Techniques for presenting sound effects on a portable media player

Techniques for presenting sound effects on a portable media player
US008300841B2
(12) Ulllted States Patent
(10) Patent N0.:
Lindahl et al.
(45) Date of Patent:
(54) TECHNIQUES FOR PRESENTING SOUND
2
,
EFFECTS ONA PORTABLE MEDIA PLAYER
_
(75)
Inventors: Aram Lmdahl, Menlo Park, CA (US);
Joseph Mark Williams, Dallas, TX
.
- -
gfkjguthya K‘ Gmsh’ Santa Clara’
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5,566,337 A
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5,583,993 A
12/1996
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1/1997 Moravec et a1.
5,608,698 A
3/1997 Yamanoi et al.
5,616,876 A
4/1997
5,617,386 A
4/1997 ChOi
(*)
5,675,362 A
5,670,985 A
Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
patent is extended or adjusted under 35
lsffmks l
M995 clough
5,596,260 A
_
Oct. 30, 2012
5,379,057 A
(73) Ass1gnee: Apple Inc., Cupertino, CA (US)
Notice:
US 8,300,841 B2
Cluts
9/1997 Cappels, Sr. et al.
10/1997 Cl0l1gh
(Continued)
U.S.C. 154(b) by 1804 days.
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
(22) Filed:
Jun. 3, 2005
(65)
(Commued)
Prior Publication Data
Us 2006/0274905 A1
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
U.S. Appl. No. 10/125,893, ?led Apr. 18, 2002 and titled “Power
Adapters for Powering and/ or Charging Peripheral Devices.”
Dec‘ 7’ 2006
(51) Int. Cl.
(Continued)
H03G 3/00
(2006.01)
H04B 1/00
(2006.01)
G10H 1/08
(2006.01)
Primary Examiner * Devona Faulk
(74) Attorney, Agent, orFirm * Blakely, Sokoloff, Taylor&
(52)
US. Cl. ............ .. 381/61; 381/62; 381/63; 381/119;
Zafman LLP
(58)
Field of Classi?cation Search ................ .. 381/119,
(57)
_ _
381/ 61*63; 84/625, 6'97; 700/ 94
See aPPheanOn ?le for Complete Search hlswry-
Improved techniques for presenting sound effects at a por
table media device are disclosed. The sound effects can be
700/94; 84/625; 84/697
_
(56)
output as audio sounds to an internal speaker, an external
References Clted
speaker, or both. In addition, the audio sounds for the sound
effects can be output together With other audio sounds per
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ABSTRACT
taining to media assets (e.g., audio tracks being played). In
Constable
one embodiment, the sound effects can serve to provide audi
tory feedback to a user of the portable media device. A user
interface can facilitate a user’s selection of sound effect
usages, types or characteristics.
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25 Claims, 10 Drawing Sheets
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500
BIT DEPTH
SOUND
F’ CONVERTER
CHANNEL
COUNT
ADAPTER
5J5
BUFFER
AUDIO
OUTPUT
US 8,300,841 B2
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* cited by examiner
US. Patent
0a. 30, 2012
Sheet 1 0110
US 8,300,841 B2
108
104
Z
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AUDIO
DEVICE
AuDIo
DATA
'
AuDIo
APPLICATION
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CHANNEL
SOUND
112
EFFECT
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DATA
MIXER
CHANNEL
2
1%
106
FIG. 1
US. Patent
0a. 30, 2012
Sheet 2 0f 10
US 8,300,841 B2
200
AUDIO OUTPUT PROCESS
204
OUTPUT AUDIO DATA
TO AUDIO CHANNEL
206
SOUND
EFFECT
REQUEST
7
OUTPUT SOUND
EFFECT DATA
TO MIXER
CHANNEL
7
208
FIG. 2
US. Patent
0a. 30, 2012
Sheet 3 0f 10
US 8,300,841 B2
‘I
045
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mwxz
mom
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US. Patent
0a. 30, 2012
Sheet 4 0f 10
US 8,300,841 B2
400
@
402
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NO
YES
DETERMINE DESIRED SOUND EFFECT N 404
RETRIEVE SOUND EFFECT DATA FOR
N
THE DESIRED SOUND EFFECT
406
418
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OUTPUT SOUND EFFECT
DATA
OBTAIN AUDIO CHARACTERISTICS
410 N
FOR THE AUDIO DATA BEING
OUTPUT
MODIFY THE SOUND EFFECT DATA
412 "\
BASED ON THE AUDIO
CHARACTERISTICS
I
414 N MIX THE MODIFIED SOUND EFFECT DATA
WITH THE AUDIO DATA
I
416 \J
OUTPUT MIXED AUDIO DATA
US. Patent
0a. 30, 2012
Sheet 5 0f 10
US 8,300,841 B2
mom
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US. Patent
0a. 30, 2012
Sheet 6 0f 10
US 8,300,841 B2
AUDIO
DATA
600 \
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CHANNEL
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US. Patent
0a. 30, 2012
Sheet 7 0f 10
US 8,300,841 B2
700
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US. Patent
0a. 30, 2012
Sheet 8 0f 10
FIG. 8
US 8,300,841 B2
US. Patent
0a. 30, 2012
Sheet 9 0f 10
US 8,300,841 B2
900
SOUND EFFECT EVENT PROCESS
/
DEVICE
EFFECT
ENABLED
?
