(12) Ulllted States Patent (10) Patent N0.: US 8,683,009 B2

(12) Ulllted States Patent (10) Patent N0.: US 8,683,009 B2
US008683009B2
(12) Ulllted States Patent
(10) Patent N0.:
Ng et a].
(45) Date of Patent:
(54)
WIRELESS SYNCHRONIZATION BETWEEN
MEDIA PLAYER AND HOST DEVICE
(75)
Inventors: Stanley Ng, Campbell, CA (US);
Anthony M. Fadell, Portola Valley, CA
(US); Jeffrey L. Robbin, Los Altos, CA
5,583,993
5,587,404
5,616,876
5,640,566
A
A
A
A
5,666,530 A
5,710,922 A
5,721,949 A
6/1997 Victor et a1.
9/1997 Clark et a1‘
1/1998 Alley er al,
2/1998 Smith et al.
(Continued)
(73) Assignee: Apple Inc., Cupertino, CA (US)
Notice:
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
patent is extended or adjusted under 35
EP
EP
0 917 077
0 982 732
U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
“SyncML Data Sync Protocol version 1.1.2” Open Mobile Alliance,
Jun‘ 12, 2003, L63 pgst
N0.:
(65)
5/ 1999
3/2000
(Continued)
Thrs patent 1s subject to a tennlnal d1sc1a1mer.
(22) Filed:
*Mar. 25, 2014
12/1996 Foster et a1.
12/1996 Kroner et al.
4/1997 Cluts
(Us)
(*)
US 8,683,009 B2
Mar. 29, 2012
(Continued)
Prior Publication Data
US 2012/0191811 A1
Jul. 26, 2012
Primary Examiner * Shripal Khajuria
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm *Novak Druce Connolly
Bove + Quigg LLP
Related US. Application Data
(63)
Continuation of application No. 10/987,649, ?led on
NOV‘ 12’ 2004’ HOW Pat‘ NO‘ 8’150’937'
(60) Provisional application No. 60/622,304, ?led on Oct.
25, 2004.
(51)
(58)
(e.g., personal computer) and a media player are disclosed.
According to one embodiment, interaction between a host
device (e.g., host computer) and a media player can be per
Int. Cl.
formed over a Wireless channel. The interaction over the
G06F 15/16
(52)
(57)
ABSTRACT
Improved techniques for interaction between a host computer
(2006.01)
Wireless channel can be used to automatically synchronize
US. Cl.
media contents stored on the media player With media con
USPC .......................... .. 709/217; 7 09/21 8; 709/219
tents stored on the host device. According to another embodi
Field of Classi?cation Search
ment, interaction betWeen a host device and a media player,
USPC ........................................................ .. 709/217
Such as automatic synchroniZation Of media Contents Stored
See application ?le for Complete Search history
onamedia player With media contents stored on ahost device,
can be restricted. in still another embodiment, synchroniza
tion can be automatically performed When the media player is
placed in a docking station that supports Wireless communi
(56)
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400
402
DETERMINE MEDIA ITEMS
TO BE COPIED TO MEDIA PLAYER
404
DATA
TRANSFER
OVER
WIRELESS
CONNECTION
7
COMPRESS THE DETERMINED
406
40B
MEDIA ITEMS
COPY THE COMPRESSED MEDIA
ITEMS TO MEDIA PIAVER
COPY THE DETERMINED
MEDIA ITEMS TO
MEDIA PIAYER
US 8,683,009 B2
Page 2
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TuneBase 100 User Guide, A CD Library Management System,
Escient, Inc. copyright 1999.
TuneBase Pro Mk-II User’s Guide, Escient, Inc., 1999.
Vetro et al., “Media Conversions to Support Mobile Users,” IEEE
Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering,
Piscataway, NJ, May 13, 2001, pp. 607-612.
Wikipedia: “iTunes”, www.wikipedia.com, May 9, 2005, 6 pages.
Window’s Media Player 6.4, Microsoft Corp., copyright 1999, soft
ware available at http://www.oldversion.com/program.php?n:wmp
mailed Jan. 12,2010.
