I have experienced this twice with my iPod nano. Both times it was near the end of my workout and when I was fairly sweaty. Both times, I have checked and the VoiceOver settings were turned OFF on my iPod.
I use a pair of Sony earbuds that have an "in line control" (a +/- and a little button in the middle). In the Sony user manual for my ear buds, it says to hold the little button down ("long press") to activate the VoiceOver feature. (They market this as a feature, not an annoyance!)
I have never done this intentionally, but I wonder if sweat gets into this mechanism and activates the VoiceOver feature inadvertantly via my headphones. Another possibility, I guess, is that using certain weight machines might somehow press this button (like a seated row machine where your chest is pressed against the pad?).
In the past, I've just turned the iPod off and the next time I went to the gym it was fine. So I've never tried to fix this using my new knowledge (amazing what a user manual can do for you!). Sony doesn't tell me how to turn this feature off using my in line control, but I assume that if holding the button down for a "long press" turns it on, then doing it again will turn it off. I plan to try it next time this occurs.
The only way around it is buy a set of earbuds w/o an inline mic. I had this on my ipod nano and my iphone when working out listening to music. I got rid of the apple earbuds and tried another brand with inline mic and no difference. Then I bought a pair of water proof earbuds w/o a mic and the problem is gone. Apple is not going to address the issue based on the number of complaints and no action over the years. So just bit the bullet and do without an inline mic. If you can't live w/o an inline mic, the problem will continue.
I will confirm one more time that using a cheap pair of earbuds w/o the volume/mic control will fix the issue. Anyone that still thinks apple is going to address this issue after the length of time this has been an issue on ipods and more so with iphones, you are fooling yourself. There really is no need for a mic or volume control on an ipod since it already has volume buttons on the device. I have used H2O audio earbuds for about six months and not had any issues, that's zero problems with voice over since using the no volume/mic earbuds both on my iphone and my ipod. In the past I used apple buds as well as an expensive set of klipsch buds both suffered severe voice over interruptions when exercising and sweat was involved. I also think that humidity in summer and wind contributed to the issue with volume/mic earbuds. Soooo the simple solution is buy a cheap set of ear buds w/o an inline volume control/mic...................
This advice is about as useful as a chocolate teapot. Much better advice would be to not buy any apple products ever again.
I've had this problem with my last two iPods. Shuffle and Nano. Frankly feel like an idiot for buying a second one. It doesn't matter if I use headphones with or without inline mic/remote. It still occurs. Switching it off in iTunes. It still occurs. Restoring iPod. It still occurs. I do use it at the gym. But I also use it at work. And guess what? It doesn't matter where I am. It still occurs.
Please just completely remove this annoying feature. Or atleast make the option to switch it off actually switch it off.
I've had my ipod for about 3 weeks and bought it for running. This voiceover feature is making it completely useless. Feature is turned off in iTunes and the nano. I don't want to hear that stupid lady's voice!!!!! I don't want to hear the song, I don't want to hear all my playlists, NOTHING!!!! Ready to run this thing over with my car.
<Edited By Host>