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An upcoming iPod will speak

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 09 Jul 2006 10:29 User comments (39)

An upcoming iPod will speak In a bid to make iPod usage safer when performing such tasks as driving or cycling, the next generation of iPods will reportedly talk to users. The device will be able to tell users what tracks and artists are coming up next, removing the need to look at the screen when changing songs. Apple will use the latest technology to turn even the most difficult artist and track names into recognizable speech.
The new feature will be crucial as the digital media player market is heating up. Apple's iPod has already slipped lately amid reports of terrible working conditions at an iPod producing factory in China. Also there has been a lot of music industry insider speculation and claims around a new device and iTunes-like software system from Microsoft (even though Microsoft has denied this so far).

Apple has refused to comment on the latest feature but a patent lodged by the company in the United States serves as proof. Users of the music players will still operate the Clickwheel as normal, but hear the names of songs and bands through their headphones. The patent reveals the idea's main purpose is to increase user safety.

"A user will have difficulty navigating the interface in 'eyes-busy' situations. Such activities include, for example, driving an automobile, exercising and crossing the street." it states. Apple has good reason to look into a feature like this as accidents have already been reportedly caused by iPod usage.

A teenager from Preston in the UK was killed last month while listening to his iPod while cycling when he collided with a tractor. Another teenager, Kathryn Thomas, caused a fatal road accident last year when she took her eyes off the road to show a friend how to use her iPod. "If people don't need to take their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel then there are clear benefits to that." Roger Vincent, spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said.


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39 user comments

19.7.2006 11:39

Wow, Apple continues to amaze me. Next thing from Apple: a device that no longer needs input from our fingers. It can now read our minds.

29.7.2006 13:26

Well I love the idea of the voice feature but if they want to make it soo that a person on a bike will be ok or in a car firstly u can always have one headphone out soo u can hear whats happening around you. And if your driving why wouldn't u choose to change tracks on your CD player or radio when u stop at a traffic light. Just seems to be more comensense in that.

39.7.2006 14:32

Well that's the thing really, iPods dont cause accidents the idiot changing the song does lol

49.7.2006 14:56

Wow, Apple continues to amaze me. Next thing from Apple: a device that no longer needs input from our fingers. It can now read our minds.
Seems Steve Jobs can already read our minds -- just waiting for him to apply that into Apple's technology ~! =)
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Jul 2006 @ 14:57

59.7.2006 15:15

If he could read our minds I would have bought a iPod a long time ago. But forcing me to encode all my music to a format that only iTunes and a iPod play dosent work for me.

69.7.2006 15:57

This seems like a really cool idea when you first hear of it, but then you get to thinking how annoying artificial voices really are. It'd be a cool idea if you could make it your own voice, or even if it had the ability to recognize what you say to flip to another track, but forget a talking ipod( actually forget apple in general). "It can now read our minds."- It'll be a while before a mp3 player can do that, but they do have helmets that interpret brain signals to perform rudementary tasks on a computer; such as moving geometric shapes across the screen.

79.7.2006 16:01

If he could read our minds I would have bought a iPod a long time ago. But forcing me to encode all my music to a format that only iTunes and a iPod play dosent work for me.
Could you be so kind of enlighten us all by letting us know which is that format that you have to encode all your music to and only iTunes and iPods can play?

89.7.2006 19:14

The iPod plays mp3's by default, and I assume your music is in mp3 because that is what almost everyone stores there music as, unless your using a special lossless format, which can be supported through the use of Rockbox or Linux. So really that shouldn't have any effect on purchasing an iPod :)

910.7.2006 6:55


1010.7.2006 10:42

DarkJello I bet the MAFIAA loves the fact it can paly un DRM'd MP3s *L*

1110.7.2006 10:57

Well this will be perfect for those who are blind and love music.

1210.7.2006 12:11

People have used Walkmans and discmans for 25+ years now, and have used car radios for as long as i can remember. Why is it all the sudden MP3 players are causeing these accidents? I have personally rear ended more than a few people because i was not paying attention to the road and was messing with my CAR STEREO (iPods/MP3 players had not been invented yet). It is not the fact that MP3 players are at fault or music for that matter, it is that people make poor decisions and DONT PAY ATTENTION! Not to get off the subject, but people have been "dubbing" tapes for years, and all the sudden MP3s are invented AND NOW Copyright infringement is A PROBLEM. did the RIAA have a problem with it then? All the issues revolving around MP3s are just something else for people to complain about, and to """"CREATE"""" problems.