906
2
ACTIVATE DEVICE
EFFECT
908
EAR PHONE
EFFECT
ENABLED
7
910
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ACTIVATE EARPHONE
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FIG. 9
US. Patent
0a. 30, 2012
Sheet 10 0110
US 8,300,841 B2
1000
1002 \
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US 8,300,841 B2
1
2
TECHNIQUES FOR PRESENTING SOUND
EFFECTS ON A PORTABLE MEDIA PLAYER
ment of the method includes at least the acts of: determining
Whether a sound effect is to be output to the external speaker;
identifying sound effect data for the sound effect to be output;
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
retrieving the identi?ed sound effect data; mixing the identi
?ed sound effect data With audio data being output, if any, to
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to audio sound effects and,
produce mixed audio data; and outputting the mixed audio
data to the external speaker.
more particularly, to providing audio sound effects on a por
As a method for providing auditory feedback to a user of
table media device.
2. Description of the Related Art
portable media device, one embodiment of the method
includes at least the acts of: detecting an event at the portable
Conventionally, portable media players have user input
media device; determining Whether device feedback is
enabled; producing an auditory feedback at the portable
devices (buttons, dials, etc.) and a display screen for user
output. Sometimes the display screen updates as user inputs
media device in response to the event When it is determined
are provided via the user input devices, thereby providing
that the device feedback is enabled; determining Whether
earphone feedback is enabled; and producing an auditory
visual feedback to users regarding their user input. HoWever,
the display screen does not alWays provide visual feedback
feedback at one or more earphones coupled to the portable
media device in response to the event When it is determined
and the user is not alWays able to vieW the display screen to
receive the visual feedback. Still further, some portable media
players do not include a display screen. Portable media play
ers can also provide auditory feedback as user inputs are
that the earphone feedback is enabled.
20
provided via the user input devices. For example, to provide
As a portable media device, one embodiment of the inven
tion includes at least: an audio output device; a ?rst memory
auditory feedback for a rotation user input, the iPod® media
device for storing a plurality of sound effects; computer pro
player, Which is available from Apple Computer, Inc. of
Cupertino, Calif., outputs a “click” sound using a pieZoelec
tric device provided Within the media player.
gram code for determining When to output at least one of the
sound effects; and a processor for determining When to output
at least one of the sound effects and for processing the at least
one of the sound effects to produce output sound effect data
25
Unfortunately, hoWever, users often interact With media
players While Wearing earphones or headphones. In such
case, the users Will likely not be able to hear any auditory
feedback, such as “click” sounds from a pieZoelectric device.
Moreover, the user might also be listening to audio sounds via
the earphones or headphones When the user interaction
occurs. Consequently, any users interaction With the media
for the audio output device.
As a graphical user interface for a media device adapted to
provide auditory feedback, one embodiment of the invention
30
feedback options. The media device thereafter provides audi
player While Wearing earphone or headphones Will be Without
the advantage of auditory feedback. The lack of auditory
feedback degrades the user experience and renders the media
player less user friendly.
Thus, there is a need for improved techniques to facilitate
tory feedback in accordance With the selected one of the
auditory feedback options.
