Lyrics/Karaoke Database

A conversation with a friend reminded me about an idea I had a long time ago. There was a karaoke thing at work, and I thought it would be nice if there was a standard file format (say, a derivative of XML) to contain song lyrics.

This kind of file will include not only the lyrics themselves, but also the information of where a line starts and ends, verses, choruses and one more thing – timing information. The timing information will be for media players to show the lines at the appropriate times according to the music, even to the level of specific words, so it can be used for karaoke as well.

Then the idea grew bigger – I thought about an Internet database for these files, just like CDDB. This way you won’t need all the web sites for lyrics and media players will be able to get the lyrics/karaoke information for a playing song.

This could simplify the world of karaoke DJs. These days a karaoke DJ walks around with DVDs or video tapes that contain the videos with embedded lyrics on them. With this karaoke database, eventually a DJ could tell the audience to bring their own CDs from home, and while playing them get the karaoke information from the Internet database. All this while playing a random karaoke-style video with the lyrics superimposed on it.

The only missing link was a lyrics file generator, which will be a simple add-on to widespread media players, and will allow anyone to create these files easily. For example, let’s say you have the lyrics for a song that you like, but there is no timing information. So what you do is you load the editor with the lyrics and play the song. On each new word you press the spacebar on the keyboard, and when the song ends you have a home-made karaoke file.