Media management for groups of media items

Media management for groups of media items
USOO7958441B2
(12) United States Patent
(10) Patent N0.:
(45) Date of Patent:
IIeller et al.
(54)
5,181,107
5,191,573
5,341,350
5,355,302
5,418,713
5,428,735
5,481,509
MEDIA MANAGEMENT FOR GROUPS OF
MEDIA ITEMS
(75) Inventors: David Heller, San Jose, CA (US);
Jeffrey L. Robbin, Los Altos, CA (US);
Steven P. Jobs, Palo Alto, CA (US);
Timothy Wasko, High River (CA); Jeff
Miller, Mountain View, CA (US)
5,504,852 A
Notice:
Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
patent is extended or adjusted under 35
0 917 077
(Continued)
latest Windows XP service pack,” Aug. 25, 2004*
(Continued)
Prior Publication Data
Primary Examiner * Kyle R Stork
Jul. 13, 2006
(57)
Related US. Application Data
(60)
Provisional application No. 60/642,334, ?led on Jan.
7, 2005.
(51)
Int. Cl.
(52)
(58)
US. Cl.
5/1999
Windows XP Service Pack 2, Figures 1-2 and “How to obtain the
Apr. 1, 2005
US 2006/0156236 A1
4/1996 Thompson-Rohrlich
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
(21) App1.No.: 11/097,591
(65)
Rhoades
Hair
Frank et a1.
Martin et a1.
Allen
Kahl et a1.
Knowles
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
EP
U.S.C. 154(b) by 488 days.
(22) Filed:
1/1993
3/1993
8/1994
10/1994
5/1995
6/1995
1/1996
(Continued)
(73) Assignee: Apple Inc., Cupertino, CA (US)
(*)
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
US 7,958,441 B2
Jun.7,2011
ABSTRACT
Improved techniques to utilize and manage a group of media
items (or media assets) on a computing device are disclosed.
The group of media items can be utilized and managed at a
host computer for the host computer as well as a media device
G06N 3/00
(e.g., media player) that can couple to the host computer. One
(2006.01)
..................................................... .. 715/201
Field of Classi?cation Search ..
.. 715/513,
715/517, 523, 530, 234, 243, 254, 255, 201
See application ?le for complete search history.
(56)
asset storage and data storage. Another aspect pertains to a
graphical user interface that assists a user with selecting
media items to ?ll a group of media items. Still another aspect
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28 Claims, 11 Drawing Sheets
OBTAIN CAPACITY LIMIT
FOR THE GROUP
AUTOMATICALLY FILL THE GROUP
TO THE CAPACITY LIMIT WITH
ADDITIONAL MEDIA ITEMS
RE-DISPLAY THE GROUP
712
US 7,958,441 B2
Page2
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US. Patent
Jun. 7, 2011
Sheet 1 0f 11
US 7,958,441 B2
[100
START
DISPLAY A MEDIA SOURCE INDICATOR FOR A
’\/102
MEDIA SOURCE THAT IS ASSOCIATED
WITH A MEDIA DEVICE
DISPLAY A REPRESENTATION OF MEDIA
\/ 104
