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Mobile Karaoke

Shin-Yi Huang

Mobile Karaoke is a mobile application that allows users to sing karaoke and shoot their own music video with the mobile phone devices in a playful way.

http://itp.nyu.edu/~syh264/MobileKaraoke.html

Classes Studio (Social Software),Thesis

Mobile Karaoke is a mobile application using a Nokia phone and the J2ME programming language that allows users to sing karaoke with their mobile phone devices in a playful way. It requires players to sing along with the music in order to score points. In this application, a user can choose between three main modes: regular singing, shout out singing and recording music video.
In the regular singing mode, the user follows the song's pitch displayed as dots on different positions like a music staff. The singing should also correspond to the lyrics shown on the bottom of the screen. This application analyzes the player’s pitch and compares them to the original song track. The player gets scored based on how accurate the singing is. A high or low score determines the qualification to get into the next level.
In the shout out singing option, the user follows the regular singing's rule and has a chance to shout out some of the lyrics at different parts of the song. When the song comes to the shout out part, the player is scored base on how loud the singing is.
The game records videos of the player when they choose the recording music video function. This option is only available on phones with a built-in camera. Once the recording is complete, the video can then be saved to the cell phone memory and sent to friends or uploaded it to the Mobile Karaoke website. On the website, users can rate each others performances and choose the best singer and leave comments on other people's profiles.
Mobile Karaoke makes singing more playful and on the go. Not only does it let players sing when they are happy, but the shout out mode can also let players sing a song in a pressured or depressed moment to help them release their stresses. Moreover, with the video clips uploaded by users and the social networking components (rating/ voting/commenting the video) on the website, Mobile Karaoke seeks to bring the relation between people closer through sharing their feelings and experiences.


Audience
The audience for Mobile Karaoke will be varied. One of my target users will be the office men/ladies who enjoy singing karaoke songs, from the age of about 20-40. This kind of user gets pressure or frustration from work and long days of meetings, but has no way to unleash it and needs something to cheer them up. Instead of getting drunk after work, Mobile Karaoke provides another channel to entertain users and pull them together again with a song and visual display.
In most Asian countries, people are reluctant to say what is in their mind. So singing along with the lyrics is a great way to express themselves instead of saying things directly. With Mobile Karaoke, they can send out the singing video and share their feelings with their friends or make it a public presentation.
On the other hand, for western people who enjoy self-expression, Mobile Karaoke also provides a good channel for them to show off. Although Mobile Karaoke now just supports a single mobile device, it can still be used by multiple singers together and create a party atmosphere on the go.


User Scenario
Mr. B is a 27 years old office man in New York. Mr. B is a hard working, responsible, outgoing person who is a mobile heavy user and enjoys using new technology. Mr. B works at a busy company, everyone in his company makes good money but also has a lot of work to do except their boss. The boss is a mid-age business man who often flings out angrily at his employee if they make mistake.
In one Monday afternoon, Mr. B got a bad scold from his boss for something inexplicability. He felt not happy but tried to ignored his feeling and focus on his work. He kept working without noticing the time. When he found out, it was already 9pm, and no one is in the office. He felt so depressed and pressured and long for some entertainment, but he knew that he needed to finish his work and he can not hang out with his friends right away.
Suddenly, Mobile Karaoke application came to his mind. Mr. B took out his N95 and tried to get some entertainments form singing a karaoke song. He chose the Mobile Karaoke application, a cool opening music and attractive graphic showing on his mobile phone. The main menu showed three different modes and some instructions. He chose the shout out mode without thinking; he needed to vent his feeling. After selecting the “Got pressure” button on the second menu, he saw his favorite song – Bin Jovi’s “It’s my life”. With the background music, Mr. B followed the lyrics on the button of the screen and sang the song loudly in the empty office. In the mean time, Mr. B found that he got score and the blinking stars on the screen when his voice matched to the lyrics. He also shouted out so loud in some part of the song when saw the instruction and the graphic becoming a cheerleader who is asking his volume up. Eventually, Mr. B got a score 95 and an applause sound. He felt like he is a rock star and got the energy back again. However, Mr. B still not satisfied yet. He went back to the main menu on the Mobile Karaoke application again and chose the recording video option. This time he searched another song, sang it with the mobile camera shooting on him. He made the funny face pretending he is a super star and even sitting on his boss’s chair. After the song, he saved his own shooting music video and uploaded it on to the internet sharing with all his friends through the WIFI. Finally, Mr. B went back to work happily and efficiently. At that time, he didn’t know that his video got some very good comments by his good friends and became the topic of conversation for couple days.