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Apple details new Voice Over controls for iPod shuffle

post #1 of 103
Thread Starter 
Apple has detailed the remote control features of the new third generation iPod shuffle, which pairs Apple's now-standard earphones with an integrated remote that includes voice feedback and visual signals from an indicator light.

The remote features the same center click button and volume up and down toggle controls (pictured below) as the most recent generation of new iPods released last fall. The new remote features also work with the latest generation of unibody MacBooks and with iPhones and the second generation iPod touch, all of which are equipped with a special four-conductor headphone jack to support the control features.



1 Volume Down button
2 Center button
3 Volume Up button

Status lights for control functions and battery level

New to the third generation iPod shuffle is an indicator light providing a visual feedback for the remote features, as the device lacks any display. Unlike previous versions of the iPod shuffle, the new version also lacks any playback controls on the unit itself, requiring the use of Apple's remote-integrated headphones.

When turned on, the iPod shuffle's status light indicate approximately how much charge is left in the battery. If iPod shuffle is already on, you can check the battery status without interrupting playback by quickly switching iPod shuffle off and on again and then observing the color of the status light. The new third generation iPod shuffle also provides VoiceOver feedback with an audible battery status stated when you quickly switch the unit off and on.

When checking the battery level, a green light indicates a greater than one quarter full to full charge. With Voice Over, the device will also announce Battery Full if the charge is greater than three quarters full, Battery 75% if the charge is greater than half full, and Battery 50% if the charge is at least twenty five percent to half full. An orange light indicates a charge of ten to twenty five percent, and is accompanied by an announcement of Battery 25%. A solid red light indicates a charge one to ten percent full, and is accompanied by an announcement of Battery Low. If less than one percent, the indicator light will blink red and a tri-tone signal will play. If no remaining charge is left, the device will obviously do nothing.

Voice Over features can be activated in iTunes during initial setup or at any later time from iTunes' Device Summary tab presented when the third generation iPod shuffle is attached. Once Voice Over is activated, iTunes will install Voice Over Kit software on the local computer and will generate audio VoiceOver messages to be synced to the device in the language specified.

Status lights for syncing and charging

The four conductor headphone jack on the new third generation iPod shuffle also doubles as a USB port for charging and syncing music. Apple supplies a short 45 mm USB adapter with the iPod shuffle (pictured below), and also offers an optional 1 meter long version of the cable.



While plugged in, a solid orange status light indicates the unit is charging, while a solid green light indicates the unit is fully charged. If the light is blinking orange, it means the unit is syncing with iTunes or that disk use was enabled in iTunes. In this state, iPod shuffle may be charging or fully charged; the charge status icon next to the iPod shuffle in iTunes will indicate the charge level. Ejecting the iPod shuffle from iTunes while leaving it connected to USB will cause the indicator light to display the charge status. If there is no status light when connected, it indicates a bad connection between the unit and the computer, or that the computer is not suppling power over USB.

Remote playback controls

To start playback on the iPod shuffle, click the Center button once. The indicator will blink green once. To pause playback, click the Center button again. The indicator will blink green for 30 seconds while paused.



Song and audiobook chapter navigation controls

To skip to the next track (or audiobook chapter), double-click the Center button. The indicator will blink green once.

To fast-forward, double-click and hold the Center button. The indicator will blink green once.

To skip back to the previous track (or audiobook chapter), triple-click the Center button within 6 seconds of the track starting. To restart the current track from the beginning, triple-click after 6 seconds. The indicator will blink green once.

To rewind, triple-click and hold the Center button. The indicator will blink green once.

Changing the volume

Click the Volume Up (+) or Volume Down (-) buttons to increase or decrease the volume. Click and hold to change the volume quickly. A tone sounds when you change the volume while iPod shuffle is paused. The indicator will blink green for each volume increment, and will blink orange three times when the upper or lower volume limit is reached

Voice Over and Playlist controls

To hear song title and artist names, click and hold the Center button. The indicator will blink green once.

