Apple files patent for new video/music interface
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Apple files patent for new video/music interface

Apple has filed a patent (number 20110041060) for a video/music interface. Apparently, it would involve both Macs and the Apple TV.

The invention relates generally to the field of media and, in particular, to a media interface with enhanced features such as, for example, providing options while the playing of a media file or media broadcast is paused. A system in accordance with the present invention may include one or more processors, memory from which the processor may fetch instructions according to a clock operating at a frequency, a display device, and one or more programs stored in the memory, with instructions to open a media file, play content of the media file, render graphically on the display device the played content of the media file, pause the played content of the media file, and render graphically on the display device options available during the pause. The inventors are Windy Chien, Robert Henry Kondrk, Gary Stewart and Jeff F. Southard.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "Current media players may be used for playing live or pre-recorded content, which may be played by streaming the content over the Internet to a media player, or loading the content (e.g., source media file) from a local media storage device to a media player. Content may include audio, video, slideshow pictures, or any combinations thereof. Content may be represented according to one of many media file types (e.g., MP3, M3U, MPEG(-1, -2, -4), QuickTime Movie, AU, MIDI, JPEG, GIF, TIFF).

"Media players today also may offer features for controlling content, even during play. For example, media players today may offer features for playing content at a normal or accelerated speed, reverse playing content at a normal or accelerated speed, pausing the play of content, forwarding or reversing paused content, and skipping-over active content to new content.

"However, current media players do not provide a feature for rendering graphically on a display device one or more options available on the media player after invoking a feature for pausing the playing of content. Moreover, current media players also do not provide a feature where the point in the media content at which the feature for pausing the playing of content is invoked is automatically saved as a favorite or pause point for at least the duration of the playing of the media content.

"In addition, the pause point may be noted by graphic rendering on the media player's navigation bar and may be readily accessible by invoking such features as, for example, a snap-back feature or a keyboard shortcut. Also, during the time in which the playing of content is paused, the media player interface may be graphically rendered to present one or more options that are media-related and access metadata, which may contain descriptive information that is graphically rendered on the media player in the form of text, audio, video, or a combination thereof.

"The media-related options may be graphically rendered, for example, between the media player's navigation bar and the media player's window for displaying the active playing content. Finally, the media player may further be graphically rendered, after invoking a feature for pausing the playing of content, to present the previous scene and next scene in windows to the left and right (i.e., on opposite sides) of the media player's window for displaying the active playing content, respectively. The next scene window may be blurred or otherwise graphically rendered as not viewable in order to not spoil the next scene to the user viewing the playing of the content; the user, however, may choose to override the blurring of the next scene and view the next scene's content.

"Accordingly, the present invention is directed to a system and method for playing, pausing, viewing, and controlling content that substantially obviates one or more problems due to limitations and disadvantages of the related art.

"In an embodiment, the present invention provides a computer-implemented method for rendering graphics on a display device, the method including the steps of opening a media file or receiving a media broadcast, wherein the media file or media broadcast are stored locally or remotely, playing content of the media file or media broadcast at a default speed, rendering graphically on the display device the playing content of the media file or media broadcast, and rendering graphically on the display device options available after invoking a feature for pausing the playing content of the media file or media broadcast.

"Additional features and advantages of the invention will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objectives and other advantages of the invention will be realized and attained by the structure particularly pointed out in the written description and claims hereof as well as the appended drawings.

"To achieve these and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the present invention, as embodied and broadly described, a system includes one or more processors, memory, a display device, and one or more programs stored in memory, where the one or more programs include instructions to open a media file or media broadcast, play content of the media file or media broadcast, render graphically on the display device the played content of the media file or media broadcast, pause the played content of the media file or media broadcast, and render graphically on the display device options available during the pause of the played content of the media file or media broadcast.

"In an embodiment, a computer-readable storage medium stores one or more programs configured for execution by a computer, the one or more programs having instructions to open a media file or media broadcast, play content of the media file or media broadcast, render graphically on the display device the played content of the media file or media broadcast, pause the played content of the media file or media broadcast, and render graphically on the display device options available during the pause of the played content of the media file or media broadcast."

-- Dennis Sellers
dsellers@applecentral.com

 
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