`T22 7/13
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
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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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