Graphical user interface and methods of use thereof in a multimedia

Graphical user interface and methods of use thereof in a multimedia
US007560637B1
(12) Ulllted States Patent
(10) Patent N0.:
Robbin et al.
(54)
(75)
US 7,560,637 B1
(45) Date of Patent:
GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE AND
METHODS OF USE THEREOF IN A
5,727,202 A
5,739,451 A
MULTIMEDIA PLAYER
5,835,721 A
5,835,732 A
Inventors: Jeffrey L. Robbin, Los Altos, CA (US);
5,845,282 A
Jul. 14, 2009
3/1998 Kucala
4/1998 Winksy et a1.
11/1998 Donahue et a1.
11/1998 Kikinis et a1.
12/1998 Alley et a1‘
sfeve Jobs’ P2110 A119 CA} (Us);
5,864,868 A
1/1999 Contois
Timothy Wasko, H1gh R1ver (CA); Greg
Christie, San Jose, CA (US); Imran
5,918,213 A
@1999 Bernard et 31‘
Chaudhri, San Francisco, CA (US)
(73) Assignee: Apple Inc., Cupertino, CA (US)
(*)
Notice:
(Continued)
Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
patent is extended or adjusted under 35
U.S.C. 154(1)) by 647 days.
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
EP
0 917 077
“999
(21) App1.No.: 11/238,587
(22) Filed:
Sep. 28, 2005
(Continued)
Related US. Application Data
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
(63) Continuation Of application NO 10/282,861’ ?led on
Etchison, “Accelerated Discrete Adjustment of the Parameters of a
Oct‘ 28 2002 HOW Pat NO 7 166 791
’
(60)
’
'
'
’
Process ,IBM Technlcal Dlsclosure Bulletln, v01. 15, N0. 5, Oct. 1,
’
'
1972, 2 pgs.
Provisional application No. 60/399,806, ?led on Jul.
30, 2002'
(51)
(Continued)
Int‘ Cl‘
Primary ExamineriMarlon T Fletcher
G01H 1/00
(2006.01)
57
G10H 1/18
(2006.01)
( )
ABSTRACT
(52)
US. Cl. ....................... .. 84/615; 84/477 R; 84/619;
(58)
Field of Classi?cation Search ............. ..: ..... .. None
System for providing user Supplied Con?guration data are
(56)
See apphcanon ?le for Complete Search hlstory'
References Cited
described. In one embodiment, a hierarchically ordered
graphical user interface is provided. A ?rst order, or home,
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
interface provides a highest order of user selectable items
each of Which, When selected, results in an automatic transi
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1/1998 Alley et al.
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(
402
tion to a loWer order user interface associated With the
Beaudet et al.
Foster et al.
Cluts
Victor et al.
Clark et a1.
5,721,949 A
HOME
In a portable multimedia device, a method, apparatus, and
ARTIST?‘
A"
(my
selected item. In one of the described embodiments, the loWer
order interface includes otheruser selectable items associated
With the previously selected item from the higher order user
interface.
22 Claims, 9 Drawing Sheets
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US 7,560,637 B1
Page 2
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* cited by examiner
US. Patent
Jul. 14, 2009
Sheet 1 019
SPEAKER
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Jul. 14, 2009
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Sheet 3 0f 9
displaying an nth order user
7
interface having a corresponding
list of user selectable items
l
selecting one of the user selectable
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V
automatically transitioning to and
displaying a next order user
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item
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US. Patent
Jul. 14, 2009
Sheet 5 of9
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As a pathWise bi-directional method of selecting a desired
GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE AND
METHODS OF USE THEREOF IN A
MULTIMEDIA PLAYER
multimedia asset from a number of multimedia assets stored
in a multimedia asset player, one embodiment of the invention
includes at least the acts of: displaying a ?rst order user
interface having a ?rst set of user selectable items each of
Which points to a second set of other user selectable items
displayed on a second order user interface; receiving a user
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED
APPLICATIONS
navigation input With respect to the ?rst set of user selectable
This application is a continuation of US. patent applica
tion Ser. No. 10/282,861, entitled “GRAPHICAL USER
INTERFACE AND METHODS OF USE THEREOF IN A
MULTIMEDIA PLAYER”, ?led Oct. 28, 2002, now US. Pat.
