Apple Patent Focuses on 'Seamless Switching'
Radio managers, particularly those
in commercial radio, will be watching to see what Apple does with a new patent
that is likely to grab industry attention.
It appears to be a way to give listeners more power to avoid commercials or
other content they don’t want to hear.
The big consumer electronics company received a U.S. patent for
“seamless switching between radio and
local media,” specifically allowing devices to switch to and from content stored locally
in the memory of an electronic device. Listed as the inventors are Michael
Ingrassia and Jeffery Lee.
How this might be applied, by
Apple or others, is yet to be seen.
as published on the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, states that the technology
would allow a consumer’s device to switch playback on its own:
“Systems and methods are provided for
seamlessly switching media playback between a media broadcast, such as a radio
broadcast, and media from a local media library,” it states.
“When an electronic device determines that an upcoming media item in a
media broadcast is not of interest to a user, the electronic device can switch
playback from the media stream to a media item from the electronic device local
library. The selected local media item can be related to a previously broadcast
media item to ensure continuity in the user’s listening or viewing experience.
The electronic device can switch away from the local media item and return to
the media stream when the media stream again broadcasts media items or segments
of interest to the user.”
The user’s electronic device would
identify content to be broadcast using “any suitable approach.” This could
include metadata like RDS, broadcast listings or published schedules, as well
as analysis of the audio or video.
The device would
then determine which media items are of interest, perhaps based on a user preference
profile, and act accordingly — for instance, applying a “relevance algorithm”
to choose content of interest to the user.
example, the electronic device can apply the relevance algorithm to the last
media item of interest of the media stream to select a locally stored media
item. This may ensure that the user is provided with a substantially coherent
media consumption experience.”
Expect to see the radio industry’s sales and technical
minds poring over the Apple patent to see what the electronics company might
have planned for it.