“Perfect guide for digital/audio technique to enjoy music in PC”,
Nobuya Fukuda, published in “Nikkei Click”, Japan, Nikkei business
Publications, Inc., Sep. 8, 1999, vol. 6/No. 10, p. 169.
Bott, “Special Edition Using Microsoft 1-18 Windows Milennium
Passage”, Special Edition Using Microsoft Windows Millennium
Edition, Nov. 3, 2000, pp. 1-24.
Second Of?ce Action for Chinese Patent Application No.
2005800405168, dated Jul. 28, 2011 (with translation).
Notice of the Reason for Refusal for JP application No. 2007-538922,
mailed Aug. 3, 2010.
US. Appl. No. 11/757,214, entitled “Intelligent synchronization of
media player with host computer”, ?led Jun. 1, 2007.
Combined Search and Examination Report re: GB Application No.
04257382, dated Dec. 21, 2004.
Combined Search and Examination Report re: GB Application No.
04257408, dated Dec. 21, 2004.
Combined Search and Examination Report re: GB Application No.
04257424, dated Dec. 21, 2004.
US. Patent
Mar. 25, 2014
Sheet 1 0f 13
US 8,683,009 B2
Nor)(
___.,
1
PwOI
EMPDQO
V
US. Patent
Mar. 25, 2014
Sheet 2 0f 13
US 8,683,009 B2
200
CONNECTION
AVAILABLE
ESTABLISH WIRELESS CONNECTION
BETWEEN MEDIA PLAYER AND
\J 204
HOST DEVICE
IS
206
MEDIA
PLAYER
ASSOCIATED
WITH HOST
DEVICE
?
SYNCHRONIZE MEDIA CONTENT
BETWEEN MEDIA PLAYER
N 208
AND HOST DEVICE VIA
WIRELESS CONNECTION
I
CLOSE WIRELESS CONNECTION
END
FIG. 2
N 210
US. Patent
Mar. 25, 2014
Sheet 3 0f 13
US 8,683,009 B2
302
IS
MEDIA
PLAYER
WIRE
CONNECTED TO
HOST
COMPUTER
?
304
CHECK
FOR
WIRELESS
CONNECTION
WITH HOST
COMPUTER
306
2
CHECK FOR AVAILABLE WIRELESS CONNECTION
308
WIRELESS
CONNECTION
AVAILABLE
?
ESTABLISH WIRELESS CONNECTION
\“ 310
FIG. 3A
US. Patent
Mar. 25, 2014
Sheet 4 0f 13
IS
HOST
US 8,683,009 B2
312
.
314
COMPUTER
ASSOCIATED
WITH
MEDIA
2
PLAYER
?
CLOSE WIRELESS
CONNECTION
SYNCHRONIZE MEDIA CONTENT
BETWEEN THE MEDIA PLAYER
AND THE HOST COMPUTER
END
FIG. 3B
W 316
US. Patent
Mar. 25, 2014
Sheet 5 0f 13
US 8,683,009 B2
400
/
N
402
DETERMINE MEDIA ITEMS
TO BE COPIED TO MEDIA PLAYER
404
DATA
TRANSFER
OVER
WIRELESS
CONNECTION
?
COPY THE DETERMINED
MEDIA ITEMS TO
MEDIA PLAYER
Z
410
COMPRESS THE DETERMINED
406 ‘“
MEDIA ITEMS
I
COPY THE COMPRESSED MEDIA
408 N
ITEMS TO MEDIA PLAYER
END
FIG. 4
US. Patent
Mar. 25, 2014
Sheet 6 0f 13
US 8,683,009 B2
500
/
DETERMINE MEDIA ITEMS
TO BE COPIED TO MEDIA PLAYER
N 502
504
DATA
TRANSFER
OVER
WIRELESS
CONNECTION
?
