Karaoke Disc Information

There are several types of karaoke discs available. Companies like CAVS and RSQ have created their own disc format that can be played only in their machines. CD+G is by far the most popular karaoke disc type and offers the most song titles. Below you will find brief descriptions of the various disc types.


The karaoke CDG, also known as CD+G (Compact Disc plus Graphics), is very similar to a standard audio CD. The difference lies in the graphic data (lyrics and images) that is embedded in the unused sub-channel of the disc. The audio portion of a CDG can be played with a standard CD player. A karaoke player is required to display the graphics on a monitor.

None of the commercial karaoke discs contain background music performed by the original artist. This is one reason why the quality of the music varies so greatly between name brands. Price does not always indicate the quality of a CDG.

Sound Choice discs, for example, are usually the most expensive brand. Although they are a high quality disc, they are not superior to some of the less expensive bands such as Chartbuster, Pop Hits Monthly, and Sunfly. I base this on my own experience as well as the vast amount of feedback I have received from other KJ's.

It's very important to keep your CDG's in good condition. They are more sensitive than the standard audio CD. Fine scratches or even a fingerprint can cause them to skip or cause the graphics to become scrambled. You will not be able to avoid the damage that occurs from normal use.

You can however minimize it by avoiding the use of a storage system that utilizes sleeves to hold the discs. Inspect your disc regularly for fingerprints and smudges. Water and a very soft cloth can be used to clean them. Never use any type of mineral spirit based cleaner.

Not all scratches on the bottom side of a disc cause problems. Unexplainably, some very noticeable scratches will have no negative effect while a very fine scratch may render the disc unusable. I'm stating this to make the point that you can't always tell the condition of the disc just by looking at it.

If a CDG is clean, but it still skips or scrambles the graphics, you will need to polish the bottom (not the label side) surface. There are numerous CD polishing compounds available. Some work very well while others seem to do nothing at all. Disc Repair Pro has always worked well for me. NEVER wax your discs with car wax or anything else. I know someone who ruined his entire collection this way.


DVD karaoke discs typically contain synchronized lyrics superimposed over a video background.

MP3+G™ Discs

MP3+G™ is a compressed version of a CD+G disc song track and is the standard format used by virtually all karaoke hosting software. Some karaoke music manufacturers provide their songs in this format on compact discs. Very few karaoke disc players will play MP3+G™ discs although a few newer players will play this format from a USB device or SD card. Learn more about this format on the MP3+G Information page.


From RSQ this format allows for hundreds of compressed CD+G song tracks (MP3+G files) to be placed on a DVD disc. You must have an RSQ NEO-G player to play these discs. The company offers a free program that lets you create NEO-G discs from MP3+G files.

Super CDG or SCDG

This DVD media disc utilizes a compressed CD+G like format that allows for hundreds (possibly thousands) of karaoke songs to be placed on a single disc. You have to have a SCDG player to play these discs and these players are currently produced only by CAVS.

The up side to this format is that you will have less discs to store, fewer disc changes during a show, and the price per song. The down side is that you need a special player, the inability to update just a few songs, and the fact that if an SCDG disc becomes unusable you will lose hundreds of songs at one time.


Most non-English karaoke discs are in this format. These are CD's that typically contain video karaoke song tracks.

Article by Richard Wise. Follow me on Google+

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