Navigation Contrl _ Playlist
US 20040255334A1
(19) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication (10) Pub. No.: US 2004/0255334 A1
(43) Pub. Date:
Dec. 16, 2004
Continuation-in-part of application No. 10/331,198,
?led on Dec. 30, 2002.
Continuation-in-part of application No. 10/165,587,
?led on Jun. 8, 2002.
(75) Inventor: James D. Logan, Candia, NH (US)
Provisional application No. 60/443,376, ?led on Jan.
29, 2003.
Correspondence Address:
Publication Classi?cation
WEST YARMOUTH, MA 02673-2516 (US)
(73) Assignee: Gotuit Audio, Inc.
(21) Appl. No.:
Int. Cl? ........................... .. H04N 7/173; H04N 7/16
Us. 01. ........................... .. 725/134; 725/142; 725/89
A multi-volume compact disk player employs a high speed
digital memory for storing the beginning portion of each
Jan. 29, 2004
program on each of a plurality of compact disks. When it is
Related US Application Data
(63) Continuation-in-part of application No. 10/331,198,
desired to play a speci?c program, the beginning portion in
the high speed memory is used to begin the playback While
the changer mounts the volume containing the program and
Continuation-in-part of application No. 09/536,969,
then retrieves the remainder of the speci?c program for
reproduction at the conclusion of the playback of the begin
?led on Mar. 28, 2000.
ning from high speed storage.
?led on Dec. 30, 2002.
Mount new disk
Extract and store
"TOC ?ngerprint" and
beginning of each
Extract samples
de?ned by metadata
21 1‘
uslng ?ngerprint
Receive and store
Display program guide
on request
Play sample and
display title
Play selection and
display title
_ Playlist
Patent Application Publication Dec. 16, 2004 Sheet 2 0f 2
US 2004/0255334 A1
Mount new disk
Extract and store
205\ "TOC ?ngerprint" and
beginning of each
Extract samples
de?ned by metadata
Another ?
Request metadata
using ?ngerprint
Receive and store
231\ Display program guide
on request
Play sample and
display title
Play selection and
display title
Fig. 2
Dec. 16, 2004
US 2004/0255334 A1
[0001] This application is a non-provisional of US. patent
application Ser. No. 60/443,376 ?led Jan. 29, 2003; a
continuation-in-part of US. patent application Ser. No.
09/536,969 ?led Mar. 28, 2000; a continuation-in-part of
US. patent application Ser. No. 10/060,001 ?led on Jan. 29,
2002 published as US. application Publication No. 2002/
0120925; a continuation in part of US. patent application
select programs on different CD volumes, and to construct
playlists Which invoke programs distributed over multiple
volumes. This capability increases the need for more rapid
sWitching betWeen desired programs on different CDs.
Reducing the sWitching times betWeen different CDs Would
yield the folloWing bene?ts:
1. start the next program Without a signi?cant
delay When sWitching volumes;
[0008] 2. sWitch more rapidly betWeen songs desig
nated by cross-CD playlists; and
3. permit the player to execute a cross-CD
automatic “shuffle” of programs, a function that is
Ser. No. 10/165,587 ?led on Jun. 8, 2002 published as US.
application Publication 2003/0093790; and a continuation
impractical today With changers Which require a
signi?cant amount of time to sWitch from one CD
volume to another.
in-part of US. patent application Ser. No. 10/331,198 ?led
on Dec. 30, 2002 published as US. application Publication
No. 2003/0163823. The disclosures of each of the foregoing
applications are hereby incorporated herein by reference.
programs or both recorded on one or more compact disk
[0002] This invention relates to digital audio and video
playback systems and more particularly, although in its
broader aspects not exclusively, to improved mechanisms
for playing CDs and DVDs.
The apparatus used to reproduce audio or video
volumes preferably comprises the combination of the fol
loWing components:
(a.) a disk player that includes a pickup
responsive to a selection signal for generating a
digital output signal representative of identi?ed pro
gram data recorded on a given one of the disk
[0003] CD-changers With ?ve CDs typically require about
seven seconds to change a disks. Carousels holding several
hundred CDs take even longer (eg 20 seconds). When
hitting the skip button to change songs on a single CD
volume, hoWever, it only takes about a half of one seconds
to change from one track to another. A system designed to
make multi-volume player perform as Well as a single CD
player, or a single collection of digital MP3 songs on a hard
disk, Would ideally reduce playback delay to What users noW
experience Which changing betWeen programs When vol
umes need to be sWitched on the transport.
[0004] The present invention improves the performance of
a multi-volume compact disk changer When tWo successive
programs that are routed to an output reproduction device
appear on different CD disk volumes. This invention uses a
high speed “buffer” memory in combination With a sloWer,
multi-volume changer to reduce the time required to sWitch
from one program to another program recorded on a differ
ent disk. This important improvement is provided Without
requiring any change in the users’ behavior, and does so
using components that are already present in the system to
provide other functions described in this speci?cation.
[0005] In addition, the memory-based reduction in volume
sWitching times achieved may reduce manufacturing costs
by relaxing the requirements placed on the changer since a
sloWer, and less expensive disk transport mechanism may be
used because the mechanical requirements for the moving
parts needed to sWitch tracks are less stringent.
[0006] In addition, other features of system disclosed
beloW permit the programs available on multiple CDs to be
scanned or selected using a program guide by reading
metadata and listening to program excerpts stored in the
high speed memory. As a result, the user is more likely to
a high speed random access digital
c. an out P ut device, such as a s P eaker, head
phones, or a video display, for reproducing stored
programs in a form perceptible to a user;
a user interface device such as a keypad
for accepting program playback requests from a user
for the reproduction of selected programs, and
[0015] (e.) a controller coupled to supervise data
transfers betWeen these components by:
[0016] (el.) transmitting selection signals to the
disk player to automatically transfer the beginning
portion of each programs from the disk player for
persistent storage by the digital memory;
[0017] (e2.) responding to program playback
requests accepted by the user interface device by
?rst transmitting the beginning portion of each
selected program from the digital memory to the
output device for immediate reproduction;
[0018] (e3.) transferring a remaining portion of
each selected program from said disk player to
said digital memory While said beginning portion
of said selected program is being reproduced by
said output device; and
[0019] (e4) transferring the remaining portion of
the selected program from the digital memory to
the output device for reproduction after the con
clusion the playback of the beginning portion.
[0020] Because the beginning portions of each program on
each disk volume are pre-loaded into a high speed memory,
the stored beginning may be reproduced to the user as a
navigation aid in the form of a content previeW Which may
be listened to, and then if the entire content is desired, the
Dec. 16, 2004
US 2004/0255334 A1
remainder of the program can be retrieved from the disk
volume for reproduction immediately following the conclu
sion of the pre-stored beginning portion.
