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The "Rotation" is the list of singers who will sing tonight. It is primarily intended for professional show hosts, though people running karaoke for private house parties and the like may find it useful as well.

A Tutorial Video

The most common approach to rotation in professional shows seems to be what's called 'Straight Rotation'; each singer is added to the end of a list when they arrive, and the singers are called up in list order until the list has run out, and then the host starts over at the top. This is the sort of rotation which kJams directly supports, though there are others; the most common alternative is that each rotation is constructed from the request slips in the order that they're handed in; each singer brings a new one up with them when they sing. This can have effects on which order singers sing in due to where new singers are placed in the rotation, and to whether a singer actually brings a slip up with them -- they will slide down later in the rotation if they forget.

In the 'straight rotation' system which kJams supports, if there are two singers, A and B, and A requests four songs and B requests two, and A is first, the list will go:


The host has control over the contents and order of each singer's "Tonight" list. The singers can control it as well, using the wtkJams app for iDevices, or the built-in webserver from an Android phone/tablet, or a laptop. They simply search the library for songs, add them to their list, and order it to suit.

The KJ has control over the order of the singers via the "KJ Rotation" list.

"KJ Rotation" Playlist

The "KJ Rotation" lists each singer who has declared themselves "here" for the evening, in the order in which they were added -- or the order the KJ has placed them in. Each singer appears once. This list always shows the entire rotation, starting with first, and listing up until last. A singer will stay in the rotation even if they don't have a song currently in their "Tonight" queue. That way, they won't lose their place if they forgot to add another song by the time they sing. (You can set the pref to kick them out if they do this: "automatically un-mark singers not here", forcing them to re-enter at location specified by the pref: "Rotation: new singers appear before current singer"). Both prefs are under "Advanced". Note that the KJ Rotation will NOT warn the host that a singer has no more unsung songs in their Tonight queue.

The current singer in the rotation is marked with a Person/Speaker icon in the KJ Rotation, so you can see where you are. If you don't touch anything, you'll see the highlight change (naa-speaker). The list only changes when singers are added or removed, or when the KJ changes the order manually. If a singer goes home or is no longer singing, the KJ can simply "delete" them from this list, it does not actually delete the singer from the system or venue, it merely un-checks their "Here" check box in the Singer list, so any songs in their "Tonight" list remain there for the next time they show up at the venue. Note: If the singer had been "sent home" (ie: no longer "Here") but then on the same night they return (say from a long cellphone call out on the porch) and you mark them "Here" again, they have lost their position, and kJams will place them at the end of the list. You are free, of course, to re-position them as you see fit.

"Rotation" Playlist

The "Rotation" list is different than the above; this will be the one you want to show the audience. The current singer is always at the top, and the list scrolls up when that singer is finished. It also "wraps around" when it gets to the end: singers may appear more than once (if they have more than one song in their "Tonight" queue). Once a singer is out of songs, they will no longer appear in the "Rotation" list, even tho their place is reserved in case they do add another song.

This list is maintained automatically for you, so you really don't have much control in this view, since it depends on the contents of other lists. To change what you see in this list, you manipulate the Singers list (to change which singers are "Here"), the individual singer's "Tonight" list (to change the order in which a singer's songs appear) or the "KJ Rotation" list, to change the Rotation order. Note that to change or replace the CURRENT singer you must first STOP the current song (using either the ESC key or ⌘-. [command-period]) When you do, kJams will fade out the audio and video from the current song over a few seconds, to make for a smoother looking show.

Manual Rotation (kJams 2 only)

Manual rotation gives you total control over the Rotation playlist. You'll find more info here.

Tips & Tricks

Tip for KJs using Pro in a real-world setting for the first time:
{contributed after my first weekend hosting with kJams. -randyj }

If you're in PANIC MODE because the wrong song is playing for the singer, it's due to "user error". (You're learning the hard way.) So you go find the right song but you can't get it to play! Grrr! Take a deep breath. Just remember this: To get a song to play quick-n-dirty, press ESC to stop the rotation, click ONCE on the song, press the space bar. Done! This will work even if you're in "Target Mode".

You probably go into that situation because you had a singer in Target Mode. To turn it off, double-click the singer or playlist name with the red target on it's icon.

