The feature leverages the company’s already excellent lyrics system and will be available to subscribers later this month — unless they pay for the Apple Music Voice plan.
Lyrics & Vocals — Apple says that it will initially offer “a suite of more than 50 dedicated companion playlists” with songs that are optimized for the Apple Music Sing experience. That entails the ability to control the volume of the vocals — Apple notes you can’t turn them completely off — and see lyrics for songs, duets, and backup vocals in a way that makes it easy for everyone to sing together at the same time.
It’s unclear what being included in Apple Music Sing means for an artist. Does playing a song in karaoke mode count as a stream for the artist? Do artists get any input on how their lyrics are displayed? Inverse has reached out to Apple for an explanation and will update this article if we hear back.
In search of a microphone — Besides being a clever way to get people to interact with Apple Music more often, Apple Music Sing seems like an ideal opportunity to introduce an entry-level audio product. The iPod is dead, but that doesn’t mean the “Apple Microphone” shouldn’t see the light of day. An affordable microphone accessory with a few free months of Apple Music would sell like hotcakes this holiday season.
Of course, Apple isn’t going to create an entirely new line of products on the back of a feature that mainly seems like a fun bonus. But its ability to synergize hardware and software is a clear advantage if Spotify ever goes wide with its own karaoke feature.
Why not let your AirPods hook up with your HomePod for some living room magnification? Or even connect your iPhone to your Apple TV to sing into it like a mic. There are obvious audio challenges to circumvent, but nothing Apple can’t handle. For now, Apple Music Sing is a nice extra for subscribing to the company's streaming service this holiday, but in the right hands and with the right support, it could be your next fun party activity.