You don’t need Spotify or a dedicated app to try karaoke at home. Apple Music has introduced a Sing feature that lets you take over the vocals. You can not only adjust the voice levels, but use multiple lyric views depending on what you want to belt out — you can perform a duet or even handle background duties. Apple also notes that the lyric views are now cued to the beat and light up slowly, so it’s easier to know when you should draw out a verse.
The feature will be available worldwide for “tens of millions” of tracks later in December on the new Apple TV 4K as well as recent iPhones (iPhone 11 and later) and iPads (such as last year’s 9th-generation model). Android supports real-time lyrics, but won’t let you adjust vocal levels. Accordingly, Apple Music plans to share more than 50 playlists devoted to songs “optimized” for the Sing feature. Don’t be surprised if karaoke staples from Queen and other artists make the cut.
Spotify rolled out a karaoke feature in June, but with a very different focus. While Apple Music Sing is clearly aimed at parties, its Spotify counterpart is more of a gaming experience that records your voice and rates your performance. Apple tells Engadget its feature doesn’t use microphones at all, so you won’t have to worry if your version of “Islands in the Stream” needs some polish.
There’s no mystery behind the addition. Sing gives you another reason to use Apple Music in group settings — it’s not just for soundtracking your latest soirée. It could also serve as a selling point for the Apple TV, where music has rarely been a major priority. While this probably won’t replace the karaoke machine at your favorite bar, it might offer a good-enough experience for those times when you’d rather stay home.