Network media device
US008443038B2
(12) United States Patent
(10) Patent No.:
Robbin et al.
(54)
(45) Date of Patent:
NETWORK MEDIA DEVICE
.
5,640,566 A
5,664,044 A
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5,664,226 A
(75) Inventors. geffrgyéilRobglmlLos iAélztAos, CSA (US),
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5,666,530 A
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(73) Ass1gnee: Apple Inc., Cupertino, CA (US)
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12/1997 Cruz et a1.
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(21)
App . No.. 13/175,442
(22)
Filed:
(65)
US 2011/0264732
Prior
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Oct. 27,Data
2011
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(Continued)
Jul- 1, 2011
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
(Continued)
Related US. Application Data
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Division of application NO_ 11/530,855, ?led on Sep
“D-Link’s New Wireless Media Device Plays Digital Music, Videos,
1 1, 2006, now abandoned
and Photos on Home Television and Stereo,” Jan. 20, 2004; pp. 1-2.
Retrieved from the Internet: URL:http://presslink.dlink.corn/
(51) Int. Cl.
pri?prid:136.
G06F 15/16
(2006.01)
_
(52) U-s- ClUSPC
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May 14, 2013
Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
patent is exlteribded gar adjusted under 35
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(62)
US 8,443,038 B2
(Continued)
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References Cited
(57)
ABSTRACT
A network media device is described that pulls multimedia
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data from one or more sources (e.g., a multimedia Website or
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long-term storage Within the device and transmits the stored
£21332: :tl'al‘
multimedia data to one or more designated multimedia play
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back devices at a second time.
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21 Claims, 5 Drawing Sheets
100
INTERNET
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NETWORK
MEDIA DEVICE
MULTIMEDIA
SYSTEM
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US. Patent
May 14, 2013
Sheet 1 of5
US 8,443,038 B2
100
INTERNET
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________________
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PC SEEM
NETWORK
MEDIA DEvIcE
MULTIMEDIA
SYSTEM
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FIG. 1
115
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INPUT I/F
PROCESSOR
MULTIMEDIA
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E5
I/F Q9
MEMORY
2_1Q
FIG. 2
US. Patent
May 14, 2013
Sheet 2 of5
US 8,443,038 B2
300
305
L SPECIFY SOURCE
310
?
v
DOWNLOAD
SPECIFIED FILE(S)
315
v
\-
STORE FILE(S)
v
END
FIG. 3A
310
g
(
320
FROM 305
)
V‘
k
NO
TIME?
325
YES
v
YES
PRESENT?
330
<
v NO
L DOWNLOAD FILE
335
v
NO
DONE?
V
YES
v
(
GOTO 315
)
FIG. 3B
US. Patent
May 14, 2013
Sheet 3 of5
US 8,443,038 B2
400
405
§
L
SPECIFY FILE
410
v
L
DESIGNATE
DEVICE
415
v
L
TRANSMIT
SPECIFIED FILE(S)
V
END
FIG. 4A
415
§
(
420
L425
FROM 410
)
V‘
TIME?
NO
YES
L RETRIEVE FILE
430
k TRANSMIT FILE
END
FIG. 4B
US. Patent
oom
May 14, 2013
Sheet 4 of5
US 8,443,038 B2
US. Patent
May 14, 2013
Sheet 5 of5
US 8,443,038 B2
com
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US 8,443,038 B2
1
2
NETWORK MEDIA DEVICE
network media device obtains multimedia data using a pull
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED
APPLICATIONS
through an Ethernet (wired or wireless) connection. In
another embodiment the pull operation is effected through a
peripheral connection (e.g., a USB or FireWire interface).
Media content may also be pushed to the device using the
same interfaces. In yet another embodiment, the network
media device may also stream multimedia data from another
source, obtained through either a pull or push operation.
operation. In one embodiment, the pull operation is effected
This application is a divisional of co-pending US. patent
application entitled “Network Media Device,” ?led Sep. 11,
2006 (Ser. No. 11/530,855).
This application claims priority to US. patent applications
entitled “Networked Media Station,” ?led 4 Jun. 2004 (Ser.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
No. 10/ 862,1 15) and “System and Method for Synchronizing
Media Presentation at Multiple Recipients,” ?led 2 Jan. 2006
(Ser. No. 1 1/ 306,557), both of which are hereby incorporated
FIG. 1 shows, in block diagram form, a multimedia system
in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.
by reference.