35
As a computer readable medium including at least com
puter program code for outputting a sound effect from an
external speaker associated With a portable media device, one
embodiment of the invention includes at least: computer pro
gram code for determining Whether a sound effect is to be
40
output to the external speaker; computer program code for
identifying sound effect data for the sound effect to be output;
computer program code for retrieving the identi?ed sound
effect data; computer program code for mixing the identi?ed
sound effect data With audio data being output, if any, to
produce mixed audio data; and computer program code for
outputting the mixed audio data to the external speaker.
Other aspects and advantages of the invention Will become
auditory feedback on portable media players.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The invention pertains to techniques for presenting sound
effects at a portable media device. The sound effects can be
output as audio sounds to an internal speaker, an external
speaker, or both. In addition, the audio sounds for the sound
effects can be output together With other audio sounds per
45
taining to media assets (e.g., audio tracks being played). In
one embodiment, the sound effects can serve to provide audi
tory feedback to a user of the portable media device. A user
interface can facilitate a user’s selection of sound effect
usages, types or characteristics.
The invention can be implemented in numerous Ways,
includes at least: a list of auditory feedback options; and a
visual indicator that indicates a selected on of the auditory
50
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.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
including as a method, system, device, apparatus (including
graphical user interface), or computer readable medium. Sev
eral embodiments of the invention are discussed beloW.
As a method for providing auditory feedback to a user of
55
The invention Will be readily understood by the folloWing
detailed description in conjunction With the accompanying
draWings, Wherein like reference numerals designate like
portable media device, one embodiment of the method
includes at least the acts of: outputting ?rst audio data per
structural elements, and in Which:
taining to a digital media asset to an audio output device
one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 2 is a How diagram of an audio output process accord
ing to one embodiment of the invention.
associated With the portable media device; detecting an event
at the portable media device; and outputting second audio
FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an audio system according to
60
data after the event has been detected, the second audio data
pertaining to a sound effect associated With the event that has
been detected, the second audio data being output to the audio
output device.
As a method for outputting a sound effect from an external
speaker associated With a portable media device, one embodi
65
FIG. 3 is a block diagram of an audio processing system
according to one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 4 is a How diagram of an audio mixing process accord
ing to one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 5 is an audio processing system according to one
embodiment of the invention.
US 8,300,841 B2
4
3
FIG. 6 is a block diagram of a multi-channel audio mixing
system according to one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 7 is a block diagram of a media player according to
The application 102 controls When a sound effect is to be
output by the audio system 100. The application 102 also
understands that it may or may not already be outputting
one embodiment of the invention.
audio data 104 at the time at Which a sound effect is to the
FIG. 8 illustrates a media player having a particular user
input device according to one embodiment.
FIG. 9 is a How diagram of a sound effect event process
according to one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 10 illustrates a graphical user interface according to
output. In the embodiment shoWn in FIG. 1, the application
102 can control an audio device 108. The audio device 108 is
a hardWare component that is capable of producing a sound,
such as a sound effect. For example, the audio device 108 can
pertain to an audio output device (e.g., speaker or pieZoelec
tric device) that can be brie?y activated to provide a sound
one embodiment of the invention.
effect. The sound affect can serve to inform the user of the
computing device of a condition, status or event.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
In addition, the application 102 produces an audio channel
The invention pertains to techniques for presenting sound
effects at a portable media device. The sound effects can be
output as audio sounds to an internal speaker, an external
110 and a mixer channel 112. The audio channel 110 is a
virtual channel over Which the application 102 can send audio
data 104 such that it can be directed to an audio output device.
speaker, or both. In addition, the audio sounds for the sound
effects can be output together With other audio sounds per
outputs the corresponding audio sounds. In addition, the
taining to media assets (e.g., audio tracks being played). In
For example, the audio output device can be a speaker that
20
one embodiment, the sound effects can serve to provide audi
tory feedback to a user of the portable media device. A user
interface can facilitate a user’s selection of sound effect
usages, types or characteristics.
The invention is Well suited for audio sounds pertaining to
media assets (media items), such as music, audiobooks, meet
stream (see FIG. 3). Hence, the audio system 100 can not only
25
The improved techniques are also resource ef?cient. Given
the resource ef?ciency of these techniques, the improved
techniques are also Well suited for use With portable elec
30
example, the audio output process 200 can be performed by
the application 102 of the audio system 100 illustrated in FIG.
