US006674692B1 (12) United States Patent (16) Patent N6.= Holland (54) US 6,674,692 B1 (45) Date of Patent: Jan. 6, 2004 AUDIO COMPONENT WITH INTEGRATED 5,515,352 A 5/1996 IiZuka ....................... .. 369/59 DIGITAL RECORDING AND STORAGE 5,559,779 A 9/1996 IiZuka ....................... .. 369/59 MEDIA 5,606,466 A 5,633,837 (76) . Inventor‘ (*) Notlce: Darren Holland’ 711 E‘ Grand #6’ E1 . _ _ * 5/1997 Gantt 360/51 ....... . . . .. 369/7 5,680,378 A 10/1997 Miyake 369/48 6,172,948 B1 * 1/2001 Keller et a1. ................ .. 369/83 Segundo, CA (US) 90245 - 2/1997 Fisher et al. A _ * cited by examiner SubJect to any dlsclalmer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 P''imary Examiner—A1i NeyZari U_S_C_ 154(k)) by 0 days_ (74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm—John D. Gugliotta; Matthew Shaheen (21) Appl. No.: 09/175,517 (22) Flledi (57) Oct‘ 20’ 1998 Disclosed is an automotive CD player/receiver With an (51) Int Cl_7 H04H 9/00 (52) US‘ Cl‘ (58) Field Of Search .............................. .. 369/21,7, 13, 369/6 1 84 85 83 360/5_7 13 15 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ integrated digital recorder that improves over conventional ~ ~ ~ ~ u 369/7_ 369/83 ’ (56) ’ ABSTRACT ’ ’ ’ ’ digital audio playback devices commonly found in automo b?es and the like" The Present invention improvesmer conventional car audio technology by providing an other ’ Wise conventional CD player for automotive use With a References Cited built-in magnetic media hard drive of a capacity suf?cient to US. PATENT DOCUMENTS store the music of several CDs. By storing a variety of chosen individual songs or entire CDs on hard drive they are 5,291,462 A * 3/1994 Richards .................... .. 386/39 ready for mstant playback’ ellimnaimg thepeed to Carry 5,303,326 A * 4/1994 Dean et a1‘ several CDs and'thelr cases, While still allowing the users to 5,341,350 A 5,428,593 A 5,481,509 A 704/201 8/1994 Frank et a1. 6/1995 Kanai et al. 369/30 369/59 have the“ favonte Songs at the“ ?ngemps 1/1996 Knowles .................... .. 369/30 5 Claims, 1 Drawing Sheet ‘T2 ‘ \ l ______________ __ ,- 25 27 28 CD T [I DlGlTAL T0 16\ I71 T CPU l | I ANALOG T0 | 41 | DIGITAL ?lID 37 CONVERTER r******* J l | I L i 47‘? i i u _ _ _ _ 45 i9 \ i 4 _ _ v 2 2 _| DIGlTAL TO l CONVERTER I ANALOG <1 l CONTROLLER 17 HARD , _ _ >72 F CLOCK/'20 | | SIGNAL _ I 61 _ _ _ l DISPLAY DRIVER 62 44 ‘ —\/ 5Q :"_—~"_l> LOUDSPEAKERS AMPLiFlCATlON _- s\ _| 1 ! DRIVE J Roll/"19 51 PRE AMPUFIER ,_ RAM/‘18 \3s 40A ANALOG $g> / 14 __222___/___2,22 78 75 74 ————\——J-—:26 I I > MlCROPROCESSlNG #> HARD DRWE #173 > CONVERTER 29 i I E l RECEIVER \ l PLAYER 35\ <7 AM/FM 7/13 PUSHBUTTON INPUT _ J 54 53 LCD DlSPLAY j l l | US 6,674,692 B1 1 2 AUDIO COMPONENT WITH INTEGRATED DIGITAL RECORDING AND STORAGE MEDIA required to store an audio signal in a digital format and methods by Which to tag individual tracks for identi?cation and location purposes. Although the main feature of these devices is the ability to provide instantaneous selection and access to a variety of digitally recorded tracks, the purpose BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention demonstrated by these disclosures is that of simplifying the procedures involved in editing the audio data, particularly in professional recording applications and environments. None of these disclosures, hoWever, identify or anticipate incor The present invention relates generally to audio systems, and more speci?cally to an audio component With an inte grated digital recording and storage media. 2. Description of the Related Art Audio recording and playback for use both in homes and 10 either homes or automobiles. automobiles is a constantly evolving technology Wherein neW products are being introduced and existing products are being improved upon in order to achieve a high quality sound. Manufacturers of these audio components continu ally add to the long list of features and functionality of the components in order to set their products above the rest. U.S. Pat. No. 5,481,509 issued in the name of Knowles, and US. Pat. No. 5,341,350 issued in the name of Frank et. 15 variety of audio tracks and accompanying video signals for selective playback by the user. The KnoWles patent describes a audio/video jukebox 20 virtually unending functionality that modern micro processing electronics offer. As a result of these signi?cant 25 of this type of equipment is ?erce as consumers demand selections of all of the patrons as a Whole as is the case Where 30 in the changer. Furthermore, the user may have a favorite song or track from a CD in Which the remaining songs do not suit his or her taste, but nevertheless must include the entire disc if access to that song is desired. Accordingly, there is a need for a means by Which an audio system can provide access to both the user’s favorite CD’s and track selections that is easy to use and access and that eliminates the burdens associated With