FIG. 2 shows, in block diagram form, a network media
This application is also related to US. patent application
entitled “Transfer and Synchronization of Media Data”, ?led
on Sep. 11, 2006, (Ser. No. 11/519,429), which is hereby
incorporated by reference.
BACKGROUND
20
device in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.
FIGS. 3A and 3B show, in ?owchart form, a multimedia
data source designation operation in accordance with one
embodiment of the invention.
FIGS. 4A and 4B show, in ?owchart form, a multimedia
With the increasing capacity and capability of personal
playback operation in accordance with one embodiment of
the invention.
computers, as well as improved multimedia interfaces for
these computers, it has become popular to use personal com
puters as a repository for multimedia content, such as songs,
FIG. 5 shows a graphical user interface used to control
synchronization between a network media device and a con
tent source in accordance with one embodiment of the inven
25
movies, etc. Particularly with music, the increased popularity
tion.
Figure shows a graphical user interface used to control
of storing multimedia information on a personal computer
has resulted in a variety of products and services to serve this
synchronization between a network media device and a con
tent source in accordance with one embodiment of the inven
industry. For example, a variety of portable players of
encoded multimedia information have been developed,
30
including, for example, the iPod® produced by Apple Com
puter. Additionally, services have been developed around
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
these devices, which allow consumers to purchase music and
other multimedia information in digital form suitable for
storage and playback using personal computers, including,
tion.
The following description is presented to enable any per
35
son skilled in the art to make and use the invention as claimed
for example, the iTunes® music service, also run by Apple
Computer. (IPOD and ITUNES are registered trademarks of
and is provided in the context of devices and applications
Apple Computer, Inc.)
Computer, Inc. of Cuper‘tino, Calif., are illustrative only and
should not be considered limiting in any respect. Accord
compatible with computer systems manufactured by Apple
Services such as iTunes and the substantially unlimited
storage space provided by modern personal computer sys
40
tems has resulted in an environment where many consumers
use their personal computer as their primary vehicle for
obtaining, storing, and accessing multimedia information.
Because consumers may access their multimedia content at
virtually any time of the day, however, this implies that one’ s
45
shown as comprising personal computer system 105 coupled
to Internet 110 and network media device 115 which, in turn,
is coupled to multimedia system 120. Network media device
personal computer system must be powered and operational
at all times. Additionally, consumers may prefer to experience
certain media content, particularly video content such as
movies, using more entertainment-oriented devices, such as
home theater systems, which typically include larger screens
ingly, the claims appended hereto are not intended to be
limited by the disclosed embodiments, but are to be accorded
their widest scope consistent with the principles and features
disclosed herein.
Referring to FIG. 1, illustrative multimedia system 100 is
115 may also be coupled to Internet 110 (see dashed line).
Personal computer 105 and network media device 115 may be
50
and higher ?delity audio systems than personal computer
systems.
coupled directly to Internet 105 or indirectly through, for
example, a local area network or DSL or cable modem. In
general, personal computer system 105 may be any computer
system capable of executing a general purpose operating sys
Thus, it would be bene?cial to provide a mechanism
whereby a consumer could off-load, over a computer net
work, speci?ed multimedia content to a playback device that
could, at a later time, send the information to conventional
entertainment devices such as stereo equipment, televisions,
home theatre systems, etc.
55
SUMMARY
60
tem such as, for example, OS X from Apple Computer or the
Windows® or Linux® operating systems. (WINDOWS is a
registered trademark of Microsoft corporation. LINUX is a
registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.) Multimedia system
120 may comprise any system adapted to receive and play
audio (e.g., analog and digital) and/or video (e.g., composite
Referring to FIG. 2, network media device 115 comprises
input interface 200, processor unit 205, memory 210, storage
A network media device is described that receives multi
215 and multimedia interface 220. In one embodiment, input
media data from one or more sources (e.g., a multimedia
website or a multimedia server computer) at a ?rst time, stores
it to long-term storage within the device and transmits the
stored multimedia data to one or more designated multimedia
playback devices at a second time. In some embodiments, the
video, S-video, component video, DVI) signals.
