Speak to your iPod

I’ve been wondering if there is a way to control my iPod Touch (4g) with voice commands, especially when skiing, when, for example an Indigo Girls song comes on or something and I need to skip to something more like Mac Dre. This would also be useful when using the rowing machine at the YMCA, jogging, biking or anytime I don’t want to dig the ipod out of a pocket or backpack.

There is a way, but it took me 30 minutes on Google to figure it out, so here is the process in a few easy steps.

1. You need headphones with a button.
The ones that come with the iPod actually have a button, though I did not know that. Maybe I’m the last iPod user to know, but I don’t think it said anywhere that the microphone is also a button.

2. Push and hold the button for two seconds.
The built-in Voice Control software opens up on the ipod. Again, Apple brags about this feature on its iPod web site and has an entire support page on using Voice Control that never mentions this button. You can also push and hold the iPod Home button (the little round one at the bottom center) to bring up Voice Control. But you don’t have to download an app or anything—it’s built in to the software (I looked on the app store three times trying to find Voice Control).

3. Speak to your iPod.
You can tell it the following:

  • Play
  • Pause
  • Next song
  • Previous song
  • What is the time?

It also recognizes a bunch of other commands cataloged here.

4. Bonus. The little button can also accomplish much of this without the voice commands. Double click to skip tracks, click to pause and play. Really I just want to skip tracks though, when a bad song comes on. That’s all. The time thing is cool.

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