COPY THE MEDIA
ITEMS TO
MEDIA PLAYER
'
SELECT MEDIA ITEM TO
514
N 506
BE COPIED
COMPRESS THE SELECTED \, 508
MEDIA ITEM
COPY THE COMPRESSED
MEDIA ITEM TO MEDIA
PLAYER
FIG. 5
N 510
US. Patent
Mar. 25, 2014
US 8,683,009 B2
Sheet 7 0f 13
600
START
/
READ PLAYER MEDIA INFORMATION
FROM ON THE MEDIA PLAYER
COMPARE THE PLAYER MEDIA
INFORMATION WITH HOST MEDIA
INFORMATION FROM ON THE HOST
COMPUTER
DETERMINE WHICH MEDIA ITEMS
TO COPY BASED ON THE
COMPARISON INFORMATION
END
FIG. 6
N 606
US. Patent
Mar. 25, 2014
Sheet 8 0f 13
US 8,683,009 B2
700
DISCOVERED
ON
TO BUS
704
Z
OPERATE MEDIA
DEVICE AS MEDIA
PLAYER
PLACE MEDIA DEVICE
706 N
IN HARD DISK MODE
MEDIA
ATTRIBUTES
REQUEST
RETRIEVE MEDIA ATTRIBUTES OF MEDIA ITEMS
710 N
STORED ON THE MEDIA DEVICE
I
FORWARD THE MEDIA ATTRIBUTES TO HOST
712 N
COMPUTER
FIG. 7A
US. Patent
Mar. 25, 2014
714
Sheet 9 0f 13
US 8,683,009 B2
NEW
MEDIA
ITEMS
RECEIVED
?
STORE NEW MEDIA ITEMS AND ASSOCIATED
7;”
MEDIA ATTRIBUTES TO THE MEDIA DEVICE
REMOVE UNNEEDED MEDIA ITEMS AND
N
718
ASSOCIATED MEDIA ATTRIBUTES
FROM THE MEDIA DEVICE
PLAYLIST
UPDATE
RECEIVED
7
722 N
PRODUCE UPDATED PLAYLIST
STORE UPDATED PLAYLIST
724 N
TO THE MEDIA DEVICE
(B)
FIG. 7B
US. Patent
Mar. 25, 2014
US 8,683,009 B2
Sheet 10 0f 13
800
+ 808K
OTHER PROCESSING
REQUEST MEDIA ATTRIBUTES FOR
MEDIA ITEMS ON THE MEDIA DEVICE
RECEIVE
MEDIA
ATTRI BUTES
?
COMPARE THE MEDIA ATTRIBUTES FROM
M814
THE MEDIA DEVICE WITH MEDIA
ATTRIBUTES AT HOST COMPUTER
FIG. 8A
US. Patent
Mar. 25, 2014
Sheet 11 0f 13
IDENTIFY MEDIA ITEMS ON
US 8,683,009 B2
7
816 N HOST COMPUTER THAT ARE NOT
ON MEDIA DEVICE
818
DOES
MEDIA
DEVICE
HAVE
CAPACITY
TO STORE
820
ALL THE
2
IDENTIFIED
MEDIA
ITEMS
LIMIT NUMBER OF
MEDIA ITEMS TO
BE STORED
SEND THE IDENTIFIED MEDIA ITEMS
822 N AND ASSOCIATED MEDIA ATTRIBUTES
TO THE MEDIA DEVICE
I
824 N SEND PLAYLIST TO THE MEDIA DEVICE
FIG. 8B
US. Patent
Mar. 25, 2014
Sheet 12 0f 13
US 8,683,009 B2
900
9022
/
HOST COMPUTER
914“’
918
COMM.
//’ \
I’ MODULE '—~~_/’
_
\\
904
E__._\\
2
MANAGEMENT
‘I
MODULE
COMNL
3
M916
MODULE
906
PLAY
IIZIIIYLE
a
912 T
+
+ 5924
MEDIA
DATABASE
MEDIA
DATABASE
3910
o
NEW‘
STORE
922 0
MEDIA
STORE
908
MEDIA PLAYER
FIG. 9
920
US. Patent
Mar. 25, 2014
Sheet 13 0f 13
US 8,683,009 B2
/
1000
USER INPUT
DEV|CE
1 08
SPEAKER
1__0
DISPLAY
CODEC
/\,1012
T_
M ___T
PROCESSOR
1018
10211
NETWORK/BUS
INTERFACE
l
__1
06
CACHE
l
1016
1004
FILE
SYSTEM
(STORAGE DISK)
RAM
ROM
1022
1020
FIG. 10
US 8,683,009 B2
1
2
WIRELESS SYNCHRONIZATION BETWEEN
MEDIA PLAYER AND HOST DEVICE
connect the cable. Without the cable connection, the synchro
nization Will not occur. Further, the cable is normally rela
tively short in length, such as a feW feet (e.g., 2-6 feet), so the
media player must be brought Within a feW feet of the host
computer for synchronization to occur.