To switch playlists, click the Center button until you hear a tone, and then release to switch the playlist menu. You'll hear the current playlist, all songs, and then remaining playlists in alphabetical order followed by audiobooks and podcasts. When you hear the name of the playlist you want, click to select it. You can click + or - to move quickly through the playlist menu. The indicator will blink green once.

To exit the playlist menu, click and hold the Center button. The indicator will blink green once.
post #2 of 103
What this all means is that you have to read the manual to work out how to use your new ipod, and probably carry around a bit of paper to remind you. Absolutely brilliant.
post #3 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleinsider View Post

to rewind, triple-click and hold the center button. The indicator will blink green once.

lolololololololololololol
post #4 of 103
The friggen trolls are out.
post #5 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

To rewind, triple-click and hold the Center button. The indicator will blink green once.

Somehow reminds me of this comic and the two after it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Voice Over features can be activated in iTunes during initial setup or at any later time from iTunes' Device Summary tab presented when the third generation iPod shuffle is attached. Once Voice Over is activated, iTunes will install Voice Over Kit software on the local computer and will generate audio VoiceOver messages to be synced to the device in the language specified.

Wait, so does this mean that it will embed the VoiceOver messages into each song in my library, regardless of whether I'll sync it or not? Or will it only embed the messages during the sync process? I don't really like the idea of iTunes messing around with each and every song in my library. (Though at least it's optional.)
post #6 of 103
Hey Deuces - Get a Life.

Use your brain - you don't have to adopt a stupid expression that just shows what an idiot you are.
post #7 of 103
I never thought 4chan crap would start showing up here, of all places.
Deuces, to put it into words you may understand, "gb2/b/"
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post #8 of 103
The command list is a little arcane in my opinion. Might as well learn Morse code while I'm at it. It's like one of my laser printers, it has no display and it's usually very reliable, but to read the error code on the front panel, I have to pull up the manual (in PDF form) to understand what it wants.
post #9 of 103
I'm sorry, but replacing 5 intuitive buttons with 3 buttons, a multi-color blinking LED, and page long set of instructions to decode it all just to make it a little bit smaller is not good interface design.
post #10 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

The friggen trolls are out.

Even if you live under a bridge, you can still figure out that the controls being tied to the earbuds is a very poor design.

Who in their right mind will buy a device that can ONLY use the Apple earbuds?
post #11 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

Even if you live under a bridge, you can still figure out that the controls being tied to the earbuds is a very poor design.

Who in their right mind will buy a device that can ONLY use the Apple earbuds?

It seems like most people do use stock earbuds though. I wonder if that consideration would even come up any time before the earbuds die or break.
post #12 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I'm sorry, but replacing 5 intuitive buttons with 3 buttons, a multi-color blinking LED, and page long set of instructions to decode it all just to make it a little bit smaller is not good interface design.

I have to agree with you. The bottom line is that if you give my Dad two Shuffles, the 2nd Gen and the 3rd Gen, and ask him to figure out how to play a song, he's going to get the 2nd Gen in two seconds, and he'll still be working on the 3rd Gen a week from now.

Not having a screen on the Shuffle limits it pretty hard to begin with. This new control scheme pretty much limits it to "turn the thing on and let it play, and then turn it off when you're done." It's not worth trying to remember how to rewind, fast forward, change tracks or playlists, etc.
post #13 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

The friggen trolls are out.

Expect more of them as Apple's popularity increases.
post #14 of 103
Useless trolls are... well useless.
But the same goes for mindless apple fanboys (and fangirls) that only retaliate without stating legitimate arguments.

I myself have a couple issues with this product...
1) How will we be able to use our own brand of headphones. I mean, unless Apple is advertising that they will provide the shuffle with the best headphones known to man, I think this is a bad idea.

2) As someone already mentioned, there has to be a balance between size vs. function. I think Apple nearly perfectly balanced it out with its last shuffle... I mean it's small, and it's still big enough to not lose all the time. With all this button and blinking lights, I think people are going to be too confused to appreciate the small size of the player itself.

