Apple granted patent for podcasting
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Apple granted patent for podcasting

Apple has been granted a patent (number 8245924) for techniques and systems for supporting podcasting.

Improved podcasts and techniques that facilitate their use are disclosed. The improved techniques can pertain to creating, publishing, hosting, accessing, subscribing, managing, transferring, and/or playing podcasts. According to one aspect, a client application can subscribe to podcasts and then automatically monitor the podcasts for updates to be downloaded.

In the event that user interest in a podcast becomes inadequate, downloading of further updates can be restricted. According to another aspect, a podcast can be subscribed to through use of a portable subscription file. According to still another aspect, podcast feeds can be enhanced to include segment elements and other metadata.

Here's Apple's summary of the invention:

"The invention pertains to improved podcasts and techniques that facilitate their use. The improved techniques can pertain to creating, publishing, hosting, accessing, subscribing, managing, transferring, and/or playing podcasts.

"According to one aspect, a client application can subscribe to podcasts and then automatically monitor the podcasts for updates. When updates to the podcasts are available (e.g., new episodes), the updates can be downloaded to the client application. However, in the event that user interest in a podcast becomes inadequate, downloading of further updates can be restricted. According to another aspect, a podcast can be subscribed to through use of a portable subscription file. The portable subscription files are portable and transferable across networks, thereby providing a convenient way to facilitate subscription to podcasts.

"According to still another aspect, podcast feeds can be enhanced to include segment elements and other metadata. The segment links and time indications can be provided for each of the segments. A client application that present a podcast to a user can provide an improved graphical user interface through use of the segment elements and other metadata.

"The invention can be implemented in numerous ways, including as a method, system, device, apparatus (including graphical user interface), or computer readable medium.

"As a method for subscribing to a podcast, one embodiment of the invention includes at least the acts of: receiving a portable subscription file that is used to facilitate subscribing to the podcast; accessing the portable subscription file to obtain podcast information; and subscribing to the podcast using the podcast information.

"As a computer readable medium including at least computer program code for subscribing to a podcast, one embodiment of the invention includes at least: computer program code for receiving a user selection of a portable subscription file that is used to facilitate subscribing to the podcast; computer program code for launching a media management application in response to the user selection; computer program code for parsing the portable subscription file to obtain podcast information; and computer program code for subscribing to the podcast via the media management application using the podcast information.

"As a portable subscription file, one embodiment of the includes at least: an application identifier; and a network address for a podcast feed.

"As a method for acquiring podcast information at a client application, the podcast information being acquired from a podcast hosting server via a network, one embodiment of the invention includes at least the acts of: accessing a podcast feed from the podcast hosting server via the network to acquire episode information for the podcast; determining one or more new episodes based on the acquired episode information; determining whether the podcast is still active at the client application; and receiving, at the client application, the one or more new episodes from the podcast hosting server over the network so long as it is determined that the podcast is still active at the client application.

"As a computer readable medium including at least computer program code for acquiring digital multimedia asset information at a client application, the digital multimedia asset information being acquired from a digital multimedia asset hosting server via a network, one embodiment of the invention includes at least: computer program code for accessing a digital multimedia asset feed from the digital multimedia asset hosting server via the network to acquire episode information for the digital multimedia asset; computer program code for determining one or more new episodes based on the acquired episode information; computer program code for determining whether the client application or a user thereof has shown adequate interest in the digital multimedia asset; and computer program code for receiving, at the client application, the one or more new episodes from the digital multimedia asset hosting server over the network so long as it is determined that the client application or a user thereof has shown adequate interest in the digital multimedia asset.

"As a podcast feed, one embodiment of the invention includes a plurality of segment elements, each of the segment elements including a segment link for a multimedia element and a time indication associated with the segment elements."

The inventors are Anne Jones, Thomas Dowdy, Jeffrey Robbin, Mike Wiese and Stephen Davis.

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has also granted Apple:

° Patent number 8246467 for an interactive game environment includes two or more co-located, networked, direction and location aware interactive game devices.

° Patent number 8248421 for circuits, methods, and apparatus for registers to store information that may be used by devices in a display system.

° Patent D665818 for an icon for a portion of a display screen.

° Patent number 8250491 for a method, apparatus, system, and signal-bearing medium that in an embodiment represent previously-accessed data items as nodes in a tree or trees and display the tree or trees with the access time on an axis.

° Patent number 8250425 for a system and methodology are disclosed for enabling a network to manage threshold values provided to UEs for use in decoding ACK-NAK signals.

° Patent number 8250397 for N-way synchronization of data. The invention relates to the use of history information as an aid to synchronization in a peer-to-peer system.

° Patent number 8250100 for a general purpose data container method and apparatus for implementing AV/C descriptors.

° Patent number 8249531 for methods and apparatus for performing transmit power control.

 
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