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MacRumors
Jul 10, 2006, 10:03 AM
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Several readers are reporting on an article in from Scotsman (http://news.scotsman.com/scitech.cfm?id=999772006) that discusses the possibility of a talking iPod.

The new iPod will tell you what it is about to play, removing the need for users to look at the screen while selecting music, and making the device safer and easier to use while driving, cycling or in badly-lit locations.

The article is based on a recent patent applications that were originally reported on in May (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/05/20060505202447.shtml). The patents describe methods to accomplish this by using a desktop computer to perform the Text-to-Speech conversion, offloading this processing from the iPod itself. This would provide the highest quality speech while minimizing the hardware required in the iPod itself.

The incentive to provide speech-prompts is one of safety concerns. The Scotsman cites a couple of iPod-related accidents in which users were distracted from the road.

ahuman7341
Jul 10, 2006, 10:06 AM
Not apple-like, they are about the music, not about some voice coming up and talking while your listeing to your music.

ITASOR
Jul 10, 2006, 10:08 AM
The Rumors are hot today, eh?

Not apple-like, they are about the music, not about some voice coming up and talking while your listeing to your music.

I'm sure you'll be able to turn "Driving Mode" on/off.

d.perel
Jul 10, 2006, 10:09 AM
I hope the voice for this sounds better than the speech command on the macs

shigzeo
Jul 10, 2006, 10:09 AM
i guess my music is at the core of what i want to listen to, not the computer voice mispronouncing anything but very very english names. shame to hear of this

SteveRichardson
Jul 10, 2006, 10:09 AM
whaaaaaatttt????

how annoying would that be??!

skwert
Jul 10, 2006, 10:10 AM
i think it's a great idea. the new sbc voice sounds amazing, really like a human. this is something the rockbox open source firmware has had availible for sometime now. at least apple is catching up on a great feature.

SilentPanda
Jul 10, 2006, 10:10 AM
The incentive to provide speech-prompts is one of safety concerns. The Scotsman cites a couple of iPod-related accidents in which users were distracted from the road.

Speech prompts for accident prevention? Unless it's linked up to a GPS and knows where everything around you is I'm not sure what the point would be... then again Apple has surprised before.

Did you ever know that you're my hero,
and everything I would like to

Don't forget to look both ways before you cross the street!

eagle,
for you are the wind beneath my wings.

I guess it could tell you song, artist, album but my version is more humorous. :)

nagromme
Jul 10, 2006, 10:10 AM
"The article is based on a recent patent applications"

A lot of Apple patents never make it to products, nor were ever planned to.

Slow operation of menus read aloud almost sounds MORE distracting to me--and certainly more time-consuming.

It's a neat thought, but you can't save people from doing stupid things. Just because someone CAN use their iPod eyes-free doesn't mean they will.

~Shard~
Jul 10, 2006, 10:11 AM
This could be a cool feature, however Apple would have to make it optional, as somethnig you could turn on or turn off. I wouldn't want my iPod announcing what song is coming up next all the time, perhaps only when I am driving, etc. But even then, if I've built the playlist or I'm listening to an album, I have a pretty good idea of what song is coming next anyway, so I'm not sure if I'd ever even use this feature. I can see where some people would though, so good on Apple for trying to address everyone's needs.

Macnoviz
Jul 10, 2006, 10:12 AM
That's the improvement of the 6th gen iPod ??

Gimme a break...

~Shard~
Jul 10, 2006, 10:14 AM
A lot of Apple patents never make it to products, nor were ever planned to.

Quite true - I'm still waiting for my color-changing iMac... ;) :cool:

kirk26
Jul 10, 2006, 10:15 AM
"Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that."

Geek reference

nxent
Jul 10, 2006, 10:15 AM
this sounds extremely gimicky for apple. maybe an apple/ipod 'knockoff'. but what's the point of having a voice tell you what song it is you're listening to... does that even make sense?

~Shard~
Jul 10, 2006, 10:15 AM
That's the improvement of the 6th gen iPod ??

Gimme a break...

Well, I'm sure there would be more to it than just that. :p ;) Perhaps a full-widescreen capability with an on-screen "virtual" scroll wheel and larger HDD capacity?

emotion
Jul 10, 2006, 10:16 AM
Cycling with an ipod? It'd need to be very quiet on the roads before I attempted that!

confirmed
Jul 10, 2006, 10:17 AM
the nano already does talk. the nike+nano thing has a feature which speaks your distance and time to you. this sounds like what these patents may be for.

a lot of the time, amazingly inventive patents can end up just being for very basic, sometimes even lame, products. just look at the Segway, i remember when those patents were released, everyone was betting on it being a hoverboard.. ended up being a lame, silly product.

