Several Apple patents have appeared today at the US Patent & Trademark Office. Most involve audio technologies of some sort.

Patent number 20110015765 involves controlling an audio and visual experience based on environment. A system can monitor an environment while playing back music. The system can then identify a characteristic property of the environment and modify an audio-related or visual-related operation based on the characteristic property. The characteristic property can be any suitable property of the environment or any combination thereof. For example, the characteristic property can be related to an ambient property of the environment (e.g., light or sounds) or the environment’s occupants (e.g., number of people nearby). The system can then modify its operation in any suitable manner based on the characteristic property. For example, the system can provide a visualization of music based on at least the characteristic property. In another example, the system can select and play back a piece of music based on at least the characteristic property. The inventors are Allen P. Haughay Jr. and Michael Ingrassia.

Patent number 20110015766 is for transient detection using a digital audio workstation. Per the patents, a processor implements methods, systems, and computer program products for detecting transients in an audio file. The method includes dividing the audio file into segments. Transients can be detected both in a full band signal of the audio file and one or more band-pass filtered signals of the audio file. A weight value can be assigned to each transient detected in both the full band signal and band-pass filtered signals. Transients that are below a predetermined threshold value can be eliminated. The time position of each remaining transient is determined and displayed in the audio file. The inventors are Steffen Gehring and Thorsten Adam.

Patent number 20110015767 involves doubling or replacing a recorded sound using a digital audio workstation. Per the patent, a computer implemented method allows a user to double or replace a recorded sound using a digital audio workstation. The method includes analyzing an audio file for transients. The method includes detecting a sound event with a corresponding timestamp in the audio file. The method then allows generating, by the processor, MIDI data associated with the corresponding timestamp of the detected sound event. The method then allows outputting the MIDI data to a MIDI instrument. Then the MIDI instrument can generate a corresponding sound at the corresponding timestamp in response to receiving the MIDI data. The detected sound event and corresponding sound can be a snare, drum kick, tom, or other percussion sound. The inventors are Clemens Homburg, Robert Hunt and Thorsten Adam.

Patent number 20110013779 is for an apparatus for testing the audio quality of an electronic device. This is directed to a system for testing the quality of the audio output components of an electronic device. In particular, this is directed to measuring and quantifying the software and hardware components of audio output by an electronic device. The electronic device can be connected to a testing apparatus that provides instructions for playing back particular audio files, recording the audio output by an electronic device, and comparing the recorded output with a baseline. The testing apparatus can analyze audio files generated using different attributes (e.g., containers, codecs, or bit rates) to ensure that all files that could be played back play back properly. To ensure that the testing apparatus correctly associates recorded audio outputs with audio test files, the content of each played back audio test file can identify the attributes of the audio test file. For example, each attribute can be associated with a 1 kHz tone at a particular frequency, such that the testing apparatus can identify the frequencies of detected 1 kHz tones to identify the attributes of the played back audio test file. John Arthur is the inventor.

Patent number 20110016397 is for positioning a virtual sound capturing device in a 3D interface. It relates to computing devices capable of and methods for arranging music, and more particularly to algorithms for virtually positioning and repositioning of a virtual sound capturing device using a digital audio workstation. The inventors are Markus Sapp, Kerstin Heitmann, Thorsten Quandt, Manfred Knauf and Marko Junghanns.

Some non-audio patents have also appeared.

Patent number 20110016120 involves performance metadata for media.
Systems and methods for generating and using performance metadata associated with a media piece (e.g., music or video) are provided. An electronic device can monitor a user’s workout performance while playing a particular media piece. Workout performance may include the user’s rate of motion and/or one or more physiological metrics of the user. Based on the user’s workout performance, the electronic device can create new or modify existing performance metadata associated with the media piece. In some embodiments, the performance metadata based on a particular user’s workout performance in response to a media piece may be combined with collective performance metadata based on the workout performances of multiple users in response to the media piece. The combined performance metadata may then be stored as new collective metadata. Accordingly, the collective performance metadata can represent the average response to a media piece over multiple users. The inventors are Allen P. Haughay and Benjamin Rottler.

Patent number 20110016393 is for a method of reserving memory to handle memory allocation errors. The method can include reserving, by a processor, a first and second reserve memory in a memory storage device in response to initiating a graphical user interface for managing a project. Thereafter, the method can provide for releasing, by the processor, the first reserve memory in response to receiving a first memory allocation error. A warning message regarding the memory allocation error can be displayed. Furthermore, upon receiving a second memory allocation error, a second reserve memory can be released. Subsequently, upon termination of the graphical user interface, the project is saved. Nikolaus Gerteis is the inventor.

Patent number 20110016120 involves systems and methods for providing vias through a modular component. This relates to systems and methods for providing one or more vias through a module of an electrical system. For example, in some embodiments, the module can include one or more passive elements and/or active of the electrical system around which a packaging has been plastic molded. The module can be stacked under another component of the electrical system. Vias can then be provided that extend through the module. The vias can include, for example, electrically conductive pathways. In this manner, the vias can provide electrical pathways for coupling the component stacked on top of the module to other entities of an electronic device including the electrical system. For example, the component can be coupled to other entities such as other components, other modules, printed circuit boards, other electrical systems, or to any other suitable entity. The inventors are Gloria Lin, Bryson Gardner Jr., Joseph Fisher Jr., Dennis Pyper and Amir Salehi.

Patent number 20110016425 involves displaying recently used functions in a context sensitive menu. Per the patent, a computer implemented method displays an object. The method includes causing the display of a context specific shortcut menu in response to a user command. The menu can include a set of functions relating to the context of the displayed object and a set of a predetermined number of the most recently used functions relating to the context of the displayed object. The most recently used functions can be displayed above the other functions. The inventors are Clemens Homburg and Michael Christoph Haydn.

— Dennis Sellers