interface 200 includes a network interface and a peripheral
65
interface. A network interface provides wired (e.g., Ethernet)
and/or wireless (e.g., I5E 802.11b or 802.11gi“WiFi”) con
nectivity to a computer network. A peripheral interface may
US 8,443,038 B2
3
4
include one or more connectors suitable for linking to another
doWnloaded again. It Will be recogniZed that this latter func
device such as, for example, a USB, I5E 1394 (“FireWire”),
tion is often referred to as “synchronization.” Once obtained,
RS-232 (serial interface) or I5E 1284 (parallel interface) bus
connectors. Referring to FIG. 1, for example, netWork media
the user interface permits a multimedia data ?le to be trans
mitted to one or more designated multimedia playback
device 115 could be connected to computer system 105
devices. In one embodiment, this action may be performed
through a Wired netWork connection or by a USB bus and to
Internet 110 through a Wireless Ethernet connection. Proces
sor 205 may be a single computer processor (e.g., a commer
immediately (that is, as soon as the user designates both a
multimedia data ?le and at least one target multimedia
device). In another embodiment, a multimedia data ?le may
cially available CICS or RISC processor), a special purpose
be transmitted to one or more designated multimedia devices
processor (e.g., a digital signal processor, “DSP”), a plurality
at a speci?ed time.
In addition to the softWare-based user interfaces described
of interconnected processors or a custom designed state
machine embodied in, for example, an application speci?c
integrated circuit (“ASIC”) or ?eld programmable gate array
above, multimedia netWork device 115 may provide a hard
Ware-based interface for media ?le playback. For example, a
surface of device 115 may include a relatively small display
(“FPGA”). Memory 210 represents random access memory
(volatile and/or non-volatile), While storage 215 represents
on Which the contents of storage 215 are displayed. One
long-term non-volatile memory such as, for example, a mag
netic or optical disk unit. As noted above, multimedia inter
face 220 comprises connectors suitable for transmitting audio
(e.g., analog and digital) and/or video (e.g., composite video,
S-video, component video, DVI) signals.
illustrative display of this type is presented by the iPod elec
tronic device. In addition, conventional PLAY, PAUSE,
STOP, SKIP, FORWARD, REVERSE, REPEAT, SELECT
20
As used herein, a netWork media device (e. g., device 115)
is a physical unit having non-volatile long-term storage (e.g.,
storage 215) and Whose operation is governed by a limited
use operating system. By limited-use, it is meant that the
operating system does not support the execution of a general
and cursor control buttons may be provided. If the aforemen
tioned display is capable, one or more of the identi?ed control
buttons may be “soft” buttons. Through these elements, a user
may select one or more multimedia ?les and one or more
target multimedia devices on Which to play the selected
25
?le(s).
purpose user interface (e.g., a standard WindoWing environ
Referring to FIG. 3A, source designation process 300 for
ment) and, therefore, the execution of general-purpose appli
cations (e.g., Word processors and draWing programs).
identifying one or more multimedia data ?les is shoWn. To
begin, a user speci?es a multimedia data source (block 305).
As noted above, a function of device 115 is to obtain
multimedia ?les, retain them in storage 215, and then transmit
As described above, this may include one or more ?les on a
30
a stereo or television). To facilitate these operations, device
115 preferably includes a limited-use operating system that
provides a user interface to (1) identify and select multimedia
?les that should be obtained and (2) identify and select Which
computer system directly coupled to multimedia device via a
netWork or peripheral bus connector or indirectly through a
computer network (e.g., the Internet or a local area network).
them at a later time to one or more multimedia devices (e.g.,
35
Once designated, multimedia device 115 retrieves the speci
?ed data (block 310) and stores it internally in storage 215
(block 315). Once obtained in this manner, the multimedia
multimedia ?les to transmit to a designated multimedia
data may be transmitted to one or more target devices for
device. In one embodiment, this interface is provided through
playback/display (see discussion beloW regarding FIG. 4).
a stand-alone application executing on a general purpose
Additionally, by user selection, playback/display of the mul
timedia data may begin immediately upon designation before
computer system (e.g., personal computer system 105)
through, for example, an Ethernet connection or a USB port
40
the transfer of the multimedia data from the source is com
Within input interface 200. In another embodiment, device
pleted.
