Sunday, April 20, 2008

CAVS (and other karaoke systems) Compatible CDG DVD Drive FOUND!! Available from me cheap!

To paraphrase the great comedian George Carlin when he spoke of bumper stickers, "I have found him..I have CDG compatibility in the trunk!!" Yes FINALLY I have found a DVD optical device that will works with ALL Karaoke software requiring CDG compatible optical hardware. Now to the people on the Internet who have been selling discontinued plextor optical drives at exorbant prices (> $100!?!): Shame on you! To the Cavs people in Korea who are not answering the question of compatible optical devices publically: Shame on you too for not answering properly the questions of your customers, and for making me do your research for you. Greed seems to be a little out of control when it comes to manufacturers discontinuing CDG compatible drives according to an unfortunate KJ who got conned when his Plextor CD Burner died.

So without further ado, a compatible drive that is still being made and I have confirmed ample supply in with Canadian Distributors:

The Asus DVD-E616A3 DVD Rom/CDRW drive

(no it won't burn DVDs but karaoke people want CDG readability, right?) reads the CDG disks (really old ones over 10 years of age) perfectly, I can use it with a simple USB enclosure with karaoke software on a laptop, and it works. If you install it in a server it will work with any software including CAVS, if you use it through a USB on a laptop, the CAVS Karaoke Computer Software refuses to recognize any USB attached drives (CAVS software, well, no surprises there) but Audiograbber software and the Siglos Professional Software packages and Power CD+G Burner software read it perfectly and with Power CD+G burner you can make backups of those files for the day when CDG optical devices are impossible to get. Audiograbber is good but on a few odd tracks I noticed small spots around the lyrics that weren't present on the Power CD+G Burner conversion but bear in mind Audiograbber is free) So Internet sharks, I intend to stop your gouging with the following information: The Asus DVD-E616A3 is available CHEAP. VERY cheap. Try less than $30 CAD (so sharks, start lowering your prices or get stuck with your discontinued hardware), and a usb enclosure is between $30-$40 CAD. So that is between $60-$70 NOT $120 which I've had reported to me for long discontinued Plextor CD Drive models.

Just to make things interesting, I would like to make life easier for all Karoake KJs and karaoke lovers out there by personally offering to put together for anyone in Canada (but not outside due to taxes and high shipping charges) a USB enclosure using this drive for $55 plus shipping + packing materials (which should be no more than $15 dollars by Canada Post or Purolator (if I can get a discount from them). I won't ship by UPS...too many problems with receiving from them..poor service). The total cost is somewhere between $60-$70 plus Canadian Taxes, which I must charge by law, for identical functionality of what some people have charged >$100 dollars for on the Internet PLUS shipping. (so around $120-$150 PER DRIVE). If it doesn't work with your karaoke software I will refund the money IN FULL upon receiving the device back provided there are no external markings or damage. You can send order requests to me by sending me an e-mail with full shipping information to

and I'll send you a reply with full instructions on payment (paypal is probably the most convenient) which upon receiving, a full insured, tracked package will be in your hands within 1-2 weeks.

Obviously I'm not out to make money here. But its all good if it benefits the Karaoke community. Feel free to donate to my blog if you'd like to compensate me for time and money spent doing this research.

If there are any readers in the USA, sorry its a bit awkward doing research into legal issues in cross border sales, but you now know the name of the device and manufacturer, and I'll give you a list of USB Enclosures that will physically fit basic Optical Devices if you ask. Vantec and Mace make a few suitable enclosures.

so hope this helps you all out there struggling either to read CDG disks on your laptops or replacing your dying Plextor drives in your CAVS JB-99, JB-199 or other devices using IDE Optical devices. Oh, and if you want to properly backup your JB-199 files into something more universally usable (outside of the CAVS environment which I strongly advise) you can get your raw JB-199 files converted for reloading if your JB-199 dies here: KjAmp Converting services.

To the technicans and manufacturers as Asus: Thank you! Among the people and companies I've contacted (Plextor, LG, Lite-On, Teac, Asus and Sony) only you delivered a robust and accurate answer as well as a product that resolves a widening technology age gap in the karaoke world. Plextor technicians, I thank you for giving me an accurate (if not positive) answer to my inquiries. I received an incorrect answer from Lite-On (which they corrected after I called them to complain about how the model they referred me to failed the CDG and Nero Info test) and the others I've had no reply from in 3 months just so you know. I hope this is of help to all frustrated Karaoke Profesisonals and lovers everywhere.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Karaoke KJ Software SHOWDOWN!!

Okay, its been awhile I know. Hey, popularity has its price and my IT Business has been getting popular (nice to know people recognize my work with a pay cheque) Yes, I've been promising this for awhile. Bear in mind this is not software for Karaoke Boxes but for KJs. Still trying to get more data for karaoke boxes. Its all Korean and Chinese so far. The software contenders best computer (laptop) based Karaoke KJ Software are:

1. Siglos Karaoke Professional
3. KaraWin Pro (French.. Merci)
4. RoxBox Karaoke Suite
5. autOKdj with Winamp (autokdj is free so please consider donating)
6. PyKaraoke (free but its a bit technical and full professional features need separate components are beyond non-technical people but I include it for Linux users so they can have fun too but don't expect a stellar review)

So here are the contenders. Watch the blog over the next week as I download demos and test on my laptop. Haven't had the resources to review the ultimate karaoke laptop yet. Someone offered to buy a custom built laptop with HUGE space from me which truly would have been the ultimate karaoke KJ laptop but 2 months later and nothing so...nothing. If anyone wants to buy such a laptop from within Canada let me know. we're talking 500 GB on the hard drive (which you won't find in any store for a few months yet at least). Anyway, Stay tuned for the showndown. I'll be reviewing in the order listed above.Feel free to check them out yourselves as well and give comments.