These and other features of the invention Will
become more apparent through a consideration of the fol
loWing detailed description.
access high-capacity memory subsystem 130, an I/O port
140 coupled to user-controlled program reproduction
devices indicated generally at 142, and further I/O port 150
coupled to an external source of program description meta
data, such as a personal computer (PC) 160 that obtains
metadata via the Internet 162 from a remote database server
[0034] The disk player 120 is conventional, and may be
[0022] In the detailed description Which folloWs, frequent
capable of reproducing audio or program data recorded on
reference Will be made to the attached draWings, in Which:
disks in one or more of a variety of standard formats,
[0023] FIG. 1 is a block diagram shoWing the principal
components used to implement an embodiment of the inven
tion; and
[0024] FIG. 2 is a How chart illustrating the steps taken
during the operation of the embodiment of FIG. 1.
including those commonly designated as CD-ROM, CD
DVD+RW. These disks may be purchased, or may be
created by or for the user and contain recordings in MP3 or
other compressed format. In this speci?cation, references to
a “CD,”“compact disk,”“CD player,”“compact disk player”
or “CD drive” or should be understood to refer to any kind
[0025] The preferred embodiment of the present invention
described beloW is an improved CD and/or DVD playback
system Which possesses novel features Which address the
objective of providing better Ways to listen to, or Watch,
program content stored on CD and/or DVD collections.
The system incorporates, or may be modi?ed to
incorporate, mechanisms described in the pending applica
tions noted above, and in Us. Patent No. Re36,801 issued
to James D. Logan et. al. on Aug. 1, 2000 entitled “Time
delayed digital video system using concurrent recording and
playback” and US. Pat. No. 6,088,455 issued to James D.
Logan et. al. on Jul. 11, 2000 entitled “Systems and Methods
for Modifying Broadcast Programming,” the disclosures of
Which are also incorporated herein by reference.
[0027] The improved compact disk player to be described
incorporates a number of novel and useful features and
functions Which may be brie?y summariZed as folloWs:
[0028] 1. The player alloWs different users to hear or
vieW different programs at the same time;
[0029] 2. The player can change program segments
(music tracks or video programs) immediately, With
out a delay betWeen programs as a neW track is
of CD or DVD and to devices capable of reproducing
program content therefrom. Also, it should be understood
that terms like “listener” used here to describe audio play
back from a CD may also be understood to refer to a
“vieWer” of video programming on a DVD.
[0035] The disk player 120 consists of a disk drive mecha
nism Which, in the case of multi-disk players, includes a disk
carousel, magaZine or turntable for automatically retrieving
a selected disk volume from a collection and mounting it on
the playback transport. The transport is conventional and
typically includes a laser pickup system, a servo system for
rotating the disk and positioning the pickup to reproduce
selected programming recorded on the disk, and data decod
ing electronics for demodulating the data as recorded in
EFM (eight-to-fourteen) format on the disk, and translating
the Cross Interleave Read-Solomon Code (CIRC) error
detection and correction code into a multiplexed data string
Which contains both the right and left channels of an audio
recording. The disk player 120 responds to selection signals
121 from the controller 110 by selecting particular portions
of the program content recorded on the disk volume that is
currently mounted on the transport. In the case of multi-disk
players, the selection signal 121 may also request that a
designated volume located on the turntable, carousel or
magaZine be mounted on the playback transport as the active
selected, possibly on a neW media volume that must
disk. The program content reproduced by the pickup is
be loaded onto the transport;
transferred under DMA control as one or more blocks of data
3. The player “remembers” the content of CD
or DVD disks previously mounted on the transport,
creating a program guide that enables users to not
only vieW text descriptions but also to hear or vieW
samples of the recorded programming While making
program selections or building playlists; and
4. The player enables a vieWer or listener to
manually or automatically “scan” samples of the
available programming to rapidly and intuitively
select desired programs for playback.
[0032] System OvervieW
[0033] The principal hardWare components used to imple
moved via the output 124 to the memory 130.
The controller 110 is preferably a conventional
microprocessor Which includes one or more direct memory
access (DMA) controllers for moving audio or video pro
gram data betWeen the player 120 and a high speed random
access memory subsystem 130. The digital memory 130
preferably comprises the combination of dynamic RAM and
one or more high-capacity persistent storage devices, such as
?ash memory and/or one or more hard disk memory units,
and is characteriZed by its ability to provide high speed
random access to the metadata and program content it stores
Without exhibiting the speed limitations imposed by the
mechanically moving parts used in the player 120.
[0037] The memory subsystem 130 persistently stores
ment these and other features of the preferred embodiment
are shoWn in FIG. 1 of the draWings. The system consists of
a central processing unit (CPU) 110, also referred to herein
as the “controller,” Which directs the operation of other
“surrogate data” that describes the content of each of mul
tiple available CD volumes. As illustrated at 131 for a ?rst
devices, including a disk player 120, a high-speed random
preferably includes: (1) identi?cation information (a “vol
CD volume, each volume is described by metadata Which
Dec. 16, 2004
US 2004/0255334 A1
ume ?ngerprint”) that uniquely identi?es the volume; (2) a
short text “label” for the volume such as an album title; and
(3) a longer text description of the content of the volume.
Both the label and the longer description are typically
expressed as textual character data, but may include image
data (eg an image of an album cover) or a voice narration
describing the content. The metadata for each volume also
preferably includes (4) a short sample of the volume’s
content, or a pointer to (disk address information identifying
the beginning and ending of) content recorded on the disk
volume Which may be extracted and placed in the memory
system 130 When the disk is mounted for playback.
Similarly, as seen at 132 for “program 1” on
“volume 1”, the memory subsystem stores surrogate content
data describing each program (e.g. song track, music video,
etc.) on each volume. The program surrogate data preferably
includes (1) a title and (2) a longer description, both
expressed in text or other form, and either the content of, or
a pointer to, sample extracts from each program. As in the
case of the volume sample, When a pointer alone is provided,
it may be used to retrieve an identi?ed portion of the
program from the disk volume When that volume is
mounted, With the identi?ed sample(s) for each program are
thereafter persistently stored in the higher speed memory
subsystem. As seen in FIG. 1, data for a second “program
2” in “volume 1” is stored at 133, While data describing a
second “volume 2” is stored at 135.
When each available CD volume is ?rst mounted
on the disk player 120, extracts are retrieved from each
program (e.g. audio song track) recorded on that volume.