1.
35
audio system. When the decision 202 determines that an
40
audio play request has been issued, audio data is output 204 to
an audio channel. By outputting the audio data to the audio
channel, the audio data is directed to an audio output device,
namely, a speaker, Wherein audible sound is output.
45
When an audio play request has not been issued, a decision
206 determines Whether a sound effect request has been
issued. When the decision 206 determines that a sound effect
to one embodiment of the invention. The audio system 100
depicts a data How for the audio system 100 under the control
FolloWing the operation 204, or folloWing the decision 202
provided by a computing device. Often, the computing device
is a portable computing device especially designed for audio
usage. One example of portable computing devices are por
table media players (e.g., music players or MP3 players).
Another example of portable computing devices are mobile
request has been issued, then sound effect data is output 208
to a mixer channel. The mixer channel carries other audio
50
telephones (e.g., cell phones) or Personal Digital Assistants
The application 102 is, for example, a softWare application
that operates on the computing device. The application 102
application 102 can utiliZe the audio data 104 When the appli
cation 102 desires to output the audio data 104. The sound
effect data 106 can represent audio sounds pertaining to
sound effects that can be utiliZed by the computing device.
For example, the sound effects may correspond to sounds
(actual or synthetic) for mouse clicks, button presses, and the
like. The sound effect data 106 is audio data and can be stored
in a Wide variety of formats. For example, the sound effect
data 106 a can be simply Pulse Coded Modulation (PCM)
55
directly folloWing the decision 206 When a sound effect
request has not been issued, the audio output processed 200
turns to repeat the decision 202 and subsequent operations so
that subsequent requests can be similarly processed.
60
data or can be encoded data, such as MP3 or MPEG-4 format. 65
PCM data is typically either raW data (e.g., a block of
samples) or formatted (e.g., WAV or AIFF ?le formats).
data, such as audio data pertaining to sound effects (sound
effect data). The mixer channel alloWs the sound effect data to
mix With the audio data on the audio channel. After the sound
effect data has been output 208 to the mixer channel, or
(PDA).
has access to audio data 104 and sound effect data 106. The
The audio output process 200 begins With a decision 202
that determines Whether an audio play request has been
issued. For example, an audio play request can be issued as a
result of a system action or a user action With respect to the
readily appreciate that the detailed description given herein
of an application 102. Typically, the audio system 100 is
110 can be mix With any sound effect data on the mixer
channel 112.
FIG. 2 is a How diagram of an audio output process 200
according to one embodiment of the invention. The audio
output process 200 is performed by an audio system. For
Which can be easily held by and Within a single hand of a user.
Embodiments of the invention are discussed beloW With
reference to FIGS. 1-10. HoWever, those skilled in the art Will
With respect to these ?gures is for explanatory purposes as the
invention extends beyond these limited embodiments.
FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an audio system 100 according
output audio data 104 over the audio channel 110 but can also
output sound effects over the mixer channel 112. As discussed
in greater detail beloW, the audio data on the audio channel
ing recordings, and other speech or voice recordings.
tronic devices having audio playback capabilities, such as
portable media devices. Portable media devices, such as
media players, are small and highly portable and have limited
processing resources. Often, portable media devices are
hand-held media devices, such as hand-held audio players,
application 102 can utiliZe a mixer channel 112 to output
sound effects to the audio output device. The mixer channel
112 and the audio channel 110 can be mixed together doWn
It should be understood that often audio data is output for a
longer duration than is any sound effect data, Which tends to
be of a shorter duration. Hence, during the output of the audio
data to the audio channel, sound effect data for one or more
sound effects can be output to the mixer channel and this
combined With the audio data.
FIG. 3 is a block diagram of an audio processing system
300 according to one embodiment of the invention. The audio
processing system 300 includes an audio channel 302 and a
mixer channel 304. The audio channel 302 typically includes
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a decoder and a buffer. The mixer channel 304 typically
includes resolution and/ or sample rate converters.
The audio channel 302 receives audio data 306 that is to be
receives incoming audio data. The decoder 504 decodes the
audio data (Which Was previously encoded). The decoded
audio data is then temporarily stored in the buffer 506. As
needed for transmission, the decoded audio data is supplied
output by the audio processing system 300. After the audio
data 306 passes through the audio channel 302, it is provided
from the buffer 506 to a mixer 508.