items to identify one of the user selectable items of the ?rst
set, the user navigation input being associated With a rota
tional user action With respect to a user input device of the
multimedia asset player; accepting the identi?ed one of the
user selectable items of the ?rst set; automatically transition
ing to and displaying the second set of user selectable items
each of Which points back to the identi?ed one of the user
selectable items of the ?rst set and points forWard to a third
order user interface; and receiving and acting upon at least
No. 7,166,791 Which is incorporated herein by reference, and
Which, in turn, claims the bene?t of priority under 35 U.S.C.
§ 119(e) to US. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/399,
806, entitled “GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE AND
METHODS OF USE THEREOF IN A MULTIMEDIA
PLAYER”, ?led on Jul. 30, 2002, Which is incorporated
herein by reference.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
one additional user input until a desired multimedia asset is
20
selected.
As a portable media player, one embodiment of the inven
tion includes at least the acts of: a storage device that stores
1. Field of Invention
This invention relates generally to multimedia devices.
More speci?cally, the invention describes a graphical user
interface for use in a multimedia asset player suitable for
media content for each of a plurality of media items; a display
screen that displays one of a plurality of hierarchically
ordered sets of user selectable items; a user input device that
25
chically ordered sets of user selectable items being displayed
providing any number and kind of user supplied inputs.
2. Description of Related Art
on the display screen; and a processor operatively connected
to the storage device and the user input device. The processor
Recent developments in consumer electronics have
controls the portable media player to facilitate user navigation
included the introduction of portable multimedia asset player
devices such as MP3 players, minidisk players, and the like.
through the one of more of the hierarchically ordered sets of
user selectable items to select a particular media item to be
For example, in the case of an MP3 player, a number of
digitiZed audio ?les in the form of MP3 ?les are stored in a
storage medium included in or coupled to the player in a
fashion deemed most suitable to that user. In the case of MP3
?les, for example, a user of the MP3 player must be able to
peruse and select a particular ?le, or ?les, based upon such
characteristics as music genre, author, album, or Whatever
played, and then to play the media content of the particular
35
grouping of MP3 ?les is present in the MP3 player.
What is required is a user interface that provides for a user
friendly and e?icient retrieval of stored multimedia asset ?les
in a portable multimedia asset player.
enables a user to interact With the one of more of the hierar
media item that Was selected. In facilitating user navigation
through the one of more of the hierarchically ordered sets of
user selectable items, the processor operates to (i) display, on
the display screen, a ?rst order user interface having a ?rst list
of user selectable items each of Which points to at least one
second list of user selectable items; (ii) receive, via the user
input device, a user selection of one of the user selectable
40
items from the ?rst list; and (iii) automatically transitioning to
and displaying, on the display screen, a second order user
interface based upon the selected one of the user selectable
items from the ?rst list, the second order user interface having
the second list of user selectable items pointed to by the
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
45
selected one of the user selectable items from the ?rst list.
The invention described herein pertains to a user interface
that provides for a user friendly and e?icient retrieval of
stored multimedia asset ?les. The invention can be imple
mented in numerous Ways. Several embodiments of the
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The invention Will be better understood by reference to the
invention are discussed beloW.
50 folloWing description taken in conjunction With the accom
As a method of assisting user interaction With a multimedia
panying draWings.
asset player by Way of a pathWise bi-directional user inter
face, one embodiment of the invention includes at least the
acts of: displaying a ?rst order user interface having a ?rst list
of user selectable items each of Which points to at least one
second list of user selectable items; receiving a user selection
of one of the user selectable items from the ?rst list; and
FIG. 1 shoWs an exemplary portable multimedia device
100 in accordance With an embodiment of the invention.
55
automatically transitioning to and displaying a second order
user interface based upon the selected one of the user select
able items from the ?rst list, the second order user interface
having the second list of user selectable items pointed to by
60
providing user provided input for an exemplary MP3 player
(along the lines of the player 100) in accordance With an
the selected one of the user selectable items from the ?rst list.