These extracts include the beginning of each program, and
may include an additional “sWeet spot” or longer “sample”
of the program Which provides the listener With a better
previeW of the content of that program. When text metadata
describing the content of a volume is obtained from an
external source (such as the Internet server 164), that meta
data may include pointer data Which identi?es the portion of
each program to be extracted as a “sWeet spot” or “sample.”
As explained later, the beginning, sWeet spot and sample
the player 120, or later if metadata de?ning the location of
sWeet spots and samples is not yet available.
[0041] Additional data persistently stored in the memory
subsystem characteriZes each system user. That user data
may include playlists Which identify an ordered set of
programs by volume and program number Which the user
may Wish to play in the future, as Well as a “usage log”
Which identi?es the programs previously played (and not
skipped) by each user. The usage logs may be used for a
variety of purposes, including the automated creation of
playlists of “favorites” (frequently played programs). Data
stored for “user 1” and “user 2” are depicted at 137 and 138
respectively in FIG. 1.
[0042] As further illustrated at 139 in FIG. 1, the memory
subsystem 130 includes a “content buffer” typically imple
mented in dynamic RAM, for storing blocks of program
content Which are prefetched from the player 120 for sub
sequent reproduction by one or more of the user controlled
reproduction devices 142. The content buffers are ?lled from
the disk player 120 Which reads the disk at a higher rate (e.g.
8x) than the rate at Which it is played back to the reproduc
tion device(s). This alloWs the single disk player 120 to
concurrently produce different outputs for different users
using different reproduction devices, as explained in more
detail beloW.
[0043] The system also stores “softWare” programs
executable by the processor 110 or other devices, either in
read-only memory (not shoWn) or the high speed memory
subsystem 130, or both. NeW or improved functionality can
be supplied by doWnloading neW or replacement softWare
from an available source via the I/O port 150. Unless
otherWise apparent from the context, hoWever, the terms
"program,”"programs,”“programming” and “program seg
ments” as used in this speci?cation refer to audio or video
program content, such as musical selections (“songs” or
“tracks” on a conventional CD) or video programming (such
as a “music video” selection), rather than to executable
softWare programs.
extracts are stored in the high speed memory to support
[0044] The procedure used by the improved CD player is
different outputs to different users as Well as improved
shoWn in the ?oWchart of FIG. 2. AneW volume is mounted
program guide and navigation functions.
in the CD player at 203. This can occur as a part of normal
use, or When a collection of disks are placed in on the
turntable or inserted into the carousel or magaZine of a
[0040] The beginning of each program segment (e.g. each
song track on each available CD) on each mounted CD) are
read from each CD When it is ?rst mounted on the player 120
and are thereafter persistently stored for later use. The
storage of beginning segments permits the user to select and
immediately begin playing a desired selection, possibly on
a different CD from the currently mounted CD, Without
experiencing a delay. The stored “beginning segment” of the
neW selection is read from the high speed memory sub
system 130 While the player 120 mounts the neWly selected
volume and positions the pickup to begin reproduction of the
remainder of the selected program that folloWs the begin
ning segment. In addition, the “beginning segments” may be
rapidly fetched from the memory subsystem to support
manual or automatic scanning by the user Who can then
multi-disk player. Either before or during the playback of
programming on each volume, the system automatically
extracts a unique identi?cation code from the CD as indi
cated at 205. This unique code or “?ngerprint” can be
extracted from the information stored in the CD’s Table of
Content (TOC), a lead-in area on the CD that contains data
that is someWhat analogous to the table of contents of a
book. Since each CD is unique in exact content, it is possible
to use this the TOC information as a “?ngerprint” to
uniquely identify each CD volume. The TOC ?ngerprint
data may be used by the player to identify each volume When
it is loaded, and also enables the system to determine When
a neW CD has been mounted for the ?rst time.
spot” and longer “samples” of each program, as Well as the
volume sample that is representative of the volume as a
[0045] As also shoWn at 205, the system automatically
retrieves the beginning of each individual program (e.g song
track) on the CD. The duration of the beginning segment that
is transferred to the high speed memory is preferably at least
Whole, may be extracted for each CD along With the
“beginning segments” When that volume is ?rst mounted on
as long as the time required for the player to respond to a
selection request requiring that a different volume be
listen brie?y to each program beginning to decide Whether
or not to listen to the remainder of the program. The “sWeet
Dec. 16, 2004
US 2004/0255334 A1
mounted from the turntable, carousel or magazine. Thus, if
a particular multi-CD player requires maximum of eight
seconds to change CDs, at least eight seconds of the begin
beginning segments, sWeet spots and extended samples,
together provide an improved program guide and navigation
ning of each program on the neWly mounted CD should be
transferred to the high speed memory. In this Way, When a
program on that CD is requested When a different CD is
mechanism to the user. The system responds to navigation
commands from the user interface 225 by displaying text
currently mounted, the system can immediately begin play
ing the beginning of the requested program from memory as
requested the CD holding the requested program is mounted,
brought up to speed, and begins transferring the remainder
of the requested program into buffer storage Where it Will be
available to continue the playback at the conclusion of the
pre-stored beginning segment. As a result, When a program
is selected for playback from an unmounted CD, the play
back can begin immediately.
[0046] After the ?ngerprint and beginning segment data
The received metadata, as Well as the extracted
descriptions and playing samples of available programs. The
visual display may take the form of a small LCD screen
Which shoWs scrollable list of titles that describe an ordered
list of programs (e.g. song titles), or an ordered list of
volumes (e.g. album titles). The ordered list of programs
may represent the programs on a selected volume in track
order, or may represent an ordered set of programs from a
playlist 230. When the user moves the “cursor” to highlight
a particular title, a more detailed text description of that
selected item may be displayed on the screen and, at the
same time, the beginning segment (or, if available, the sWeet
spot excerpt for that item) Will be played for the listener. In
metadata about the contents of the CD(s) from an available
this Way, the listener not only sees the title, but hears a
previeW of each item of interest. The user may then use the
user interface control 225 to either select a highlighted
program for immediate playback, or it to a playlist 230 being
built for future use. The navigation control 240 accepts
commands from the user entered at the user interface 225,
source, such as a database server accessed by modem or
displays program listings as seen at 231, plays samples and
Internet connection. One such system is described in US.
Pat. No. 6,147,940 issued to Carl YankoWski on Nov. 14,
programs selected during navigation or from playlists While
has been extracted from all of the volumes placed in a
multi-CD changer as determined at 209, additional metadata
describing the contents of these CDs may be obtained by
using the ?ngerprint data as a lookup key to fetch descriptive
2000, the disclosure of Which is incorporated herein by
reference. Another such system is Gracenote’s Widely used
displays titles of selected programs as seen at 226, and plays
displaying song titles as seen at 242.
