New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple Applies for Patent on 'Audio Hyperlinking' to Facilitate Accessing Supplementary Podcast Content

Apple has applied for a patent with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (via AppleInsider) on methods for using hyperlinks embedded into audio streams that could offer content creators the capability to link to other forms of media or control a device altogether. The main concept of the patent is outlined in the abstract of the filing, and explains how audio hyperlinks could be used to allow listeners to access such content within audio:
Hyperlinks within an audio stream provide a way for a listener to access linked resources. An audio hyperlink encoded in an audio stream indicates the presence of an audio hyperlink in the audio stream, as well as providing information for traversing the hyperlink to the linked resource. The hyperlink may be conditionally traversed upon a user interaction or automatically upon detection in the audio stream, possibly pausing the audio stream containing the hyperlink during the traversal of the hyperlink and resuming the audio stream if the audio stream is returned to from the linked material. The linked material may be other audio content, but may also be any other type of desired content that may be accessible by the system processing the audio stream.
hyperlink_patent1

In the patent application, Apple gives an example of a podcast which could link to other podcasts, websites, or other media, and Apple describes how software could either automatically activate audio hyperlinks when detected or offer a user interface to allow users to have control over activation of the links.
hyperlink_patent4
While the patent application does not make any references to specific devices, examples and drawings outline how the process could be applied to such mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads, and iPods.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

18 months ago
Meh. Sounds a lot like an ad to me.
Rating: 5 Votes
18 months ago
Another one of those ideas that makes you wonder why nobody has thought of it until now.

This could be a great way for podcasts to link to relevant content such as news articles and for bands to link to their tour page from their album for example.
Rating: 4 Votes
18 months ago

Apple lately seems to be spending most of its time patenting rather than innovating.


What? :confused:
Rating: 4 Votes
18 months ago
This is one of those things I never thought of but am surprised that nobody has done already after I hear about it.
Rating: 4 Votes
18 months ago

Another one of those ideas that makes you wonder why nobody has thought of it until now.

This could be a great way for podcasts to link to relevant content such as news articles and for bands to link to their tour page from their album for example.


or interactive audiobooks ... thinking like the old adventure books
Rating: 3 Votes
18 months ago

Meh. Sounds a lot like an ad to me.


Exactly. I'm sure there will be "good" uses for this but I too see it as a way to link to an external ad without having it encoded in the stream or at a particular time-stamp.
Rating: 2 Votes
18 months ago
Def an interesting concept. More pops to get creative = good.
Rating: 2 Votes
18 months ago
This isn't a new idea. This is very much inline with cutting-edge research being done everywhere on music information retrieval (MIR), whose primary research goal is to enable all kinds of music content, recordings, MIDI, sheet music, anything to be able to link together with no metadata at all.
Rating: 2 Votes
18 months ago
Look at high end disk based recording systems or, computer based recording systems like ProTools and Cakewalk.

They already allow tagged, non destructive playback of audio and midi, etc.
ADR (Automatic Dialog Replacement) already does things like this.

Unless they cite these prior works in their patent, then they are fooling themselves. Also they have a computer system and say and I paraphrase; a computer system running software could do the following...

They don't give details about how they would do it. Once again, trying to patent an idea.
Rating: 1 Votes
18 months ago
What happened to the patent Apple filed long ago for allowing users to set volume levels for Safari browsing?

Ah, here it is:

Apple patent hints at volume controls in Safari (http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10226032-2.html)

Apple Insider has spotted a a newly released patent filed by Apple back in late 2007 that shows volume controls that can be integrated into various Web browsers. Described as a way to control "audio signals which may or may not be welcomed by the user" the patent depicts a new panel that sits in the top, right-hand corner of a user's browser and allows per-site controls over incoming audio signals. There's also a mute button that can cut out just the sounds from the browser entirely while leaving sound from other desktop applications untouched.

According to the patent, the key goal is to add a volume control overlay over sites that do not provide it, as well as a system that will remember the user's preferences between browsing sessions.... It would also let users create custom sound profiles, so you could have YouTube videos on your computer at work always start out at a low volume level, or your Internet alarm clock site always play at 100 percent.


In 2007 Apple filed a patent (for what I consider a much needed feature) and hasn't implemented it. I haven't seen any plugin's addressing the matter; ClicktoFlash and adblockers don't seem to work all the time and I wouldn't mind flash cropping up if I could preset/adjust browser volume without having it effect system volume.
Rating: 1 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]