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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:15 pm 
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I've been preaching about the LRC file format for months now. I believe that this will become more popular than the CDG. With CDG, you are very limited as far as resolution, and if there is any type of error, you are pretty much stuck with it.

Errors include:

1) Timing errors (swipes/scrolling not in time with the music)
2) Language errors (wrong lyrics - "frame" instead of "flame")
3) Rip errors / Scrambled pixels

With the LRC format and simple programs (that may or may not currently exist), you can fix these errors quickly. For instance, you could open up the song and make any grammar corrections in less than 5 seconds. Or, you could "push" or "pull" the timing across one word, line, or the entire file with just one click. And, because the programs use text instead of letters drawn one pixel at a time, you'll never see scrambled screens.

Imagine also making your own parodies. We have fun with "Stay" by Sugarland at one of my shows. Instead of "Why don't you stay?", it's "Why are you gay? (Get up off your knees)" Parodies like this can be made in a snap by simple changing the text, and only the text you want while leaving the timing as it is.

I could go on & on, but LRC is gaining popularity exponentially with Apple users. Their players and many other modern players have the ability to display synchronized lyrics, if present. That wouldn't be so bad - to actually be able to (legally) give singers the tools to practice before karaoke night!

As I mentioned in another thread, the big roadblock to this technology in the commercial karaoke industry has been that we are stuck with antiquated CDGs. None of us want to go through many thousands of files and develop the text & timing (T&T) ourselves. But IF someone came out with software that could convert the common CDG to usable T&T, then we wouldn't have to be limited to the antiquated CDG format.

Hang on to your hats, because there are at least two conversion tools about to hit the market.

Here is more information about LRC and how Apple has integrated it into iPhones, iPods, etc: http://mp3.about.com/b/2012/08/29/lrc-f ... ection.htm

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:05 pm 
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Is there any karaoke music being distributed in LRC format?

I have not found any so it seems to me that this would have to be a grass roots effort to make it happen. There is also the issue of integration with existing hosting programs. It would be a hard sell for me to have to run a separate application for LRC format songs. At least until there is enough QUALITY content available.

-Chris

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:32 pm 
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I think CDG will soon be something of the past... :roll:

I recently discovered MiniLyrics and I am no longer using my cdg files anymore :!: I'm using the instrumental tracks that I edit by removing the long intro... and the best thing is I can use it with my prefered mp3 player, in my case I'm using XMPlay with an Asio plugin :wink:

I'm sure it's different for a KJ to go LRC for now but I don't see the need for any solo performer to use a cdg file anymore??? You can buy a good instrumental track on itunes for $0.99 and download the MiniLyric program and there you are :wink:

http://www.crintsoft.com/


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:45 pm 
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chrisavis wrote:
Is there any karaoke music being distributed in LRC format?

I have not found any so it seems to me that this would have to be a grass roots effort to make it happen. There is also the issue of integration with existing hosting programs. It would be a hard sell for me to have to run a separate application for LRC format songs. At least until there is enough QUALITY content available.

-Chris


Sort of. KaraFun is based on it. They have a private/home use Cloud library, much like Digitraxx's KC.

There is absolutely no motivation for karaoke manu's to release LRC songs - because in doing so, they lose control over the product. As things are now, each manu can easily identify their product because the legit ones include their trademarks in the CDG file.

You mentioned that you believe you would have to switch hosting software. It is my belief that the market (specifically, the developers) will react to the new format and offer add-ins or updates to their software to accommodate the shift.

PowerKaraoke is now on record as being one of the developers on board with a CDG to Text utility. I have a hard time believing that PowerKaraoke would invest any time in such a project without integrating a compatible player into the project.

One important thing about the LRC format in comparison to CDG - the LRC format is much, much simpler to deal with from a developer's standpoint because higher level languages provide very simple functions & methods to handle scrolling text. Seriously, beginning programmer's could do it. But, when you are dealing with CDG's, you are dealing with a stream of binary data, with subchannel bytes mixed in requiring the use of bitwise operators, and a whole lot of very complex, low level operations. This is the reason why you find so few CDG karaoke players, and many fewer programs that can rip a karaoke CDG to a computer.

