Apple Music beats Spotify to the home karaoke punch with neat new 'Sing' feature

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Apple Music beats Spotify to the home karaoke punch with neat new 'Sing' feature
It's certainly no big secret that Apple Music needs all the new features it can get to try to close the subscriber gap to global market leader Spotify, and although said leader is rarely found resting on its laurels, the music streaming industry's silver medalist does occasionally find itself in a coveted pioneering position.

That's the kind of scenario we're looking at today with the trailblazing announcement of Apple Music Sing, which is a functionality many of you may have expected to see integrated into the world's most popular audio streaming services a long time ago.

At the same time, we can totally understand why Apple needed to spend several years of behind-the-scenes work (and presumably, millions of dollars) on optimizing and refining what's essentially a fun karaoke tool for your home, family, and friends with no dedicated hardware required.

All you need is a compatible iPhone, iPad, or the new Apple TV 4K set-top box, as well as an Apple Music subscription (minus the Voice Plan), and the party can instantly begin... preferably with the approval or participation of all your noise-sensitive neighbors.

Unfortunately, you'll also have to wait for Apple Music Sing to actually make its public debut "later this month", although that should still give you a bit of a head start on your Spotify-using friends (and foes), whose waiting for an aptly named Karaoke mode tested for at least the past six months or so is stuck on an indefinite time frame.

To begin with, Apple Music subscribers choosing to enable the feature by tapping on the microphone icon that should show up after accessing a song's lyrics view will be able to sing along to "tens of millions" of popular tracks, which obviously doesn't cover the platform's entire library.

But the number of supported songs is expected to grow down the line, and in the meantime, Apple plans to highlight some of the "most singable" tracks out there by also launching "more than 50 dedicated companion playlists." 

All of that sounds like a lot of fun, especially with Christmas family gatherings around the corner, but before you get too excited, it's important to note that Apple Music Sing will not completely remove a supported song's vocals for you to replace it. Instead, the new feature merely allows you to "adjust the vocal volume", which feels like a pretty major potential inconvenience for hardcore karaoke enthusiasts.

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