Each of the user selectable items in the second list points back
to the corresponding one of the user selectable items in the
?rst list and points forWard to at least one user selectable item
in a third list of user selectable items displayed by a corre
sponding third order user interface.
FIG. 2 illustrates a hierarchically ordered menu corre
sponding to stored media assets in accordance With an
embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 3 shoWs a ?owchart illustrating a particular process
for selecting a particular one of a group of stored media assets
in accordance With an embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 4 shoWs a state diagram of a user interface suitable for
65
embodiment of the invention.
FIGS. 5A-5E illustrate various exemplary user interfaces
consistent With selection and play of a media asset in accor
dance With an embodiment of the invention.
US 7,560,637 B1
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4
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SELECTED
EMBODIMENTS
system 104 typically provides high capacity storage capabil
ity for the media player 100. HoWever, since the access time
to the ?le system 104 is relatively sloW, the media player 100
can also include a cache 106. The cache 106 is, for example,
Reference Will noW be made in detail to a preferred
embodiment of the invention. An example of the preferred
embodiment is illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
5
Random-Access Memory (RAM) provided by semiconduc
tor memory. The relative access time to the cache 106 is
substantially shorter than for the ?le system 104. HoWever,
the cache 106 does not have the large storage capacity of the
?le system 104. Further, the ?le system 104, When active,
While the invention Will be described in conjunction With a
preferred embodiment, it Will be understood that it is not
intended to limit the invention to one preferred embodiment.
To the contrary, it is intended to cover alternatives, modi?ca
consumes more poWer than does the cache 106. The poWer
tions, and equivalents as may be included Within the spirit and
scope of the invention as de?ned by the appended claims.
With the rapid advancement in the ability to store data,
consumption is particularly important When the media player
multimedia asset players, such as MP3 players, can accom
modate hundreds or even thousands of such assets, such as
and a Read-Only Memory (ROM) 122. The ROM 122 can
MP3 ?les, making the task of selecting, grouping, or retriev
ing a particular ?le, or ?les, a daunting task indeed. Therefore
non-volatile manner. The RAM 120 provides volatile data
storage, such as for the cache 106.
The media player 100 also includes a user input device 108
that alloWs a user of the media player 100 to interact With the
media player 100. For example, the user input device 108 can
take a variety of forms, such as a button, keypad, dial, etc. Still
the invention described herein is Well suited for providing a
user friendly and e?icient user interface for retrieving media
assets for use in a portable multimedia asset player. In the
100 is a portable media player that is poWered by a battery
(not shoWn). The media player 100 also includes a RAM 120
store programs, utilities or processes to be executed in a
20
described embodiment, the multimedia asset player takes the
form of a pocket siZed, portable MP3 player. Accordingly, a
method and apparatus for providing user supplied inputs to
the MP3 player are described. Such user supplied inputs can
include user supplied commands directed at retrieving spe
further, the media player 100 includes a display 110 (screen
display) that can be controlled by the processor 102 to display
information to the user. A data bus 311 can facilitate data
25
ci?c ?les, such as digitiZed audio ?les in the form of, for
example, MP3 ?les.
100 also includes a bus interface 116 that couples to a data
link 118. The data link 118 alloWs the media player 100 to
couple to a host computer.
In one embodiment, a hierarchically ordered graphical user
interface are provided that facilitates a user ?le selection
procedure. In this particular embodiment, a ?rst order (some
transfer betWeen at least the ?le system 104, the cache 106,
the processor 102, and the CODEC 110. The media player
30
In one embodiment, the media player 100 serves to store a
times referred to as a home interface) provides a highest order
plurality of media assets (e.g., songs) in the ?le system 104.
of user selectable items each of Which, When selected, results
When a user desires to have the media player play a particular
media item, a list of available media assets is displayed on the
display 110. Then, using the user input device 108, a user can
select one of the available media assets. The processor 102,
in an automatic transition to a loWer order user interface
associated With the selected item. In one of the described
embodiments, the loWer order interface includes other user
35
selectable items associated With the previously selected item
from the higher order user interface. In this Way, a user can
upon receiving a selection of a particular media item, supplies
the media data (e. g., audio ?le) for the particular media item
automatically transition from a higher order interface to a
loWer order interface (and vice versa) by, in some cases, a
produces analog output signals for a speaker 114. The speaker
direct transition. In other cases, the user can transition from
the higher order user interface to the loWer order user inter
to a coder/ decoder (CODEC) 110. The CODEC 110 then
40
face (and vice versa) in a step Wise fashion Whereby each
intervening interface is displayed having any number of user
selectable input items each directly associated With the pre
viously selected input item.