the use of conventional CD changers. The present invention ful?lls this need. A search of the prior art did not disclose any patents that read directly on the claims of the instant invention. HoWever, several references are directed to digital audio recording means incorporating a variety of storage mediums none of these disclosures identify or anticipate incorporation of these methods and devices into recording and playback 35 U.S. Pat. No. 5,428,593 issued in the name of Kanai et. al. discloses a method and apparatus that incorporated the use of a magnetic hard drive storage device to alloW for level 40 to identify or anticipate incorporation of these methods and devices into recording and playback apparatuses intended for consumer level use in either homes or automobiles. 45 While several features exhibited Within these references may be incorporated into this invention, alone and in com bination With other elements, the present invention is suf? ciently different so as to make it distinguishable over the prior art. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION incorporation of these devices in a home or automotive The present invention consists of an audio system com 55 Several patents disclose digital recording methods and apparatuses used to convert audio signals from analog and ponent With an integrated digital recorder and storage media that improves over conventional digital audio playback devices. In the preferred embodiment, the present invention improves over conventional car audio technology by pro viding an otherWise conventional CD player for automotive use With a built-in magnetic media hard drive of a capacity suf?cient to store the music of several CDs. The device 60 includes the same user-friendly interface that is typical of other modern electronic audio components that make it easy for him/her to record the individual songs or CDs of choice. The user simply stores the chosen individual songs or entire al.; US. Pat. No. 5,559,779 issued in the name of liZuka; and US. Pat. No. 5,515,352 issued in the name of liZuka. All of these disclosures are directed solely to the methods involved in data compression, transfer and conversion adjustments When converting audio signals from one format to another in a recording environment. The disclosure fails the like. None of these disclosures, hoWever, disclose any digital formats and store them on magnetic media such as hard discs: US. Pat. No. 5,680,378 issued in the name of Miyake; US. Pat. No. 5,606,466 issued in the name of Fisher et. apparatuses intended for consumer level use in either homes or automobiles. including hard drives, magnetic tapes, and optical disks and audio CD player or audio system and, as such, they neither anticipate nor disclose any embodiment that Would negate the novelty of, or make obvious the utilitarian functionality of the present invention. a single jukebox services the entire location. While these disclosures do describe magnetic media recording for selec tive playback in a consumer entertainment environment, because the user must select the feW favorite CD’s he or she Wishes to use, must access a remote location to access the changer and, depending upon the system, memorize or otherWise record the identity of the particular discs currently arrangements. Intended primarily for entertainment pur poses at the individual tables of restaurants and the like, the system alloWs patrons to select the tracks desired to be listened to at individual tables rather than relying on the cutting edge technology for their money. One of the products resulting from this customer demand are the CD changers Wherein several compact discs are inserted and selectively played over the audio system. In an automobile scenario, typically mounted in the trunk, beneath the seat or in the glove compartment, these systems can be burdensome to use having an interactive touch-screen menu in Which the user can select a music video to sing along With karaoke-style. The Frank et al. patent discloses an audio/video jukebox system Wherein a centraliZed storage unit distributes music videos to a variety of remotely located video screen/speaker be achieved at a relatively loW cost, incorporating the advancements in the ?eld, competition among the producers al., disclose audio/visual jukebox type devices that incorpo rate the use of magnetic mass storage media to store a The arrival of digital recording and playback technology has revolutioniZed this industry, combining the ?elds of sound ampli?cation and acoustics With computer electron ics. As a result, a high degree of audio clarity and quality can poration of these methods and devices into recording and playback apparatuses intended for consumer level use in 65 CDs on hard drive and they are ready for playback. Use of the present invention eliminates the need to carry several CDs and their cases, While still alloWing the users to have their favorite songs at their ?ngertips. Alternative embodi