Thus, there is a continuing need for improved techniques to
synchronize media content on host computers and/or media
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED
APPLICATIONS
This application is a continuation of US. application Ser.
No. 10/987,649, ?led Nov. 11, 2004, now US. Pat. No. 8,150,
937 and entitled “WIRELESS SYNCHRONIZATION
BETWEEN MEDIA PLAYER AND HOST DEVICE,”
players.
SUMMARY
Which is hereby incorporated herein by reference, Which in
turn claims priority bene?t of US. Provisional Application
No. 60/622,304, ?led Oct. 25, 2004, and entitled “WIRE
LESS
SYNCHRONIZATION
BETWEEN
Broadly speaking, the invention relates to interaction
betWeen a host computer (e.g., personal computer) and a
media player. According to one embodiment of the invention,
MEDIA
PLAYER AND HOST DEVICE,” Which is hereby incorpo
rated herein by reference.
This application is related to: (i) US. application Ser. No.
10/973,657, ?led Oct. 25, 2004, and entitled “IMAGE SCAL
ING ARRANGEMENT,” Which is hereby incorporated
herein by reference; (ii) US. application Ser. No. 10/ 973,925,
interaction betWeen a host device (e. g., host computer) and a
media player can be performed over a Wireless channel. The
interaction over the Wireless channel can be used to automati
cally synchronize media contents stored on the media player
20
?led Oct. 25, 2004, and entitled “MULTIPLE MEDIA TYPE
SYNCHRONIZATION BETWEEN HOST COMPUTER
AND MEDIA DEVICE,” Which is hereby incorporated
herein by reference; (iii) US. application Ser. No. 10/277,
418, ?led Oct. 21, 2002, and entitled “INTELLIGENT
25
INTERACTION BETWEEN MEDIA PLAYERAND HOST
COMPUTER,” Which is hereby incorporated herein by ref
erence; and (iv) US. application Ser. No. 10/118,069, ?led
Apr. 5, 2002, and entitled “INTELLIGENT SYNCHRONI
ZATION OF MEDIA PLAYER WITH HOST COM
30
With media contents stored on the host device. The synchro
nization can automatically be performed When the Wireless
channel is available betWeen the media player and the media
host. For example, the synchronization can be automatically
performed When the media player that supports Wireless com
munications is placed Within a Wireless netWork that also
couples to the host device.
According to another embodiment of the invention, inter
action betWeen a host device and a media player, such as
automatic synchronization of media contents stored on a
media player With media contents stored on a host device, can
be restricted. In one implementation, a given media player is
PUTER,” Which is hereby incorporated herein by reference.
able to automatically interact only With a designated host
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to media devices and, more
particularly, to synchronization of media on media devices.
device. In still another embodiment, synchronization can be
35
2. Description of the Related Art
Synchronization operations have been conventionally per
formed betWeen portable devices, such as Personal Digital
Assistants (PDAs) and host computers, to synchronize elec
40
tronic ?les or other resources. For example, these ?les or
one embodiment, the host device can be another media player,
such that the interaction performed over a Wireless channel is
from one media player to another.
The invention can be implemented in numerous Ways,
including as a method, system, device, apparatus, or com
puter readable medium. Several embodiments of the inven
tion are discussed beloW.
As a method for synchronizing media contents betWeen a
other resources can pertain to text ?les, data ?les, calendar
appointments, emails, to-do lists, electronic rolodexes, etc.
HoWever, such synchronization schemes tend to utilize ?le
automatically performed When the media player is placed in a
docking station that supports Wireless communications. In
45
portable media player and a media host, one embodiment can
include at least the acts of: determining Whether a Wireless
to be copied betWeen the devices. These synchronization
connection betWeen the media player and the media host is
available; establishing the Wireless connection betWeen the
schemes can be largely automated but nevertheless have to be
media player and the media ho st When it is determined that the
names and modi?cation dates to determine Whether ?les need
initiated manually.