BrianMojo
Jul 10, 2006, 10:19 AM
this sounds extremely gimicky for apple. maybe an apple/ipod 'knockoff'. but what's the point of having a voice tell you what song it is you're listening to... does that even make sense?

Yes, it makes perfect sense if you're driving and don't want to be distracted by futzing with the iPod itself. This is just like the max volume setting that was implemented -- something that will likely be heralded as a great safety measure and will get Apple great accolades but the average user will hardly ever use.

emotion
Jul 10, 2006, 10:20 AM
the nano already does talk. the nike+nano thing has a feature which speaks your distance and time to you. this sounds like what these patents may be for.

a lot of the time, amazingly inventive patents can end up just being for very basic, sometimes even lame, products. just look at the Segway, i remember when those patents were released, everyone was betting on it being a hoverboard.. ended up being a lame, silly product.


I'm still convinced the real IT (for that is what the Segway was codenamed before it's launch) that everyone was flipping out over (including Jobs) is something different to the Segway's we see today.

The Segway is just a device for paving the way through the legislation to allow these things access to sidewalks (pavements in the UK). These things are useless as modes of transport if they have to share the road with cars.

Electro Funk
Jul 10, 2006, 10:22 AM
"Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that."

Geek reference

AWESOME MOVIE! one of my fav's actually... if i remember correctly, someone mentioned (in another thread somewhere) that this patent was filed in 2004. We all know how many patent Apps are made and how many actually come to fruition... i say this wont happen...

c-Row
Jul 10, 2006, 10:33 AM
Haha! I am totally looking forward to hear the title of track #2 on Aphex Twin's Windowlicker (http://www.discogs.com/release/19290) single... :D

QCassidy352
Jul 10, 2006, 10:35 AM
I don't see why everyone is rating this as negative. I'm sure you'd be able to turn it off, and it really would be a good safety device for people who are driving. As long as it can be turned off how can this be anything but good?

baleensavage
Jul 10, 2006, 10:38 AM
This sounds like an interesting idea, but it seems like a niche product. I'm not sure everyone is going to want a voice synthesizer to call out track names. More likely than not, you will be able to recognize the song by the opening riff since it was you that put the song on there.

What I found interesting was the comment about iPod related accidents. I can't see how this would help. People aren't messing with their iPods in the car to see what track it is, they are doing it to change the track or switch playlists or whatever. It's like the radio dials. The only way to fix this is by having buttons on the steering wheel (or taping your iPod to yous teering wheel I suppose).

iMikeT
Jul 10, 2006, 10:50 AM
Not a bad idea. I just needs to be optional for most people.

Actually, it would be great to have a feature like this for cell phones.:rolleyes:

crees!
Jul 10, 2006, 10:51 AM
This sounds like an interesting idea, but it seems like a niche product. I'm not sure everyone is going to want a voice synthesizer to call out track names. More likely than not, you will be able to recognize the song by the opening riff since it was you that put the song on there.

What I found interesting was the comment about iPod related accidents. I can't see how this would help. People aren't messing with their iPods in the car to see what track it is, they are doing it to change the track or switch playlists or whatever. It's like the radio dials. The only way to fix this is by having buttons on the steering wheel (or taping your iPod to yous teering wheel I suppose).

Well, for one I do know most of the songs on my iPod but there are some (and sometimes) where I'm like, "What's this?". I also have XM and find myself looking at what song/artist is currently being played all the time while driving. Bring this to XM and it's a good deal.

Apple could also be pulling a huge C.Y.A. by doing this. You know how stupid people sued because they don't know how to operate the volume, so Apple allows you to now set the max volume so you don't accidentally bump it up and blow your ears out. (yes, good for kids and idiots but this is beside the point)... Some idiot gets into an accident while driving and fiddling w/ the iPod.. so they sue.. Apple can now counter with "iPods can talk to you, so there's no need to be looking at the player while driving".. (or something to that effect).

Yet another "DeeDeeDee" feature.

bluebomberman
Jul 10, 2006, 10:52 AM
I'm sure you'd be able to turn it off...

Heh, I can just imagine on the subway:

"Now playing: Paris Hilton..."

...and the whole subway car evacuates.

Leoff
Jul 10, 2006, 11:11 AM
"Next song: Britney Spe...

Oh, come on now. You don't really want to listen to that. I'm going to ignore your playlist and pick out what I want.

Wait... look at this crap. There's nothing worth playing!