To take advantage of Pro features: first add a song to the correct singer, then double-click the Singer in the KJ Rotation list. Check out the shortcuts here: Singers

Another tip for "what do i do if the next singer stepped out for a minute"? Say your Rotation looks like this: Singers A, B, C, D. Say you have Singer A, just finishing, and now Singer B is up, but they've stepped outside for a smoke or something. That means you want to get Singer C going while B is busy. Okay, in that case, just press right arrow to get singer C to start singing. The next time thru the rotation, the singer B's song will still be there, it does NOT move to their History until they actually sing (60% of) it. If you want B to now come right AFTER C, then, while C is singing, go to the "KJ Rotation" and drag B and drop them ON TOP of D. When you let go, they will be inserted *before* D, so your new rotation looks like: A, C, B, D. When C is done, B is up!

If this is a common issue in your show hosting, you may want to log into the kJams Bugzilla site, and vote for 3.

"Who's Up Next" ShowScreen

The ShowScreen that comes up between songs can be toggled with the "kjams->prefs->advanced->Show Rotation at End of Song" pref.


For some, it comes up too late and stays too long, cutting into the next song. You can help this a lot by making sure "prefs->general->Skip Silence at Start of Song" is turned OFF. If you still need more time, you can adjust when it comes up and how long it stays up. Edit your secret preferences file and find these:

<key>Show Rotation when less than time remaining (seconds)</key>

<key>Show Rotation Duration (seconds)</key>

Change the first one (the "3") to say "4", then it will come up 4 seconds before the end of the previous song, rather than 3. Then, change the second one (the "10") to say "8", then it will stay up for 8 seconds, giving you a total of 3 more seconds at the start of the next song.

If you prefer to see only singer names, rather than both the singer name and the song they want to sing, go to preferences->advanced, and where you can enter the "Rotation ShowScreen" text, put this in: "Rotation (only singer names)". If you'd like to try an alternative screen with some nice graphics, enter "Lava Lounge Rotation".

Changing the Background Picture of the "Custom Picture" ShowsSreen

See this section.

Changing the Background Picture of the Rotation ShowScreen

If you just want to get rid of the "kJams Logo" in the rotation showscreen, do this:

  1. run kjams
  2. help->reveal preferences
  3. quit
  4. in the prefs folder that is revealed, go into the "Producer Templates" folder
  5. in there, find the "Pix" folder
  6. in there, delete the file "rotation_background.png"
  7. run kJams

--> now the Rotation will no longer have the kJams Logo

If you want to replace the background with your own:

  1. Find the picture "rotation_background.png", as above
  2. edit the picture to your liking
  3. save it back in place

--> now your picture shows up!

If you want a different picture PER VENUE:

  1. Find the "Pix" folder as above
  2. copy it into each venue folder (in /Users/<you>/Music/kJams/kJams Library/Venues/<each venue>) that you want a special picture for
  3. edit the picture that is now inside that venue folder

--> each venue has it's own pic!

Meta Tags

You can use meta tags in a Rotation showscreen definition to show meta data for each song and singer. Here is a list of supported tags. To use them, place them inside of square brackets. For example, to show the current singer, you type [SNGR], and to show the current singer's song, you type [name]. To see an example of this, simply edit the Rotation showscreen.

There are *special* tags you can use as well. Some only work in a Rotation showscreen, some only in "showscreen message", and others in any showscreen

[+sgr] - increments the "current" singer to the next one, so the next set of tags will come from the next singer and the song associated with them
[msg ] - show whatever message is currently "saved" as the "showscreen message"
[txIP] - the IP address of the server
[qrMS] - Show a QR Code of the currently saved "showscreen message"
[qrIP] - Show a QR Code of the server's IP address
[venu] - the current venue name
[eCrT] - how long until, and the exact time of, the "end of the current rotation"
[eArT] - how long until, and the exact time of, the "end of all rotations"
[eCrt] - just the Time of the "end of the current rotation" 
[eArt] - just the Time of the "end of all rotations"
[rotC] - the size of the Rotation (may include singers with no songs)
[rotA] - the size of the entire rotation (does not include songless singers)