Music playback commands in the headphone buttons of iPod touch and iPhone

A little trick to control iPhones and iPods is that they support certain voice control commands as well as some functions or shortcuts in their headphones.

Some models of the iPod Touch and the iPhone have a small control panel in the very cable of their headphones. We can use these headphone buttons to control the music playback in a quick way, with no need of taking out our music player from our pocket.

This control panel in the iPhone / iPod headphones is composed of 3 front buttons and a voice recognition microphone in the back.

iPod headphones controls

With the iPod buttons "+" and "-" we can control the playback volume. And with the central button (pressing the small box in the middle) we can perform the following actions:

  • 1 click: Pause / Resume music playback
  • 2 clicks in a row: Skip to the next track on our playlist.
  • 2 clicks, keeping the button pressed after the second click: Fast forward in the current music track (release to continue at a normal speed from the chosen point in the track).
  • 3 clicks in a row: Skip to the previous song in our playlist.
  • 3 clicks in a row, keeping the button pressed after the third click: Rewind the current track, (release to resume the playback from the chosen point in the track).
  • 1 click, keeping the button pressed: activate the voice recognition mode to use the Voice Control commands on our iPod / iPhone. So we can issue commands to our gadget by speaking to the microphone embedded in the headphones. We could even start phone calls using our iPhone.

The iPod voice control commands to play music are:

  • Play
  • Play music
  • Play (Album) (Album name)
  • Play (Artist) (Artist name)
  • Play (Playlist) (Playlist name)
  • Pause
  • Pause music
  • Next
  • Next track
  • Next song
  • Previous
  • Previous track
  • Previous song
  • Play more like this
  • Play more songs like this
  • Shuffle
  • Genius

The call comands that we can issue to our iPhone to control it with our voice are as follows:

  • Call (name)
  • Call (name) (home, mobile, work, etc.)
  • Call number (555-555-5555)
  • Dial (name)
  • Dial (name) (home, mobile, work, etc)
  • Dial number (555-555-5555)

Other iPod control information commands, answered by a computer synthesized voice:

  • What's Playing
  • What song is this?
  • What song is playing?
  • Who sings this song?
  • Who is this song by?
  • Who plays this song?

It's also possible to issue voice correction orders to the iPod / iPhone:

  • Wrong
  • No
  • Not that one
  • Not that
  • Nope

And it is also possible to cancel the iPhone / iPod voice control mode with the simple voice order "Cancel"


Ricardo said...

This also works with the Blackberry headphones (excluding the raise/lower volume part since it doesn't have those buttons)