I'm shutting down"

freeny
Jul 10, 2006, 11:35 AM
If this is true I am 100% sure this will only be an option and not a constant function. Calm down people...:rolleyes:

banjomamo
Jul 10, 2006, 11:37 AM
What about all those rap songs with profanity in the title?

Can you imagine the backlash of an ipod slinging racial slurs back at ya?

WildCowboy
Jul 10, 2006, 11:47 AM
**sigh**

For the life of me, I can't imagine why this article was written except that they new it would garner attention for the author and the paper.

Apple files a ton of patent applications on things that never make it into their products. This patent application was filed in November 2004...it became public over two months ago as the 18-month embargo expired with nary a word.

Now all of a sudden this reporter is using the application as the sole basis for an article claiming that Apple's next-generation iPod will contain this technology.

They jump all over the concept of "celebrity voice talent" when it's really a very small piece of the description in the patent application making no mention of any sort of celebrity involvement that simply describes that you could use pre-recorded audio samples.

Unbelievable. :rolleyes:

7on
Jul 10, 2006, 11:49 AM
Heh, I can just imagine on the subway:

"Now playing: Paris Hilton..."

...and the whole subway car evacuates.


Well obviously the tts would only come through the headphones. If you're walking around the subway with speakers plugged into your ipod - then you're already evacuating subways.

I could see it being functional. Scroll through your albums, pause on something for 1 second and it starts reading the name to you - nah, the album you want starts with a T and this is an O - so you scroll down more until you narrow your choices down. And scrolling will stop the current voice from speaking (do you honestly think apple would force you to hear the entire album title?) so you can scroll to the next song. I'd use it because I have been known to run off onto the shoulder while changing songs.

bigandy
Jul 10, 2006, 11:58 AM
i think it's a great idea for car use. and apple wouldn't be so stupid as to leave it as an "always on" feature - it'd be like the clicker. on or off.

i have to pull over or get the passenger to change tracks on my ipod when i'm driving, and it's annoying. very much so.

cruci
Jul 10, 2006, 12:03 PM
If this part is true:

The patents describe methods to accomplish this by using a desktop computer to perform the Text-to-Speech conversion, offloading this processing from the iPod itself

then how would this help you when you're driving or cycling? Do you usually drag around your desktop computer? Because that what is doing the text-to-speech...

WildCowboy
Jul 10, 2006, 12:06 PM
then how would this help you when you're driving or cycling? Do you usually drag around your desktop computer? Because that what is doing the text-to-speech...

The computer does the text-to-speech conversion and then loads the speech onto the iPod. Based on user inputs, the iPod will select the appropriate speech file to play. But the actual speech encoding would be done beforehand by the computer.

nightdweller25
Jul 10, 2006, 12:15 PM
This would be awesome and very useful for the iPod shuffle provided that it doesn't slow it down. But for a regular iPod? No way.

bluebomberman
Jul 10, 2006, 12:17 PM
Well obviously the tts would only come through the headphones. If you're walking around the subway with speakers plugged into your ipod - then you're already evacuating subways.


Dammit, stop introducing logic to my fantasies of Paris Hilton!:p

Peace
Jul 10, 2006, 12:25 PM
The only practical use this could have would be if a blind person wants to listen to the iPod.

ksz
Jul 10, 2006, 12:52 PM
This sounds almost exactly like this (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=1925961&postcount=111) idea, which makes a lot of sense on the iPod shuffle. Still, I think it could be useful in any Shuffle Mode on any iPod.

CEAbiscuit
Jul 10, 2006, 12:55 PM
If it's couple with a 16:9 video screen, my credit card is at the ready. Otherwise I'l stay with my "retro" 3G iPOD.

Applespider
Jul 10, 2006, 12:57 PM
Nope... can't see them wasting processor/battery power on this when there are things like bigger screens, better battery life etc to work on.

If it's for driving, then add it into a processor dock in the car.

Stridder44
Jul 10, 2006, 12:59 PM
Wow. This would be so cool. You guys have no idea. I never go anywhere in my car without my iPod.

makkystyle
Jul 10, 2006, 01:10 PM
**sigh**

For the life of me, I can't imagine why this article was written except that they new it would garner attention for the author and the paper.

Apple files a ton of patent applications on things that never make it into their products. This patent application was filed in November 2004...it became public over two months ago as the 18-month embargo expired with nary a word.......