114 can be a speaker internal to the media player 100 or
external to the media player 100. For example, headphones or
earphones that connect to the media player 100 Would be
considered an external speaker.
For example, in a particular embodiment, the available
45
media assets are arranged in a hierarchical manner based
upon a selected number and type of groupings appropriate to
the available media assets. For example, in the case Where the
In a particular embodiment, the portable multimedia
device is a pocket siZed, multimedia device (personal digital
assistants, personal MP3 player/recorders, and the like) hav
media player 100 is an MP3 type media player, the available
ing a display screen arranged to display the various user
media assets take the form of MP3 ?les (each of Which cor
responds to a digitally encoded song or other audio rendition)
stored at least in part in the ?le system 104. The available
media assets (or in this case, songs) can be grouped in any
manner deemed appropriate. In one arrangement, the songs
interfaces and a corresponding user input device. The user
50
input device is typically a manually operated sWitch, button,
Wheels, or other such contrivances. Accordingly, the inven
tion Will noW be described in terms a portable multimedia
asset player capable of storing a number of multimedia assets.
For example, in the case of the multimedia asset player being
an MP3 player (such as the iPod® player manufactured by the
55
Apple Computer Inc. of Cupertino, Calif.), the multimedia
assets can include MP3 ?les as Well as any other appropriately
formatted data ?les.
Accordingly, FIG. 1 shoWs an exemplary portable multi
60
can be arranged hierarchically as a list of music genres at a
?rst level, a list of artists associated With each genre at a
second level, a list of albums for each artist listed in the
second level at a third level, While at a fourth level a list of
songs for each album listed in the third level, and so on.
Accordingly, FIG. 2 illustrates an hierarchically ordered
menu 200 used to navigate through those stored media assets
media device, or media player, 100 in accordance With an
of interest to a user in accordance With an embodiment of the
embodiment of the invention. The media player 100 includes
invention. It should be noted that in the described embodi
ment, the menu 200 is navigated by the user scrolling verti
cally Within a particular level in order to peruse and eventu
ally select a particular item located Within that level. Once
selected, the menu 200 is automatically transitioned in a
a processor 102 that pertains to a microprocessor or controller
for controlling the overall operation of the media player 100.
The media player 100 stores media data pertaining to media
assets in a ?le system 104 and a cache 106. The ?le system
104 is, typically, a storage disk or a plurality of disks. The ?le
65
horiZontal manner to a loWer order interface associated With
US 7,560,637 B1
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the selected item. For example, at a ?rst level, a list of music
of songs associated With the SONGS item 408, then the
display Would automatically transition directly to a noW play
genres 202 (ROCK, JAZZ, HIP HOP) corresponding to the
ing interface (not shoWn) indicating that the selected song is
playing (or is prepared to be played) along With any other data
available MP3 ?les is displayed. In order to select a particular
music genre, a user scrolls “vertically doWn” the list 202
(usually accompanied by a pointer such as an arroW or by
or information deemed appropriate.
Once in the ARTISTS user interface 412, the user has the
highlighting the adjacent item) until a desired input item is
reached. Upon selecting a particular music genre (ROCK, for
option of selecting a particular artist by selecting a desired
artist from the list of speci?c artists 416 or selecting all artists
by invoking theALL item 414. For example, if the user selects
all artists by invoking the ALL item 414, an automatic tran
example), an automatic horizontal traversal 203 to a loWer
order interface 204 that includes a display of a list of ROCK
artists 204a corresponding to the selected ROCK genre.
