Apple Details Automatic Station Tuning Function for Audio and Video Content

Apple has been awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (via AppleInsider) detailing a "station tuning" function for a media player or mobile device that would curate a playlist filled with both audio and visual content based on a user's interests.

The patent, which was originally filed in 2008, details a system that would automatically pull from content streams such as radio broadcasts, television broadcasts, and onboard media to deliver a custom playlist, and would also factor in metadata and user patterns when selecting different types of content. The tuning function is similar to the Genius feature currently found in iTunes, but extends well beyond the selection of music and into a variety of content.

apple_station_tuning111

The media player may automatically tune to one of the sources based on user preferences or criteria to output the currently playing content. The media player may tune to a source or switch from one source to another source based a user's tastes for music, a give volume level, an aversion to talk radio, or other user preferences or criteria. The media player may also queue or schedule forthcoming content on a given source for playback to the user.

In terms of controlling the tuning function, the patent details a gesture controlled graphical user interface that resembles a radio tuner. The interface itself would allow for previews of stations, as well as the ability to search for specific content based on criteria and when to trigger the station tuning.

apple_station_tuning2
Factors such as the volume, color, hue, and saturation attributes of content may also be used to determine what to include next in a playlist, with the function also being able to determine and show relevant advertisements or whether to skip them altogether based on a user's listening patterns.

It is unknown when or even if Apple plans to integrate a station tuning function into an existing product, but such a feature would fit well into Apple's iTunes Radio. While Apple already includes a host of stations to choose from in iTunes Radio including a "Featured Stations" function, integrating station tuning with content beyond audio would be an appealing addition for the service.

Tag: Patent

Top Rated Comments

cfountain72 Avatar
134 months ago
Novel Idea, but...

Just wondering: why can't Apple install actual AM/FM radio receivers in our iDevices? They are pretty tiny (they're in the iPod Nano's I believe?), and as much as terrestrial radio gets dogged by some folks, it would save enormous amounts of bandwidth for all of us who (for instance) listen to local stations on our daily commutes. Nevermind the number of live sports events that we pay to listen to via Apps (MLB, etc.), even when they are local.

Wouldn't be groundbreaking, but I'm betting it would be used by customers more than highly trumpeted features such as FaceTime or Newsstand.

Peace be with you.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
luckydcxx Avatar
134 months ago
When Steve Jobs said that he "cracked" the TV interface/industry problem -- this patent could have merit.

i thought he meant the way that we interact with the tv. sort of like the kinect or something like that.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Grimace Avatar
134 months ago
When Steve Jobs said that he "cracked" the TV interface/industry problem -- this patent could have merit.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmChimera Avatar
134 months ago
Do they always take this long to be awarded or is this normal? Anyone know why the process is so lengthy?
Yes, it takes a long time. It takes a long time because there are a ton of patents filed, and each one has to be examined so there is a backlog. There is also a lot of back and forth between the applicant and the PTO about the validity of the patent, which takes a good bit of time.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

iOS 18 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Friday April 12, 2024 11:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 is expected to be the "biggest" update in the iPhone's history. Below, we recap rumored features and changes for the iPhone. iOS 18 is rumored to include new generative AI features for Siri and many apps, and Apple plans to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience between iPhones and Android devices. The update is also expected to introduce a more...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Colors

iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Come in These 7 Colors

Wednesday April 10, 2024 3:52 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Plus may come in seven colors that either build upon the existing five colors in the standard iPhone 15 lineup or recast them in a new finish, based on a new rumor out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker Fixed focus digital, Apple's upcoming larger 6.7-inch iPhone 16 Plus model will come in the following colors, compared to the colors currently available for the...
apple silicon feature joeblue

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Thursday April 11, 2024 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will begin updating its Mac lineup with M4 chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The M4 chip will be focused on improving performance for artificial intelligence capabilities. Last year, Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips all at once in October, so it's possible we could see the M4 lineup come during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire...
top stories 13apr2024

Top Stories: M4 Mac Roadmap Leaked, New iPads in Second Week of May, and More

Saturday April 13, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's hardware roadmap was in the news this week, with things hopefully firming up for a launch of updated iPad Pro and iPad Air models next month while we look ahead to the other iPad models and a full lineup of M4-based Macs arriving starting later this year. We also heard some fresh rumors about iOS 18, due to be unveiled at WWDC in a couple of months, while we took a look at how things ...
new best buy blue

Best Buy Opens Up Sitewide Sale With Record Low Prices on M3 MacBook Air, iPad, and Much More

Saturday April 13, 2024 7:41 am PDT by
Best Buy this weekend has a big sale on Apple MacBooks and iPads, including new all-time low prices on the M3 MacBook Air, alongside the best prices we've ever seen on MacBook Pro, iPad, and more. Some of these deals require a My Best Buy Plus or My Best Buy Total membership, which start at $49.99/year. In addition to exclusive access to select discounts, you'll get free 2-day shipping, an...