Thursday October 23, 2014
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Preschool Child

We feel the Emerson Plug 'N' Sing DVD microphone is a great preschool karaoke product. See our Plug 'N' Sing comments under Beginner Karaoke.

There are some good Forever Hits series DVDs for preschoolers, with activity songs ("Eensie, Weensie Spider"), bedtime songs, nursery rhymes, and animals songs. There is continuity throughout the primary grades, with DVD series focusing on learning to read and count.

However, the Forever Hits company has stopped production of these items. So if you like them, you need to buy them while they are still available.

The Forever Hits software also comes in CDG and CDGM formats, which are playable in most All-In-One karaoke machines.

CDGM is a CDG in Multiplex format. Multiplex means it has a track with and a track without a vocal line for each selection. Most singers benefit from having the model vocal to hear and learn the song by.

The more expensive (but affordable) All-In-One products may be better for preschoolers and younger children, since they can stand alone and do not endanger a potentially delicate DVD player, or usurp the family room by the need to use the TV as a monitor.

Two cheaper All-In-One machines (GP298s and GP398) do not include a monitor, so that they require your TV for lyrics display. This no-monitor design saves about $60 and makes these two models very comparable in price to the Plug 'N' Sing DVD microphone.

However, these All-In-One products offer many more benefits than offered by the Plug 'N' Sing microphone. While the Plug 'N' Sing DVD microphone only utilizes DVDs, the GP 298 and 398 All-In-Ones will not utilize DVDS, but rather will use CDGs (or CDGMs which offer a vocal and non-vocal rendition of a song).

CD+Graphics was the first software format for karaoke, adding graphics to ordinary CDs for display of lyrics on a monitor. CDGs are the oldest and therefore the most common type of karaoke disk. The DVD Forever Hits library was pretty much derived from the Forever Hits CDG library and just duplicates it, and has not enjoyed the popularity of the CDG format. However, this may be due to the fact that DVDs, like CDBMs, contain fewer songs, with space given up to a vocal rendition as well as the instrumental rendition of a song. The vocals are often needed, however, for younger singers, or singers unfamiliar with songs which are somewhat complex, in that lyrics in some genres might not follow the melodic pattern of the instrumental version in an obvious manner.

We like the many features of the All-In-One GP298S and GP398, and the fact that these karaoke machines have built-in, easy to use, CDG players. The trade-off of having no monitor in exchange for a lower price makes these two models a good choice in lieu of the Plug 'N' Sing products.

For both Plug 'N' Sing and All-In-One types of karaoke machines, viewing karaoke on a TV screen may seem similar to watching TV for young children. Karaoke could be inviting as a substitute for watching TV, and could be a choice that furthers learning to read, learning songs and rhymes, and possibly speaking a foreign language.