Unbelievable. :rolleyes:


Well, WildCowboy is right about this: this is not "new" news. I scanned through all the posts and I can't believe eveyone is jumping all over this like it's something unheard of... This "text-to-speech" feature is already available on iPod nanos. Just go buy the Nike+iPod solution. This patent became public two months ago because apple was about to release a product where the iPod talked to you regarding pace and mileage of your run.

I see where the Scotsman could speculate that this might be used in telling you the name of the song that's playing, and that could be a desirable feature for some people. But the existence of this patent does not signify anything more than Apple wanted to protect the existing technology used in it's Nike+ partnership.

WildCowboy
Jul 10, 2006, 01:19 PM
This patent became public two months ago because apple was about to release a product where the iPod talked to you regarding pace and mileage of your run.

Not true. This patent application became public two months ago all patent applications are REQUIRED to be made public 18 months after filing.

There are a few minor exceptions to this (if you attest that you will not file a foreign patent application for the same invention, etc.), but the vast majority of patent applications are made public at the 18-month mark.

crees!
Jul 10, 2006, 01:26 PM
Nope... can't see them wasting processor/battery power on this when there are things like bigger screens, better battery life etc to work on.

If it's for driving, then add it into a processor dock in the car.
This is done by and on the computer, not the iPod.

WildCowboy
Jul 10, 2006, 01:28 PM
This is done by and on the computer, not the iPod.

There's still a power demand associated with calling up the proper sound file to be played at the proper time, as well as the actual playing of the sound, even when the actual text-to-speech encoding is done on the computer. How much of a demand I don't know, but there would be some effect.

crees!
Jul 10, 2006, 01:28 PM
The only practical use this could have would be if a blind person wants to listen to the iPod. You just made absolutely no sense at all and the fact that this would be limited to just blind people is ridiculous.

Peace
Jul 10, 2006, 01:31 PM
You just made absolutely no sense at all and the fact that this would be limited to just blind people is ridiculous.


How so ?

I meant no disrespect..My mother was blind before she died.

If a blind person wants to navigate through the menu it would help to have text to speach..

As for the "limits" you speak of..Text to speach isn't very good to begin with..And I never said it was limited to the Blind.

Just an opinion buddy..
We all have them.

yellow
Jul 10, 2006, 01:36 PM
I'm not buying it for the simple reason that auto-read voices for text still sucks.

Try putting this in Text Edit and having the voice read it. :rolleyes:

Next Up - My Balls, Your Chin by Snot.

crees!
Jul 10, 2006, 01:40 PM
How so ?

I meant no disrespect..My mother was blind before she died.

If a blind person wants to navigate through the menu it would help to have text to speach..

No offense but referencing your mother doesn't correct your statement. You mentioned that The only practical use this could have would be if a blind person wants to listen to the iPod.

All the "blind" person has to do is scroll all the way down to the bottom of the main menu and select Shuffle Songs. Then the "blind" person is now listening to what's on the iPod. Blind in quotes because I can do the same without looking at the iPod.

roburado
Jul 10, 2006, 01:54 PM
The phatbox http://phatnoise.com/ in my car talks to me. It tells me what album or playlist is up. I think that's fine. If Apple wants to make my iPod do that? Okay. Fine. Just don't tell me what the heck songs are coming. My playlists are generally albums on the phatbox. I don't want the freaking iPod interjecting its voice into the experience of listening to the album from the first note to the last.

The thing that's nice is that I just scroll up and down through the playlists/albums on the phatbox hard drive. I don't have to read a thing. It's all audible. Of course, the voice is 2003 technology, and it sounds silly, mispronouncing things here and there, but I bet what is out there now is pretty good, probably the latest version of what I have which is AT&T-developed.

I think it's a great feature to have in the car. One could scroll through artists, playlists, albums, etc. Hit an up arrow or a down arrow on the steering wheel. Turn the wheel on your Audi MMI, or BMW iDrive, or whatever other company's interface. Let it tell you where you are, and you won't have to look at a damn thing except the road.

netdog
Jul 10, 2006, 01:56 PM
Good to see that they are working on important things like this, and not wasting their time on *little* things like gapless iTunes playback. :rolleyes:

roburado
Jul 10, 2006, 01:57 PM
There's still a power demand associated with calling up the proper sound file to be played at the proper time, as well as the actual playing of the sound, even when the actual text-to-speech encoding is done on the computer. How much of a demand I don't know, but there would be some effect.

Agreed. This does concern me. Also, how much memory is required? :confused:

roburado
Jul 10, 2006, 01:57 PM
Good to see that they are working on important things like this, and not wasting their time on *little* things like gapless iTunes playback. :rolleyes:

That would be great.