115 provides a Web interface through a netWork connection
Referring noW to FIG. 3B, doWnload operation 310 is
shoWn in greater detail. In the illustrated embodiment, a ?rst
check is made to determine if it is the proper time to doWnload
(Wired or Wireless) Within input interface 200. It Will be
recogniZed that this latter approach is often provided by other
netWork devices such as, for example, routers and ?reWalls.
In still another embodiment, device 115 provides a user inter
face through a connected multimedia playback device such
as, for example, a television display. In this embodiment,
device 115 could transmit the visual representation of a user
interface through a video output connector Within multimedia
interface 220.
User interaction could be mediated through a special-pur
45
ment, the user may specify an interval after Which the speci
?ed ?le may be doWnloaded. In yet another embodiment, the
user may specify a repeating interval Wherein one or more
50
pose control device unique to device 115 or a multimedia
aWare remote control unit for the display unit (e.g., televi
sion). In any of these implementations, sources of multimedia
55
data ?les available through input interface 200 (i.e., netWork
servers). If it is not yet time (the “No” prong of block 320), the
process Waits until the proper time. If it is time (the “Yes”
prong of block 320), a second check is made to determine if
the speci?ed ?le is already present in storage 215. If the ?le is
not present (the “No” prong of block 325), the ?le is doWn
loaded from the speci?ed location (block 330). It Will be
computer system 105 or a server computer system coupled to
60
recogniZed that some multimedia data sources may stream
the speci?ed data to multimedia device 115. In these
instances, device 115 may store the data as received (i.e., in a
“streaming” format) or it may convert it to a non-streaming
format. If the ?le is present (the “Yes” prong of block 325) or
may be designated as a “source.” Once identi?ed, netWork
multimedia device 115 may obtain or doWnload the speci?ed
?le(s) immediately. Alternatively, netWork multimedia
device 115 may be commanded to obtain one or more multi
media ?les from a designated source location on a periodic
?les may be doWnloaded every speci?ed interval (e.g., day or
Week). It Will be appreciated that this latter approach is par
ticularly useful to periodically synchroniZe storage 215 With
one or more other storage locations (e.g., multimedia data
and/ or peripheral connectors) may be identi?ed. For
example, multimedia ?les or directories located on personal
system 100 via Internet 110 (not shoWn in FIGS. 1 and 2),
the speci?ed ?le. In one embodiment, a user may specify a
time at Which a doWnload should occur. In another embodi
65
at completion of the current doWnload operation (block 330),
basis. During periodic doWnload operations, it is preferable
a third check is made to determine if all of the user-speci?ed
that ?les already obtained and resident on storage 215 are not
?les have been obtained. If they have (the “Yes” prong of
US 8,443,038 B2
5
6
block 335), processing continues at block 315. if they have
not (the “no” prong of block 335), processing continues at
provides on a local netWork. This alloWs other devices, such
as PC system 105 running Bonjour-compliant softWare, for
example iTunes, to “discover” the netWork media device 115.
Alternatively, the netWork media device 115 may “discover”
block 325.
It is noted that multimedia data ?les may be encoded in
accordance With any one of a number of different formats. For
services available on the netWork, such as the aforementioned
example, MPEG-l (Moving Pictures Experts Group),
MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MP3® (Motion Picture Expert’s Group
Layer 3), A3 (Advanced Audio Coding, a/k/a/ MPEG-4
audio), Quicktime®, AVI (Audio Video Interleave), RI6 (Re
PC system running iTunes.
Upon discovery of one or more services available on the
netWork, a user interface provided by netWork multimedia
device 115 may present a variety of options to the user. For
example, the netWork multimedia device may present a list of
source Interchange File Format), WMA (WindoWs Media
Audio), Ogg, etc. (MP3 is a registered trademark of Thomson
Multimedia. QUICKTIME is a registered trademark ofApple
computer.) The claimed invention may be used to obtain,
store and transmit (to a multimedia playback device) data ?les
using any of these, or other, data formats. It Will be recogniZed
multimedia libraries on the local netWork to Which the net
Work multimedia device may connect. This list of multimedia
libraries may include libraries stored on different machines or
may include different libraries stored on the same machine.
Different libraries stored on the same machine may include
by one of ordinary skill in the art that multimedia device 115
libraries belonging to multiple users, e.g., iTunes libraries for
multiple people, or may include different types of libraries,
Will incorporate decoder capability for each ?le format it is
con?gured to process (e.g., softWare routines).
