Photo by rachel a. k.

People like to sing along to pop songs on Singstar, and they like to share videos of themselves on YouTube. I don’t know why that is, but they do.

They like to mime to songs, and they like to dance to them. But nobody’s given the tools they need to be The Singer.

Let’s mix karaoke with video sharing and make it a game. And at the same time, legitimise a whole lot of cultural activities

Superidol Pop-whatsits
I’m calling it… Superstars of the Web. Or something. As far as I can tell there is no un-cringeworthy name for something like this. But anyway, it works like this…

You buy a box. It’s got a disc with the software on it, and a microphone (probably with glitter on it) to plug into your computer. Load up the software, plug the mic into your computer, and you’re ready to rock.

There’s a bunch of pre-loaded karaoke tunes in there. Popular songs with the vocals taken out. As the song starts, your webcam fires up. You sing into the popstar microphone as the video rolls, and your performance is captured.

You see the words along the screen – perhaps with the option to sing along with the original vocals, just as a guide track – and you put your best into it.

On Celebstar Pop Tube – your best is always good enough.

The magic bit
There’s a bit of technical jiggery-pokery, as the song is mixed. A spot of compression and reverb on the vocals, the levels are automatically mixed to an acceptable level. You could even apply a bit of judicious auto-tune.

And then – you can choose to add effects to the videos. I don’t know… stars and unicorns and rainbows and stuff. A funny mask perhaps, or change the background to make it look like you’re on a yacht. Or even that awesome Amii Stewart ‘Knock On Wood‘ effect that never goes out of fashion.

The overall idea is to make the song sound as good as it possibly can, under the circumstances – and make the video a bit of a production. All in the name of fun.

The finished video – with you as the lead singer of the song (not merely ‘singing along’) is uploaded to YouTube, tagged appropriately with the song title, etc. – and fed into the Superpoptasticwebstars channel for all to see (or added privately if you just want to show your nearest and dearest).

Updates aren’t free – but they’re cheap
Want new songs? The ones in the box are covered – but you can download more karaoke tunes for, say, 99 cents – and then there are the usual revenue shares for this sort of thing.

Smarter people than me can sort out the deals – but it strikes me that in a world of Singstar and Guitar Hero, these things are eminently possible in a way that works for all concerned.

I’m imagining this as a PC game, and I think the target market is probably 10 year-old girls or thereabouts (hence the unicorns). Seems like the right place to pitch it. But who knows? Maybe adults would find this a fun party game – often with next-day Facebook repercussions.

Along the way, you could do extra stuff like tutorials, minigames to try and improve people’s pitch or timing, and so on – but the main fun of this is to put yourself on the internet – as the singer of your favourite pop hits.

And nobody’s coming to cut off your internet as a result.

Table of contents for 30 Days of Ideas

  1. The other way of following first
  2. Now we’re up and dancing
  3. 30 days of ideas – 01: Keymash
  4. 30 days of ideas – 02: Radio Alerts
  5. 30 days of ideas – 03: Only Famous (a romantic comedy)
  6. 30 days of ideas – 04: Modcasts
  7. 30 days of ideas – 05: Numberless Calendar
  8. 30 days of ideas – 06: SpringCleanr
  9. 30 days of ideas – 07: Street Gallery
  10. 30 days of ideas – 08: Smart Business Cards
  11. 30 days of ideas – 09: Recordings in Concert
  12. 30 days of ideas – 10: Vinyl scanner
  13. 30 days of ideas – 11: Photo Stack-and-Scan
  14. 30 days of ideas – 12: A Box of Cool
  15. 30 days of ideas – 13: Karaoke-Tube Celebstar Idol
  16. 30 days of ideas – 14: I Made You A Tape
  17. 30 days of ideas – 15: Newspaper download codes
  18. 30 days of ideas – 16: Pebble Splash
  19. 30 days of ideas – 17: Digital radio, somewhere useful
  20. 30 days of ideas – 18: Public domain music collection
  21. 30 days of ideas – 19: Blog cast-list automator
  22. 30 days of ideas – 20: The Retirement Pile
  23. 30 days of ideas – 21: Nationalise EMI
  24. 30 days of ideas – 22: The Stainless Steel Rat (the movie)
  25. 30 days of ideas – 23: WordPress Bandcampify template
  26. 30 days of ideas – 24: Rollercoasters as public transport
  27. 30 days of ideas – 25: Next-gen personalised music radio
  28. 30 days of ideas – 26: New Music Trust
  29. 30 days of ideas – 27: Tamagotchi Gardening
  30. 30 days of ideas – 28: Charity shop clothing subscription
  31. 30 days of ideas – 29: ‘Now Playing’ social music app
  32. 30 days of ideas – 30: House of Spare Ideas
  33. Mixtape for You by Ray Kuyvenhoven
  34. What can you do in 30 days?