Apple Researching Methods to Offer Customized Control of Browser-Based Audio Content

In a patent application filed in November 2007 and released today, Apple reveals that it is researching methods for providing customized audio control for Internet browser content. The research is targeting the inability for a single system volume setting to address multiple simultaneous audio-generating applications, a common inconvenience for computer users. For example, a user may have audio content playing in the background through iTunes and may wish to mute only browser-based audio content coming from websites.

When using a web browser application (e.g., Microsoft Internet Explorer, Apple Safari), audio sources (e.g., websites) will often provide audio signals (e.g., music, noises) which may or may not be welcomed by the user. While operating system desktops often provide audio controls (e.g., volume controls), such audio controls adjust all audio signals playing on the host device, including desirable audio signals such as music the user desires to play from their music library while browsing the Web. Accordingly, if desktop audio controls are used, then desirable audio signals, as well as undesirable audio signals, will be adjusted together which may not be the intent of the user.

The patent application describes a browser-based system for adjusting the volume of Web-generated content and offers a system for remembering the user's preferences for future encounters with the audio content from those sources, identified by URL or domain.

124104 browser audio control 500
Browser-based audio controls

124105 audio source list 300
Sample list of Internet audio sources and user preferences
(The category labeled "Moot" is a misspelling of "Mute".)

The application also describes an implementation of the invention in which the differing preferences can be activated depending on whether audio is already playing on the system. For example, audio from websites could be muted if audio content is currently being played from a media player application such as iTunes, but audible if iTunes was inactive. Another implementation offers a server-based preference system, which would allow user audio preferences to be shared across devices for which such control is desired.

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...