Referring to FIG. 4, multimedia data playback operation
400 is shoWn. To begin, a user speci?es a multimedia data ?le
such as an iTunes library, an iPhoto® library, etc. (IPHOTO is
20
for playback (block 405). Next, the user designates one (or
more) multimedia playback units to Which the speci?ed data
?le should be sent (block 410). Multimedia device 115 then
transmits the speci?ed ?le to the designated multimedia play
back unit. In one embodiment, multiple multimedia ?les may
25
a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.) Within a
given library, content may further be divided into different
categories. For example, an iTunes library may include video
content (television programs, movies, etc.) and audio content
(music, audiobooks, Podcasts, etc.). The user may then select
one or more of these shared libraries With Which to connect
be selected and sent to one or more playback devices. For
and may further specify speci?c multimedia content (e.g.,
example, a music ?le may be transmitted to a stereo system in
a ?rst location While a digital video ?le may be transmitted to
device in accordance With one or more of the techniques
?les) Within the libraries that should be transferred to the
a display device in a second locationiat the same time or at
different times.
Referring noW to FIG. 4B, transmit operation 415 is shoWn
in greater detail. In the illustrated embodiment, a check is
made to determine if it is the proper time to transmit the
speci?ed ?le. If it is not yet time (the “No” prong of block
420), the process Waits until the proper time. If it is time (the
“Yes” prong of block 420), the speci?ed ?le is retrieved from
30
also discover the services provided by netWork multimedia
device 115.As illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, such a device may,
for example, shoW up as a destination 501, 601 for multime
dia content in the user interface 500, 600 of a multimedia
35
i.e., uniquely associate, a netWork multimedia device 115
40
designated playback device is present and/or capable of play
ing the speci?ed ?le (e.g., immediately prior to performing
the acts of block 430). if the playback device is not available
(e.g., not “online”) or not able to play the speci?ed ?le, an
error message could be generated and/or other corrective
actions taken.
It should be noted that in the discussion of FIGS. 3 and 4,
various buffering, error checking, and other data transfer
steps implicit in various forms of digital communications
have been omitted. Nonetheless, these steps are preferably
media device 115 preferably ceases to advertise available
services on the local netWork, as these services are noW Within
the exclusive control of a particular PC system or a particular
45
library/media application thereon. This cessation of advertis
ing services Would cause the representation 501, 601 of net
Work multimedia device 115 to “disappear” from the user
interface 500, 600 of the media applications running on other
50
PC systems on the netWork. Additionally, the user interface
presented by netWork multimedia device 115 may cease to
display libraries not associated With the paired computer
upon establishing a pairing.
The establishment of a pairing permits netWork multime
dia device 115 and PC system 105 to synchroniZe data
security and digital rights management purposes it may be
desirable to determine Whether netWorked media device 115
55
betWeen them. A variety of synchronization techniques have
been developed in the art and may ?nd use in conjunction With
the systems described herein. Some particularly advanta
geous synchroniZation techniques are described in US.
form of authentication, and may be based on a public/private
key system.
Because of the potentially rich feature set of netWork mul
timedia device 115 andbecause of the various mechanisms by
Which the device may interact With other devices, e.g., via
With a particular PC system 105 or a particular library or
media application thereon. Upon pairing, the netWork multi
present and may be implemented in accordance With a variety
of techniques knoWn to those skilled in the art. In addition, for
(and/or the user operating same) is authoriZed to receive the
speci?ed multimedia data ?les. This generally requires some
application. The user interface provided also preferably pro
vides the user a variety of options for Which multimedia
content Will be transferred to the device 502, 602.
In either of the above cases, it may be desirable to “pair,”
storage 215 (block 425) and transmitted to the designated
multimedia playback device via multimedia interface 220
(block 430). In one embodiment, if the target multimedia
playback device supports it, device 115 could determine if the
described herein.
Alternatively, a user interacting With PC system 105 may
Patent Publication 2003/0167318, entitled “Intelligent Syn
netWork media device 115 may use the Bonjour protocol,
chroniZation of Media Player With Host Computer”; US.
Patent Publication 2003/0079038, entitled “Intelligent Inter
action BetWeen Media Player and Host Computer”; US.
