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iPod 101: Make your iPod speak menu items

Cory Bohon

If you have a current generation iPod nano or classic, then you have the ability to access spoken menu items throughout the iPod. This is an accessibility feature that Apple built into the current iPod line, but I found that feature is handy while walking around, or driving, if you don't want to look at the iPod's screen.

To enable this feature, dock your iPod with your computer and open iTunes. Click your iPod under the Devices list, and select the General tab. If your iPod supports this feature, you should see an "Enable spoken menus for accessibility" checkbox under the "Options" section. Click this checkbox and sync your iPod. Depending on how much music you're syncing, generating the spoken menus could take a few minutes.

Once your iPod is finished syncing, you need to turn on spoken menus on the iPod. From the iPod menu, select Settings > General > Spoken Menus On/Off. When you roll over a song, menu item, or go into cover flow mode, the iPod will alert you with a spoken voice.

Additional Notes:
  • You can change the voice that is used for the spoken menus by going into System Preferences > Speech > Text to Speech > and selecting a new system voice on your Mac. You will need to resync your iPod after you change the voice.
  • You should note that not all menu items will be spoken, and some titles of songs won't be spoken properly. This is inherit of the Mac OS X Text to Speech engine.
  • This feature is not currently available on iPod touch or iPhone.

Want more tips and tricks like this? Visit TUAW's Mac 101 and TUAW Tips sections.

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