Again after scrolling in a vertical direction in the ROCK
sition to a loWer order ALBUMS interface 418 occurs that
concurrently displays an ALL item 420 corresponding to all
songs of all artists and a list of speci?c albums for all artists
422. If, for example, the user selected a speci?c album from
the list of speci?c albums 422, then an automatic transition to
artists list 20411, a user selects a particular one of the listed
ROCK artists included in the list 204a resulting in another
automatic horizontal traversal 205 to a loWer order interface
206 denoting an album 20611 (from a list of albums 206, if
appropriate) associated With the selected artist. This proce
dure is continued until a particular song 20811 from a list of
songs 208 (included in the selected album) is selected. Once
selected, the song 20811 is then ready for play as described at
a still loWer order interface ALL SONGS 424 occurs that
displays a list of all songs of the selected album 426. At this
point, When the user selects a particular song, an automatic
transition to a noW playing interface 428 occurs having a song
a play song interface 210 that can in some cases include 20 information display 430 consistent With the selected song.
information related to the selected song 208a.
FIG. 3 shoWs a ?owchart 300 illustrating a particular pro
cess 300 for selecting a particular one of a group of stored
media assets in accordance With an embodiment of the inven
tion. Accordingly, at 302, a ?rst order user interface is dis
played having a list of ?rst order user selectable items. In the
example of FIG. 2, the ?rst order user interface is the list of
genres 202 Whereas the ?rst order user selectable items cor
respond to the various genres listed. Next, at 304, at least one
of the user selectable items are selected and subsequently, at
306, an automatic transition to and substantially simulta
neous display of a loWer order user interface corresponding to
the selected item. At 308, a determination is made Whether or
If, on the other hand, had the user had invoked the ALL item
420 in the ALBUMS interface 418, then songs interface 424
Would display a list of all songs 432 of all the artists. At this
point, the user could select a particular song from the list of all
25
30
not there are additional order user interfaces based upon the
latest selected item. For example, from FIG. 2 above, selec
tion of the Rock genre from the list 202 initiates the automatic
transition to the loWer order user interface and substantially
simultaneous display of the list of ROCK artists 20411. This
process continues until a loWest order interface (i.e., the Play
35
Song display 210) is reached at Which point the selection
40
process ends and the selected multimedia asset is played.
FIG. 4 shoWs a state diagram 400 of a user interface suit
able for providing user provided input for an exemplary MP3
player (along the lines of the player 100) in accordance With
an embodiment of the invention. It should be noted that for
45
sake of simplicity, only a single selection path is shoWn cor
responding to a single selection item (i.e., Artists). Accord
ingly, a home interface 402 provides a list that includes a
PLAYLIST item 404, an ARTISTS item 406, and a SONGS
item 408 each of Which is selectable by a user. It should be
songs 432 resulting in an automatic transition to the noW
playing interface 428 having a song information display 430
consistent With the selected song.
A similar procedure can be folloWed in the case Where
instead of invoking the ALL item 414, the user had selected a
particular artist from the list ofartists 416. In this case, the act
of selecting a particular artist initiates an automatic transition
to a selected artist interface 436 that includes an ALL item
438 that points to all songs of the selected artist stored in the
MP3 player and a list of all albums of the selected artist 440
that are stored in the MP3 player. Selecting one of the albums
from the list of albums 440 results in an automatic transition
to the songs interface 424 that includes a list of all songs
associated With the selected album 442. On the other hand,
invoking the ALL item 438 results in an automatic transition
to the songs interface 424 having a list of all songs of the
selected artist 444. Once in the songs interface 424, the user is
free to select any song listed for play at the noW playing
interface 428. For example, selecting one of the songs listed
in list of all songs of selected artist 444 or from the list of all
songs of selected album 442 results in an automatic transition
to the noW playing interface 428 simultaneously With the
display of song information displays 446 and 448, respec
tively.
It should be noted that the procedure described above is
50
noted that each item is associated With a particular grouping
of the multi-media assets (Which in this example are MP3
?les) stored at least in the ?le system 104. For example, the
pathWise bi-directional in that the user can go in either direc
tion along a selected path. It should be further noted, that in
some embodiments, it is desirable to directly transition from
the noW playing interface 428 to the home interface 402 (and
vice-versa) Without displaying any of the intervening inter
PLAYLIST item 404 is associated With a number of customi
etc. in any order and grouping as deemed appropriate)
Whereas the ARTISTS item 406 is associated With particular
faces.