Peace
Jul 10, 2006, 02:00 PM
No offense but referencing your mother doesn't correct your statement. You mentioned that

All the "blind" person has to do is scroll all the way down to the bottom of the main menu and select Shuffle Songs. Then the "blind" person is now listening to what's on the iPod. Blind in quotes because I can do the same without looking at the iPod.

That's great and all but what if the person doesnt WANT to just shuffle? What if the person wants to play a certain playlist.Or a specific artist?

roburado
Jul 10, 2006, 02:05 PM
That's great and all but what if the person doesnt WANT to just shuffle? What if the person wants to play a certain playlist.Or a specific artist?
Yeah. I hate the idea of shuffling through songs, personally. I might as well listen to the radio in that case. There's no way I want to give up that control. I want specific songs at specific times. I want specific albums from start to finish when I want them. If I want a playlist of a bunch of different songs, I'll make one, and I'll put the songs in the order I want them so that I can control the transitions from one song to the next. I like a flow that makes sense stylistically in a playlist--not something random.

If someone wants to shuffle? Okay. Go ahead and shuffle. It's just not the way I listen to music.

Lmac
Jul 10, 2006, 02:19 PM
:) Awesome! Now those who have been unable to learn to read or those who cannot see can use the iPod and know exactly where they are! Hurray! I remembered reading somewhere that the blind community felt that Apple had left them out with the iPod. If true, now they could enable this feature and enjoy their favorite music.

I am surprised that this has not been mentioned as a benefit of introducing such a product. Maybe MacRumors could mention this on their page 1.
-Lmac

~Shard~
Jul 10, 2006, 02:59 PM
If it's couple with a 16:9 video screen, my credit card is at the ready. Otherwise I'l stay with my "retro" 3G iPOD.

Nothing wrong with "retro" - my 3G is still working perfectly, no need for a new one for me at least.... :cool:

Collin973
Jul 10, 2006, 03:34 PM
Talking ipod? Is there a point? Why does it need to talk? Or wait it doesnt...

cruci
Jul 10, 2006, 03:45 PM
The computer does the text-to-speech conversion and then loads the speech onto the iPod. Based on user inputs, the iPod will select the appropriate speech file to play. But the actual speech encoding would be done beforehand by the computer.

What's the point of text-to-speech if you end up with hardcoded files?

Do you really want an extra file for each and every song on your iPod? That doesn't sound like the Apple way of doing things...Doesn't make sense.

WildCowboy
Jul 10, 2006, 03:53 PM
What's the point of text-to-speech if you end up with hardcoded files?

Do you really want an extra file for each and every song on your iPod? That doesn't sound like the Apple way of doing things...Doesn't make sense.

Go ahead and read the patent application (http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=2&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=naik&s2=apple&OS=naik+AND+apple&RS=naik+AND+apple) yourself...apparently it is the Apple way.

Paragraph 0007: "One aspect of the present invention pertains to techniques for providing the audio user interface by efficiently leveraging the computing resources of a host computer system. The relatively powerful computing resources of a host computer system create audio files based upon text strings that are then transferred to a smaller computing platform, such as a hand-held device. The host computer system performs the process intensive text-to-speech conversion so that the computing device only needs to perform the less intensive task of playing the audio file. This approach of utilizing the host computer system in addition to the computing device allows for increased quality for the text-to-speech conversions and helps reduce not only the computational requirements but also the size and weight of hand-held computing devices."

SheriffParker
Jul 10, 2006, 03:54 PM
What's the point of text-to-speech if you end up with hardcoded files?

Do you really want an extra file for each and every song on your iPod? That doesn't sound like the Apple way of doing things...Doesn't make sense.

I'm sure they could integrate a short audio clip into the original file, the same way that album artwork is integrated into the song file.

crees!
Jul 10, 2006, 03:58 PM
What's the point of text-to-speech if you end up with hardcoded files? The song titles and artists' names are "hardcoded" on your iPod. So what's your point if you can't alter the artists names/songs directly on the iPod? Which this now brings up something I don't think anyone has thought of.

My guess is when there's wireless capabilities added to the iPod and if only your computer creates these text-to-speech files (and not iTMS) then we will NOT have an iPod that can remotely download music directly from iTMS. Unless Apple includes these files with your purchased tracks but then how would you keep it consistent with the voice you chose, unless there is just 1 standard voice?

manic
Jul 10, 2006, 04:04 PM
I think its pretty cool. It indicates that the next ipod rev may come with bluetooth. So you can have your ipod in your case, integrated with you car stereo and you can say commands like: "pause"; "Next song", etc.