CDDB® service (see Which provides
[0049] Multi-Listener Playback
an online database of music information With expanded
[0050] The multi-listener features of the system may be
used to advantage in compact disk players installed in
album and track ?elds, credits, genres, ISRC code, and
Web-links that provide listeners With information about
music that can be retrieved using the ?ngerprint data.
Because the CD player may not have its oWn connection to
the Internet, the retrieval of additional metadata may be
accomplished by transferring the ?ngerprint codes to a
personal computer (PC) or the like at 213 Which then
vehicles. Many vans and SUVs have controls for the radio
and CD player that are accessible by the backseat passen
gers. Passengers in the backseat may control the main (and
only) radio and CD device With skip, volume, radio preset
and controls. These backseat controls alter the sound that
can be heard over the normal speaker system, or over
transmits the request for metadata to a remote server.
headphones that plug into the backseat console, alloWing
[0047] The metadata transferred from the server may
include the identi?cation of “sWeet spots” as described in
US. application Ser. No. 10/331,198 ?led on Dec. 30, 2002
and published as Publication No. 2003-0163823, the disclo
sure of Which is incorporated by reference. As described in
that application, songs are knoWn to have “sWeet spots,” a
brief portions of each song that resonates With, and is
these passengers to listen to the music privately. If head
phones are used, the other passengers cannot listen to the
selected music and in most systems they cannot listen to the
other audio sources (the radio or cassette tape) either.
normally familiar to, listeners. Quite often this segment Will
families consist of a car-full of passengers all listening to
music of their oWn choice. The vehicle is becoming less of
be the refrain and include the title of the song as part of the
lyrics. SWeet spots may be played to the listener during
“scanning” When the playback jumps to the sWeet spot in
each song, if available, rather than the beginning segment. If
the user likes the song, he or she can hit the skip button again
to play the selection from the beginning, using the beginning
segment that is also already stored in the high speed
memory. To support this operation, the metadata may
include either the “sWeet spot” content, or a pointer to the
sWeet spot content on the actual CD. Thus, after the system
retrieves the metadata from the PC at 218, the next time the
[0051] Increasingly then, passengers are listening to their
oWn music sources. BetWeen video systems in high-end
cars, portable CD players, and back seat controls, many
a place Where people enjoy a common listening experience
and more of Where people Want personaliZed music choice.
Given this trend, the leading purpose of the “multi-listener
player” capability of the system is to alloW greater playback
choice by giving tWo or more people the ability to listen to
different programs (e.g. tracks) on the same player. This
technique may may also be applied to provide multi-listener
capabilities to CD or to a MP3 collection stored on a hard
drive, or any other sort of device delivering digitally
encoded music.
volume containing the song is mounted, the sWeet spot
content pointed to by the metadata may be retrieved from the
player and stored in the high speed memory. The scan
buffer,” often 45 seconds long, to provide proper playback
control, seen at 228 in FIG. 2, may then substitute the sWeet
even When the drive skips tracks. The anti-skip feature is
[0052] Currently, many CDs already have “anti-skip
spot content for the previously extracted beginning segment
commonly incorporated into portable players and players
during program scanning to provide the listener With a more
immediate understanding of program content.
installed in vehicles that are subject to shock and vibration
that may cause the pickup to skip tracks. By buffering
Dec. 16, 2004
US 2004/0255334 A1
content read from the disk at a higher rate in advance of
“fetch” upcoming programming for the second listener Who
playback, When a track jump occurs, the output reproduction
may be using the systems “public speaker.”
device can continue to play from the buffered content While
perhaps in eXpanded form, to provide another function:
[0056] If just one channel Were playing, a buffer of
decoded audio content is stored. If another selection Were
requested by a second user for a different output channel, the
initial song Would continue to play off the buffer, the
supplying a second listener With different program content.
previously stored beginning portion of the other selection is
routed to second user as the playback device selects and
reads data from the neW selection into the buffer. This
the pickup head is repositioned to capture the skipped
content. This present invention also uses buffered content,
Individual program choice is needed even for a
single-CD player. Because the system described can poten
tially make available a large number of program selections
on one or multiple volumes, it Would be unlikely that any
tWo people Would be interested in listening to the eXact same
program or playlist at the same time. Therefore, a person
aliZed navigation and listening feature for that category of
device Would de?nitely be valued. For a multi-CD changer,
second song too, Would get it’s oWn buffer, enabling the
decoder to go back and decode more of the original song.
The processor/decoder Would continue this process of shut
tling back and forth, fetching a buffer’s-Worth of audio each
time. The rate of shuttling back and forth depends on the
folloWing considerations:
chances of tWo people Wanting to hear the same tracks, at the
[0057] a. hoW much of a delay the second listener is
forced to endure before his or her music starts;
same time, assuming they had the option for personaliZed
[0058] b. the siZe of the buffer for each listener;
With siX or more CDs able to be accessed on demand, the
listening via headphones, Would be small. Even With a single
CD, different people in the car Would most likely have
different opinions regarding Which song to play next, or
replay, etc. And With MP3 recordings on compact disk or in
[0060] d, hoW much music, if any might have been
pre-stored in the ?rst listener’s buffer, even if no
second listener presented a request; and
a hard drive, many times the number of songs as one
standard CD are commonly available, still further reducing
the likelihood of tWo people Will Want to hear the same
program content at the same time.
c. the rate the CD can be decoded;
[0061] e. the amount of “overhead time” taken to get
from program to program (eg from track to track on
a single CD, or from volume to volume if programs
[0054] What might the alternatives be to creating tWo
are selected from different volumes on a multi
personaliZed playback streams off of one or more CDs? One
solution is to have tWo CD players in the car. But the
backseat listener Will still have to Wear headphones. This
solution also increases cost, uses scarce surface area, locates
a breakable device in the back seat, and increases the
volume player).
dif?culty of locating CDs Which become spread over the car.
