Party On

Summer's winding down, so it's the perfect time to throw an end-of-season bash. But instead of hosting just the typical backyard-barbecue affair, why not add a little music to the mix? Your music, that is. This collection of karaoke entertainment options will get the party started - and keep it going for as long as your eardrums can take it. -Haley Shapley


Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol
Now it really is possible for anyone to be an American Idol contestant (as if Sanjaya weren't proof enough). Pop in this video game and work your inner songbird with the goal of snagging an invite to Hollywood. Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson are on hand to offer their oh-so-constructive criticism, and if you achieve a certain score, you'll unlock additional songs, including 1989's "Straight Up" by Paula Abdul. $55, www.konami.com

SingShot.com
Gather around the computer and head to the virtual recording studio at SingShot.com, which provides free access to thousands of songs and allows people to record and post their versions of them. Site users can participate in contests and rate other users' renditions. A microphone and a computer are all you need, but a powerful set of pipes doesn't hurt either. www.singshot.com

iKaraoke
It's your own personal karaoke machine, small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Plug iKaraoke into any iPod and you'll hear songs without the lead vocals. You can pause, rewind, fast-forward, and even add the vocals back in if you get lost. The device works with any song (see "Staff Picks" if you need suggestions), and when you want to dazzle the other partygoers with your vocal stylings, attach it to a stereo and crank up the volume. $50, www.griffintechnology.com

SingStar Rocks!
Get ready to rock to classics and current chart toppers alike with this PlayStation 2 program. Click the party-mode option, and take turns duetting, passing the mike, or dueling. (Insider tip for winning the duel: If you sing so loudly that the other person can't hear the music, his or her pitch is bound to suffer.) $50, www.sonystyle.com