US 6,674,692 B1 4 3 ments of the present invention anticipate the use of such a digital recording and storage media system in a home environment and in various con?gurations that include -continued totally integrated CD,AM/FM receiver, ampli?ers and loud LIST OF REFERENCE NUMBERS speakers as Well as a stand alone component for use in conjunction With separate audio components. It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an audio system component With an integrated digital recorder and storage media in Which the use of a magnetic media hard drive alloWs for customiZed storage of several digital audio tracks recorded from CDs inserted into the CD and storage media in Which the use of a magnetic media 10 37 40 AM/FM Analog Audio Signal AM/FM Analog To Digital 41 45 AM/FM Digital Audio Signal Hard Drive Digital To Analog 46 47 50 Hard Drive Digital Audio Signal Hard Drive Analog Audio Signal Pre Ampli?er 51 52 53 54 Conditioned Analog Signal Ampli?er Ampli?ed Audio Signal Loudspeakers 60 Display Driver Converter 15 hard-drive alloWs for customiZed storage of several digital audio tracks recorded from receiver portion of the device. It is another object of the present invention to provide an audio system component With an integrated digital recorder and storage media in Which the capacity of the hard drive is equivalent to that of several conventional audio CDs. It is another object of the present invention to provide an audio system component With an integrated digital recorder and storage media in Which the user can program informa AM/FM Receiver AM/FM Control Commands Converter player portion of the device. It is another object of the present invention to provide an audio system component With an integrated digital recorder 35 36 61 Display Signal 62 63 LCD Signal LCD Display 70 Hard Drive Controller 71 72 Data And Control Signals Data Signals 73 74 75 Read Data Write Data Hard Drive 25 tion associated With each track in order to identify the track title, artist, album title, and any other information deemed DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS necessary by the user. Finally, it is an object of the present invention to provide an audio system component With an integrated digital recorder and storage media in Which a variety of features found on conventional CD players, such as random play, repeat and sample modes, are available for the enhancement 1. Detailed Description of the Figures Referring noW to FIG. 1, depicted are the major electronic of user’s listening pleasure. 35 BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS recorder 10 consists generally of a CD/receiver section 11, an ampli?cation section 12, a controller section 13, a The advantages and features of the present invention Will become better understood With reference to the folloWing more detailed description and claims taken in conjunction With the accompanying draWings, in Which like elements are identi?ed With like symbols, and in Which: FIG. 1 is a block diagram depicting the major electronic components incorporated into the audio system component With an integrated digital recorder and storage media, according to the preferred embodiment of the present inven components incorporated into the audio system component With an integrated digital recorder and storage media, here inafter audio digital recorder 10, according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention. The audio digital recorder section 14 and a display section 15. The preferred embodiment depicts these components in an integrated state contained Within a single audio component, although it is envisioned that a separate recording and storage media component for use With individual CD, receiver, and ampli ?cation components Would be equally desirable. Therefore, 45 the description hereinbeloW is meant in no Way to preclude such an embodiment. The controller section 13 consists of a microprocessor 16 that includes a central processing unit, hereinafter CPU 17, tion. random access memory, hereinafter RAM 18, non-volatile read-only memory, hereinafter ROM 19 and a system clock 20. The microprocessor 16 coordinates the operation of the various components in the CD/receiver section 11, ampli? cation section 12, recorder section 14 and display section 15 LIST OF REFERENCE NUMBERS 10 11 12 Audio Digital Recorder CD/receiver Section Ampli?cation Section 13 14 Controller Section Recorder Section 15 16 Display Section Microprocessor 17 18 19 CPU RAM ROM 20 22 25 System Clock Pushbutton Inputs CD Player 26 27 CD Control Commands CD Status And Data Feedback 28 29 30 CD Digital Audio Signal CD Digital To Analog Converter CD Analog Audio Signal 55 and controls the How of data therein betWeen. Source code stored in ROM 19 contains the various commands required to perform the functions requested by the user via pushbut ton inputs 22 located on the control panel (not shoWn) of the audio digital recorder 10. The commands are carried out by the