WildCowboy
Jul 10, 2006, 04:06 PM
I think its pretty cool. It indicates that the next ipod rev may come with bluetooth. So you can have your ipod in your case, integrated with you car stereo and you can say commands like: "pause"; "Next song", etc.

That's actually the opposite of what this patent about. This patent is about the iPod speaking to you, not the iPod understanding what you are saying.

kcroy
Jul 10, 2006, 04:10 PM
I think it would be helpful if the ipod could sync with Mail. In the morning, you could sync with your email. Grab your ipod and on the way to work listen to your important emails. (Of course it would be better if you could reply to them.) Just a thought.:)

4np
Jul 10, 2006, 04:27 PM
Haha! I am totally looking forward to hear the title of track #2 on Aphex Twin's Windowlicker (http://www.discogs.com/release/19290) single... :D

LOL! That would indeed be pretty impressive ;)

netdog
Jul 10, 2006, 04:53 PM
I think it would be helpful if the ipod could sync with Mail. In the morning, you could sync with your email. Grab your ipod and on the way to work listen to your important emails. (Of course it would be better if you could reply to them.) Just a thought.:)

IMAP could make the first part of that easy.

As for the later part, it would really be great if Apple would finally introduce a PDA or other small device with input capabilities like...er...an iPhone?

Teqanjel
Jul 10, 2006, 05:00 PM
Many of you are missing the primary aim of an option like this (speaking aloud song names, etc.). Current iPods are not accessible to users who are blind or visually impaired. There are roughly 10 million people in the U.S. who are legally blind; about 1.5 million are totally blind. In addition, the iTunes interface itself is not currently accessible -- even Mac OS X's own VoiceOver utility cannot read aloud song lists, etc. So Apple is most likely addressing these issues, which also provides sighted users with benefits for times when they are "situationally blind" -- e.g., while driving. This is simply adhering to good Universal Design principles: design which is flexible enough to meet the needs of all users.

So why the big fuss over a spoken interface for iPods or iTunes for songs? Because it's about more than music. Apple is positioning iTunes as a content management system for education -- take a look at their iTunes U site: http://www.apple.com/education/solutions/itunes_u/. iPods, iTunes, and podcasting are being used increasingly in the secondary and post-secondary system. By law, these educational materials must be equally accessible to all users. Printed material is also converted into MP3 audiobooks for use by students with visual impairments and learning disabilities. Apple developed VoiceOver to address needs such as these; they likely aim to do this with their other products as well. And as with all good accessible design, it benefits all users.:)

aussie_geek
Jul 10, 2006, 05:19 PM
a big negative vote from me.

meh, sounds like a gimmick. if it does come to fruition it may be a sign that Apple is running out of ideas..... we need new stuff - not just add ons to their already released products.


aussie_geek

Mechcozmo
Jul 10, 2006, 06:10 PM
The incentive to provide speech-prompts is one of safety concerns. The Scotsman cites a couple of iPod-related accidents in which users were distracted from the road.

It is illegal to drive while listening to an iPod, or for that matter, any sort of device that obstructs your hearing. Your hearing reflex is much faster than your visual reflex, and so hearing skidding tires is much more likely to provoke a reaction than seeing tires skid.

Everyone who is saying, "This will make a great driving mode!" better be using their iPods connected through a stereo.

Philberttheduck
Jul 10, 2006, 06:43 PM
There goes trying to sneak my ipod during class.. boy will i look like a douchebag when i start cussing at my ipod for playing nsync when i want nelly (yes i have nsync for nostalgic reasons.. just have it on there when i feel like travelin down the 90s road).

the one joys about an ipod is SCROLLING through my library.

no touchscreen? it'd better at least be full screen. boy is apple going to no longer look "hip"

Many of you are missing the primary aim of an option like this (speaking aloud song names, etc.). Current iPods are not accessible to users who are blind or visually impaired. There are roughly 10 million people in the U.S. who are legally blind; about 1.5 million are totally blind. In addition, the iTunes interface itself is not currently accessible -- even Mac OS X's own VoiceOver utility cannot read aloud song lists, etc. So Apple is most likely addressing these issues, which also provides sighted users with benefits for times when they are "situationally blind" -- e.g., while driving. This is simply adhering to good Universal Design principles: design which is flexible enough to meet the needs of all users.

apple expects over 5 mil blind people to purchase new ipods? hmmmm what a marketing scheme.