With PowerKaraoke on board, and based on what I have been working on, the future will probably include CDG burners that will handle the conversion when you rip the CDG.

Chris, if you haven't had the pleasure of messing with KaraFun, you should take some time and do it. You'll see what I mean.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:26 pm 
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chrisavis wrote:
Is there any karaoke music being distributed in LRC format?

-Chris


One other thing Chris, you should also note that LRC is a conversion that the user will do. You will still use your existing karaoke music, but instead of a .CDG file to read from (for graphics) you will use a .LRC file.

Furthermore, ID3 tags have allocated synchronized lyrics as a tag that behave almost the exact same way as LRC. For efficiency, developers will probably utilize the synchronized lyrics tag as the container for the T&T data, so there will no longer be separate files for music and graphics.

You should be asking yourself - "Why haven't we done this sooner?"

1) Manu's won't support it (my opinion)
2) The CDG to Text technology wasn't (isn't) there. If a KJ can't have all of his/her songs in a LRC type format, they're probably more likely to stick with CDG.

Economics tells us that once this shift starts to take place, the technological advancements will explode.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:16 pm 
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any chance of explaining this to the technically challenged?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:54 pm 
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BruceFan4Life wrote:
any chance of explaining this to the technically challenged?


Hope this helps :wink:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MiniLyrics


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:15 pm 
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Did you hear that? That was the sound of my head exploding. I'll stick with CD+Gs


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:19 am 
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There have been many better formats over the years.

But, just like the metric system in the US...the problem is getting the switchover to happen. There has to be a burning need, a MUST HAVE reason or people & companies won't do it.

Unfortunately, we don't have that reason yet.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:29 am 
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Bazza wrote:
There have been many better formats over the years.

But, just like the metric system in the US...the problem is getting the switchover to happen. There has to be a burning need, a MUST HAVE reason or people & companies won't do it.

Unfortunately, we don't have that reason yet.


We have the reason. CDG's are very much prone to a variety of errors, as mentioned above. But, we've never had the ability to do switch. There has been no software to switch over all of our CDG files in a timely manner. And, who wants to have some files in CDG, others in a LRC-type format? None of us!

To be honest, it may very well end up being the pirates that make .LRC the norm with hosts. They'll likely be the ones who create a niche market for developers. As the technology advances, the legal hosts will jump on board.

Why? Because CDG to Text is a text-only conversion. Anything that the software doesn't recognize as a text character will be ignored (i.e. trademarks). I can't speak for PowerKaraoke, but I assume that we're on the same page (somewhat) and this is beyond the capabilities of any CDG-to-Text converter.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:35 am 
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TroyVnd27 wrote:
We have the reason. CDG's are very much prone to a variety of errors, as mentioned above. But, we've never had the ability to do switch. There has been no software to switch over all of our CDG files in a timely manner. And, who wants to have some files in CDG, others in a LRC-type format? None of us!


Agree. But until the Joe Chartreuse's of the world say "I MUST have this!", it wont happen. :lol:

TroyVnd27 wrote:
To be honest, it may very well end up being the pirates that make .LRC the norm with hosts. They'll likely be the ones who create a niche market for developers. As the technology advances, the legal hosts will jump on board.


Agree again! MP3's were adopted early by pirates due to the limited bandwidth of the time and the small file size. Now, it's a standard.

TroyVnd27 wrote:
Why? Because CDG to Text is a text-only conversion. Anything that the software doesn't recognize as a text character will be ignored (i.e. trademarks). I can't speak for PowerKaraoke, but I assume that we're on the same page (somewhat) and this is beyond the capabilities of any CDG-to-Text converter.


What "CDG to Text Converter" software? Such an animal doesnt exist.

The problem is that the "G" in CD+G isn't text at all. It's a very primitive moving graphics file, there are no characters. Just "turn on this pixel at this time". The Power Karaoke converters don't read the words...they make a video of the output. Like playing a song and then recording the video on your DVR.

