"Apple has flatly refused to comment on the design, but a patent lodged by the company in the United States makes clear the sixth generation of iPods will be able to convert those famous text menus into speech.
The ingenious system will rely on home PC processing power and clever software. The computer being used to download tracks will analyse each album title, song name and artist and convert them into sound files. These will be loaded into the iPod, along with the song files."
This is being driven by safety concerns. When you use an iPod in an "eyes-busy" activity like driving or using exercise equipment, having the music tracks read to the listener is preferable to having them only displayed on the screen.
This certainly makes sense to me. Apple has long been at the forefront of text-to-speech technology. It only seems a natural move to integrate it into their iPod music players.