Apple has been granted three patents by the US Patent & Trademark Office, one of them involving the iTunes interface.

Patent number 8060375 involves an enhanced visual feedback of interactions with an user interface (the iTunes interface). Per the patent, n item in a user interface is visually enhanced in response to an interaction with the item or in response to a request. In some implementations, the item (e.g., an icon, button, text, etc.) is visually enhanced and displayed in the user interface at a conspicuous location (e.g., the center of the user interface).

Optionally, the user interface can be altered (e.g., darkened) to improve the visibility of the enhanced item. In some implementations, visual enhancement includes displaying enhanced feedback (e.g., text, data, graphical objects or images, etc.) associated with the item in a caption panel. The caption panel can display enhanced feedback associated with any items in the user interface and not just the item associated with a current user interaction. In some implementations, the user can interact with items (e.g., launch an application) from within an interaction panel. The inventors are Eric Seymour and Kevin B. Aitken.

Patent number 8060375 is for adapting masking thresholds for encoding a low frequency transient signal in audio data. Per the patent, an improved audio coding technique encodes audio having a low frequency transient signal, using a long block, but with a set of adapted masking thresholds. Upon identifying an audio window that contains a low frequency transient signal, masking thresholds for the long block may be calculated as usual.

A set of masking thresholds calculated for the 8 short blocks corresponding to the long block are calculated. The masking thresholds for low frequency critical bands are adapted based on the thresholds calculated for the short blocks, and the resulting adapted masking thresholds are used to encode the long block of audio data. The result is encoded audio with rich harmonic content and negligible coder noise resulting from the low frequency transient signal. The inventors are Shyh-Shiaw Kuo and Frank Baumgarte.

Patent number 8055975 is for combined error correction/device kill detection code. In one embodiment, an apparatus includes a check/correct circuit coupled to a control circuit. The check/correct circuit is coupled to receive a block of data and corresponding check bits. The block of data is received as N transmissions, each transmission including M data bits and L check bits. The check/correct circuit is configured to detect one or more errors in each of a plurality of non-overlapping windows of K bits in the M data bits, responsive to the M data bits and the L check bits.

The control circuit is configured to record which of the plurality of windows have had errors detected and, if a given window of the plurality of windows has had errors detected in each of the N transmissions of the block, the control circuit is configured to signal a device failure. Each of K, L, M, and N are integers greater than one. The inventors are Brian P. Lilly, Robert Gries, Sridhar P. Subramanian, Sukalapa Biswas and Hao Chen.

— Dennis Sellers