FIGS. 5A-5E illustrate various exemplary user interfaces
consistent With selection and play of a media asset in accor
artists Whose songs are stored in the ?le system 104 and so on.
Therefore, once a user selects either the PLAYLIST item
dance With an embodiment of the invention. One should note
that the various user interfaces illustrated in FIGS. 5A-5E
Zable playlists (i.e., a compendium of artists, songs, albums,
404, the ARTISTS item 406, or the SONGS item 408, an
55
60
automatic transition to a loWer order user interface occurs
corresponding to the selected item. For example, if the user
selects the ARTISTS item 406, an automatic transition 410 to
that each of the interfaces described are incorporated into a
the ARTISTS user interface 412 occurs that concurrently
displays an ALL item 414 (associated With all artists) and a
list of speci?c artists 416. It shouldbe noted that, although not
shoWn, if the user had selected a particular song from the list
correspond to particular embodiments of the HOME interface
402, theARTISTS interface 412, theALBUMS interface 418,
the SONGS interface 424, and the NOW PLAYING interface
428 described above. Accordingly, it should be further noted
65
representative media player 500 having a display 502 and a
user input device 504 that includes a central button 506, a
selector Wheel 508, and selectors 510-516. It is Well to note
US 7,560,637 B1
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7
3. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein the ?rst order
that in this particular embodiment, the selectors 510-516 are
user interface is a home interface.
a back up one level 510, a rewind 512, a play/pause 514, and
a fast forward 516. Accordingly, FIG. 5A shows a particular
implementation of the HOME interface 402 displayed on the
display 502. In order to select theARTISTS item 406, the user
4. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein the ?rst list of
user selectable items includes at least a playlists item, an
artists item, and a songs item.
5. A method as recited in claim 4, wherein when the
selected one of the user selectable items from the ?rst list is
rotates selector wheel 508 in either a clockwise or counter
clockwise direction (or any appropriate combination thereof)
until the ARTISTS item 406 is rendered selectable (as noted
the playlists item, then the second list of user selectable items
being displayed in the second order user interface includes a
by a semi-transparent highlight bar 518). Once the desired
item is highlighted, the user selects the highlighted item by
invoking a selection protocol by, for example, pressing the
list of playlists.
6. A method as recited in claim 4, wherein when the
selected one of the user selectable items from the ?rst list is
central button 506. Once selected, the HOME interface 402
immediately transitions to the ARTISTS interface 412 as
shown in FIG. 5B. As with the selection in the HOME inter
face 402 of the ARTISTS item 406, a particular artist (or all
artists) is selected by manipulating any of the user input
devices 504 (such as the selector wheel 508) in combination
with an appropriate selection event which can include press
ing the central button 506. In this way, the user is provided the
capability of navigating the user input menu in any manner
20
that the user deems to be most convenient and e?icient. It
should be noted that a stack indicator bar 520 indicates the
further comprises:
automatically transitioning to and displaying a fourth order
relative position of the selected item in relation to the stack of
items associated with the particular selected group. For
example, if the. Accordingly, FIGS. 5C-5E show various
the artists item, then the second list of user selectable items
being displayed in the second order user interface includes an
all artists indication and a list of particular artists.
7. A method as recited in claim 4, wherein when the
selected one of the user selectable items from the ?rst list is
the songs item, then the second list of user selectable items
being displayed in the second order user interface includes a
list of all songs.
8. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein said method
user interface based upon the selected one of the user
should also be noted that there are many alternative ways of
selectable items from the third list.
9. A method as recited in claim 8, wherein the fourth order
user interface is a play media asset interface.
10. A method as recited in claim 9, wherein when the play
media asset interface is displayed, a previously selected
media asset is played on the multimedia asset player.
11. A method as recited in claim 10, wherein the fourth
implementing both the process and apparatus of the present
order user interface presents media asset information pertain
invention. It is therefore intended that the invention be inter
ing to the previously selected media asset being played.
25
exemplary user interfaces consistent with the described
embodiment of the invention.
