The Karaoke machine, which has fueled the Karaoke culture into what it is today, was invented by Daisuke Inoue , a Japanese drummer. According to Inoue, his Karaoke machine was nothing more than a car stereo, a coin machine (like the ones used by arcade game machines), and an amplifier.
Inoue brought Karaoke into the popular scene by leasing machines to local bars, which would allow any patron to try their hand at singing a song.
Due to the fact that Inoue never patented his Karaoke player , many Japanese electronics companies took advantage of the Karaoke trend and furnished their own devices for commercial and personal usages.
By the 1980's, Karaoke had caught on as a popular trend across Asia. The success of Karaoke in Asia during this time was helped by the fact that songs did not have to be translated into another Asian language before they could be used for singing.
The technology of the Karaoke machine also improved during this time, as companies started to replace the cassette tape with the compact disk. With the popularity of MTV, a special type of compact disk (the video compact disk) was created to allow music videos to be played along with the Karaoke.
When the 90's arrived, the Karaoke machine managed to make it into the United States. While Karaoke was not extremely popular in the US at first, it slowly caught on as more people started to invest in home theater systems. Additionally, the 90's brought in the first machines that would download a Karaoke song that someone wanted to sing. These machines would connect to the internet and download the desired song using a dial-up connection.
Now, in the 21st century, Karaoke has become a mainstream part of culture. Karaoke bars are now the common venue to sing at and feature an impressive array of technology that makes the first Karaoke machines laughable at best. Karaoke libraries are no longer limited to a set number of songs with the addition of the DVD and the improvement of internet access. Additionally, new equipment can modify the Karaoke song to fit the vocal range of the singer.
Considering the advances of Karaoke since it was created in the early 1970's, it can only be assumed that the technology behind it will continue to improve in years to come.