In addition, With tWo CD players playing tWo CDs, it is
dif?cult to share a common listening eXperience When that
More than tWo listeners may be handled in this
Way, With the number of listeners being limited only by cost
(a function of the number of audio channels, needed buffer
space, and the respective reproduction devices and controls
for each listener) and the ability of the disk player to shuttle
back and forth.
is desired. By using the multi-listener capabilities described
here, the tWo listeners may be listening to different programs
each listener the independent ability to skip ahead, pause,
on the same CD listening to the same CD, Which can’t be
etc. These controls could be adjacent to eXisting listener
controls, perhaps alloWing the same controls to apply to
different users via a toggle sWitch. Ideally, the controls for
each user Would be Within reach, perhaps located on the
headset. The secondary listeners might have a simpli?ed set
of controls, also.
achieved using separate players. Using these capabilities, a
usage session might start With both the front seat and back
seat listeners hearing the same thing. As soon as the backseat
listener’s taste diverged from the front seat listener’s, the
headphones could just be slid on and a neW track found. No
more ?ghts until the CD Was over. At the same time, it is
possible for tWo users to listen to the same CD at the same
In all variants a simple user interface Would alloW
[0064] Soon Bluetooth technology provides cost-effective
Wireless transmission of both control signals and audio data
[0055] For each device, one or more playback channels
Would be needed, one for the “public” speakers and one
duction devices as depicted generally at 142 in FIG. 1 can
be used, each of Which consists of a Bluetooth transceiver,
individual user interface controls, and headphones. Each
over a short range, a plurality of independent user repro
further output channel for each set of headphones. The
player 120 seen at 120 is shared and retrieves and decodes
the audio from selected CD volumes in faster-than-real
time. Most conventional CD mechanisms can play at 8x real
speed, although most consumer players don’t make use of
this feature. As content selected by each listener is read from
the mounted CD, it is stored in the content buffer 139
user’s unit communicates to a Bluetooth transceiver at 141.
typically implemented by dynamic RAM Which forms part
volumes in a multi-volume changer. CD-changers With ?ve
[0065] CD-Changer With Seamless Play
[0066] An important feature of the invention provides
improved performance When tWo successive programs
routed to an output channel reside on different CD disk
of the memory 130. After the content is stored for one output
CDs take on average 7 seconds to change a CD. Carousels
channel, the player 120 then reads a block of upcoming
content for another listener from program and places that in
the buffer. Programming is then supplied to the reproduction
holding several hundred CDs take even longer (eg 20
seconds). When hitting the skip button to change songs on
a single CD volume, hoWever, it only takes about 0.5
device (eg headphones used by one person) from the
seconds to change from one track to another. A system
designed to make multi-volume player perform as Well as a
allocated buffer While the player goes to a different track to
Dec. 16, 2004
US 2004/0255334 A1
single CD player or a single collection of digital MP3 songs
Would ideally reduce playback delay that noW occurs
betWeen programs When volumes need to be sWitched on the
[0067] This invention uses the high speed memory 130 in
combination With a sloWer, multi-volume changer 120 to
reduce the apparent time taken to change CDs. This impor
tant improvement is provided Without requiring any change
in the users’ behavior, and does so using components that are
already present in the system to provide other functions
described in this speci?cation.
[0068] In addition, the memory-based reduction in volume
sWitching times achieved may reduce manufacturing costs
by relaxing the requirements placed on the changer since a
sloWer, and less expensive disk transport mechanism may be
used because the mechanical requirements for the moving
parts needed to sWitch tracks are less stringent.
In addition, other features of the present invention
might not need to be mounted. This Would alloW the listener
to sample multiple CDs quickly With no movement of CDs
needed—and of course, no lag-time to hear a sample from
each CD. A further feature of such a system Would alloW the
system to recogniZe the most popular song (based on past
listening patterns) on each CD and buffer and play that ?rst
as the representative sample. Alternatively, the metadata
may identify a sample Which is representative of the entire
CD, for example, a sample of the “title song” for an album
CD, or from the most popular song on the CD.
In the above example, it Would be assumed that the
listener Was out of “sampling mode” after listening for a set
time period to the same track. The CD at that point Would be
fetched While the song Was still playing out of the buffer.
Alternatively, the system could try to fetch the CD as soon
as possible, playing the song out of memory in the mean
time. In the time period before the CD Was fetched, certain
features related to a loaded CD Would not Work, such as the
ability to rapidly scan forWard through the song, at least past
permit the programs available on multiple CDs to be
the pre-stored portion.
scanned or selected using a program guide by reading
metadata and listening to program excerpts stored in the
high speed memory. As a result, the user is more likely to
select programs on different CD volumes, and to construct
playlists Which invoke programs distributed over multiple
volumes. This capability increases the need for more rapid
sWitching betWeen desired programs on different CDs.
Reducing the sWitching times betWeen different CDs Would
yield the following bene?ts:
1. start the next program Without a signi?cant
delay When sWitching volumes;
The system Would have to be designed to seam
lessly merge the buffered and CD-based music together, just
as the stored buffer is reassembled With later content read
from the CD When an anti-skip buffer encounters a skip and
must synchroniZe the incorrectly omitted material captured
later With the originally read content in the buffer. The
system Would need to knoW the exact endpoint of the
previously stored buffer and have a means to jump to the
content immediately succeeding the content representing the
end of the buffer.
To set the system up, the music Would be encoded
[0071] 2. sWitch more rapidly betWeen songs desig
nated by cross-CD playlists; and
in memory immediately after a neW CD Was placed in the
player Would go and encode the song beginnings for each
song and put it in the proper place in memory.
changer. A sensing mechanism to detect the replacement of
a CD Would be needed. When a change Was detected, the
3. permit the player to execute a cross-CD
automatic “shuffle” of programs, a function that is
impractical today With changers Which require a
signi?cant amount of time to sWitch from one CD
volume to another.
[0078] If the system Was busy playing music at the time
that encoding needed to be done, time could be freed up in
[0073] The improved sWitching times is achieved by stor
player. That is, the player Would decode music off the
ing the beginning of each program on each CD in the high
current playing track at a rate faster than real time. This
music Would be loaded into a buffer for playback in real
speed memory 130. Then, When a program on a track on an
unmounted CD is requested (either by a manual selection
from the program guide, by reaching the next program on a
cross-CD playlist, or by executing a cross-CD program
shuf?e, the neW selection can start playing almost immedi
ately by using beginning content stored in memory. The
beginning content has a suf?cient duration to permit the
transport to mount the neWly selected volume, position the
pickup, and read the next block of content data folloWing the
beginning segment into the buffer memory for continued
[0074] When sWitching from CD to CD, the user may be
“sampling CDs”—looking for a favorite CD to play at that
moment. As long as the user is only listening to excerpts of
the candidate program (either beginning segments, sWeet
spots, or longer samples), the changer need not be requested
to mount a neW volume. Thus, for example, if the user is
“scanning” a playlist, listening only to the beginning seg
ments from the high speed memory, and listens to the
beginning segment for less than a certain minimum time
period used for the “automatic skip,” the actual CD volume
a manner to that has been proposed for the multi-listener
time. MeanWhile, the processor Would have time to encode
the neW CD. After a program has been read from the player
to supplement the beginning portion already stored, the
entire content may advantageously be left in the buffer until
the program has been completely played out. This alloWs the
user to request a replay of the recorded material Which may
occur after the system has begun to read the next scheduled
program into the buffer.