3) When these shuffle headphones go out of production because of less demand (which is probably in a couple of years with this crappy version of the shuffle) then what are the people that have this shuffle going to do?

I mean, this is a really fascist move on Steve Jobs' part. Unless there's a lifetime replacement on these Apple headphones, I wouldn't even consider buying.

Just my 2 cents.
post #15 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhyun View Post

Useless trolls are... well useless.
But the same goes for mindless apple fanboys (and fangirls) that only retaliate without stating legitimate arguments.

I myself have a couple issues with this product...
1) How will we be able to use our own brand of headphones. I mean, unless Apple is advertising that they will provide the shuffle with the best headphones known to man, I think this is a bad idea.

2) As someone already mentioned, there has to be a balance between size vs. function. I think Apple nearly perfectly balanced it out with its last shuffle... I mean it's small, and it's still big enough to not lose all the time. With all this button and blinking lights, I think people are going to be too confused to appreciate the small size of the player itself.

3) When these shuffle headphones go out of production because of less demand (which is probably in a couple of years with this crappy version of the shuffle) then what are the people that have this shuffle going to do?

I mean, this is a really fascist move on Steve Jobs' part. Unless there's a lifetime replacement on these Apple headphones, I wouldn't even consider buying.

Just my 2 cents.

So you had to register to write this?
post #16 of 103
I'm as big an Apple fanboy as any, but even I have to admit... I'm waiting for the "April Fools!" message on Apple's website. I've admittedly never been the target consumer for a Shuffle (I like the screen and being able to select what I want to listen to) but I appreciate why they exist. This new Shuffle, however, has got to be the most ridiculous, counter-intuitive, unattractive gadget they've released in the last five years. The instructions alone read like an Apple parody in an Onion article.

I don't say this to be a troll and piss people off... But seriously, if someone other than Apple released this as a competitor to the last generation Shuffle, it'd be the laughingstock of the internets. It'd be a joke today, and completely forgotten tomorrow.

Everyone screws up. Apple's not immune. Although I think anyone who owned a third-generation iPod could have already told you that...
post #17 of 103
hmmm this definately is a joke

sooner or later, apple will change the functionality of this product. this looks like a half finished product.
post #18 of 103
I have a feeling this is kinda going to be like the Halo 3 Bubble Shield when it was first announced on the Bungie forums. People will think it's an outright stupid decision until they use it regularly, when they'll say, "oooooh, I get it!". I doubt Apple's QA department is so messed up as to let a truly horrible idea out of the gates. Of course, it might just turn out horrible anyway.
post #19 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChibiR View Post

Somehow reminds me of this comic and the two after it...



Wait, so does this mean that it will embed the VoiceOver messages into each song in my library, regardless of whether I'll sync it or not? Or will it only embed the messages during the sync process? I don't really like the idea of iTunes messing around with each and every song in my library. (Though at least it's optional.)

iTunes doesn't change your song files. Where did you get that from? The VoiceOver audio recordings will be separate files internally linked via some database to the songs, I imagine.
post #20 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhyun View Post

Useless trolls are... well useless.
But the same goes for mindless apple fanboys (and fangirls) that only retaliate without stating legitimate arguments.

I myself have a couple issues with this product...

...clip...

3) When these shuffle headphones go out of production because of less demand (which is probably in a couple of years with this crappy version of the shuffle) then what are the people that have this shuffle going to do?

I mean, this is a really fascist move on Steve Jobs' part. Unless there's a lifetime replacement on these Apple headphones, I wouldn't even consider buying.

Just my 2 cents.

You are making assumptions. Let me state some facts:

1) Apple supports previous-generation iPods for years after they are replaced.

2) Unlike many manufacturers, Apple knows that devices are virtually disposable in the long term and by making them as small and simple as possible, they minimize the impact on the environment. It's responsible design. I guess this could be my opinion, but I state it as a fact.
post #21 of 103
While I necessarily do not have a major issue with the controls (Apple will be releasing a headphone dongle for third party headphones), I wonder why those three simple buttons could not have been placed on the shuffle as well? From what I have read/seen, the three buttons are small enough to fit along the edge of the shuffle and would allow use of third party headphones as well as giving another set of controls.