In the case of media players, such as MP3 players, ?les are
50
typically moved betWeen a host computer and a media player
through use of a drag and drop operation, like is convention
ally done With respect to copying of a data ?le from a Win
doWs desktop to a ?oppy disk. Hence, the user of the media
player manually initiates the synchronization for individual
55
media items. As a consequence, synchronization tends to be
tedious and time consuming for users.
More recently, media players have been able to be synchro
nized With a host computer When a bus connection over a
cable is made. Here, the synchronization can be automatically
60
initiated When the cable is connected betWeen the host com
puter and the media player. The i Pod® offered by Apple
Computer, Inc. of Cupertino, Calif. has the capability to pro
vide such synchronization over a cable. Although such rep
resents a dramatic improvement over prior approaches, one
disadvantage With synchronization over a cable is that the
cable connection must be made. A user can often forget to
65
Wireless connection is available; determining Whether the
media player is associated With the media ho st; synchronizing
media content betWeen the media player and the media host
via the Wireless connection When it is determined that the
media player is associated With the media host.
As a computer readable medium including at least com
puter program code for synchronizing media contents
betWeen a portable media player and a media host, one
embodiment can include at least: computer program code for
determining Whether a Wireless connection betWeen the
media player and the media host is available; computer pro
gram code for establishing the Wireless connection betWeen
the media player and the media host When it is determined that
the Wireless connection is available; computer program code
for determining Whether the media player is associated With
the media host; and computer program code for synchroniz
ing media content betWeen the media player and the media
host via the Wireless connection When it is determined that the
media player is associated With the media host.
US 8,683,009 B2
4
3
As a method for synchronizing media contents between a
cuitry so that the portable media player can receive media
portable media player and a media host, Where the media
content including a plurality of media items, one embodiment
can, for example, include at least: determining Whether the
Wireless channel via the Wireless communication circuitry.
As a system for managing and playing media data, one
media player is connected to the media host by a Wired con
nection; determining Whether a Wireless connection betWeen
puter, a portable media player, and another portable device.
the media player and the media host is available; determining
Whether the media player is associated With the media host;
managing a plurality of media items, a host play module for
items or media information from the host computer over a
embodiment of the invention includes at least a host com
The host computer includes at least a management module for
determining one or more of the media items to be copied from
the media host to the media player; compressing at least a
playing the media items for a user of the host computer, and
a host media store for storing a plurality of media items. The
portable media player includes at least a player media store
portion of the determined one or more of the media items to be
copied prior to their being copied, said compressing forming
for storing a plurality of media items, and a player play
determined one or more compressed media items to be cop
module for playing the media items stored in the media store
for a user of the portable media player. The another portable
device is larger than the portable media player and can house
the portable media player. The another portable device or the
ied; copying the determined one or more compressed media
items to be copied from the media ho st to the media player via
the Wireless connection When said determining determines
that the media player is not connected to the media host by a
Wired connection and When said determining determines that
the media player is associated With the media host; and copy
ing the determined one or more of the media items to be
copied from the media host to the media player via the Wire
connection When said determining determines that the media
player is connected to the media host by a Wired connection
and When said determining determines that the media player
is associated With the media host.
As a non-transitory computer readable storage medium
including at least computer program code stored thereon and
executable by a computer for synchronizing media contents
betWeen a portable media player and a media host, the media
content including a plurality of media items, one embodiment
can, for example, include at least: computer program code for
determining Whether the media player is connected to the
media host by a Wired connection; computer program code
for determining Whether a Wireless connection betWeen the
media player and the media host is available; computer pro
gram code for determining Whether the media player is asso
ciated With the media host; computer program code for deter
portable media player includes Wireless communication cir
cuitry so that the portable media player can receive media
items or media information from the host computer over a
20
apparent from the folloWing detailed description taken in
conjunction With the accompanying draWings Which illus
trate, by Way of example, the principles of the invention.