The audio processing system 500 also includes a mixer
channel 510. The mixer channel 510 receives sound effect
to a mixer 308. The mixer channel 304 receives sound effect
data 310. After the sound effect data 310 has passed through
the mixer channel 304, it is provided to a mixer 308. The
data that is to be output. Since the audio processing system
500 can process audio data of various bit depths, sample rates,
mixer 308 serves to combine the audio data from the audio
channel 302 With the sound effect data 310 from the mixer
and other criteria, the mixer channel 510 can serve to modify
the sound effect data. One bene?t of providing the mixer
channel 500 With conversion or adaptation capabilities is the
ability to modify in the audio characteristics of the sound
effect data. By doing so, the sound effect data does not have to
be stored by the audio system for a large number of different
audio formats. Indeed, for e?icient use of storage resources,
only a single ?le for each sound effect need be stored. As
needed, sound effect data can have its audio characteristics
channel 304. The combined data is then supplied to a Digital
to-Analog Converter (DAC) 312. The DAC 312 converts the
combined data to an analog audio output. The analog audio
output can be supplied to an audio output device, such as a
speaker.
FIG. 4 is a How diagram of an audio mixing process 400
according to one embodiment of the invention. The audio
mixing process 400 it is, for example, performed by the audio
processing system 300 illustrated in FIG. 3.
The audio mixing process 400 begins With a decision 402
altered so as to closely match those of the audio data also
20
that determines Whether a sound effect is to be output. When
the decision 402 determines that a sound effect is not to be
output, then the audio mixing process 400 aWaits the need to
output a sound effect. For example, the decision 206 of the
audio output process 200 illustrated in FIG. 2 indicates that an
regard, the mixer channel 500 can include a bit depth con
verter 512, a channel count adapter 514, and a sample rate
converter 516. The bit depth converter 512 can convert the bit
25
audio system can make the determination of Whether a sound
effect is to be output. Accordingly, the audio mixing process
400 is invoked When a sound effect is to be output.
Once the decision 402 determines that a sound effect is to
be output, a desired sound effect to be output is determined
404. Here, in one embodiment, the audio system can support
a plurality of different sound effects. In such an embodiment,
the audio system needs to determine Which of the plurality of
sound effects is the desired sound effect. The sound effect
data for the desired sound effect is then retrieved 406.
A decision 408 then determines Whether audio data is also
being output. When the decision 408 determines that audio
data is also being output, audio characteristics for the audio
data being output are obtained 410. In one implementation,
the audio characteristics pertain to metadata corresponding to
the audio data being output. The sound effect data is then
being output by the audio processing system 500. In this
depth (i.e., resolution) of the sound effect data. As one
example, if the sound effect data has a bit depth of eight (8)
bits, the bit depth converter 512 could change the bit depth to
sixteen (16) bits. The channel count adapter 514 can modify
the sound effect data to provide mono or stereo audio com
ponents. The sample rate converter 516 converts the sample
30
rate for the sound effect data. To assist the mixer channel 510
in converting or adapting the audio characteristics, the audio
characteristics from the audio data provided to the audio
35
channel 502 can be provided to the mixer channel 510, so as
to inform the mixer channel 51 0 of the audio characteristics of
the audio data in the audio channel 502.
The modi?ed sound effect data output by the mixer channel
510 is supplied to the mixer 508. The mixer 508 adds or sums
the decoded audio data from the audio channel 502 With the
modi?ed sound effect data from the mixer channel 510. The
40
modi?ed 412 based on the audio characteristics. In one
embodiment, the audio characteristics can pertain to one or
results of the mixer 508 is mixed audio data that is supplied to
a buffer 518. The mixed audio data is digital data stored in the
buffer 518. The audio processing system 500 also includes a
effect data can be modi?ed 412 to match the audio resolution
Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) 520. The DAC 520
receives the mixed audio data from the buffer 518, Which is
digital data, and converts it into an analog audio output. The
analog audio output canbe supplied to an audio output device,
(e.g., bit depth) of the audio data. As another example, the
such as a speaker.
more of: audio resolution (e.g., bit depth), sample rate, and
stereo/mono. For example, the audio resolution for the sound
45
Although the audio processing system 500 illustrated in
sample rate for the sound effect can be modi?ed 412 based on
the sample rate of the audio data. In any case, after the sound
effect data has been modi?ed 412, the modi?ed sound effect
data is then mixed 414 With the audio data. Thereafter, the
mixed audio data is output 416. As an example, the mixed
audio data can be output 416 to an audio output device (e. g.,
50
system 500 can include more than one mixer channel. The
advantage of having more than one mixer channel is that
multiple sound effects can be output concurrently, thereby
providing a polyphony audio effect.
speaker) associated With the audio system.
