device autodetection for Guitar Hero and Rock Band, SingStar and Rock Band microphones, dance pads, noise canceling, OpenGL rendering, and more.
Launching the program, you will be greeted with a soft interlude music. You can configure the program to automatically load songs and lyrics, setup various devices, change the skin, and more. Likewise, you have the ability to practice first before performing live.
For a music moron like myself, practice was amusing. You have a boi-boi-boi chorus repeating itself, and your goal is to try to match the notes. I do vaguely remember what music notes are from my seventh grade music studies, but that's where my music expertise ends. Still, it was ok.
Performing is far more fun. Naturally, you will need songs for that. Luckily, Performous offers a very large collection of free songs for download and testing, in all kinds of format, so take your pick. I did not find any major records, but I guess you will need to buy those.
In Karaoke mode, your singing is not scored, only the words are highlighted. If you disable it, you can then compete against the machine, trying to match your singing as closely as possible to the original. You will need some kind of a microphone.
I guess I made for a rather ridiculous visage, screaming at my laptop, but it was a joyful experience after all. The free songs I tried were not as exciting as the Bohemian Rhapsody or Rock The Night, but it's a good start. Performous is a nice little toy.
I am far from being a music genius. In fact, if there's one facet of my personality that lacks perfection, it would be my music skills. Nevertheless, I do believe I'm qualified enough to say that Performous is a very useful and fun program. It's simple, elegant, designed with style, powerful, challenging, and addictive.
If you have a tough team of buyers or investors coming over for an icy corporate dinner, you now have the perfect tool to spice up the mood. Performous is the tool you need. Grab some 80s classic and you have no reason to leave your home, ever.
Finally, if you have any related suggestions, do send them.