This is why it wont be adopted quickly. There is no way to convert (yet). Today, they would have to be re-made one-by-one, and that's a TON of work.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:50 am 
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Bazza wrote:
What "CDG to Text Converter" software? Such an animal doesnt exist.

The problem is that the "G" in CD+G isn't text at all. It's a very primitive moving graphics file, there are no characters. Just "turn on this pixel at this time". The Power Karaoke converters don't read the words...they make a video of the output. Like playing a song and then recording the video on your DVR.


That animal is coming.

You are right, CD+G isn't text at all. But, just like someone mentioned earlier in this thread, OCR works in somewhat the same manner as CDG to Text. For instance, those pixels that have a fill color different from the background probably means that it is part of a text character. With some simple "fingerprinting", software can decipher that character, one character at a time, one line at a time, one screen at a time.

The timing comes from another function. When a scroll command is called, the time is marked for the line it pertains to. At the end of that line, time is marked again.

My program can currently do only manu's that use upper case characters with no outline. The next step is lower case characters, and then lower case characters that appear to be italicized.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:56 am 
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Bazza wrote:
The Power Karaoke converters don't read the words...they make a video of the output. Like playing a song and then recording the video on your DVR.


PowerKaraoke said yesterday, in the thread entitled "CDG Editor" that they also have this technology, not quite ready, has some limitations but will be released soon.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:58 pm 
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TroyVnd27 wrote:
Bazza wrote:
The Power Karaoke converters don't read the words...they make a video of the output. Like playing a song and then recording the video on your DVR.


PowerKaraoke said yesterday, in the thread entitled "CDG Editor" that they also have this technology, not quite ready, has some limitations but will be released soon.


Well then that is a game changer. Looking forward to it.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:27 pm 
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BruceFan4Life wrote:
any chance of explaining this to the technically challenged?


Bruce,

Absolutely I will.

If you wanted to make adjustments to a CDG file, you have to use a separate program. You make changes one pixel at a time. And that sucks.

Compare that to an LRC type of file (or any that is based on plain text and timing). It is a plain text file with the lyrics. For each line of lyrics, there is timing information. For instance:

This may not be 100% correct, and it has been simplified as timing goes to the 1,000th of a second.

[00:01]Friends In Low Places

[00:18](00:24)Well, I guess I was wrong(00:26)
[00:18](00:27)I just don't belong(00:29)
[00:18](00:30)But then(00:31)I've been there before(00:33)


This is what an LRC file looks like. The first set of times enclosed in [] indicates when the lyrics should appear on the screen.

Scrolls are listed in (). The difference between the two times in () is how fast it will scroll.

Notice the last line. Multiple times can be listed per line if one certain lyrics are faster (or slower) than the other lyrics on that line.

The program that you use can or will have so many more features than CDG. You can pick the type of text you want, you can add many different effects to it (like 3-D, shadows, etc), or cool things - like exploding text, pixelation, text that flies in or out, etc etc etc. Presumably, you could add these effects from your hosting software, OR you could create custom LRC files that do certain things at certain times.

Also mentioned was the ease of making corrections. Just go into the file and make the changes. Say your timing is off over the entire file, or even just part of it. You can "push" (add time) or "pull" (delete time) to the swipes with just one click. These changes could be made over the entire file, or just the portion you select.

Use your imagination, anything is probably possible.

And, you'll never see another scrambled screen again.

Additional: Of course, you don't want to do the text & timing for many thousands of files. That's where the CDG to Text conversion tool comes in. It will extract it from your current CDG files and make your T&T files for you.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:47 pm 
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Who wants to take it backwards a century, and explain what someone like me (another Joe Chartreuse... although I'm probably worse) needs to do with my physical CDGs.

My knowledge consists of knowing how to burn either an entire CDG to another disc, or to select a single song track from a disc, and burn it to a new disc (compiled with other songs). I also know how to download an MP3+G or MP4+G file from one of the custom sites, and then convert it to a BIN file and burn it onto a disc.

