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

General Apps Messages

iMessage Down for Some Users [Update: Service Restored]

Thursday May 16, 2024 3:00 pm PDT by
The iMessage service that Apple users to send messages to one another appears to be down for some users, and messages are failing to go out or are taking an extra long time to send. There are numerous reports about the issue on social networks and a spike of outage reports on Down Detector, but Apple's System Status page is not yet reporting an outage. Update: Apple's status page says...
iOS 17

Troubling iOS 17.5 Bug Reportedly Resurfacing Old Deleted Photos

Wednesday May 15, 2024 5:29 am PDT by
There are concerning reports on Reddit that Apple's latest iOS 17.5 update has introduced a bug that causes old photos that were deleted – in some cases years ago – to reappear in users' photo libraries. After updating their iPhone, one user said they were shocked to find old NSFW photos that they deleted in 2021 suddenly showing up in photos marked as recently uploaded to iCloud. Other...
iphone 15 pro max vs iphone 16 pro max

iPhone 16 Pro Max Looks This Much Bigger Beside iPhone 15 Pro Max

Thursday May 16, 2024 4:51 am PDT by
This year's upcoming iPhone 16 Pro Max is expected to get a boost in overall size from 6.7-inches to 6.9-inches, and a new image gives us a good idea of how the current iPhone 15 Pro Max compares to what could be Apple's largest ever iPhone. The image above, posted on X by ZONEofTECH, shows a dummy model representing the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ Max alongside an actual iPhone 15 Pro Max. Dummy...
iOS 17

iOS 17.5 Bug May Also Resurface Deleted Photos on Wiped, Sold Devices

Friday May 17, 2024 12:24 pm PDT by
A bug in iOS 17.5 is apparently causing photos that have been deleted to reappear, and the issue seems to impact even iPhones and iPads that have been erased and sold off to other people. A Reddit user wiped an iPad following Apple's guidelines in September of 2023 before selling it off to a friend. That friend updated the iPad to iPadOS 17.5 this week, and began seeing the Reddit user's old ...
oled m4 ipad pro grainy display reports

OLED iPad Pro Users Report 'Grainy' Displays, But It May Not Be a Defect

Friday May 17, 2024 5:57 am PDT by
Some new M4 iPad Pro models are exhibiting a visible static grain pattern across the OLED display, according to several user reports on Reddit (1, 2, 3) and the MacRumors Forums. Image credit: MacRumors user bk215 Users who see the grain generally report that it is most noticeable in dark environments with the display set at a low to medium brightness while viewing content with gray or muted...
Delta Hands On Feature

iPhone Emulators on the App Store: Game Boy, N64, PS1, PSP, and More

Thursday May 16, 2024 12:45 pm PDT by
In April, Apple updated its guidelines to allow retro game emulators on the App Store, and several popular emulators have already been released. The emulators released so far allow iPhone users to play games released for older consoles from Nintendo, Sony, SEGA, Atari, and others. A list of some popular emulators available on the App Store so far follows. Released Delta Delta is...