CPU 17 using RAM 18 as a memory buffer in Which to temporarily store processing information. The CD/receiver section 11 is similar in nature to that of CD player and AM/FM receiver combinations Widely used in a variety of audio systems. A CD player 25 receives CD control commands 26 from and sends CD status and data 65 feedback 27 to the microprocessor 16. The CD player 25 reads digital audio recordings stored on an audio compact disc (not shoWn) and sends a CD digital audio signal 28 to US 6,674,692 B1 5 6 a CD digital to analog converter 29. The CD digital to analog converter 29 converts the CD digital audio signal 28 to a CD analog audio signal 30 that is sent to the ampli?er section 12. An AM/FM receiver 35 receives AM/F M control commands 36 from the microprocessor 16. The AM/FM receiver 35 sends an AM/FM analog audio signal 37 to the ampli?er section 12. Unlike conventional systems, hoWever, the CD/receiver section 11 includes an AM/FM analog to digital converter 40 that converts the AM/FM analog audio signal 37 to an AM/FM digital audio signal 41 that is sent to the recording section 14, directing the digital audio signal portion of the CD status and data feedback 27 and the AM/FM digital audio signal 41 to the hard drive controller 70 and hard drive 75 to be stored for future retrieval and listening. When recording a CD, the user has the option of performing amass data transfer Wherein the entire CD or selected tracks thereon are transferred rapidly from the CD player to the hard drive 75, Without listening to the audio microprocessor 16. Finally, a hard drive digital to analog signal. The user can also record the CD as it is played by the CD player 25. The availability of the storage space on the hard drive 75 alloWs the user to tag track selections With converter 45 receives a hard drive digital audio signal 46 from the digital recorder section 14 and converts it to an hard drive analog audio signal 47 that is sent to the ampli?er section 12. The ampli?er section 12 consists of a pre ampli?er 50 that personaliZed identi?cation information pertaining to artists, song titles, album titles, etc. by entering information via the pushbutton inputs 22. Thus, the information Will be dis played on the LCD display 63 during playback in order to help further identify the selected tracks. Music recorded 1O 15 accepts the CD analog audio signal 30, AM/FM analog audio signal 37 and hard drive analog audio signal 47, applies signal conditioning in terms of bass, midrange, from the AM/FM receiver 35 obviously contains no pre treble, balance and volume, as de?ned by the user via the receiver 35 is user de?ned as the time betWeen When pushbutton inputs 22 as interpreted by the microprocessor recording is begun to When it is ended, and therefore can be of an extended length. The user does have the option of tagging a track recorded from the AM/FM receiver 35 With the same type of identifying indicia as that of a recorded CD track. During playback of the tracks stored on the hard drive 75, as described earlier, a hard drive digital audio signal 46 is sent to the hard drive digital to analog converter 45, then on to the ampli?er section 12 Where it is conditioned and ampli?ed to a level sufficient to drive a set of loudspeakers 54. The user de?ned track information is read by the de?ned track information as do the tracks on a CD. As a result, the length of a track recorded from the AM/FM 13. The pre ampli?er 50 sends a conditioned analog signal 51 to an ampli?er 52 that ampli?es the conditioned analog audio signal 51, creating an ampli?ed audio signal 53 that is sent to the loudspeakers 54. The display section 15 consists of a display driver 60 that 25 accepts a display signal 61 from the microprocessor 16 and converts it into an LCD signal 62 that drives the LCD display 63 located on the control panel (not shoWn). The display. section 15 is used to display information pertaining to the status of the audio digital recorder 10 including, but not limited to information such as CD track number, track time, radio stations, sound conditioning settings, recording information, etc. The recorder section 14 includes a hard drive controller 35 microprocessor 16, sent to the display driver 62 and dis played on the LCD display 63. While the -preferred embodiments of the invention have been shoWn, illustrated, and described, it Will be apparent to 70 that receives data and control signals 71 from and sends data signals 72 to the microprocessor 16. The hard drive controller 70 interprets the hard drive control commands and those skilled in this ?eld that various modi?cations may be made in these embodiments Without departing from the data signals 71, retrieving read data 73 from and submitting media hard drives are described in the preferred Write data 74 to a hard drive 75. In the preferred embodiment, the hard drive 75 consists of a magnetic media embodiment, it is realiZed that alternative storage mediums such as optical storage means may be available and, perhaps, better suited for incorporation in the present invention. It is spirit of the present invention. For eXample, While magnetic storage device, such as those used in personal computers, although a variety of storage media are equally suited. Incorporation of the recorder section 14 alloWs the user to record a number of CD track selections or entire CD’s for this reason that the scope of the invention is set forth in and is to be limited only by the folloWing claims. 