1310.7.2006 13:18

its not the iPod its the user. Users are dumb.

1411.7.2006 7:54

Guns dont kill people!!! i kill people. death to apple, die and take ur dam DRM with you

1511.7.2006 8:39

big words from a person who knows little to non.

1611.7.2006 8:47

I don't think this could be worth the money to invest in it...sure it may be pretty cool i suppose or something but if i had to buy one with or without for like say 30 more i would go less... About the people dying: If people die for some reason whilst using something like a iPod then its a accident not the fault of the maker...trouble is there is no such thing as a accident in the law now :(

1711.7.2006 9:12

well if your able to say play (song) then you would be set. Also imagine a ipod built into the speakers, so its speakers that conect to each other, thats it. hdd is in the speakers where it plays.

1811.7.2006 9:59

Well thats not gonna work. Magnets and hardrives don't get along so well.

1911.7.2006 10:29

oh right, well then solid state, by that time we should have 100GB flash drives!

2011.7.2006 15:44
Inactive I just want to know if they will be lighning resistant. Read the link above about a boy mowing his lawn being struck by lightning. Another thing iPod can be blamed for.

2111.7.2006 16:16

You just have to carry it around in one of these:

2211.7.2006 16:16

Now i have listen to music while mowing the lawn once and it was pointless. I couldnt hear anything. Maybe he has a metal plate in his head? An who mows the lawn when there is a thunderstorm outside, i mean really. They can sue Apple over this if they wanted to. Hows an iPod gonna attract the lightning more than anything else. The iPod isnt that charged it is?

2311.7.2006 16:40

JUST INFO ITS NOT YE IPOOD Rules There are only 3 rules that electricity follows that one needs to know. Being aware of these rules helps understand lightning (as it is only electricity). 1. Electricity travels- While this is not technically correct, it is in fact the traveling of electrons that is electricity and this is what causes lightning 2. Electricity travels between earth and another place- In a lightning strike that is dangerous to humans, the earth is the ground and the other is the cloud. 3. Electricity likes to travel the easiest path between the earth and the other place- This is why lightning commonly strikes the tallest object. Electricity finds it hard to travel though air (it has low conductivity). Trees, buildings, towers people and other objects conduct electricity much better than air. Upon these three rules it is easy to create a plan that helps you avoid being struck. Thunder is nature's warning By Jack Williams, Each year lightning kills 50 to 100 people in the USA, mostly during the spring-summer thunderstorm season. Anyone who goes outdoors needs to be aware of lightning's danger when thunderstorms are around. A typical 100-million volt lightning flash can heat the air to more than 40,000F, which causes it to expand and then contract as it cools. This creates sound waves: thunder. Even if you don't see the lightning, thunder means it's there, perhaps hidden by thick clouds. For anyone outdoors "thunder is a wake-up call," says Ron Holle, a lightning scientist. In fact, if you can hear the thunder, the lightning is probably within 10 miles. Thunder rarely travels farther, he notes. A good lighting safety rule is: * If you hear it, fear it. * If you see it, flee it. This means that if you hear thunder, the lightning is close enough to worry about. While it might be 10 miles away now, it could very quickly come much closer. If you see a flash of lightning, no matter how far away, it's time to take shelter. The best shelter from lightning is a permanent building. Sheds or small buildings aren't as safe. Vehicles with metal roofs are also safe, but be sure not to touch any metal surfaces. It's best to stay away from windows when lightning is close. And lightning has killed people talking on the telephone, taking a bath or near electrical appliances. In rare cases, lightning that hits near a building can follow telephone wires, plumbing or electrical wires inside. To estimate how far away the lightning is, use the "flash-to-bang" method. If you see a lightning flash, begin counting: "one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand," (or however you estimate seconds) until thunder is heard. Since the speed of light is about 186,300 miles per second, lightning is seen the instant it flashes. But sound travels about one mile in five seconds. If you hear the thunder 10 seconds after seeing the lightning, the lightning is about two miles away. Holle recommends that when the flash-to-bang time is 10 to 15 seconds -- meaning the lightning is two to three miles away -- head for safe shelter, if you're not already there. If the lighting is closer than three miles, the danger could be very high. A 1988 Florida study found that successive lightning strikes in a storm were two to three miles apart on average. If lightning is three miles away and the storm is moving toward you, the next strike could hit you. The flash-to-bang time can tell you if the storm is approaching. If the time between the flashes and the bangs grows shorter, the storm is getting closer. Holle says the best defense against lightning is finding out if thunderstorms are forecast before heading outdoors. If thunderstorms are in the picture, keep an eye out for clouds building into thunderstorms and head for shelter at the first crack of thunder or lightning flash. Resources: Lightning science and safety

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Jul 2006 @ 17:02

2411.7.2006 17:33

lol thats a lot of good info for people wanting to learn that you shouldnt use electrical equipment in a thunderstorm outside.

