MP3 Players

Speaking menus on Ipod Nano

iPods that speak, everything! You must have the latest generation Nano (4th gen.) and the latest 8.x iTunes software. When connected, you’ll find a new option in iTunes to “Enable spoken menus for accessibility.”

When you sync, iTunes 8 creates spoken descriptions for the contents of your iPod nano using the text-to-speech engine on your computer (in Mac OS X, Windows XP and Windows Vista) and then syncs them to your iPod nano (4th generation) along with your music.

Switch Accessible Mp3 Player

The iScan-MP3 is an accessory that gives a person with no hand function control of Apple’s iPod personal music player.

The iScan-MP3 plugs into the remote control socket, and using a single switch suited to the individual, all remote control functions are available. For a person with high level quadriplegia, a switch mounted on the wheelchair headrest may be suitable.

iscan mp3 interface

Follow these simple steps:

  • Plug your switch into the iScan-MP3.
  • Plug the iScan-MP3 into your iPod.
  • Activate your switch to make a selection. (see below)
  • The first press of the user switch will start the iScan-MP3 scanning and subsequent presses operate the iPod.

What the choices do:

  • Play/Pause/Power:
    If the iPod is off, this choice will turn the iPod on and start playing the current track
  • If the iPod is on, this choice alternates between play and pause.
  • Pressing this choice for more than 3 seconds will turn the iPod off.

  • Track Forward/Back:
    These two buttons step sequentially up and down the iPod play list. At this stage, it is not possible to step through albums or other categories with the iScan-MP3.
  • Holding the switch down makes the iScan-MP3 automatically step forward or backwards through the play list.
  • Volume Up/Down
    These two buttons sequentially ramp the iPod volume up and down. Please note: You can only change volume when the iPod is playing.
  • Holding the switch down on this selection makes the iScan-MP3 volume ramp up or down.

  • Scan speed is also adjustable


The iScan-MP3 is compatible most models in the iPod range (NOT COMPATIBLE WITH IPod Shuffle).

Voice Controlled iPod:

DirectVoxx Voice Controlled iPod and iPhone

RJ Coopers MP3 Player-Drive with switch adapters

image of mp3 player

Image: RJ
Switch adapted MP3 player with Dual Button Box

MP3 player with dual button switch box

Image: RJ

RJ Cooper switch-adapted MP3 player can be used with a 1 or 2 GB USB drive.

For access by someone with a physical need, one switch input is power/play/pause and the other is to move through your songs.

The MP3 Player-Drive plays unlocked MP3's available from online music shops or downloaded songs that you can easily convert through iTunes, Napster, or most software, including Windows Media Player, where you can also 'rip' music from audio CD's.

This MP3 Player-Drive is also a USB flash drive with which you can move files between computers. This type of device has replaced floppies. You can fit thousands of files on this MP3 Player-Drives!

And the USB connector is built-in! No cable necessary (Yes, a cap is also included).

Yes, it comes with earbuds, and an AAA battery.


  • Plugs right into any USB port
  • 1 GB or 2 GB fully useable as a drive for Mac or PC (requires no software, except for Win 98)
  • Plays MP3's & WMA's, the 2 most common music formats (Protected media must be 'ripped' through Media Player or QT Player)
  • Drag and drop files of ANY type) from your computer without any special software (although iTunes can be used, also)
  • It holds....well, a typical MP3 measures about 5 MB. So the 1 GB holds about 200 songs, while the 2 GB holds about 400.
  • Comes with really decent earbuds
  • Sequential playback of songs
  • FF, REW functions
  • Functions as podcast and/or audio book player! (no bookmarks, sorry)
  • 7 hours play time
  • Dimensions: 1" wide x 4" tall
  • Weight: just over 1 ounce (30 grams)

Switch operated iPod

RJ Cooper makes special software and hardware products for persons with special needs. They have come up with a switch device to allow someone to use one with an iPod.

image of the switch operated ipod device

Image from: RJCooper
Controlling Your iPod Directly From Your AAC Device

Most AAC devices already have built-in Infrared (IR) learning capabilities for controlling around-the-home IR devices, like TV's, cable, etc. I called Dynavox and theirs have had IR learning capabilities all the way back through several generations of their products. I'm assuming the other 'big' AAC companies have also. That's 1/2 of the 'equation'.

* IR learning is when you can 'teach' a device about the IR codes that a remote sends to an entertainment unit, like a TV. Most times, you use a long list of codes to specify a set of IR signals that your remote will emit. But there are other times when you want a device to 'learn' by actually receiving the IR signal and remembering it. So to 'teach' an AAC device a signal, you put it into a certain mode, aim your remote at the AAC device, and it will/should remember the signal for later use)

The second half is getting the iPod to see the IR coming from your AAC. That requires an IR remote for iPod and they already exist! So I purchased every one I could find, so I could select the best one for you out there. I then trained my Super-Auggie AAC device, as a test, with my EADL IR package, using the IR remote from the package. I insert the iPod into the dock of the package. Then I set up a few cells/buttons within my PTP-PC AAC software (all AAC software on the different AAC devices does about the same thing) to send Play/Pause, Volume up/down, previous/next song via IR, and presto, AAC control of an iPod!

This can easily be done with a Dynavox, Mercury, Vanguard, etc. paired with my AAC iPod Controller!

The audio can be heard either through your iPod's regular earbuds, or through one of the great external speakers currently available for iPods. I have researched these *extensively* and am selling the Labtec. It is rechargeable! This means you can take it with you without plugging it into any power! And it sounds MUCH bigger than its actual compact size of 16.7" wide x 6.1" tall x 2.5" deep.

More information about the iPod switch . . .

Inclusive MP3 Player

Inclusive MP3 Player Simply plug in a USB stick or SD card containing your MP3 files and switch users can play, pause and skip forwards or backwards through tracks. Music is played through the built-in speakers and the internal battery is rechargeable so you can listen to your music anywhere. The Inclusive MP3 Player is a great way to give switch users control and choice over their music. Free USB memory stick included.• The Inclusive MP3 Player can be used with a single switch as well as the three shown.
• Single switch - controls play and pause. Press the switch to start the music and press again to pause.
• Step forward - press to step forward through your tunes.
• Step back - press the switch to step back a track.
• Sorry, switches not included.

MP3 for the Blind

Many MP3 players lack easy to navigate menus.

Rockbox is a replacement Firmware for many populaer MP3 players that adds ease of navigation and voice output to the MP3 player

From Rockbox website

" What is Rockbox? Why should I use it?
Rockbox is an open source firmware replacement for a growing number of digital audio players. It has been in development since 2001 and receives new features, tweaks and fixes every day to provide you with the best possible music listening experience. Rockbox aims to be considerably more functional and efficient than your device's stock firmware while remaining easy to use and customizable. We believe that you should never need to go through a series of menus for an action you perform frequently. We also believe that you should be able to configure almost anything about Rockbox you could want, pertaining to functionality. It is written by users, for users. Another top priority of Rockbox is audio playback quality. Rockbox, for most models, includes a wider range of sound settings than that device's original firmware. A lot of work has been put into making Rockbox sound the best it can, and improvements are constantly being made. All models have access to a large number of plugins, including many games, applications, and graphical demos. You can load different configurations quickly for different purposes (e.g. a large font for in your car, different sound settings for at home). You can even customize your While Playing screen to display only and exactly what you want to see when your music is playing. In addition, Rockbox features a wide range of languages, and all supported models also have the ability to talk to you - menus can be voiced and filenames spelled out or spoken."

Audio Resources

  • Switch. Audio file format conversion.

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