Patent Publication 2006/0168351, entitled “Wireless Syn
chroniZation BetWeen Media Player and Host Device”; and
US. patent application Ser. No. ll/324,863, entitled
“Remote Content Updates for Portable Media Devices”; each
developed by Apple computer, to advertise the services it
of Which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.
60
netWork or peripheral interface, etc ., the netWork multimedia
device 115 device preferably includes automated discovery
and con?guration routines that simplify setup of the device.
In one embodiment, for use in a netWork environment, the
65
US 8,443,038 B2
8
7
A Wide variety of synchronization parameters may prefer
content or audio content) or a particular sub-type (e. g., video
the need for the original source to be “on-line.” In contrast,
prior art multimedia devices typically “stream” data so that
the data source must be accessible during playback opera
tions.
The netWork multimedia device 115 may also incorporate
content including television programs but not movies) 503,
603. Content to be synchronized may also be speci?ed based
instant play technology as disclosed in US. patent applica
tion Ser. No. l l/ 131,800 entitled “Media Player With Instant
ably be speci?ed by the user. For example, a user may choose
to synchronize certain playlists. Alternatively, a user may
choose to synchronize media of a particular type (e.g., video
on a variety of other parameters 504, 604 associated With the
media content. Such parameters may include: content that has
Play Capability,” Which is incorporated by reference in its
entirety.
not yet been played, purchased content, locally created con
Various changes in the materials, components, circuit ele
tent, neWly doWnloaded content, content of a certain genre,
content that has not been played recently, content that is
played frequently, etc. For content that comes in the form of
ments, as Well as in the details of the illustrated operational
methods are possible Without departing from the scope of the
folloWing claims. For instance, multimedia device 115 may
multiple episodes, e.g., television programs, Podcasts, etc., a
user may also specify hoW many episodes should be synchro
nized (for example, all episodes, unplayed episodes, or a ?xed
include a status light to provide an indication of the device’s
operational state. In one embodiment, a status light could be
a light emitting diode (LED) or a combination of LEDs inte
number of episodes).
grated into a single package to alloW illumination in different
The synchronization features also preferably include a
mechanism for specifying content that Will be automatically
removed from the netWork multimedia device 115. For
colors, e.g., green, red, and/or amber/yelloW. For example,
20
the status light may be off to indicate that the device is not
25
poWered; the light may ?ash in a particular color, e.g., green,
to indicate that it is poWering up and/or going through a
star‘tup/self-diagnostic routine; the light may illuminate in a
solid color, e.g., green to indicate that it is on and functioning
properly; the light may also illuminate or ?ash in a ?rst color,
example, because of the relatively high storage requirements
of storing video data, it may be desirable to remove video
content from the netWork multimedia device once it has been
vieWed. Alternatively, time speci?c content that is suf?ciently
old that its value has decreased substantially, e.g., Week-old
neWs broadcasts, may be automatically removed even if they
e.g., yelloW, to indicate that a doWnload is in progress and
have not been vieWed. Of course these concepts need not be
illuminate or ?ash in a second color, e. g., orange, to indicate
limited to video content and may equally apply to audio
a playback transmission is in progress; and the light may
illuminate or ?ash in yet another color, e.g., red, to indicate a
content.
It may also be desirable to automatically pass changes
30
made on one device to another Without Waiting for a user
netWork signal. Further, and as Well be recognized by one or
ordinary skill in the art, computer program instructions for
initiated synchronization. Such synchronization may, for
example, be event based. Thus When content is played back
on the netWork multimedia device, its status is updated on the
PC system. Similarly, if a particular media ?le is vieWed on
implementing the described functionality (e.g., FIGS. 3 and
35
the PC system, it may be automatically removed from the
netWork multimedia device. In general, it may be desirable to
synchronize any change, Whether adding or deleting a ?le,
vieWing a ?le, reclassifying a ?le, etc. upon the occurrence of
the event Without Waiting for a user-initiated or time-based
40
It is not necessary that the netWork multimedia device 115
at a content source:
nization With another device, particularly one With Which it is
45
discovering one or more services provided by a netWork
multimedia device coupled to the content source
through at least one netWork, Wherein the one or more
services provided by the netWork multimedia device
are advertised on the at least one netWork using a
predetermined protocol, Wherein the one or more ser
50
may present various indications to the user as to What content
is stored locally, i.e., that Which as been synchronized or
otherWise transferred from another device, and that Which
must be streamed. Such indications may take the form of
highlighting, different colors, different screen WindoWs or
receive multimedia content from a content source, Wherein
the netWork multimedia device and the content source are
coupled via at least one netWork, method comprising:
only play back content that has been transferred via synchro
may also stream content that has not been synchronized. Such
content may be either non-synchronized content located on
the paired device or may be content located on a non-paired
device. The user interface of netWork multimedia device 115
4) may be organized into routines or modules and stored in
memory 210 and/or storage 215.