Neuro
Jul 10, 2006, 07:32 PM
I think it's actually a great idea. My whole 'problem' with the iPod is the fact you have to take it out your pocket and look at the screen to see what you're doing (cue lamp-post). Seems silly to require visuals for a state-of-the-art- mobile audio device? Basically I hate the touch-wheel. Buttons should click and have a single function.

The shuffle is actually the best of the lot for usability as it has dedicated hardware buttons which you can use without looking.

Seriously, why would anyone be against this if you can switch it off???

Doctor Q
Jul 10, 2006, 07:48 PM
I think Apple owes me an inventor's fee for suggesting the idea 18 months ago. I'll e-mail Steve Jobs my PayPal account info so he can pay me. If he'd rather handle it with royalties based on sales, that's OK too.

zac4mac
Jul 10, 2006, 08:26 PM
Bummer Q, you nailed it. Shoulda sprung for a patent.

Z

~Shard~
Jul 10, 2006, 08:31 PM
Good to see that they are working on important things like this, and not wasting their time on *little* things like gapless iTunes playback. :rolleyes:

Well said. I would love to have that feature, and you can't imagine it would be that hard to implement... <shrug>

WildCowboy
Jul 10, 2006, 08:42 PM
I think Apple owes me an inventor's fee for suggesting the idea 18 months ago. I'll e-mail Steve Jobs my PayPal account info so he can pay me. If he'd rather handle it with royalties based on sales, that's OK too.

No dice...they filed the patent application in November 2004. I'm surprised you didn't get a cease-and-desist letter from Apple's lawyers after you posted that. (I guess they're powerless to do anything since the patent hasn't been issued yet...but watch yourself once it does.) ;)

aswitcher
Jul 10, 2006, 10:00 PM
This could be quite useful if coupled with wireless headphones because of the lack of visual controls.

Cygnus311
Jul 10, 2006, 11:06 PM
I would not want this. The break between songs that should run together is already bad enough.

I would love to see them put a microphone on it, and somehow incorporate voice recognition. Even if it means you have to be holding a button down while talking or something, it would still be easier than searching through 500 artists while driving, running, anything-ing, etc.

pink-pony115
Jul 11, 2006, 12:28 AM
I would rather use the iPod's backlight, than listen to a talking iPod.
I would hate an iPod to be like a furby. :mad:

yola
Jul 11, 2006, 02:07 AM
I'm not buying it for the simple reason that auto-read voices for text still sucks.

Try putting this in Text Edit and having the voice read it. :rolleyes:

Next Up - My Balls, Your Chin by Snot.


mhm ... go here:
http://demo.acapela-group.com/

and test it with Ryan or Heather ...

Now, go here, and read the announcement:
http://www.assistiveware.com/pr.php#PR050606

yes ... there will be very soon a very good new MULTILINGUAL TTS engine on mac OS X ... and very good compared to MacInTalk.
As it seems be integrated into Speech Manager, it could be easy for iTunes to use it to synthesize the ID3 tags of your mp3 files

Teqanjel
Jul 11, 2006, 03:13 AM
mhm ... go here:
http://demo.acapela-group.com/

and test it with Ryan or Heather ...

Now, go here, and read the announcement:
http://www.assistiveware.com/pr.php#PR050606

Or you could just go here: http://www.cepstral.com/
Cepstral voices have been available for the Mac since March of 2005. They were released in conjunction with OS X's VoiceOver. Unlike typical computer-synthesized speech, these are actually derived from real human voices. It's achieved by concatenating the waveforms of actual human utterances in a wide variety of contexts. The result is synthesized speech which closely resembles the pronunciation and prosody (melody and rhythm) of natural speech.

In addition, voices like these (as well as AT&T Natural Voices, currently PC only) are available in a number of dialects, each of which interprets text according to different language rules. This means that when the French voice Juliette speaks “c’est la vie”, it sounds like “seh-la-vee”, not “sest-la-vye”. I use these frequently on both Macs and PCs -- they do a much better job that standard computer-generated synthetic text-to-speech.

And keep in mind: "option" means you can turn it off if you don't want it. It's just available to you if you do.

