Make your iPod talk to you

Digital Audio Players
>> MP3 players are one of the most popular ways to enjoy music these days, but if you're one of the million suffering from vision impairment, navigating through your music collection using a scroll wheel and small type on a tiny screen, just isn't convenient. I'm Donald Bell, and on today's Insider Secret we're going to explain how to get spoken menus on Apple's fourth-generation iPod Nano. ^M00:00:19 [ Music ] ^M00:00:28 >> The fourth-generation Nano is one of the lightest, slimmest and most affordable iPod MP3 players you can buy. It's also the first iPod to include a spoken menu feature that reads selected menu and track listing information to you in a synthesized voice. >> Extras, videos, music. >> To enable this feature, connect your iPod to your computer, launch iTunes 8 and select your iPod from the left pane. The main iTunes window should now be an overview page for your iPod with a few check box options near the bottom of the page. Check out the last option marked Enable Spoken Menus. It will take a few minutes before the feature takes effect because iTunes needs to read all the menu and song data from your iPod then it generates a synthesized voice queues locally on your computer and finally it associates those voice queues back to your iPod. The upshot of the system is that you can change the speed and tone of the voice use in your iPod spoken menus by tweaking the voice settings on your computer. ^M00:01:24 [ Robotic voice ] ^M00:01:26 >> To change to default voice on Windows XP, go to Settings and the Start menu, select Control Panel and then select Speech. By default, Windows users only have one voice called Microsoft Sam, but additional voice can be installed. We found a few free ones out there, but many of the better voices run about 35 bucks a pop. Under voice type, there's also a bar to define the speed of the voice. Mac users have it a little easier when it comes to voice options. Over 20 voices are included by default on a Mac OS X although some of them are a little silly. >> Do-da-do-da-dum-de-de. >> You can find your Mac's voice settings by going to the system preferences from the Apple menu and locating the speech icon. Same as Windows, you can adjust the type of voice and the playback speed. In theory, iTunes should detect when you've made changes to your computers speech settings and reload your iPod Nano with new voice files the next time it's connected. However, in Windows XP we can only get the new voice settings to take after doing an iPod firmware restore through iTunes. Under Mac, system voice changes seem to take immediately. We imagine most folks won't be changing the voice settings too often, but it's good to know that if you have a favorite voice you'd like to use, there's no reason you can't load it on to your iPod Nano as well. After enabling spoken menus through iTunes, you should be able to hear the voice queues on your iPod right away. If you don't check the settings menu of your iPod, click on general and you should be able to find an option for turning spoken menus On or Off. Knowing where to locate your iPod settings for spoken menus is also useful for people who don't suffer from vision impairment, but want to temporarily take advantage of the features while driving so you can browse your music files without taking your eyes off the road. So there you go, that's how to get spoken menus on your fourth generation Apple iPod Nano. For CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell. ^M00:03:11 [ Music ]

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