The invention claimed is:
1. A method of con?guring a netWork multimedia device to
synchronization.
paired. For example, in addition to the synchronization tech
niques described herein, the netWork multimedia device 115
problem exists, such as no playback devices in range or no
vices are associated With at least one multimedia play
back device coupled to the netWork multimedia
device; and
accepting user input to establish a paired relationship
55
betWeen the netWork multimedia device and the con
panes, icons, etc. Additionally, While streaming content, it
tent source, Wherein the paired relationship betWeen
may be advantageous to transfer content faster than it is
played back and cache the not yet needed content on the
netWork multimedia device. This Will, in many cases, alloW
the transfer to be completed long before the transfer Would be
completed in a classic streaming context. In this Way there
Will be no negative effect if the device from Which media is
the netWork multimedia device and the content source
is exclusive.
2. The method of claim 1 further comprising:
60
to the netWork multimedia device;
being streamed is taken offline during playback of the media.
accepting user input specifying Which of the one or more
multimedia ?les are to be transferred to the netWork
One bene?t of netWork multimedia device 115 in accor
dance With the invention is that relatively large quantities of
multimedia data may be obtained via a computer netWork and
stored an the device, Whereafter they may be replayed Without
presenting one or more multimedia libraries each contain
ing one or more multimedia ?les that may be transferred
65
multimedia device; and
transferring the speci?ed one or more multimedia ?les to
the netWork multimedia device.
US 8,443,038 B2
10
3. The method of claim 1 further comprising:
device to stop advertising one or more services provided
by the network multimedia device on the at least one
network.
presenting one or more multimedia libraries that may be
synchronized with the network multimedia device, each
multimedia library containing one or more multimedia
?les;
8. The method of claim 7 wherein the paired relationship
5
accepting user input specifying which of the one or more
multimedia libraries are to be synchronized with the
content source is exclusive.
9. The method of claim 7 further comprising:
network multimedia device; and
presenting a representation of each of the at least one
synchronizing between the speci?ed one or more multime
content sources, each of the at least one content sources
dia libraries and the network multimedia device.
4. The method of claim 3 wherein:
accepting user input specifying which of the one or more
multimedia libraries are to be synchronized with the
having one or more multimedia libraries each containing
one or more multimedia ?les that may be transferred to
the network multimedia device;
accepting user input specifying which of the one or more
multimedia ?les are to be transferred to the network
network multimedia device further comprises specify
ing one or more synchronization parameters; and
synchronizing between the speci?ed one or more multime
dia libraries and the network multimedia device further
multimedia device; and
transferring the speci?ed one or more multimedia ?les to
the network multimedia device.
comprises communicating with the network multimedia
device to copy one or more multimedia ?les to the net
work multimedia device and delete one or more multi
10. The method of claim 9 wherein transferring the speci
20
ing to the speci?ed synchronization parameters.
11. The method of claim 9 further comprising:
5. The method of claim 3 wherein synchronizing between
presenting a representation of each of the at least one
the speci?ed one or more multimedia libraries and the net
25
nizing in response to one or more predetermined events.
6. A non-transitory memory storage device having instruc
content sources, each of the at least one content sources
having one or more multimedia libraries that may be
synchronized with the network multimedia device, each
tions stored thereon for causing a programmable processor
unit to perform the method of con?guring a network multi
multimedia library containing one or more multimedia
?les;
media device to receive multimedia content from a content 30
source, wherein the network multimedia device and the con
accepting user input specifying which of the one or more
multimedia libraries are to be synchronized with the
network multimedia device; and
tent source are coupled via at least one network, the method
comprising:
synchronizing between the speci?ed one or more multime
at a content source:
discovering one or more services provided by a network
multimedia device coupled to the content source
?ed one or more multimedia ?les to the network multimedia
device comprises streaming the one or more multimedia ?les
to the network multimedia device.
media ?les from the network multimedia device accord
work multimedia device comprises automatically synchro
between the network multimedia device and the at least one
35
through at least one network, wherein the one or more
dia libraries and the network multimedia device.
