Apple wants to simplify connecting media players, external devices
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Apple wants to simplify connecting media players, external devices

Apple wants to make it easier to connect media players to external devices, as evidenced by a patent (number 7783070) at the US Patent & Trademark Office. It's for a cable adapter for a media player system.

One aspect of the media player system pertains to a docking station that allows a media player to communicate with other media devices. Another aspect of the media player system pertains to a wireless media player system that includes a hand held media player capable of transmitting information over a wireless connection and one or more media devices capable of receiving information over the wireless connection.

Another aspect of the media player system pertains to a method of wirelessly connecting the hand held media player to another device. The method includes selecting a media item on the hand held media player; selecting one or more remote recipients on the hand held media player; and transmitting the media item locally to the hand held media player, and wirelessly to the selected remote recipients. Another aspect of the media player system pertains to a hand held music player that includes a transmitter for transmitting information over a wireless connection. The transmitter is configured to at least transmit a continuous music feed to one or more personal tuning devices that each include a receiver capable of receiving information from the transmitter over the wireless connection.

Yet another aspect of the media player system pertains to a connector that includes a housing and a plurality of spatially separated contacts mounted within the housing. A first set of contacts are directed at a first functionality and a second set of contacts are directed at a second functionality that is different than the first functionality. The inventors are Anthony M. Fadell, Stephen Paul Zedesky and John Benjamin Filson.

Here's Apple's summary of the invention: "The invention relates, in one embodiment, to a docking station that allows a media player to communicate with other media devices. The media player (e.g., music player) having a first media connector for connection to the docking station. The docking station includes a housing and a media bay disposed inside the housing. The media bay is capable of receiving the media player. The media bay includes a media bay opening and a second media connector. The media bay opening provides access to the media bay connector. The media bay connector is configured for removable engagement with the first media connector of the media player. The first and second media connectors are configured to allow data and power transmissions therethrough. The data transmission includes at least two data formats. The docking station also includes one or more outputs that are operatively coupled to the second media bay connector. The outputs are configured to allow at least data transmissions therethrough.

The invention relates, in another embodiment, to a wireless media player system. The wireless media player system includes a hand held media player (e.g., music player) capable of transmitting information over a wireless connection. The wireless media player system also includes one or more media devices (e.g., tuning devices) capable of receiving information over the wireless connection.

"The invention relates, in another embodiment, to a method of wirelessly connecting a hand held media player to another device. The method includes selecting a media item on the hand held media player. The method also includes selecting one or more remote recipients on the hand held media player. The method further includes transmitting the media item locally to the hand held media player, and wirelessly to the selected remote recipients.

"The invention relates, in another embodiment, to a hand held music player (e.g., MP3 player) that includes a transmitter for transmitting information over a wireless connection. The transmitter is configured to at least transmit a continuous music feed to one or more personal tuning devices that each include a receiver capable of receiving information from the transmitter over the wireless connection.

"The invention relates, in yet another embodiment, to a connector for use in a media player system. The connector includes a housing and a plurality of spatially separated contacts mounted within the housing. A first set of contacts are appropriated for Firewire transmissions, a second set of contacts being appropriated for USB transmissions."

 
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