Otherwise, I like the addition of the voice over, more memory, smaller aluminum form factor, improved clip as the former shuffle's clip was prone to breakage, playlists, etc. All added bonuses.
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post #22 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by vercordio View Post

The instructions alone read like an Apple parody in an Onion article.

LOL That chart is reminiscent of an Onion article, but in all seriousness those commands have been around and evolving since the first iPhone. They aren't difficult to learn, remember or use. In fact, I had been wanting more commends to be added to the device and I have somewhat gotten my wish. Now I just need to wait for the next iPhone OS X update to make them functional.
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post #23 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJD2112 View Post

I wonder why those three simple buttons could not have been placed on the shuffle as well?

It seems like your suggesting Apple was not able to add, not that they choose not to add them. It surely would make device thicker and probably cost more and be less durable for having more movable pats, but it would be possible to add them.

Apple seems to have had good success with the controllable phones introduces with the iPhone, enough they no sell ear-buds and in-er phones with controls and a mic built-in to them. I haven't checked but I'm guessing that these phones don't come with the mic.
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post #24 of 103
If one took the time to visit the Apple site, a couple of minutes matching the video is all it takes to understand the basics and then checkout the "See how the controls work" http://www.apple.com/ipodshuffle/features.html

If you have half a brain, it couldn't be any simpler to appreciate Apple's positioning of the product and its ease of use. By the way, if you really think you have to worry about the little green light, then your asses are your brains.

As for the earphones, Apple has done nothing that every other company has not done since the Walkman. They have satisfied the majority of the population, which is evident by there continued popularity. And for anybody to suggest that people don't care or don't know any better is the reason they are so popular, perhaps they should ask themselves if it is possible that you are wrong. That they do care and it is you that doesn't know any better.

Unfortunately, Apple or any other company can not make a universal ear piece that fits or suits everybody anatomically.

As "Dr. Alan Micco, an otologist/neurotologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, offers the same explanation we give ourselves every time we look at Heidi Klum's legs: "Everybody's anatomy is different."

"The contour of ear canals is different," he said. "The size of the opening of ear canals is different, and all of that can affect the placement of those little buds."

And yes, he said, "you can have differences from one side to the other. We are not symmetrical creatures." https://www.nmff.org/aboutus/newssto...?id=255&page=6

In addition, ear/headsets will never satisfy everybody. We also hear differently. Just like our sense of taste, smell, touch and even sight.

So, if you don't like the ear buds, you can do two things. Don't buy the new Shuffle, or if you are one of the intended target market you can wait until the announced adapter that will allow you to use your own preferred headphone comes out.

With VoiceOver, you really have to hear the product or at least watch the video. It is un-inrusive. Just enough to tell where you are. Remember this is primary a "Shuffle." Not a disc jockey's scheduled play list.

I predict that this product will sell extremely well.

Unfortunately for Apple, every time they innovate that bucks the abnormal, it has to be met with such negative rhetoric as we see from the same group of dissers here. Fortunately, they are invariably proven wrong.

I for one, can't wait. To play and listen to it. And to use it as a storage drive to transfer files.
post #25 of 103
Well from what I know Apple is currently working with other 3rd party headphones to release their version of a multi functional buttoned headphones, so guess time will tell.

And yea, only few few fewwww people only will change their headsets, heck I changed mine cause my original iPod broke, if it didn't broke, I think I wont be gettin a new one till today.
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post #26 of 103
I have purchased all the cute little shuffles from Apple. In deference to the economy, I'll probably stop that bad habit. I'm a little confused at the tradeoff Apple has made between ease of use and size. It's small: check. It's the clumsiest interface ever: double click, hold, face towards Mecca and release after 3 seconds.

I would not buy this iPod if I wanted to control playback and I suspect playlist freaks will spend a few more $$$ to obtain the necessary buttons and screen to bend the iPod to their will.