45 What is claimed is: locally on the hard drive 75 for instantaneous playback, thus 1. An audio component-With an integrated digital record eliminating the need to constantly change CDs or purchase a separate CD changer. As conventional media storage ing and storage media, said audio component comprising: means for receiving an input audio signal generated by a stereo system audio component Wherein an analog to digital conversion means receives an input analog devices are of a large capacity and knoWing that a typical CD has a capacity of just over 1 billion bytes (1 gigabyte), depending on the data format and compression algorithms, hard drives of an 8—12 gigabyte capacity Would be capable audio signal and converts said input analog audio signal to a digital audio signal; of storing in upWards of hundreds of song tracks of an average length. 55 2. Operation of the Preferred Embodiment digital storage means for recording and storing said digital audio signal, said digital storage means being capa cious With re-Write capabilities and being permanent in nature, Wherein said digital storage means further com prises a magnetic media hard drive having a capacity of at least ?ve gigabytes, In accordance With the preferred embodiment of the present invention and as shoWn in FIG. 1, the audio digital recorder 10 functions similarly to conventional audio a controller having a microprocessor in combination With systems, especially those commonly found in automobiles, both random access memory means and non-volatile sin that CDs can be played via the CD player 25 and broadcast radio station signals can be played via the AM/F M variety of pre-programmed routines and controlling the receiver 35. The automotive digital recorder 10, hoWever, incorporates the additional feature of local digital recording capabilities Wherein the microprocessor 16 controls the How of digital audio data CD/receiver section 11 to the digital read-only memory means, said controller performing a storage and retrieval of the recorded digital audio 65 signals stored on said storage means; user interface means Whereby one can monitor and manipulate the operation of said controller; and US 6,674,692 B1 8 7 digital to analog conversion means wherein the said recorded digital audio signals are converted to an user interface means Whereby one can monitor and output analog audio signal capable of ampli?cation by digital to analog conversion means Wherein the said recorded digital audio signals are converted to an manipulate the operation of said controller; and audio components Whereby said output analog audio signals are broadcast via loudspeakers; Wherein said output analog audio signal capable of ampli?cation by audio component is used on combination With stereo audio components Whereby said output analog audio equipment to alloW for the selective recording and signals are broadcast via loudspeakers; Wherein said playback of a combination of audio tracks. 2. An audio component With an integrated digital record ing and storage media, said audio component comprising: means for receiving an input audio signal generated by a stereo system audio component Wherein an analog to digital conversion means receives an input analog audio signal and converts said input analog audio signal to a digital audio signal; digital storage means for recording and storing said digital audio signal, said digital storage means being capa cious With re-Write capabilities and being permanent in nature; a controller having a microprocessor in combination With both random access memory means and non-volatile read-only memory means, said controller performing a variety of pre-programmed routines and controlling the storage and retrieval of the recorded digital audio signals stored on said storage means; audio component is used on combination With stereo 10 equipment to alloW for the selective recording and playback of a combination of audio tracks, Wherein said audio component is of an integrated design, incorporated into the design of an AM/FM receiver and CD player for automotive use. 3. The audio component of claim 2, Wherein said digital storage means further comprises an optical storage device. 4. The audio component of claim 2, Wherein said digital storage means further comprises a magnetic media hard drives. 5. The audio component of claim 4, Wherein said magnetic media hard drive has a capacity of at least ?ve gigabytes.
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