Using a localiZed version of the CDDB algorithm,
the CD changer could identify each CD. If a certain CD Were
just moved to a different spot on the changer, the songs
Would not need to be re-ripped.
[0080] Cost
The preferred embodiment Would store at least 10
seconds from each track on the CD, or roughly 200 seconds
per CD. For a 6-CD changer, the memory requirement
Would be on the order of 1,800 seconds or 30 minutes of
audio. This Would be equivalent to 30 megabytes of memory
using standard compression techniques. The Wholesale cost
Dec. 16, 2004
US 2004/0255334 A1
of this amount of memory capacity Would currently be
approximately $3 dollars, and that cost can be expected to
continue to decrease dramatically in coming years. The
hardWare or softWare needed to do ef?ciently demodulate
and decode the digital content data on the CD presumably is
already on the player but might need to be supplemented in
order to perform simultaneous decoding of multiple streams,
or to decode single streams more rapidly on a time-shared
[0082] A loWer cost system requiring less memory Would
only buffer the beginnings of ?rst song of each CD. This
system Would offer the bene?t only of minimiZing the Wait
Metrics about the number and length of tracks (TOC data)
are developed during the ripping process yielding a unique
“?ngerprint” about each CD. Jukebox softWare such as
Music Match then goes to the Web to doWnload metadata
from the CDDB database. This metadata is used to organiZe
the songs by CD, artist, etc. This same structure of organi
Zation is available for MP3 recordings on CDs that are
recorded by the user.
[0089] But When dealing With CDs or other physical
media, remembering What music you oWn and What it all
sounds like, is a problem Which the user must solve When
selecting the music (a “pull” system compared to a “push”
time While sWitching CDs but not offer cross-CD playlists or
broadcast Where the listener passively listens to What the
shuffle. If the listener tried to move to the next track on the
radio plays.)
neW CD, hoWever, the song Would not be buffered and a Wait
Would result While the CD Was fetched.
The cost to implement the system on a 300 CD
changer might currently be prohibitive for loW cost units, but
[0090] There are several Ways to navigate through your
physical collection of CDs.
that is expected to change over time. One Way to address the
cost issue in the short term Would be for the system to
albums that have been put onto the carousel. These
names shoW up on an LCD display When that par
recogniZe the differences in playing frequencies betWeen
songs and only set up buffers for songs played frequently or
that Were in speci?ed playlists.
[0084] The concepts discussed become more practical in a
World of convergence of the Internet With conventional
broadcast, cable and disk media channels. For instance, the
Tivo digital video recorder (DVR) Will noW be able to
doWnload and play music off the Internet. With multi
purpose devices like this emerging, many of the hardWare
requiremens can be of?oaded to other parts of the systems
including processing poWer and encoding resources. If a
hard drive Were available, much of the storage needed for
buffering could reside there instead of in a semiconductor
memory, thus cutting costs (as the access time off of a hard
drive is still many times quicker than sWitching CDs) and
making possible the storage of sample excerpts from many
disks in a high capacity changer.
[0085] Another architecture to consider When the changer
is connected by a high speed link to anther device is one in
Which the memory needed by the player resides in a remote
device, such as a PC. Thus, if the player Were connected to
a PC via a Bluetooth device or WiFi link, or to the Internet,
either directly, or via the PC, then the buffered content can
be accessed via a communication link. This Would reduce
1. Some CD changers are equipped With key
boards that are used to type in the name of the
ticular album is being loaded.
[0092] 2. More advanced CD changers noW come
With Internet connections that match a CD mounted
in the changer With the CDDB, automatically doWn
loading metadata about the CDs into the changer and
giving the user a list of What of the programs stored
on that particular changer.
[0093] The tWo methods above Will tell the user What
programs are currently loaded into tge CD changer, but do
not provide information on all the rest of the CD’s in the
oWner’s collection? There are tWo methods can currently be
used to deal With this problem:
[0094] 1. The user can ?ip through the jeWel cases.
This can be done via spinning carousels, or by
manually going through a stack.
[0095] 2. The user you can use a keyboard to create
a text list of all of the oWned CDs.
But all these methods still leave the problem of
associating the name of the song and artist With the actual
sound (akin to the mental energy required to envision the
taste of food listed on a menu). None of these broWsing or
search methods serve to help to remind the listener What the
memory requirements on the player. Copyright issues might
respective music sounds like. This issue, hoWever, is
be resolved to the extent that the samples stored on the Web
handled by the using navigation systems (eg automatic
server or PC Were de minimus copies or alloWed because the
scanning) and program guides that present brief recorded
user had purchased the actual discs.
samples extracted from each a available program.
[0086] Players With an Archival History.
[0097] A similar navigation and “inventory recognition”
[0087] This third improvement to CD, DVD and similar
playback devices alloWs the player to keep a history of all
problem exists for video content in a DVD collection, you
previously played content as a means to automatically and
easily create an index of oWned content. The player prefer
ably includes additional memory and some sort of netWork
might have” problems. After building a library of discs so
the vieWer has a selection of available programs, the prob
lem then becomes remembering Which movies you’ve seen
and Which ones you’ve bought but haven’t seen When you
connection to implement the archiving functions of the
are shopping for neW DVDs.
[0098] The purpose of this aspect of the system is to use
the playing device itself to compile, over time, a list of discs
oWned by the user and collect data about the use of those
[0088] When music is stored on the hard drive of a PC, the
user approximate an electronic program guide (“EPG”) With
click-and-play capabilities. This PC-based EPG is the ?le
structure that is automatically stored for the user’s MP3
collection by existing softWare that makes copies from a CD.
The arrangement envisioned here comprises a net
Work-connected disk player, CD or DVD, With a commu
Dec. 16, 2004
US 2004/0255334 A1
nications capability of connecting to CDDB or an equivalent
database residing on a network. The device could be con
nected either directly to the Internet or a local PC. The
connection could be a Wired one (even a docking station for
could keep a record of Where the user left off When playback
of a movie ceased during a previous session. Bookmarks for
other uses could also be created.