I read Chris Breen's take on it and in the end, when he stated this weird iPod's purpose, it suddenly became more clear. For those that use what Apple throws in the box, who will probably just let the thing shuffle along, this little ingot will bring much joy.

Ah heck...talked myself into it. I'll probably buy one.
post #27 of 103
Surely the next logical step is to make the Shuffle voice controlled?
post #28 of 103
Boy, that's a lot of functions for that centre button...

The old shuffle was already so small. I don't think the new, even smaller size is worth losing the controls.
post #29 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It surely would make device thicker and probably cost more and be less durable for having more movable [parts].

Perhaps, but that doesn't mean it would be thick, expensive and unreliable. And we don't have to discuss such a device as though it were something theoretical. All we have to do is look at the old shuffle.
post #30 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

It seems like most people do use stock earbuds though. I wonder if that consideration would even come up any time before the earbuds die or break.

My wife wears hearing aids and can't use earbuds. Although she would like to use the new Shuffle, putting the controls on earbuds will prevent her from being able to use the player.
post #31 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

You are making assumptions. Let me state some facts:

1) Apple supports previous-generation iPods for years after they are replaced.

2) Unlike many manufacturers, Apple knows that devices are virtually disposable in the long term and by making them as small and simple as possible, they minimize the impact on the environment. It's responsible design. I guess this could be my opinion, but I state it as a fact.

mmm...

So like when I bought my ipod touch and docked it into my Apple HiFi only to find out it does not charge it anymore?

Not that Apple gave me any kind of warning on their website or the packaging that the new iPods could not be charged from the pretty expensive dock I own and have used on previous ipods. Apple just assume that as I am an Apple customer then I am willing to keep throwing things away and buying new stuff all the time.
post #32 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

Who in their right mind will buy a device that can ONLY use the Apple earbuds?

ABSTER2CORE, Adjei1, and CJD21112
post #33 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple supplies a short 45 mm USB adapter with the iPod shuffle (pictured below), and also offers an optional 1 meter long version of the cable.

Between the inability to use standard headphones, Voice Over already being the butt of some jokes and a 45mm cable (~1.77 inches) ... UGH.

Quote:
Voice Over features can be activated in iTunes during initial setup or at any later time from iTunes' Device Summary tab presented when the third generation iPod shuffle is attached. Once Voice Over is activated, iTunes will install Voice Over Kit software on the local computer and will generate audio VoiceOver messages to be synced to the device in the language specified.

Oh, good grief, the new Shuffle doesn't even talk, it requires the host computer to generate and sync the voice audio.

Hopefully it's easier to use than the instructions make it seem. Binary math sounds more fun.

What a mess. Is it too late for Apple to consider 4GB in a 1st gen Shuffle?
post #34 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by vercordio View Post

I'm as big an Apple fanboy as any, but even I have to admit... I'm waiting for the "April Fools!" message on Apple's website. I've admittedly never been the target consumer for a Shuffle (I like the screen and being able to select what I want to listen to) but I appreciate why they exist. This new Shuffle, however, has got to be the most ridiculous, counter-intuitive, unattractive gadget they've released in the last five years. The instructions alone read like an Apple parody in an Onion article.

I don't say this to be a troll and piss people off... But seriously, if someone other than Apple released this as a competitor to the last generation Shuffle, it'd be the laughingstock of the internets. It'd be a joke today, and completely forgotten tomorrow.

Everyone screws up. Apple's not immune. Although I think anyone who owned a third-generation iPod could have already told you that...

I couldn't agree wit you more-
Headphones only control all the operations? What were they thinking? Why not issue a pea sized iPod with this functionality. You're right -this is reminiscent of the 3G iPod- which I skipped. How many of those do you still see in operation?
Apple took the simplified minimized Shuffle and turned it into a complex fiasco. And you can't use this on any of the many accessories out there now?
And holding down on buttons for operations is a major mistake- just ask anybody who's ever tried to put an Apple TV in standby mode with their remotes.

I could go on and on. And I am certainly NOT in the minority.

