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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Several readers are reporting on an article in from Scotsman 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. 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.
 

ITASOR

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2005
4,398
3
The Rumors are hot today, eh?

ahuman7341 said:
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.
 
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d.perel

macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2005
204
0
I hope the voice for this sounds better than the speech command on the macs
 
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shigzeo

macrumors 6502a
Dec 14, 2005
704
55
Japan
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
 
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skwert

macrumors member
Jan 12, 2006
30
0
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.
 
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SilentPanda

Moderator emeritus
Oct 8, 2002
9,992
31
The Bamboo Forest
Macrumors said:
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. :)
 
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nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
"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.
 
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~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,377
44
1123.6536.5321
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.
 
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nxent

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2004
330
7
seattle
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?
 
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~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,377
44
1123.6536.5321
Macnoviz said:
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?
 
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confirmed

macrumors regular
Dec 30, 2001
151
92
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.
 
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BrianMojo

macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2006
185
0
Boston, MA
nxent said:
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.
 
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emotion

macrumors 68040
Mar 29, 2004
3,186
3
Manchester, UK
confirmed said:
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.
 
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Electro Funk

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2005
1,073
0
The Opium Garden
kirk26 said:
"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...
 
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QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
11,622
5,024
Bay Area
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?
 
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baleensavage

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2005
622
0
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).
 
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iMikeT

macrumors 68020
Jul 8, 2006
2,304
1
California
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:
 
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crees!

macrumors 68000
Jun 14, 2003
1,924
41
MD/VA/DC
baleensavage said:
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.
 
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