Services Based on Usage
As indicated at 137 and 138 of FIG. 1, data
[0100] Every time a disk Was inserted, metadata about the
disk Would be generated. This metadata Would be either sent
regarding “consumption” of the media Would be compiled
a portable player), or a Wireless one such as a Bluetooth
to the CDDB-like database at that time or batched for later
over time and stored on the device, a local PC, or the
netWork. This data could indicate Which disk Was listened to
transmission. The metadata Would be used to ?ngerprint and
identify the disk. The result is a history of all the disks that
“passed through” the device and hoW they Were used.
or Watched, at What time, etc. By knoWing What movies have
“passed through” a user’s DVD player, Which ones had been
?nished, etc., a service provider could make recommenda
[0101] This ID information could be passed back to the
device, stored, and displayed the neXt time the device played
DVD player, listeners and vieWers could also “vote” by
a matching disk even if there Was no netWork connection at
that time. Thus, a portable CD player could over time learn
the ?ngerprints of all the CDs in the oWner’s library and
When each Was played, could display the song, artist and
album information even if off-line.
tions for future movie purchases. With an interactive CD or
supplying a thumbs up or doWn rating, or a numerical rating,
for each album or song listened to, or to each movie vieWed,
to obtain music and movie recommendations from a service
matching the users preferences. By contributing his or her
recommendations to a service Which aggregates the recom
[0102] This aspect of the system envisions the compilation
mendations of many users, data can be developed Which
provides recommendations to a user Which indicate other
of an an inventory list or directory of the user’s entire
programming Which other users having similar preferences
collection of oWned CDs and DVDs, With no effort being
required on the part of the user. The resulting list may then
highly recommended.
be printed out, managed manually, displayed on the disk
player, or accessed at an in-store kiosk, or a Web-enabled
This Archived CD List provides a neW Way to
navigate the user’s entire collection of CDs, Which could be
scattered in any number of locations. It provides a reminder
[0110] Other uses for the data Would be personaliZation
services (such as systems that monitor a user’s listening
habits across different devices to be able offer personaliZed
ads and discounts), community sharing, or use by another
“smart” CD player in constructing playlists or alloWing
“intelligent” shuffling based on song desirability, etc. Usage
data could also be used by the emerging subscription ser
of the potential CDs that could be put into the changer and
represents a virtual compilation of “playable” CDs that
could be played if the CDs Were changed.
vices to track compliance or aggregate customer behavior.
regarding its users’ time-shifted media vieWing habits. Col
lection, and possibly resale of this information could be the
quid pro quo for using the service. This type of information
In some Ways it is akin to the feature some tele
phone noW have Whereby they list the last 100 calls
received. Thus, While you might be on line talking With one
party, With a little effort, you can scan the archive of received
[0111] Information across multiple users could be com
piled in a manner similar to hoW Tivo compiles information
With an effort only someWhat greater than accessing the ones
in the changer at the moment.
aggregation model Would alloW an entirely neW class of
information to be collected about the use of the disk media
in a manner similar to hoW data is compiled for broadcast
media-data that could be sold to content producers and
[0105] A further feature Would have the system suggest
[0112] Playlist Management
calls and get on the phone With another party. In much the
same Way, CDs in the Archive can be identi?ed and retrieved
Which CD to remove from the carousel When a neW one Was
to be added. This could be done by tracking usage data for
each CD and suggesting the least-used CD be removed.
[0113] With the hardWare described above built into a CD
changer, and metadata about the CDs that reside on the
[0106] A large CD changer is a special case as the unit
might hold a large percentage of a user’s collection and
the ability to easily construct playlists across CDs. Using the
some of these devices are already connected to the CDDB
over the Internet. For this implementation the CDDB
equipped CD changer Would have tWo lists—a list of Active
CDs and Archived CDs. If a CD is moved from the changer,
the corresponding data is relocated from the “Active” por
tion of the local CD-changer database and put in the
“Archive” section. This Archive database displays, then, the
names of all the CDs that have ever “passed through” the
changer previously. In a sense, it is a list of all the CDs that
the user oWns—assuming that they all have at one time or
another been played on the changer. Because the changer is
connected to the netWork, the Active and Archive lists could
reside in the changer, a PC, or on the netWork.
A further use of the system Would be to document
a history or diary of playback activity. Thus, the system
carousel available to the system, the user Would noW have
“Seamless Playback” method described above, the playlist
playback could be seamless and it Would appear that the
songs Were all residing on the same CD.
Playlists could be developed in a number of Ways:
[0115] 1. They could be developed at a PC via a
Web-based (do-it-from-anyWhere) application or at a
PC that communicates With the changer in one of the
Ways described above.
[0116] 2. Playlists could be developed “manually” by
the listener by issuing a command as the list of
available songs scrolled by on the changer’s display.
Alternatively, the keyboard that hooks up to the
changer could be used to navigate the list and select
songs, and furthermore, label the playlist.
Dec. 16, 2004
US 2004/0255334 A1
[0117] 3. The changer could also keep track of Which
songs Were played the most, or played With each
other. With certain usage algorithms employed, the
system could attempt to automatically generate clus
ters of songs the listener appears to like to hear
together When given the opportunity to “surf and
play”. These algorithms could be run on either the
changer’s microprocessor or the connected PC. The
simplest such algorithm Would be “play the last 20
songs I played When I controlled the selection of
CDs and songs played”. This usage data could be
used not only to produce playlists but also to rank
order CDs or songs by playing frequency Within a
certain time period. You could select to play items
directly off this list.
listeners knoW What they oWn and can go right to it. The
closest feature to a scan button is the “shuffle” button, Which
takes an oWned collection from Which a listener normally
“pulls” selections, and turns it into a “push” means. In the
“Smart CD” methods described above, it Was noted that
portions of songs may be stored in memory to facilitate
seamless disk changing. In addition, the creation of an
archival list of previously played disks Was discussed. Here
the ideas are brought together in a system designed to offer
listeners a Way to sample their Way to the music they Want
to hear.
[0125] The system enables users to operatre aan “intelli
gent Scan” button to sample and select music from their
collections. These collections might be MP3 compilations,
MP3 CDs, CD-changers, etc. This Scan button Would take
[0118] As mentioned in connection With Seamless Play
back above, adding memory Would alloW for the implemen
the listener from song to song until a desirable selection
tation of the shuffle function across CDs, as there Would be
[0126] The Scan button might have the ability to jump to
no delay While changing CDs. This idea could be further
eXtended When listening data is integrated into the function.