ANY DOUBTS? READ THIS FROM THE MOST RESPECTED IPOD SITE:

http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/new...hones-adapter/
post #35 of 103
The redesign doesn't bother me particularily, I like the idea. But:

They could have put more buttons on the remote - it would have made things easier.

They could alo have put buttons on the shuffle itself - perhaps along it's sides (rather than front).

Frankly it wouldn't bother me much as it is, but giving it to your (say) aged-parent, the added complexity of having to virtually use morse-code to use might be too much...
post #36 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

Even if you live under a bridge, you can still figure out that the controls being tied to the earbuds is a very poor design.

Who in their right mind will buy a device that can ONLY use the Apple earbuds?

People who buy Apple should be expected to only use what Apple allows them too - when has that changed? If you don't like it, get something else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing

I never thought 4chan crap would start showing up here, of all places.
Deuces, to put it into words you may understand, "gb2/b/"

It's only a matter of time. Soon we'll start seeing slowpokes and xzibits popping up
"I put an iPod in your iPod..."

Trolls suck

and
Apple doesn't have to be perfect all the time. Sales will show how this product fairs. Evolution doesn't always produce the best results, but not until it dies will you really know.
If it sucks, it won't sell. Either way, if you want it - deal with it.

I have my own problems with it - partly because of the lack of controls - partly with the size. It does give me incentive to buy the newer in-ear headphones, though, so there is a better listening experience on ALL of my iPods.
post #37 of 103
Also, as noted on iLounge:
http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/new...r-play-option/
In a new support document entitled ”iPod shuffle (3rd generation): About headphone compatibility,” Apple has disclosed that the new iPod shuffle can be set to play audio, without additional user input, even without the earphone-based controls. “When a standard headphone or audio accessory is connected you can initiate audio playback by simply switching iPod shuffle to the play in order or shuffle position from the off position… iPod shuffle will resume playback of the content that was previously being played at a fixed volume level that cannot be adjusted from the iPod itself. If iPod shuffle is connected to external speakers or a car stereo, volume adjustment may be possible from those devices.” While track control will still be impossible, this method should provide a temporary solution for owners who want to use the device with their car stereo or external speakers, until a proper adapter is available.
post #38 of 103
Did anybody read the product infoon Appl's website? If you use your existing hedphones that don't have any controls, the new iPod shuffle will work EXACTLY like the previous model. Move the on switch to the shuffle position, and it will begin play of all of your songs in random order. So nothing is lost.

If you want the added functionality you can use the new earbuds that come with it, or you can use any of the at least 15 different 3rd party models that do have the button functionality built in that are ALREADY out there. Yes the ones that were long ago developed to do things like answer the iPhone, or control function on the iTouch will work fine here. They come in various sound qualities, in ear, over ear, bud, headphone, etc. and there in line controlsd preform the same functions.
post #39 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFatWookie View Post

Did anybody read the product infoon Appl's website? If you use your existing hedphones that don't have any controls, the new iPod shuffle will work EXACTLY like the previous model. Move the on switch to the shuffle position, and it will begin play of all of your songs in random order. So nothing is lost.

???

Were you able to control the volume with the previous model? Were you able to skip a track you decided you didn't want to hear, or to hear a favorite one again?

"The new iPod shuffle will work EXACTLY like the previous model."

Are you sure about that?
post #40 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Surely the next logical step is to make the Shuffle voice controlled?

That makes much more sense than this. Personally I though that was where the Shuffle was heading.

Sorry fanboys but you are going to have to call me a troll on this one. For most of the people on this forum it will work well, but for the 99% of people who own iPods and never head of Appleinsider or any other blog like it, they are going to be confused. I feel there will be one of three things that happen with this version; 1. There will be a lot of returns. 2. There will soon be a lot of unused 3rd gen Shuffles sitting in homes all over the word. 3. There will be a lot of new 3rd gen Shuffles sitt on Apple store shelves.

I'm not a hater, but I don't see how this product is going to serve the masses. Voice controls would have been much better.
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