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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:10 pm 
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Howdy,

I am interested in opening a karaoke lounge with 6-8 private karaoke rooms.  I've done some research and think that a central karaoke server with 6-8 networked clients would be the best solution for my needs.

Does anyone out there have any experience with Unify's or CAVS server? It seems like these are the only two systems I can purchase in the US. I'd love to hear any feedback regarding either system and their hardware and software.

The other option would be to build my own karaoke network, but this seems a lot more complicated. Any advice?

Thanks!
mindy


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:26 am 
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So who is going to clap if they are private rooms?  :shock:

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:19 am 
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Have you ever thought about the legal side of it? Basically you multiuse the same song library with 6-8 clients, even though they're physically on one hard drive. I'm not sure, if that's gonna fly in the US.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:33 am 
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[font=verdana] My son and I both use the CAVS 203G player. He has been running his since last September with no problems. We made the decision to purchase this particular player because CAVS is the only player that will play the SCDG discs, so there are less discs to pack around.   You wouldn’t have this problem if you are running your show in one location. They have several models to choose from, check out their site; cavsusa.com [/font]

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:21 am 
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This sounds like the way they do it in Japan in some bars. Small private rooms with a group of friends or coworkers. I've seen it on TV. Seems like a great idea. To do it and make money I think you would have to charge either something per room, or per singer or charge more for drinks or all of the above. You could maybe also serve food to increase revenue.

It might be better to have a computer system in each room for simplicity. I'd be surprised if there was a good working server based system that worked night after night without glitches and software issues.

Maybe in a few more years the technology and the laws governing music licensing will get more refined here in the US. If you're serious about this you might want to go to Japan and check it out to see how they are doing it. Since California is always years ahead of the rest of the country, maybe someone in Cali already has a good, stable server based system.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:13 am 
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Thanks everyone for the replies!

STOGIE:  Yes, its the same style karaoke concept they have in Japan, other parts of Asia, Europe, and here in the US. Its called "karaoke box."  There are many cool, hip boutique type places already in NYC, LA, and Hawaii.  You should check them out.

Here are links for the two karaoke servers/systems I had mentioned. Both are available for use in the US, both come loaded with licensed songs for server/client setups.

CAVS JB-199 II Server
http://cavsusa.com/product/H_player/jb199II-server.htm

Unify Karaoke Server
http://www.unifykaraoke.com/english/karaoke_club.htm

CAVS is based in Korea, but has a US affiliate in CA. Unify is based in China.

So back to my initial inquiry, does anyone have any experience with either of these two systems?

Thanks!

mindy


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:35 am 
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BlueRose -- thanks for the feedback on CAVS!  Its nice to hear your positive reviews.  I have checked out their site extensively.  Did you or your son purchase any song packages from CAVS, or joined their song membership program?

Tommie Tunes -- Our plan is to have 1 karaoke system in the bar, and in 6-8 private rooms. So those performers seeking an audience, will receive hand claps from the bar crowds. Other singers less brave, those coming in small to large groups, or others desiring to sing more than 1 song an hour, will venture in to the private rooms. In these  cases, the hand claps will come from their friends.

Thanks for the feedback!

mindy


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:12 am 
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Mindy, I'm guessing that you know more about this stuff than nearly anyone here already. As far as Unify goes, I tried the demo of their Karaoke software and it was horrible. If that's any indication, I would stay away from them. Their other products may be good, but I would test them extensively before buying. Maybe you already have? Unify needs to get an English speaking person to work on their web site and I would imagine their documentation too if they have any.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:30 pm 
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Thanks for the reply, Stogie!

I've done a bunch of research regarding both systems, but do not have any hands-on experiences with either. What did you not like about the Unify software? What made it horrible? I agree, it is difficult communicating with the people at Unify.

Does anyone else have any first-hand experiences with Unify or CAVS software?

I appreciate the feedback!

mindy


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:37 pm 
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mindy @ Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:13 am wrote:
Here are links for the two karaoke servers/systems I had mentioned. Both are available for use in the US, both come loaded with licensed songs for server/client setups.


"Supposed" licensed songs.  I don't know if I would trust CAVS for this as they have been in several others & currently in lawsuit regarding creating & using music that wasn't licensed.  This last one is with a major player - Sony for $30 mil.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:20 pm 
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Thanks for the heads-up, Lonman. Wow, I wasn't aware there was so much drama over computer-based karaoke. For a startup business, both Unify and CAVS 'karaoke servers' seem ideal.