25
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
30
35
media host to the media player; computer program code for
40
of the media items to be copied prior to their being copied,
said compressing forming determined one or more com
pressed media items to be copied; computer program code for
copying the determined one or more compressed media items
to be copied from the media host to the media player via the
Wireless connection When said determining determines that
the media player is not connected to the media host by a Wired
connection and When said determining determines that the
media player is associated With the media host; and computer
45
program code for copying the determined one or more of the
50
media items to be copied from the media host to the media
player via the Wire connection When said determining deter
mines that the media player is connected to the media host by
a Wired connection and When said determining determines
that the media player is associated With the media host.
As a system for managing and playing media data, one
The invention Will be readily understood by the folloWing
detailed description in conjunction With the accompanying
draWings, Wherein like reference numerals designate like
structural elements, and in Which:
FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a Wireless media synchroni
zation system according to one embodiment of the invention.
mining one or more of the media items to be copied from the
compressing at least a portion of the determined one or more
Wireless channel via the Wireless communication circuitry.
Other aspects and advantages of the invention Will become
FIG. 2 is a How diagram of a Wireless synchronization
process according to one embodiment of the invention.
FIGS. 3A and 3B are How diagrams of an automated syn
chronization process according to one embodiment of the
invention.
FIG. 4 is a How diagram of a media transfer process accord
ing to one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 5 is a How diagram of a media transfer process accord
ing to another embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 6 is How diagram of determination processing accord
ing to one embodiment of the invention.
FIGS. 7A and 7B are How diagrams of media device syn
chronization processing according to one embodiment of the
invention.
FIGS. 8A and 8B are How diagrams of host computer
synchronization processing according to one embodiment of
the invention.
FIG. 9 is a block diagram of a media management system
according to one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 10 is a block diagram of a media player according to
one embodiment of the invention.
55
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS
OF THE INVENTION
embodiment of the invention includes at least a host com
puter, a portable media player and a docking station. The host
computer includes at least a management module for manag
ing a plurality of media items, a host play module for playing
The invention relates to interaction betWeen a host com
60
puter (e.g., personal computer) and a media player. According
the media items for a user of the host computer, and a host
to one embodiment of the invention, interaction betWeen a
media store for storing a plurality of media items. The por
table media player includes at least a player media store for
performed over a Wireless channel. The interaction over the
host device (e.g., host computer) and a media player can be
storing a plurality of media items, and a player play module
for playing the media items stored in the media store for a user
of the portable media player. The docking station for the
portable media player includes Wireless communication cir
Wireless channel can be used to automatically synchronize
65
media contents stored on the media player With media con
tents stored on the host device. The synchronization can auto
matically be performed When the Wireless channel is avail
US 8,683,009 B2
5
6
able between the media player and the media host. For
example, the synchronization can be automatically per
formed when the media player that supports wireless com
munication is placed within a wireless network that also
couples to the host device.
According to another embodiment of the invention, inter
a decision 202 that determines whether a wireless connection
is available. When the decision 202 determines that a wireless
connection is not available, then the wireless synchronization
process 200 can await the availability of a wireless connec
tion. While awaiting the availability of the wireless connec
tion, as discussed in other embodiments below, the wireless
synchronization process 200 could delay (or deactivate and
be subsequently reactivated) for a predetermined period of
action between a host device and a media player, such as
automatic synchronization of media contents stored on a
media player with media contents stored on a host device, can
time.
be restricted. In one implementation, a given media player is
able to automatically interact only with a designated host
device. In still another embodiment, synchronization can be
less connection is available, a wireless connection is estab
lished 204 between a host device and a media player. The
automatically performed when the media player is placed in a
docking station that supports wireless communications. In
speci?c wireless technology being utilized can vary, but the
wireless technology is typically relatively short range. After
one embodiment, the ho st device can be another media player,
such that the interaction performed over a wireless channel is
from one media player to another.
Embodiments of the invention are discussed below with
reference to FIGS. 1-10. However, those skilled in the art will
the wireless connection has been established 204, a decision
206 determines whether the media player is associated with
readily appreciate that the detailed description given herein
with respect to these ?gures is for explanatory purposes as the
invention extends beyond these limited embodiments.
FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a wireless media synchroni
zation system 100 according to one embodiment of the inven
tion. The wireless media synchronization system 100
includes a host computer 102. The host computer 102 oper
In any case, once the decision 202 determines that a wire
the host device. Here, the media player is associated with the
host device if the host device and/or the media player under
20
(e.g., pseudo-random identi?er) associated with the media
25
ates a media manager 104. For example, the media manager
104 can be an application program that manages media when
operated on the host computer 102. Additionally, the wireless
media synchronization system 100 includes a wireless net
work 106. The wireless network 106 is able to be formed from
30
one or more wireless network components. The wireless net
work 106 typically has a local area or a limited range. The
infrastructure of the wireless network 106 can include one or
more of 802.11 systems, Bluetooth systems, 900 MHz sys
tems, or other localized wireless data transfer means. The
35
wireless network 106 can be sponsored by the host computer
1 02 or some other device, such as a wireless router or hub. The
host computer 102 and a media player 108 have wireless
network communication capability with respect to the wire
less network 106 and can support the wireless data protocols
used by the wireless network 106. When the wireless network
106 is available, the media player 108 is able to communicate
with the host computer 102 through the wireless network 106.
This requires that the media player 108 be within range of the
wireless network 106. For example, if the wireless network
106 has a maximum range of twenty-?ve (25) feet from the
host computer 102, then in order for the media player 110 to
45
50
55
60
support for wireless network communications capability.
player. The wireless synchronization process 200 begins with
The automated synchronization process 300 begins with a
decision 302 that determines whether a media player is wire
connected to a host computer. For example, a media player
would be considered wire connected to the host computer if a
FIREWIRE® or USB cable connects the media player to the
host device. When the decision 302 determines that the media
player is not wire connected to the host computer, then a
decision 304 determines whether it is an appropriate time to
again check for a wireless connection with the ho st computer.
When the decision 304 determines that it is not an appropriate
time to check for a wireless connection, then the automated
synchronization process 300 simply awaits the appropriate
FIG. 2 is a ?ow diagram of a wireless synchronization
process 200 according to one embodiment of the invention.
The wireless synchronization process 200 can, for example,
be performed by a host device (media host) and/or a media
The media items can also include media information which is
data that describes the associated media item.
FIGS. 3A and 3B are ?ow diagrams of an automated syn
chronization process 300 according to one embodiment of the
invention. The automated synchronization process 300 can,
for example, be performed by a host computer and/ or a media
player.
to or within another device 110 that contains or supports the
media player 108. In one embodiment, the another device 110
is a larger portable device, such as a backpack, brief case, bag
or vehicle (e.g., an automobile). In another embodiment, the
another device 110 is a docking station for the media player
108. The another device 110 can also provide or assist with
It should be noted that the media items can vary depending
upon application. Typically, a media item is a ?le that stores
media content in a digital format. In one embodiment, media
items can be audio ?les (e.g., songs). In other embodiments,
the media items can be images (e.g., photographs) or videos.
device. As an example, the media player 108 can be a hand
held device that a user carries, such as a music player (e.g.,
MP3 player). Optionally, the media player 108 canbe coupled
player, and thereafter use the unique identi?er to determine
whether the media player is to be deemed associated with the
host device.
When the decision 206 determines that the media player is
associated with the host device, then media content between
the media player and the host device is synchronized 208 via
the wireless connection. This involves the transfer of media
content between the media player and the ho st device over the
wireless connection. After the synchronization 208 has been
performed, the wireless connection can be closed 210.
It should be noted that in one implementation, the wireless
synchronization process 200 is automatically invoked when a
wireless connection is deemed to be available between the
host device and a particular media player. In other words, the
wireless synchronization process 200 can be automatically
performed without speci?c user interaction with the media
player or the host device to initiate the synchronization pro
cess.
40
be able to communicate to the host computer 102 over the
wireless network 106, the media player 108 would need to be
brought within twenty-?ve (25) feet of the ho st computer 1 02.
The media player 108 is, in general, a portable computing
stand that the media player is linked to the host device. In one
embodiment, the host device can store a unique identi?er
65
time. In one implementation, the appropriate time can cause
periodic checks for a wireless connection.
Once the decision 304 determines that it is an appropriate
time to check for a wireless connection with the host com
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