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Karaoke on a Chip

Techstination feature for Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Karaoke on a chip. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Jerry Choe is a lawyer by education. And he says his focus on intellectual property…in particular in the music industry…led him to start a company that could store thousands of songs on a tiny chip….that is stored in a microphone. The microphone…simply plugs into the audio and video inputs of a TV….and what you have, says Choe, is instant karaoke. So far, he has sold about a million devices under the LeadSinger brand….in 40 different languages…

"It's easy plug and play. You just plug right into your TV just like any VCR or DVD. The songs are contained right in the microphone, so you don't have to buy multiple CDs. The biggest value is in the songs and having it in one product and being able to change the vocal, the reverb, the tempo, the music, right at the touch of a button."

Add on chips let you add to the song library in the microphone. Pricing starts at about 130 dollars for a model with 200 songs built in. LeadSinger has tried to gain an edge…spending lots of money advertising on American Idol. And there are plans for more products…including a TV with the technology built in…

"It's a 39 inch TV. It'll be the same or comparable price to a regular TV."

That's due out next year. The company faces plenty of competition….from systems aimed at kids…to more elaborate models selling for thousands. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.