SingSnap is an online karaoke service that I rediscovered yesterday after a long absence…

Several years ago, my husband Bill and I lived on an Army post in northern Virginia. Back then, I was more social than I am today. I used to clamor for Friday night karaoke at the officer’s club. We’d go; I’d get drunk; and I’d sing for about four hours straight because it wasn’t always a particularly well-attended activity. I got really hooked on karaoke. There was a group that met every Friday and we’d socialize and sing for hours. The Vietnamese bartender who worked at the club, Tieng, loved it. When Bill was deployed to Iraq, she’d call me every Friday to “invite” me to karaoke! It was a great source of support at a time when I was alone a lot.

Sometime around 2005 or so, a karaoke Web site called was launched. was affiliated with Sound Choice, a karaoke manufacturer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. is now defunct, but it was a site where people all over the Internet could sing karaoke songs and upload them for the world to hear. For awhile, it was quite a diversion for me and a great place to practice and get feedback from other would-be superstars. Of course, people weren’t always nice, but it was fun while it lasted.

The following year, a competing site called SingSnap was created. I was one of the first people to join SingSnap. I liked it better than, mainly because the people who ran it had a broader selection of songs and used a variety of karaoke tracks. Anyone who has done karaoke regularly knows that karaoke songs can vary widely in quality. The best songs tend to be made by Sound Choice or Chartbuster, a label that recently went out of business but made some great karaoke tracks, particularly for those of us who like bluegrass music! But sometimes even those two labels put out clunkers that another label did a better job with. SingSnap seemed to recognize this fact and offered a wider variety and better quality songs that appealed to broader tastes. SingSnap also allowed people to change the key and use their Web cams for the whole performance, something never did.

For several years, I sang quite faithfully on I became a “gold member”, which means I was a paid member of the site and got full access to all its songs and features. It was a fun way to pass particularly boring afternoons. Then in 2009, I quit hanging out on SingSnap because my subscription ran out and SingSnap dramatically raised their prices to the point at which I didn’t think it was worth it anymore. After all, I have my own karaoke player at home and a large collection of discs. I don’t make a habit of promoting my performances, either.

Then yesterday, I wrote on my personal blog about my prior career plans and how they led me to where I am today. I explained that if I had to do it over again, I might have considered studying music. It’s something that comes easily to me and I enjoy it immensely. I have a regular reader from Ireland who was curious about my voice. I was feeling a bit bashful, but he persisted and promised that he would keep nagging until I gave in and uploaded a video of me singing on YouTube. So then I tried to figure out how I was going to appease my new Irish friend. I didn’t mind letting him hear a recording of me, but I really didn’t want to film myself singing. And then I remembered

I logged into my long forgotten account and looked at the free songs they had available. I wondered if my computer would work well with SingSnap. Since the last time I “performed” on SingSnap, I had switched from a PC to a Mac, which doesn’t have an external microphone. I needn’t have worried. After a few easy adjustments, my computer was able to record my voice somewhat decently. Finally, I decided to give it a go and sang the one free version of “Danny Boy”. It was okay… basically, it was the Elvis Presley version. Since I was no longer a gold member, I couldn’t try a different version or change the key. Of course, being a total karaoke junkie, my addiction was quickly reignited and I found myself checking out SingSnap’s prices for their gold subscription. They had come down significantly since I last checked, so I re-subscribed and made a couple of new recordings. I opted for the year subscription, which is $80 payable by credit card or PayPal. Monthly subscriptions run $15.

Here is one of the recordings I made yesterday on SingSnap.

You will notice there is a fixed image on the video. That’s because I don’t usually wear makeup and don’t want to subject people to what I look like on a regular day! Before I uploaded that picture, I had a photo of one of my beagles on my recordings.

One of the cool things about SingSnap is that the system allows paying users to make duets, harmonize, and create groups. In that sense, it kind of allows regular people to get a very rudimentary experience of recording their own music. You are free to listen or not listen to other peoples’ songs. You can make your recordings public, restrict them, or make them totally private. You can allow people to rate or make comments on your recordings, or you can disable those features. SingSnap also has contests. I haven’t entered any of them, but for those who like that sort of thing, contests are available and seem to be quite popular.

I had so much fun playing with SingSnap yesterday that I imagine I’ll experiment more with it today. It’s just one more thing to prevent me from mowing the lawn.

Edited to add…. I just plugged in a real mic. BIG difference in how it sounds!