Have you ever encountered a situation when you just don’t have the karaoke CD for the song you want to sing? Or maybe you just want to take a break and play an original audio track? All of these questions can be summed up to: Can karaoke machines play normal CDs?
The quick answer is yes, it can. However, there are limitations to this which may disappoint you if you’re not aware of it.
In the next sections, I will not only expand the answer in detail but will also give you other great options on how to enjoy your listening and singing experiences.
Can Karaoke Machines Play Normal CDs?
Every CD player installed in a karaoke system is designed to interpret graphics code embedded on a karaoke CD. As an extension of a common CD player in PCs or home theaters, it can play a normal audio CD too.
A karaoke CD is technically known as “CDG” or “CD+G”. It is actually an abbreviation of “Compact Disc plus Graphics”.
This type of disc has standard audio tracks and graphics as well. The graphics are the background images and the lyrics that play in sync to the instrumental.
With no additional graphics to display, a karaoke machine can play a normal CD. However, it will not show any video on the screen. You will hear both the vocals and the instrumentals, just like with your usual CD player.
This means that you will not be able to sing the songs with their original instrumentals in your karaoke.
If what you truly want is to sing with an original audio track, you can do so with some high-end karaoke machines like Singtrix. This karaoke system can strip away the vocal parts of original songs on the fly. However, you will first need to convert your CD tracks into MP3 as they need to be streamed from your device or PC.
Can You Play Karaoke CDs on a Laptop?
You can also play karaoke CDs on your laptop or PC, but you’ll need to do some tweaks first. A laptop’s CD player is not designed to interpret the graphics embedded in your karaoke CD. Fortunately, your laptop’s operating system can do this for you.
If you’re using a Windows machine, you can easily download a free codec for your Windows Media Player. It does not actually support CDG format. The codec solves this problem by enabling your Media Player to play your karaoke CDs, complete with the lyrics and background.
What you will need is to search and download “Karaoke for DirectX” codec. Once installed, you will be prompted to reboot your laptop or PC.
After the reboot, all you need to do is follow these steps:
- Pop your karaoke CD to the player
- Then look for the folder that contains the karaoke CD files
- Right-click the .cdg file and choose “Open With” -> “Windows Media Player”
If you want a more robust karaoke CD player for your laptop, the Siglos Karaoke Player/Recorder might be the one you’re looking for. It is designed to play and help you manage your karaoke songs. You can even create your own karaoke songs, and change the image backgrounds and the keys.
Of course, with a robust system like this, Siglos Karaoke Player does not come for free. However, if you’re planning to go full-time KJing, you will only need to shell out a one-time payment.
Where To Buy CDG Karaoke Discs
Amazon is one of the best places to buy a karaoke CD. They have a wide range of selection, grouped together by genre. You can always get a karaoke CD with a collection of country or party music.
If you will be collecting a lot of karaoke CDs over time, though, it would be more practical if you create them your own. You can easily do this on your laptop, with software like Kanto Karaoke or Siglos Karaoke Player.
Wrapping It Up
Karaoke CDs these days are starting to become more of a novelty item. YouTube and original MP3 songs are now being streamed directly to modern karaoke machines in most bars and homes, which is offer a wider choice of songs.
So can karaoke machines play normal CDs? It’s a question I often hear from friends who are either planning to get a karaoke player or already has their own system at home. The answer is a big YES.