Upcoming Talking iPod?

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by MacRumors, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Several readers are reporting on an article in from Scotsman that discusses the possibility of a talking iPod.

    The article is based on a recent patent applications that were originally reported on in May. 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.
  2. macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2005
    Fairbanks, AK
    Not apple-like, they are about the music, not about some voice coming up and talking while your listeing to your music.
  3. macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    Oneida, NY
    The Rumors are hot today, eh?

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


    Feb 3, 2005
    I hope the voice for this sounds better than the speech command on the macs
  5. macrumors regular


    Jun 26, 2006

    how annoying would that be??!
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2005
    what happened to the music

    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
  7. macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2006
    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.
  8. Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    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!

    for you are the wind beneath my wings.

    I guess it could tell you song, artist, album but my version is more humorous. :)
  9. macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    "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.
  10. macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    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.
  11. macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    Roeselare, Belgium
    That's the improvement of the 6th gen iPod ??

    Gimme a break...
  12. macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    Quite true - I'm still waiting for my color-changing iMac... ;) :cool:
  13. macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2004
    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?
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2003
    West Virginia
    "Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that."

    Geek reference
  15. macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    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?
  16. macrumors 68040


    Mar 29, 2004
    Manchester, UK
    Cycling with an ipod? It'd need to be very quiet on the roads before I attempted that!
  17. macrumors regular


    Dec 30, 2001
    New York, NY
    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.
  18. macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2006
    Boston, MA
    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.
  19. macrumors 68040


    Mar 29, 2004
    Manchester, UK

    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.
  20. macrumors 65816

    Electro Funk

    Dec 8, 2005
    The Opium Garden
    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...
  21. macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    Haha! I am totally looking forward to hear the title of track #2 on Aphex Twin's Windowlicker single... :D
  22. macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    San Francisco
    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?
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 2, 2005
    On an island in Maine
    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).
  24. macrumors 68020

    Jul 8, 2006
    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:
  25. macrumors 68000


    Jun 14, 2003
    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.

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