I once managed to merge the ZOOM version together with the DK version of "PBTDBL" onto one disc (because I liked ZOOM's rendition of that song, but it was missing the naration part). This took a lot of trial and error on my part (I threw out about 20 discs trying), because I had to find the right bit counts within the song on both tracks (where I wanted 1 part to stop and the other part to begin). I had to start by first separating them into 3 separte song segments, and then merging the 3 parts together as 1.

Based on what I know how to do (above), what would I need to do and how would I know where to look on the disc, to correct a lyrical error in a song. Let's use the Backstage version of the song "Hotel California" for your answer. What would I need to do to correct the line that says, "Her mind is definitely twisted," and then reburn this correction onto a new disc.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:59 am 
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TroyVnd27 wrote:
BruceFan4Life wrote:
any chance of explaining this to the technically challenged?


Bruce,

Absolutely I will.

If you wanted to make adjustments to a CDG file, you have to use a separate program. You make changes one pixel at a time. And that sucks.

Compare that to an LRC type of file (or any that is based on plain text and timing). It is a plain text file with the lyrics. For each line of lyrics, there is timing information. For instance:

This may not be 100% correct, and it has been simplified as timing goes to the 1,000th of a second.

[00:01]Friends In Low Places

[00:18](00:24)Well, I guess I was wrong(00:26)
[00:18](00:27)I just don't belong(00:29)
[00:18](00:30)But then(00:31)I've been there before(00:33)


This is what an LRC file looks like. The first set of times enclosed in [] indicates when the lyrics should appear on the screen.

Scrolls are listed in (). The difference between the two times in () is how fast it will scroll.

Notice the last line. Multiple times can be listed per line if one certain lyrics are faster (or slower) than the other lyrics on that line.

The program that you use can or will have so many more features than CDG. You can pick the type of text you want, you can add many different effects to it (like 3-D, shadows, etc), or cool things - like exploding text, pixelation, text that flies in or out, etc etc etc. Presumably, you could add these effects from your hosting software, OR you could create custom LRC files that do certain things at certain times.

Also mentioned was the ease of making corrections. Just go into the file and make the changes. Say your timing is off over the entire file, or even just part of it. You can "push" (add time) or "pull" (delete time) to the swipes with just one click. These changes could be made over the entire file, or just the portion you select.

Use your imagination, anything is probably possible.

And, you'll never see another scrambled screen again.

Additional: Of course, you don't want to do the text & timing for many thousands of files. That's where the CDG to Text conversion tool comes in. It will extract it from your current CDG files and make your T&T files for you.

I would LOVE that kind of text file/format and possibilities that are opening up along with it!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:23 am 
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I would just like to have an efficient way to create my own karaoke tracks. I have a lot of singers that do mash-ups or just replace lyrics entirely with their own when they sing. Some of them have asked me about creating discs for them for some of the mash-ups they have done. I also have singers come up and ask where they can get a copy of a mash-up a singer did.

Until this thread popped up, I had not given any serious thought to creating these for singers, but now my interest is up.

-Chris

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:11 pm 
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Bazza wrote:

1) Agree. But until the Joe Chartreuse's of the world say "I MUST have this!", it wont happen. :lol:


2) Agree again! MP3's were adopted early by pirates due to the limited bandwidth of the time and the small file size. Now, it's a standard.
.



1) Would you believe I actually have Kara-Fun in my office (this) lappy? Though mostly used to play and QC new discs, I do play with it now and then, along with Karaoke Master. :wink:

2) While I agree that pirates are the ones that made MP3s wildly popular, I don't believe most had the expertise to adopt them for technical reasons. I believe it was more financial. Stolen music on CD+Gs still cost money ( for both the discs and distribution) and a LOT of time -also money- for the person who burned and sold them. Cheaper than legit music, but not anywhere near free. Pirate MP3s were fast and free- or a relatively small amount for a burned HD.

Not only was this best for pirates, but in reverse, caused a boom of unimaginable scope in piracy.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:44 pm 
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some of the songs I sing are from Karafun.com I love that site
one problem I got with it is my computer keeps rejecting the player sometimes and once in awhile I have to re-download the player onto my computer
the karafun player is what I use for other files I get from select a track also :)


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