12. The method of claim 11 wherein:
accepting user input specifying which of the one or more
multimedia libraries are to be synchronized with the
network multimedia device further comprises specify
services provided by the network multimedia device
are advertised on the at least one network using a
predetermined protocol, wherein the one or more ser 40
ing one or more synchronization parameters; and
synchronizing between the speci?ed one or more multime
vices are associated with at least one multimedia play
dia libraries and the network multimedia device further
back device coupled to the network multimedia
comprises copying one or more multimedia ?les to the
network multimedia device and deleting one or more
device; and
accepting user input to establish a paired relationship
between the network multimedia device and the con
multimedia ?les from the network multimedia device
45
according to the speci?ed synchronization parameters.
13. The method of claim 11 wherein synchronizing
tent source, wherein the paired relationship between
the network multimedia device and the content source
between the speci?ed one or more multimedia libraries and
the network multimedia device comprises automatically syn
is exclusive.
7. A method of con?guring a network multimedia device to
chronizing in response to one or more predetermined events.
receive multimedia content from at least one content source, 50
14. A non-transitory memory storage device having
instructions stored thereon for causing a programmable pro
wherein the network multimedia device and the at least one
content source are coupled via at least one network, the
cessor unit to perform the method of con?guring a network
multimedia device to receive multimedia content from at least
one content source, wherein the network multimedia device
method comprising:
at a network multimedia device:
discovering on at least one network one or more services 55 and the at least one content source are coupled via at least one
network, the method comprising:
provided by at least one content source coupled to the
network multimedia device through at least one net
work, wherein the one or more services provided by the
at a network multimedia device:
discovering on at least one network one or more services
at least one content source are advertised on the at least
one network by the at least one content source using a 60
predetermined protocol; and
accepting user input at the network multimedia device to
establish a paired relationship between the network mul
at least one content source are advertised on the at least
one network by the at least one content source using a
predetermined protocol; and
timedia device and the at least one content source,
wherein the establishment of the paired relationship
between the network multimedia device and the at least
one content source causes the network multimedia
provided by at least one content source coupled to the
network multimedia device through at least one net
work, wherein the one or more services provided by the
65
accepting user input at the network multimedia device to
establish a paired relationship between the network mul
timedia device and the at least one content source,
US 8,443,038 B2
11
12
wherein the establishment of the paired relationship
synchronizing between the speci?ed multimedia ?les and
the network multimedia device, wherein synchronizing
between the network multimedia device and the at least
one content source causes the network multimedia
device to stop advertising one or more services provided
by the network multimedia device on the at least one
network.
5
15. A method for con?guring a network multimedia device,
comprising:
advertising services provided by a network multimedia
device to a plurality of content sources over a network;
niZing is performed at prede?ned time intervals.
21. A non-transitory memory storage device having
receiving requests for one or more of the services, the
requested services, from one of the plurality of content
sources, the requesting content source, via the network;
pairing the requesting content source with the requested
instructions stored thereon for causing a programmable pro
cessor unit to perform the method of con?guring a network
multimedia device, comprising:
services; and
advertising services provided by a network multimedia
ceasing to advertise the requested services to other of the
device to a plurality of content sources over a network;
plurality of content sources over the network.
16. The method of claim 15, wherein the pairing between
the requesting content source and the requested services is
exclusive.
17. The method of claim 15, further comprising:
accepting a user input specifying one or more multimedia
?les, the speci?ed multimedia ?les, from the requesting
content source are to be synchroniZed with the network
multimedia device; and
includes transferring to or deleting from the network
multimedia device the speci?ed multimedia ?les.
18. The method of claim 17, wherein the act of synchro
niZing is performed automatically upon a prede?ned event
related to the speci?ed multimedia ?les.
19. The method of claim 18, wherein the prede?ned event
includes playback of the speci?ed multimedia ?les on a play
back device.
20. The method of claim 17, wherein the act of synchro
receiving requests for one or more of the services, the
20
requested services, from one of the plurality of content
sources, the requesting content source, via the network;
pairing the requesting content source with the requested
services; and
ceasing to advertise the requested services to other of the
plurality of content sources over the network.
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