2511.7.2006 19:26

yea thats great for people that want to learn about getting hit by lightning lol...but back to the lame talking ipod haha...i think this is a big step but will it be that more attractive to the customer?? they say there are leaks of the new ipod out(this was like a month ago,so maybe they have already showed it i dunno) but they say its going to be touch screen the entire ipod..that is just asking for scratches...but the talking thing would scare the crap out of me personally..

2611.7.2006 20:05

lol, imagine this, 'Select Your Song' sitting on a bus 'Volume at 60%' 'Thank you and goodbye'

2711.7.2006 20:13

@iPirate, your post was to me, very innovative. Just headphones as a mp3 player? The telepathic abilities of a mp3 player would obviously surpass any other competition. Not only would it be expensive but hard to manufacture. But this is all in time. If that can happen, we will have 1TB USB's. Obviously 250,000 songs will take a very very long time to shuffle through and no one can listen to that many songs so here is what would probably happen in time. In the future, from my pov, there will be some revolutionally ultimate audio format, which will eventually keep on improving. Songs will take up more space than ever (more than ~4MB) to about I don't know, this is an unaccurate exagguration - 100MB so you could fit 10,000 songs. The audio quality will be like being there (ie. a concert) and this is my pov on audio in the future... back on topic.. I think that the idea would be good... Except I don't think you would want people speaking though.. Imagine in a train where everyone has mp3 players and everyone is saying like "Play Evie" while someone else is saying "Play Slipknot" and you stare at them. There would need to be some sort of voice recognition in my opinion, but, smart idea.

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2811.7.2006 20:43

lilazn7 i beleive the talking ipod does the talking, not the listening. voice control would suck bigtime. imagine if the tags on the mp3s were not correct.

2912.7.2006 5:30

well thats why you correct them, and in the future, and right now, there is auto tag correction.

3012.7.2006 20:04

But yeah... It would be cool to have it

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3114.7.2006 4:00

My phone, as most of ours do, take voice commands. The first time I had to repeat something more than once. That was the end of voice commands. May car Nav system has a really sexy woman voice. Even that after a while got old so I put a muzzle on her. For me personally, I would never use it. There's something about the tactile feel and scrolling and looking that can't be substituted. Besides, all you have to do is buy a remote unit for you iPod to use in the car. I got mine for $24 and it works great. I also, religiously use an earpiece when talking on the phone in the car. My hands are free, the reception is great. I'm amazed by how many people still put the phone up to their ear. With bluetooth and wired ear pieces, there's no excuse for it. Period.

3214.7.2006 6:22

All I can say is I hope you can turn the voice off.

3314.7.2006 6:25


3414.7.2006 17:41

it'll be the future, no more hand commands. all voice. trust me. lol when you sitting on the can, you would say wipe clean.

3514.7.2006 18:52

Well the technology is nothing new really it is already out there with word processing programs.But i really like the idea still.

Edited by DVDBack23

"the mediocre teacher tells. the good teacher explains. the superior teacher demonstrates. the great teacher inspires."- William Aruthur Ward

3614.7.2006 19:37

LOL, everyone here is missing the point. Currently, this is a theft deterent system. If you own an iPod, you already know what songs are on it. Its the people who steal the iPod that have to look at it, to see who the artist is. Since, their looking down, wham, they get killed. Problem solved, no more theives. Its so obvious.

3714.7.2006 21:23

*dies laughing gets hit by lighting* 0-o

3814.7.2006 22:06

kearney what are you talking about? people look down to find their song

3915.7.2006 6:26

I was being stupid; not serious. Didn't really think anyone would respond. The only problem I see with an iPod that speaks the artists name before the song begins is if you happen to have those albumns where the end of one track ties into the beginning of the next track. I know that not make me happy, since I have an albumn where it seems like all songs tie into the next song. But as mentioned earlier, I would imagine Apple would allow one the ability to turn off speaking.

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