While this invention has been described in terms of a pre
ferred embodiment, there are alterations, permutations, and
equivalents that fall within the scope of this invention. It
30
12. A method as recited in claim 10, wherein when the
preted as including all such alterations, permutations, and
equivalents as fall within the true spirit and scope of the
35
present invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A method of assisting user interaction with a multimedia
asset player by way of a pathwise bi-directional user inter
face, said method comprising:
40
multimedia asset from a number of multimedia assets stored
in a multimedia asset player comprising:
(a) displaying a ?rst order user interface having a ?rst set of
receiving a user selection of one of the user selectable items 45
from the ?rst list, said receiving the user selection of one
of the user selectable items from the ?rst list including at
least (i) successively highlighting one or more of the
user selectable items from the ?rst list using a rotational
user selectable items each of which points to a second set
of user selectable items displayed on a second order user
interface;
(b) receiving a user navigation input with respect to the ?rst
set of user selectable items to identify one of the user
50
multimedia asset player and (ii) accepting a selection of
selectable items of the ?rst set, the user navigation input
being associated with a rotational user action with
respect to a user input device of the multimedia asset
one of the highlighted user selectable items; and
automatically transitioning to and displaying a second
player;
order user interface based upon the selected one of the
user selectable items from the ?rst list, the second order
13 . A method as recited in claim 1, wherein the accepting of
the selection of one of user selectable items comprises receiv
ing a button press.
14. A pathwise bi-directional method of selecting a desired
displaying a ?rst order user interface having a ?rst list of
user selectable items each of at least a plurality of which
points to at least another list of user selectable items;
user action with respect to a user input device of the
previously selected media asset is a digital audio ?le, then the
associated media asset information includes title, artist,
album, and duration.
55
user interface having a second list of user selectable
(c) accepting the identi?ed one of the user selectable items
of the ?rst set;
(d) automatically transitioning to and displaying the sec
items pointed to by the selected one of the user selectable
ond set of user selectable items each of which points
items from the ?rst list,
back to the identi?ed one of the user selectable items of
the ?rst set and points forward to a third order user
wherein each of at least a plurality of the user selectable
items in the second list points back to the corresponding
60
one of the user selectable items in the ?rst list and points
forward to at least one user selectable item in a third list
of user selectable items displayed by a corresponding
third order user interface.
2. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein not more than
one of the user selectable items in each of the ?rst list, the
second list and the third list are the same.
interface; and
(e) receiving and acting upon at least one additional user
input until a desired multimedia asset is selected.
15. A method as recited in claim 14, wherein said receiving
and acting (e) comprises:
65
(el) receiving a user navigation input with respect to the
second set of user selectable items to identify one of the
user selectable items of the second set, the user naviga
US 7,560,637 B1
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tion input being associated With a rotational user action
With respect to the user input device of the multimedia
asset player;
(e2) accepting the identi?ed one of the user selectable
items of the second set; and
(e3) automatically transitioning to and displaying the third
order user interface based on the identi?ed one of the
19. A method as recited in claim 14, Wherein the multime
dia asset is a digitiZed multimedia ?le.
20. A method as recited in claim 14, Wherein the ?rst set of
user selectable items includes at least a playlists item, an
artists item, and a songs item.
21. A method as recited in claim 20, Wherein When the
16. A method as recited in claim 15, Wherein the third order
accepted item is the playlists item, then the second set of user
selectable items includes a list of playlists, and Wherein When
the accepted item is the artists item, then the second set of user
user interface comprises a third set of user selectable items
each of Which points back to the identi?ed one of the user
particular artists, and Wherein When the accepted item is the
user selectable items of the second set that has been
accepted.
selectable items of the second set and points forWard to a
fourth order user interface.
17. A method as recited in claim 15, Wherein said accepting
(c) and said accepting (e2) are associated With a button of the
multimedia asset player.
18. A method as recited in claim 17, Wherein the button is
provided in an opening provided at a center of the user input
device.
selectable items includes an all artists indication and a list of
songs item, then the second set includes a list of all songs
stored in the multimedia asset player.
22. A method as recited in claim 14, Wherein the user
selectable items of the second set of user selectable items are
completely different than the user selectable items of the ?rst
set of user selectable items.
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