On the other hand, When the decision 408 determines that
audio data is not being output, sound effect data is output 418.
Here, since there is no audio data being output, the sound
effect data can be simply output 418. If desired, the sound
effect data can be modi?ed before being output 418, such as
to change audio resolution or sample rate conversion. Here,
the output 418 of the sound effect data can also be provided to
the audio output device. FolloWing the operations 416 and
418, the audio mixing process 400 is complete and ends.
55
FIG. 6 is a block diagram of a multi-channel audio mixing
system 600 according to one embodiment of the invention.
The multi-channel audio mixing system 600 includes an
audio channel 602 that receives audio data and outputs
60
the audio channel 602 is supplied to a mixer 604. The multi
decoded audio data. The decoded audio data being output by
channel audio mixing system 600 also includes a plurality of
mixer channel’s 606-1, 606-2, . . . , 606-N. Each ofthe mixer
channels 606 is capable of receiving a different sound effect.
FIG. 5 is an audio processing system 500 according to one
embodiment of the invention. The audio processing system
500 includes an audio channel 502. The audio channel 502
includes a decoder 504 and a buffer 506. The decoder 504
FIG. 5 depicts a single audio channel and a single mixer
channel, it should be understood that the audio processing
65
For example, the mixer channel 1 606-1 can receive a sound
effect A, the mixer channel 2 606-2 can receive a sound effect
B, and the mixer channel N can receive a sound effect N. If
desired, the mixer channels 606 can each carry a sound effect
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at same time, or at least With partial temporal overlap, so that
the various sound effects can be output Without substantial
distortion amongst one another. Regardless of the number of
to a coder/ decoder (CODEC) 712. The CODEC 712 then
produces analog output signals for a speaker 714. The speaker
714 can be a speaker internal to the media player 700 or
sound effects being processed by the mixer channels 606, the
external to the media player 700. For example, headphones or
earphones that connect to the media player 700 Would be
considered an external speaker. The speaker 714 can not only
be used to output audio sounds pertaining to the media item
being played, but also to output sound effects. The sound
sound effect data output from the mixer channels 606 are
provided to the mixer 604. The mixer 604 combines the sound
effect data from one or more of the mixer channels 606 With
the decoded audio data from the audio channel 602. The result
of the mixer 604 is a mixed audio output that can be supplied
to in audio output device.
FIG. 7 is a block diagram of a media player 700 according
to one embodiment of the invention. The media player 700
can implement the audio system 100 of FIG. 1 or the audio
processing system 200, 500 of FIGS. 3 and 5 The media
player 700 includes a processor 702 that pertains to a micro
processor or controller for controlling the overall operation of
the media player 700. The media player 700 stores media data
pertaining to media items in a ?le system 704 and a cache 706.
The ?le system 704 is, typically, a storage disk or a plurality
of disks. The ?le system 704 typically provides high capacity
storage capability for the media player 700. The ?le system
effects can be stored as audio data on the media player 700,
such as in ?le system 704, the cache 706, the ROM 720 or the
RAM 722. A sound effect can be output in response to a user
input or a system request. When a particular sound effect is to
be output to the speaker 714, the associated sound effect audio
data can be retrieved by the processor 702 and supplied to the
CODEC 712 Which then supplies audio signals to the speaker
714. In the case Where audio data for a media item is also
being output, the processor 702 can process the audio data for
20
the media item as Well as the sound effect. In such case, the
audio data for the sound effect can be mixed With the audio
data for the media item. The mixed audio data can then be
supplied to the CODEC 712 Which supplies audio signals
704 can store not only media data but also non-media data
(pertaining to both the media item and the sound effect) to the
(e. g., When operated in a disk mode). HoWever, since the
speaker 714.
