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Xbox gets karaoke add-on

Microsoft on Wednesday released the Xbox Music Mixer, the first nongaming add-on for the company's Xbox video game console. As previously reported, the Music Mixer consists of a microphone and supporting software that enables the Xbox to function as a karaoke machine. The $40 package also includes a photo application that allows people to transfer images from a PC to the Xbox hard drive and create orchestrated slide shows with the same images.

Microsoft executives have said the Music Mixer will help expand the appeal of the Xbox beyond that of avid gamers. The Xbox is already widely used as a digital jukebox, thanks to features that allow players to "rip" CD tracks onto the machine's hard drive.