Any accessibility features Apple adds to its hardware or software makes it more attractive to school districts and colleges. Schools need to purchase technology that will help them meet federal legal mandates regarding academic accessibility. That's what prompted development of VoiceOver: it's hard to pitch Apples to school districts considering Dells when there is no screen reader software available for those Macs, but PC users have JAWS, WindowEyes, and other options. So Apple trumped the Windows world by building these capabilities right into the operating system -- for free! (JAWS, by comparison, cost nearly $1000 per license.) I see the same thing with iPods and iTunes. If you don't like it, turn the option off. But for people who needs it, and for districts or post-secondary institutions who might require it, it's built-in, free, and the standard of the industry. Who educational institution can resist that sales pitch? And up goes Apple's educational market share.

nxent
Jul 11, 2006, 10:06 AM
maybe this is something apple made for kicks and will never see the light of day. makes you wonder how many projects/prototypes apple's worked on that were never released. now how many of us would like to get into THAT storage room...

nxent
Jul 11, 2006, 10:13 AM
Yes, it makes perfect sense if you're driving and don't want to be distracted by futzing with the iPod itself. This is just like the max volume setting that was implemented -- something that will likely be heralded as a great safety measure and will get Apple great accolades but the average user will hardly ever use.

as oppposed to waiting a second or two to hear and therefore recognize the song?

~Shard~
Jul 11, 2006, 10:15 AM
maybe this is something apple made for kicks and will never see the light of day. makes you wonder how many projects/prototypes apple's worked on that were never released. now how many of us would like to get into THAT storage room...

I think Apple might be a tad too busy to just sit around making things "for kicks"... :p :cool:

That being said, yes, seing the "storage room" for their R&D division would be quite fun.... :D

yellow
Jul 11, 2006, 10:17 AM
mhm ... go here:
http://demo.acapela-group.com/

To me, that STILL sounds like crap!

JackSYi
Jul 11, 2006, 10:18 AM
Say the name of an artist/song/album to play it? That would be cool, it would definitely make it "none-touch".

~Shard~
Jul 11, 2006, 10:42 AM
Say the name of an artist/song/album to play it? That would be cool, it would definitely make it "none-touch".

Yeah, but if you didn't like what song was coming up next you would still have to touch it to advance to the next one... :p ;)

Lollypop
Jul 11, 2006, 11:35 AM
Here is a though, let iTunes on the host Pc generate the voice sample, it gets integrated in the actualy music file, the iPod will only play that sample if the feature is turned on or reqested. Apple extends the music offering on the ITMS to have the actual artist say the song name ect of the song, so new music downloaded will have whoever say the song details.

crees!
Jul 11, 2006, 11:37 AM
Here is a though, let iTunes on the host Pc generate the voice sample, it gets integrated in the actualy music file, the iPod will only play that sample if the feature is turned on or reqested. Apple extends the music offering on the ITMS to have the actual artist say the song name ect of the song, so new music downloaded will have whoever say the song details. They wouldn't combine the two. Plus you'd have to put que points in the file and I don't know if AAC supports that. Plus what about the files you burn from a CD?

EDIT: Yea yea, I misread the comment.

princealfie
Jul 11, 2006, 11:40 AM
sounds good but how will this function in practice?

Lollypop
Jul 11, 2006, 12:26 PM
They wouldn't combine the two. Plus you'd have to put que points in the file and I don't know if AAC supports that. Plus what about the files you burn from a CD?

EDIT: Yea yea, I misread the comment.

I think AAC is a very capable format, if you look at some of the enhanced podcasts based on AAC, bookmarks, pics for each section, urls ect... Even if the voice bit is in the file it doesnt mean that it has to be used, if apple can create a overlay for the videos surely they can have two tracks play at the same time? So while the track is starting to play the artist will anounce what is about to play. I personally think this could be a nifty feature, apple just needs to do it right, have have a off buttom for those who dont like it.

christian_k
Jul 11, 2006, 02:26 PM
Hello,

if they want to make iPod able to speak music titles, it has to be capable of doing more than just playing sampes, it must have some sort of speach synth.
These things very often ignore the world outside the US (and other English speaking coutries). OSX includes such a tool, but if I put some German text into it, I get some fun, but it is "not suitable for daily use".

If they want to create such a device to sell it worldwide, they are facing some problems !

Christian

yola
Jul 12, 2006, 02:07 AM
OSX includes such a tool, but if I put some German text into it, I get some fun, but it is "not suitable for daily use".

If they want to create such a device to sell it worldwide, they are facing some problems !



It is why i've posted the link in my comment before ...
Apple has only american TTS ... but other companies have better TTS ... Try the link i posted before, i know a little about this TTS and it is very very good in european languages

netdog
Jul 12, 2006, 02:42 AM
They can call it the MrEdPod, of course.

Cobrien
Jul 12, 2006, 01:31 PM
I know this is in the past but in regards to the widescreen touchscreen iPod or whatever you want to call it.

I have only came back from holiday and got my pre-order of the new album complete with a couple of videos. The alternate live video was in widescreen format and it was pretty wide.

Are any other videos starting to become like this or is this a one-off.