access time to the ?le system 704 is relatively sloW, the media
player 700 can also include a cache 706. The cache 706 is, for
25
example, Random-Access Memory (RAM) provided by
The media player 700 also includes a netWork/bus interface
716 that couples to a data link 718. The data link 718 alloWs
the media player 700 to couple to a host computer. The data
semiconductor memory. The relative access time to the cache
link 718 can be provided over a Wired connection or a Wireless
706 is substantially shorter than for the ?le system 704. HoW
ever, the cache 706 does not have the large storage capacity of
connection. In the case of a Wireless connection, the netWork/
bus interface 716 can include a Wireless transceiver.
the ?le system 704. Further, the ?le system 704, When active,
30
In one embodiment, the media player 700 is a portable
computing device dedicated to processing media such as
audio. For example, the media player 700 can be a music
player (e. g., MP3 player), a game player, and the like. These
35
as to alloW a user to listen to music, play games or video,
record video or take pictures Wherever the user travels. In one
consumes more poWer than does the cache 706. The poWer
consumption is often a concern When the media player 700 is
a portable media player that is poWered by a battery (not
shoWn). The media player 700 also includes a RAM 720 and
a Read-Only Memory (ROM) 722. The ROM 722 can store
devices are generally battery operated and highly portable so
programs, utilities or processes to be executed in a non
implementation, the media player 700 is a handheld device
that is siZed for placement into a pocket or hand of the user. By
volatile manner. The RAM 720 provides volatile data storage,
such as for the cache 706.
The media player 700 also includes a user input device 708
that alloWs a user of the media player 700 to interact With the
40
being handheld, the media player 700 is relatively small and
easily handled and utiliZed by its user. By being pocket siZed,
media player 700. For example, the user input device 708 can
take a variety of forms, such as a button, keypad, dial, etc. In
the user does not have to directly carry the device and there
fore the device can be taken almost anyWhere the user travels
one implementation, the user input device 708 can be pro
(e.g., the user is not limited by carrying a large, bulky and
often heavy device, as in a portable computer). Furthermore,
the device may be operated by the user’s hands, no reference
vided by a dial that physically rotates. In another implemen
tation, the user input device 708 can be implemented as a
45
touchpad (i.e., a touch-sensitive surface). In still another
implementation, the user input device 708 can be imple
surface such as a desktop is needed.
The user input device 708 can take a variety of forms, such
mented as a combination one or more physical buttons and
50
as a button, keypad, dial, etc. (physical or soft implementa
tions) each of Which can be programmed to individually or in
combination to perform any of a suite of functions. FIG. 8
illustrates a media player 800 having a particular user input
device 802 according to one embodiment. The media player
55
804 can also include a display 804. The user input device 802
includes a number of input devices 806, Which can be either
physical or soft devices. Such input devices 806 can take the
form of a rotatable dial 806-1, such as in the form of a Wheel,
capable of rotation in either a clockWise or counterclockWise
Well as a touchpad. Regardless of hoW implemented, as the
user interacts With the user interface device 708, a pieZoelec
tric device 724 can provide auditory feedback to the user. For
example, the pieZoelectric device 724 canbe controlled by the
processor 702 to emit a sound in response to a user action
(e.g., user selection or button press). Still further, the media
player 700 includes a display 710 (screen display) that can be
controlled by the processor 702 to display information to the
user. A data bus 711 can facilitate data transfer betWeen at
least the ?le system 704, the cache 706, the processor 702,
direction. A depressible input button 806-2 can be provided at
and the CODEC 712.
the center of the dial 806-1 and arranged to receive a user
input event such as a press event. Other input buttons 806
In one embodiment, the media player 700 serves to store a
60
plurality of media items (e.g., songs) in the ?le system 704.
When a user desires to have the media player play a particular
media item, a list of available media items is displayed on the
display 710. Then, using the user input device 708, a user can
select one of the available media items. The processor 702,
upon receiving a selection of a particular media item, supplies
the media data (e. g., audio ?le) for the particular media item
include input buttons 806-3 through 806-6 each available to
receive user supplied input action.
65
As noted above, the audio system can be utiliZed to mix
sound effects With player data such that the mixed audio can
be output to an audio output device. The audio system can be
system or user con?gurable as to sound effect processing. For
example, a user may desire sound effects to be output to a
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