Pass the Mic: How to Set Up a Home Karaoke Session With Apple

Pass the Mic: How to Set Up a Home Karaoke Session With Apple

Listen, if there is one thing I will always be down for – it’s a loose, late-night karaoke session. Not just because my rendition of ‘Zombie’ by the Cranberries is phenomenal…ly bad, but because singing your guts out with a group of friends is one of the best, silliest, most joyful activities there is.

So, imagine my delight when I discovered that, friend, you can set up your own impressive karaoke session at home pretty easily if you have an Apple TV 4K on hand.

How to set up your Apple TV 4K for a home karaoke session

Apple TV karaoke
Image supplied

The feature that makes the Apple TV karaoke session possible is Apple Music’s ‘time-synced lyrics’. Essentially, the time-synced lyrics feature allows you to follow the lyrics of your favourite songs in time, so you can sing along with them… like you would in a karaoke joint.

It’s all really quite simple, really. Displaying Apple Music’s time-synced lyrics on your TV with an Apple TV means you can run a group karaoke session off your TV pretty seamlessly. BYO microphone if you’d like to be extra, and I always suggest being extra.

Oh, and before you ask, I did take a peek at how this worked with Spotify and the option to display lyrics didn’t appear for the songs I was playing, although time-synced lyrics is a feature that you can use for some songs on that platform, also.

How to turn on time-synced lyrics

I’ve now learnt that I previously knew almost none of the lyrics to ‘Whenever, Wherever’. Image: Stephanie Nuzzo/Lifehacker Australia

Okay, so you’re Desperado to belt out your favourite tunes at home, but your Apple Music doesn’t currently display lyrics. What do you do?

Here’s your very easy step-by-step guide:

  • Open the Apple Music app
  • Play a song, playlist or album from the Apple Music catalogue
  • Turn time-synced lyrics on: If time-synced lyrics don’t automatically appear on your screen, press the Menu button on your Apple TV Remote, then select the Lyrics icon in the upper-right corner of the screen
  • Turn time-synced lyrics off: Press the Menu button on your Apple TV Remote, then select the Lyrics icon in the upper-right corner of the screen

Apple Music Sing joins the party

UPDATE: As of December 7, we’ve been treated to the news that Apple is improving its karaoke experience with the introduction of Apple Music Sing. The service, which will join the Apple Music subscription experience later in December, boasts not only real-time lyrics but adjustable vocal volumes.

In essence, when you’re using the time-synced lyrics feature in Apple Sing, you’ll see a mic button that, when pressed, allows you to make the artist’s vocals as loud or soft as you like. It’s like a DIY take on karaoke singing.

Additionally, it will not only show you real-time lyrics but backing vocal lyrics. And in the case of duets (or multiple artists singing), lyrics are split on either side of the screen so you and your buddies can follow along with ease.

Apple Music is set to share over 50 dedicated sing-along playlists along with the new service. Apple Sing is also said to have millions of tracks ready to go from launch. Nice.

The service is available to use on iPhone, Apple TV 4K and iPad.

Karaoke playlist suggestions from Apple Music

Now that you know how to turn your Apple TV into a karaoke machine, what should you play? Well, you can ask Siri to help out by nudging her to play some of these recommended sing-a-long playlists.

Using your Siri Remote, hold down the Siri button and just say:

Who are we kidding, though? If you’re reading this, you already know what songs you want to sing during a karaoke session. Just play those.

Apple’s latest generation of Apple TV for 2022 became available to order on November 4. You can read all about the latest item drop here.

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

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