Music Mixer gets premium karaoke update

Pay to sing. It's like being a real musician!

Microsoft has extended the range of premium content available via Xbox Live, introducing a selection of new karaoke tracks in five-song packages compatible with the recently released karaoke and general music tool Music Mixer.

Priced at 5.99 ($9.99 in the US), each karaoke pack consists of five popular songs split up by time and genre, which when downloaded are made available via the Karaoke menu within Music Mixer - giving users the chance to sing along to the on-screen lyrics of songs rendered "in the style of" the original artist, rather than the exact tunes you remember.

However, having spent a bit of this week investigating Music Mixer (much to the anger of our peace-loving neighbours), we've learned that the Xbox Live offerings are just the Track 1, Side 1 of the proverbial album, with far more on offer via a clever micropayments system at www.xboxkaraoke.com. Each of the tracks there can be purchased individually for $1.99, and this writer has already bought up One Week by the Bare Naked Ladies and now offers his surprisingly tolerant neighbours heartfelt renditions of High And Dry by Radiohead and even a unique, glass shattering take on Justin Timberlake's Cry Me A River. Tracks purchased online are easily transferred to the Xbox over a network using the simple Music Mixer PC Transfer Tool, along with any MP3, WMA or JPEG files you happen to have lying around on your hard disk.

For a full rundown on the tunes available for Karaoke use, check out www.xboxkaraoke.com. What follows below is a rundown of the various track packs available through Xbox Live:

Alternative Rock Vol.1

  • Disturbed - Prayer
  • Bif Naked - Moment of Weakness
  • Chevelle - The Red
  • Default - Wasting My Time
  • Everlast - Ends

Best of 80s Pop Vol.1

  • Wham! - Careless Whisper
  • Never Surrender - Corey Hart
  • INXS - New Sensation
  • Wang Chung - Dance Hall Days
  • Eric Clapton - Lay Down Sally

Best of 90s Rock Vol.1

  • Bare Naked Ladies - Falling For The First Time
  • Nine Days - Absolutely (Story of a Girl)
  • Savage Garden - Affirmation
  • The Black Crowes - She Talks To Angels
  • Soul Asylum - Misery

Classic Rock 70s Vol.1

  • Badfinger - Day After Day
  • Cream - Sunshine of Your Love
  • Foghat - Slow Ride
  • The Doobie Brothers - Listen To The Music
  • Eric Clapton - After Midnight

Country Male Vol.1

  • Billy Gilman - Oklahoma
  • Tim McGraw - All I Want Is A Life
  • Randy Travis - Would I
  • Travis Tritt - Sometimes She Forgets
  • George Stait - Carrying Your Love With Me

Country Female Vol.1

  • Reba McEntire - For My Broken Heart
  • Tanya Tucker - San Antonio Stroll
  • Lorrie Morgan - Heart Over Mind
  • Leanne Rimes - One Way Ticket (Because I Can)
  • Faith Hill - Cry

Karaoke Classics Vol.1

  • Barry White - Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe
  • Aretha Franklin - Chain of Fools
  • The O'Jays - Love Train
  • James Brown - Papa's Got A Brand New Bag
  • Ray Charles - What'd I Say

Karaoke Classics Vol.2

  • The Doobie Brothers - China Grove
  • Sly & The Family Stone - Dance To The Music
  • Bill Haley & His Comets - Shake, Rattle And Roll
  • Steam - Na Na, Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)
  • Jerry Lee Lewis - Great Balls Of Fire

Christmas Vol.1

  • The Twelve Days of Christmas
  • We Wish You A Merry Christmas
  • Deck The Halls
  • Silent Night
  • O Christmas Tree

Children's Vol.1

  • Bingo
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Old MacDonald Had A Farm
  • This Old Man
  • Wheels On The Bus

We'll be bringing you a full rundown on Music Mixer's many interesting features - including the Rave Mode - in a review next week. Whether you will be exposed to the vocal stylings of the reviewer may well be a matter for the courts.

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