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Gaana Adds Karaoke Feature SingAlong to Keep Users Engaged

Are you bored just sitting and listening to music with your headphones on? Ever wish that you could sing along and include your friends? Well now you can with a new web app from Gaana, the digital music service by Times Internet.

The online app SingAlong is basically a karaoke web app across a variety of songs. It also rates and scores the quality of your singing.

With the Indian online music streaming sector becoming a crowded space, differentiating services become important for these players. Just a couple of weeks ago Flyte became a casualty and Flipkart had to exit the mp3 business.  Every player is trying to differentiate themselves and offer unique offers to draw and retain customers.

The feature is powered by Karaoke Garage’s technology, which is a startup incubated at TLabs, an accelerator run by Times Internet.

gaana-singalong

The feature is bound to be a hit with both good singers and bathroom singers alike as they test their singing skills against the machine.

At present there are over 300 songs across 6 languages and various genres. Even though the catalogue is limited, one can find popular songs easily. The songs don’t require downloading and play immediately via streaming. Users can easily browse or search through available songs, and queue multiple songs or favorite songs.

SingAlong is very interactive and gets addictive as you play along. It allows users to earn scores for singing well. The lyrics show up nicely just as one would find in a karaoke bar. One can see the present line as well as the next line. SingAlong combines real-time lyrics, pitch indications, and background vocals while playing a song.

While playing the game, one is prompted to give access to your device’s microphone and it looks like it is using Adobe Flash, so you going to have to have that installed. It also recommends you use headphones for an optimum experience so that the mic does not pick up an audio feedback.

Once one begins, one will see the time count lyrics found in most karaoke machines, on the top right of the screen. There is also an innovative take on Karaoke and the service provides interactive bubbles on a music sheet like display which indicates the song’s actual pitch. While singing if compares and matches it against the sheet and scores you based on accuracy. Analysed user pitch is displayed through color coding with reference to the original song pitch.

One does not need to log in with any id to begin playing. Something that makes the experience much quicker.  But if you do log in with Facebook, you will be able to share your score and also challenge Facebook friends.

There is also a champion board so that you can compare yourself to others.

Overall we found the experience very good and didn’t realize how time flew by while we were using it.

Why is Gaana doing this?

As it with all music streaming sites, one can start the streaming and then move on to other activities like browsing other sites or using other applications on the computer. This will keep users engaged on the site longer.  This is a good proposition to increase its value among advertisers.

As of now there are just over 300 songs, but Gaana is going to have to increase its catalogue fast to keep users coming back. The process of converting songs to the format is definitely going to be time consuming and we will just have to see how many Gaana tackles this issue.

The company says it plans to increase the number of songs each week and plans to bring the feature to its mobile apps also soon. Something we will be keeping a close eye on.

You can test your vocal cords at http://gaana.com/#/singalong

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