In keeping with our ever-expanding coverage on the future of Apple’s little music player, speculation has arisen (in the form of yet-another patent filing) that the next-generation Apple music machines will speak to you, announcing the song’s title and artist in a variety of celebrity voices. While it’s sort of creepy to consider having your iPod talk to you (is it really so difficult to just look at the song title, people?), this might be a great step forward in allowing iPods to be used by vision-impaired customers who can’t read the text on the iPod’s admittedly tiny screen.
The fact that the speech wouldn’t be performed by monosyllabic computer voice makes the feature more appealing overall. Apple is, apparently, going to some lengths to get celebrities on-board to lend their voices to the new concept, and Apple themselves is working on a system to mold these voices to speak any song title you can throw at them (though foreign-language tracks should prove to be most amusing to listen to). The actual processing is done on your PC/Mac by iTunes, where these new speech tracks are processed and loaded onto your iPod as audio tracks, which makes me wonder how much music space will you lose for these speech tracks to exist. Still, it’d be awesome to hear Darth Vader announce you death metal collection, wouldn’t it?