Tech News on G4

MUSO Makes Your iPod Listen to YOU!

July 21, 2008

By Greg Gazin - Apple Gaziní - G4 Canada

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DirectVoxx Inc., a Calgary, Alberta based Canadian company adds a totally new meaning to “Hello Computer”,  Scotty’s famous line in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

HELLO Ė Iím a MAC, and Iím a PC, etc...DirectVoxx’s starship is the company’s flagship product Muso, a pocket-sized accessory for the iPod and iPhone that allows users to access their music and control their iPod with natural voice commands.

We all know how awkward it is to flip to a specific tune, especially when you’re doing something else or when your iPod is on hooked to your belt under 3 layers of clothing.

Casey Pechet, the President of DirectVoxx, points out that “the ability to control your iPod without having to concentrate on it will be a huge benefit to users while they are working out, skiing or snowboarding, or driving their cars, allowing them to do what they are doing without stopping to change songs or finding the perfect set of songs.”

Natural Voice Commands

What’s unique about the Muso is that it does more than just next, last, forward and reverse. It’s designed to synchronize with your iTunes Library the first time you use it. It’s proprietary technology allows your iPod to accept natural voice commands like ‘”Select My Beatles playlist”. If you just say “Led Zeppelin”, it will automatically create a list from your library. You can even have it select by a preconfigured tag like genre and say, “Gimme Jazz!” 

The demo suggests that it will even correct your commands. Telling it to play California Girls by the Mamas and Papas, an obvious faux-pas, will trigger California Dreaming by the Mamas and Papas.  (While the example is a good one, just to be difficult, the opposite may not work.  Unbeknownst to some, the Beach Boys did record California Dreaming.  It would also be interesting to know what would happen if you asked for California Girls by The Beach Boys, David Lee Roth and Gretchen Wilson if they were all in your iTunes Library!  Wikipedia shows a few dozen covers)    Ok, I digress!!

Vocal Volume Control

The MUSO can also control more than just songs and playlist; it can control the iPod as well. It can accept commands like “Louder, Softer and Volume level 8”

The company says the Muso is totally mobile and runs on a battery that should last up to 10 hours.

While it would be nice to have one of these right now, it’s expected that the MUSO for the iPod Nano will be available in Dec 2008 and for other models including the iPhone in 2009.

If you can’t wait until then to say “Hello iPod”, DirectVoxx is looking for people to join the Beta Testing program.

Greg Gazin can be reached at gadgetguy “at” telus “dot” net.


California Dreaming – The Beach Boys


About G4 in Canada
G4 launched on September 7, 2001 as the ultimate television resource for technology news, information and entertainment. Co-owned by G4, Rogers Media Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc., G4 is Canada's first television channel 100% dedicated to technology, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The channel features the latest technology news, information and entertainment in an exciting and high-energy format. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite.