Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Here's How Apple Plans to REVOLUTIONIZE Radio and Television

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was granted a patent on Tuesday that would allow users to skip unwanted broadcast segments, such as commercials, with on-device content like songs, podcasts, or other media.

U.S. Patent No. 8,249,497, which was granted Apple today, is for “seamless switching between radio and local media.” The patent describes a system in which a mobile device will automatically switch between broadcast content and stored media to offer a unique, customized user experience.

Users of devices utilizing this technology would be able to skip sections of content on a radio station, filling the gap with “non-radio media or content sources” already stored on that device. The patent could allow users to skip commercials entirely.

Covered by the patent are broadcasts from a “radio stream provided over any communications network,” while the stored media can include content saved in a device’s memory or from a streaming host device.

The patent essentially outlines technology that switches the station when the content is not to the listener’s liking, filling the space with user-chosen content. It uses metadata from assets like Radio Data System (RDS) data, broadcast listings, or published third-party schedules to “determine when an upcoming broadcast segment or media item is not of interest to the user.” When such an instance is detected, the device will seamlessly switch to stored media until that segment of the broadcast is over, at which point it will switch back.

The technology would also analyze audio and video from the source to help discern what kind of content a user may or may not want to consume. The patent employs comparisons of media items to generate a preference profile, much like the system used by Pandora (NYSE:P). As with Pandora, a user can “like” or “dislike” a song and the corresponding metadata will then be included in a preference profile.

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