I read the story you were referring to. So CAVS has all the necessary licenses for their 2000+ song libarary they tout, except for 201. Or is more coming?

http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3i1b0a3187576d5d7d83ca33eac9fece7c

Is Unify more legit?

mindy


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:02 am 
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Here's the actual docket.
http://dockets.justia.com/docket/court- ... _id-41496/

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:14 pm 
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Legallity aside for the moment.  It doesn't seem as though what you're trying to do would be all that difficult.  Find a kid in a local college in the third year of his CS degree and explain your problem.  Then wave a couple hundred dollar bills under his nose an I bet your problem goes away.

Back to the legal side.  If computer based karaoke is legal at all (I think it is) it will be very important that the same copy of the song is not in two places at once.  Your system will have to act as if there is some guy running around at the speed of light with a box of disks going from one room to the next.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:23 pm 
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exweedfarmer @ Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:14 pm wrote:
Legallity aside for the moment.  It doesn't seem as though what you're trying to do would be all that difficult.  Find a kid in a local college in the third year of his CS degree and explain your problem.  Then wave a couple hundred dollar bills under his nose an I bet your problem goes away.

Back to the legal side.  If computer based karaoke is legal at all (I think it is) it will be very important that the same copy of the song is not in two places at once.  Your system will have to act as if there is some guy running around at the speed of light with a box of disks going from one room to the next.

Might turn away customers that can't get the rotation that they want.
You're better off setting up separate units.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:57 pm 
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exweedfarmer:  A central server networked to 10 rooms does not seem that difficult to setup.  Its the software side of the system that we're concerned with (selecting, routing, and playing songs).  I bring up Unify and Cavs because they are the only companies that advertise (online) an ideal, out-of-the-box, all-in-one system.

Is there other karaoke software out there than can do this for 10 separate locations?

You bring up a good point regarding having only one song allowed to play at a time. I wonder if Unify or Cavs software does this?

Danny:  ... I guess. A good point to consider. But separate units means separate libraries, and that means more money.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:33 pm 
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UNIFY update.  Here's the scoop after a couple emails from Unify.

1.  All songs offered in their library are not licensed for commercial use. It is up to the buyer to obtain all licenses from a department they cannot put a name to.

2.  (With an emphatic, "Sure!") One song can be played in multiple rooms at the same time.

No response yet from Cavs...


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:42 am 
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Hi Mindy,

I've been using Unify since I opened my 5 private room karaoke club in Prague, Czech Republic back in September last year.

No system crashes
Sometimes but not often a room player will need rebooting
One annoying thing is that sometimes you hear the music but a blank screen appears. The client has to go back to the previous song and then jump back to the song they wanted and it usually appears normally
You can send messages to each TV via the central server
Huge storage capacity. Blows CAVS away.
Be careful to debug the server when you get it. Mine were riddled with viruses.
Ripping capability so so.

Other than that, nothing too serious to complain about. Having said that, I will for sure eventually make my own system

Good luck

Andrew
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:03 pm 
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Boxman,

I am working to open a private room karaoke place too. I lived in Japan for a long time and think private room karaoke is far superior to the public type. By the way I think your room designs are really nice.

I asked Unify to give me a reference to some of their existing customers, but they said it was a "trade secret", so I'm very happy to see you here.

May I ask you some questions...

1. Do you use the touchscreen for song input AND for food/drink ordering?
2. I noticed in the pictures of your place that the touchscreen has a card reader next to it -- what's that for?
3. How did you soundproof the rooms?
4. Do you think we should use our own PCs instead of Unify's PCs for the players?
5. Do you use any of the other modules (for room booking/drinks ordering/billing)?
6. I noticed you had made graphics for the system. Was it difficult?

Can you tell me why you are considering writing new server software for yourself?

Thanks for your help

Sparkzilla


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:32 pm 
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mindy @ Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:57 pm wrote:
exweedfarmer:  A central server networked to 10 rooms does not seem that difficult to setup.  Its the software side of the system that we're concerned with (selecting, routing, and playing songs).  I bring up Unify and Cavs because they are the only companies that advertise (online) an ideal, out-of-the-box, all-in-one system.

Is there other karaoke software out there than can do this for 10 separate locations?

You bring up a good point regarding having only one song allowed to play at a time. I wonder if Unify or Cavs software does this?
 What I meant to suggest is that you have the software custom written.  What you save in hardware costs will more than make up for what you spend on developement.  If you have it written "work for hire" you could even make a buck on it.

I suggested using a local college kid because they would still be working in mid level languages such as C or Pascal that run greasy fast on junk computers.  I love junk computers but then I'm a little twisted.  Anyway, that's just food for thought.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:25 am 
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I have done many large projects and it always 1) costs much more than you think and 2) takes much longer than you think.

That said, it could be possible to create a flash-based player fairly easily (famous last words).


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