Apple granted patent for syncing, transferring digital items
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Apple granted patent for syncing, transferring digital items

Apple has been granted a patent (number 8135865) by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for methods, systems, and apparatus, including computer program products, for synchronizing and transferring digital media items.

One or more media items are received, from a network operating environment, at a first device. A first media database on the first device, including metadata associated with the media items, is synchronized with a second media database on a second device.

The one or more media items are moved from the first device to the second device. The one or more media items are copied from the second device to the first device.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "The subject matter of this specification relates generally to digital media distribution services. In recent years, electronic online distribution of media items, such as music and movies, have become popular.

"A user can access a media service from a client-side application on a computer. The user can purchase media items from the media service and download them to the computer. The downloaded media items can be copied to a tethered device, such as a portable media player. This procedure for obtaining media items forces the user to be in front of a computer whenever they wish to obtain new media items.

"In general, one aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can be embodied in methods that include the actions of receiving, from a network operating environment, one or more media items at a first device; synchronizing a first media database on the first device, including metadata associated with the media items, with a second media database on a second device; moving the one or more media items from the first device to the second device; and copying the one or more media items from the second device to the first device. Other embodiments of this aspect include corresponding systems, apparatus, devices, computer program products, and computer readable media.

"In general, another aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can be embodied in methods that include the actions of synchronizing a first media queue on a first device with a second media queue on a second device, identifying one or more media items in the synchronized second media queue whose downloads are incomplete, and initiating downloads of the identified media items to the second device. Other embodiments of this aspect include corresponding systems, apparatus, devices, computer program products, and computer readable media.

"Particular embodiments of the subject matter described in this specification can be implemented to realize one or more of the following advantages. Downloading, at a portable device, of digital media items that were interrupted can be completed at a computer to which the portable device is tethered. Media items obtained through a device can be synchronized back to a computer to which the device is coupled (e.g., tethered, wireless). Media items that are impractical for downloading (e.g., due to size) to a device can be requested through the device and downloaded at a computer to which the device is coupled."

The inventors are David Fleischman, Christopher R. Wysocki, Payam Mirrashidi, Sean Kelly, Charles Pisula, Alan Ward, Colin Meldrum, Patrice Gautier and Jeffrey Robbin.

Along the same lines, Apple has been granted a patent (number 8135727) for methods and systems for managing data, including metadata and an index database. In one exemplary method, a first folder, representing a first search query, is stored, and a second folder, representing a second search query wherein the second folder has a predetermined hierarchical relationship to the first folder, is stored, and the search queries are used to search one or both of an index database and a metadata database.

In the metadata database, the type of metadata for one file type differs from the type of metadata for another file type. The inventors are Yan Arrouye, Dominic Giampaolo, Bas Ording, Gregory Christie, Stephen Oliver Lemay, Marcel van Os, Imran Chaudhri, Kevin Tiene and Pavel Cisler.

 
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