When shuffling amongst so many songs, it Would
be advantageous to narroW doWn the universe Within Which
shuf?ing is occurring. By using popularity data, that is,
knoWledge of hoW many times each song on the carousel
had been played over a certain time period (perhaps relative
to hoW long it had been placed on the carousel), the universe
of songs to shuffle could be reduced to songs you liked to
hear most often. The degree of such concentration of listen
ing could be modulated via the keyboard, PC, or Web
interface. In addition to using your oWn listening history,
collaborative data could be interjected (assuming a netWork
connection) to supplement or replace the personal data.
the folloWing locations Within a song:
[0127] 1. It could take the listener to the beginning of
the neXt song and play a segment
[0128] 2. The listener could be taken to a random
location Within the neXt song.
[0129] 3. If the unit Were Internet-enabled, metadata
concerning the song could be obtained, and the
sample could begin at the “sWeet spot” of the song—
that portion of the song that most resonates With
4. A set of algorithms could deduce the loca
tion of segments Within the neXt song such as the
refrain, Which might be most recogniZable to listen
[0120] A Scan Button for Digital Content
The fourth novel method for improving the opera
tion of CD and DVD players relates to the use of a “scan”
button that provides a neW method for sampling and eXpe
riencing digital music collections. The scan button provides
an audio aid for navigating a collection of oWned CDs and
a Way to see previeWs of oWned DVDs. The system Would
ideally employ both device connectivity and memory.
[0131] 5. The location method could be personaliZed
by listener
6. A rotating miX of the above
In the case of methods 3 and 4, an algorithm that
analyZed patterns in the song, looking for various attributes
Without having to fetch individual CDs. Not only there
or a repeating pattern, most likely the refrain, could deduce
the location of the sWeet spot. The sWeet spot could also be
determined via metadata draWn from a database. Such
CD-changers, there are groWing MP3 collections on com
databases are at the heart of several Websites that offer
puters, MP3-CDs, Which hold ten times the number of songs
intelligent samples for songs.
that standard CDs hold, and subscription services, Which
[0134] The scan button could also just sample as feW as
one song per CD—an approach that Would be focused on
helping the listener pick Which CD from a set to listen to.
Today, more oWned music then ever is being col
lected in devices or services that make it all available at once
give listeners access to a Wide range of songs on-demand,
albeit, sometimes just for a speci?ed period of time. Soon to
be available, Will be radio recorders like Gotuit Radio that
Will store large amounts of recorded radio programming.
These aggregations of music Will present greater navigation
challenges due to their siZe, but at the same time offer greater
bene?ts from improved navigation if such methods alloW
you to get to the music you Want, When you Want it.
In today’s music World there is a scan button only
[0135] The Scan button could also employ different tech
niques in choosing Which song to sample neXt. For instance,
it might:
1. Scan through those songs listened to most
frequently by the listener
for radio broadcasts—the predominant “pushed” media for
2. Scan those listened to least frequently
music. When the user hits the scan button, a sample from
successive stations is presented until one is chosen. It is a
3. Combine the scanning function With the
shuffle function and scan random songs
someWhat crude, but popular, feature.
[0124] For oWned music, Where listeners “pull” What they
Want to hear, there is no such button. It is assumed that
4. Scan the songs in a playlist
[0140] 5. Scan sample songs from multiple playlists
Dec. 16, 2004
US 2004/0255334 A1
[0141] Samples from Archived Content
[0142] Another implementation of this system Would be
for the device to extract samples from the oWner’s
archives—all the disks that had passed through the disk
player in the past. This Would alloW the presentation of
samples of the user’s entire collection of content and not just
those disks available to the player that time. The purpose of
this feature Would be to remind the listener What other disks
Were available for play. In this embodiment, the DVD player
is as much a target platform for the system as the CD player.
What is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for reproducing audio or video programs or
both recorded on one or more compact disk volumes com
prising, in combination,
a disk player including a pickup responsive to a selection
signal for generating a digital output signal represen
tative of identi?ed program data recorded on a given
one of said disk volumes,
a high speed random access digital memory,
For instance, one could use such a system to see previeWs of
all the DVDs in a collection.
an output device for reproducing said programs in a form
[0143] The same options noted above, concerning sample
a user interface device for accepting program playback
locations and songs or DVDs to sample, Would apply to the
requests for the reproduction of selected programs from
archives as Well.
a user, and
These samples for the Scan button, Which are not
coming from the physical disks (by de?nition this imple
perceptible to a user,
a controller coupled to said disk player, said user interface
device and said digital memory, said controller com
mentation deals With media not currently in a player), could
reside on the Web, a local PC connected to the device, or the
means for transmitting selection signals to said disk
device itself. The samples could be played at the device itself
player to automatically transfer the beginning por
if stored there or communicated via a connection to the
tion of each of said plurality of different programs
from said disk player to said digital memory,
storage location. Alternatively, the Scan button and the
playback could reside in another location such as a local PC,
means for responding to each of said program playback
or both.
[0145] The samples themselves, While possibly originat
requests accepted by said user interface device by
?rst transmitting the beginning portion of a selected
ing by ripping the oWner’s disks, might also be obtained
program from said digital memory to said output
from free sources of samples on the Web, or be made
available by content holders to oWners of the disks. If these
Were streaming sources, then the system Would store a list of
the oWned material, and go to the Web to collect samples on
means for transferring a remaining portion of said
selected program from said disk player to said digital
the ?y. If doWnloads Were permitted, the samples might be
doWnloaded and stored ahead of time.
The playback from the CD or DVD sample could
even be seamless if enough content Was stored in the buffer
to alloW the user to get the missing disk and put it in the
changer While the buffer Was playing. The device could be
playing from memory While the disk Was being fetched.
[0147] In one version, the listener Would hit the Scan
button and the unit Would start to play samples from the
beginning of the content segment. When the user indicated
a desire to play the entire song or CD, an audio indication
or voice Would indicate that the user needed to put the CD
or DVD into the player.
C nclusi n
[0149] It is to be understood that the methods and appa
ratus Which have been described above are merely illustra
device for immediate reproduction,
memory While said beginning portion of said
selected program is being reproduced by said output
device, and
means for transferring said remaining portion of said
selected program form said digital memory to said
output device for reproduction by said output device
after the conclusion of the reproduction of said
beginning portion.
2. Apparatus for reproducing audio or video programs or
both recorded on one or more compact disk volumes as set
forth in claim 1 Wherein said controller further includes
scanning means for automatically transmitting an ordered
sequence of said beginning portions to said output device
and means for responding to a playback request accepted by
said user interface While the beginning portion of a speci?c
one of said programs is being reproduced by said output
device for transferring the remaining portion of said speci?c
one of said programs from said playback device to said
tive applications of the principles of the invention. Numer
digital memory for reproduction by said output device
ous modi?cations may be made by those skilled in the art
folloWing said beginning portion.
Without departing from the true spirit and scope of the
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