For when you need the most up-to-date list of karaoke tunes.
When it comes to any karaoke outing, your decision-making process may hinge on the agonizing struggle of trying to remember which bar has added Carly Rae’s “This Kiss” or “Losing You” by Solange to their song list. But Bar+ Karaoke Lounge’s free smartphone app all but eliminates this problem, giving you more time to let your inner Susan Boyle shine.
How it works: The app’s simple interface allows you to search the bar’s extensive list of English and foreign-language songs by title or artist. The list is updated monthly with 50 to 70 English songs added, on average. Since you know you will always belt out Ratt’s “Round and Round” or LeAnn Rimes’ “Can’t Fight The Moonlight,” the app can store an ongoing list of favourite songs for your next visit (Bar+ is located at 360 Yonge St., 2nd floor).
Why it’s so useful: As the bar’s manager Jacob Suh notes, the app eliminates the somewhat unappealing karaoke ritual of “searching through thick, often sticky binders of thousands of songs.” (They’re also looking into having a tablet computer inside each of the bar’s private rooms instead of a beer-soaked songbook.) The app also allows you to queue songs directly from your smartphone to your room, so that playlist you made on the streetcar can blare from surround-sound speakers within minutes of your arrival.
Why it’s popular: Suh has noted that the bar’s business has picked up lately, but isn’t sure if it is due to their app. With close to 400 Android and BlackBerry downloads in the past two months, however, the mobile song search option certainly seems to have found favour among Toronto’s karaoke enthusiasts. Ultimately, the Bar+ app succeeds in its objectively limited mission: It takes a silly, fun activity and makes it even easier to enjoy.
UPDATE, 4:44 p.m.: The original version of this story did not include a link to the app. The link has since been added.