ITEMS THAT ARE WITHIN THE MEDIA
SOURCE
MANAGE THE MEDIA ITEMS WITHIN THE
MEDIA SOURCE BY ADDING OR REMOVING
MEDIA ITEMS TO OR FROM THE MEDIA
SOURCE
END
FIG. 1
US. Patent
Jun. 7, 2011
Sheet 2 or 11
US 7,958,441 B2
®
/
DISPLAY MEDIA DEVICE PLAYLIST
INDICATOR
200
\ 202
II
INDICATOR
SELECTED
I. _____ __
____
____|
1 OTHER PROCESSING :
DISPLAY A LISTOF AUDIO TRACKS
THAT ARE WITHIN THE MEDIA
m 208
DEVICE PLAYLIST
210
USER
INTERACTION
TO ADD OR
DELETE AUDIO
TRACKS
UPDATE THE MEDIA DEVICE PLAYLIST ’\ 214
T
NO
DISPLAY AN UPDATED LIST OF
AUDIO TRACKS THAT ARE WITHIN ’\1 216
THE MEDIA DEVICE PLAYLIST
PLAYLIST
222
DEFER UPDATE OF
AUDIO TRACKS STORED
ON THE MEDIA DEVICE
UPDATE AUDIO TRACKS STORED
ON THE MEDIA DEVICE
1:
FIG. 2
US. Patent
Jun. 7, 2011
Sheet 3 0f 11
US 7,958,441 B2
[300
I
OBTAIN THE AUDIO TRACKS
THAT ARE WITHIN THE MEDIA m 302
DEVICE PLAYLIST
DETERMINE WHICH OF THE
AUDIO TRACKS ARE PRESENT ’\J 304
ON THE MEDIA DEVICE
DISPLAY THE AUDIO TRACKS
IN A LIST
DISPLAY AN INDICATOR FOR
EACH OF THE AUDIO TRACKS
TO INDICATE ITS PRESENCE
ON THE MEDIA DEVICE
I
FIG. 3
\’ 306
N}
308
US. Patent
Jun. 7, 2011
US 7,958,441 B2
Sheet 4 0f 11
/ 400
UPDATE THE MEDIA
DEVICE PLAYLIST BY
DELETING THE
AUDIO TRACK(S)
Z
404
DETERMINE A CAPACITY LIMIT FOR A» 408
THE MEDIA DEVICE PLAYLIST
410
WOULD
CAPACITY
UMWBE
EXCEEDED
IF THE AUDIo
YES
TRACK(S) ARE
ADDED
412
j
INFORM USER THAT
INSUFFICIENT
SPACE PREVENTED
ADDING OF THE
AUDIO TRACK(S)
UPDATE THE MEDIA DEVICE
Z
PLAYLIST BY ADDING
414
THE AUDIO TRACK(S)
Elk
FIG. 4
US. Patent
Jun. 7, 2011
m @
Audio Importing
Sheet 6 0f 11
Q
8ufning Sharing
US 7,958,441 B2
5mm
Advriked
iPed
@ Open Ffunes when this iPod is attached
g Keep this iPud' in the source list
Univ update checked songs
?envert higher bit rate songs to 128 kbps MC for this iPod
Choose haw much space wi? be :‘asewed for songs versus data.
606% 27 Sang;
More Songs
151 MB Data
610
More Data
FIG. 6
US. Patent
Jun. 7, 2011
Sheet 7 0f 11
US 7,958,441 B2
700
START
.l/f
DISPLAY A GROUP OF MEDIA ITEMS \/ 702
704
;F _____
OTHERPROCESSNG
__
I
YES
________ I ______ __
OBTAIN CAPACITY LIMIT
FOR THE GROUP
AUTOMATICALLY FILL THE GROUP
TO THE CAPACITY LIMIT WITH
’\/ 710
ADDITIONAL MEDIA ITEMS
RE-DISPLAY THE GROUP N 712
END
FHC3.7
US. Patent
Jun. 7, 2011
Sheet 8 0f 11
US 7,958,441 B2
800
START
/
DISPLAY PLAYLIST HAVING INITIAL AUDIO TRACKS
l'
_
_
_
_
“
-
_
’\1 802
_
n
|
: OTHER PROCESSING l
DELETE THE INITIAL AUDIO TRACKS
\1810
FROM THE PLAYLIST
i
OBTAIN SOURCE SELECTION
N 812
I
OBTAIN SELECTION CRITERIA PREFRENCE(S) N 814
I
OBTAIN CAPACITY LIMIT FOR THE PLAYLIST
T\/ 816
I
DETERMINE AMOUNT OF FREE CAPACITY
FOR THE PLAYLIST
N
818
l
DETERMINE ADDITIONAL AUDIO TRACKS
TO FILL THE FREE CAPACITY OF THE
PLAYLIST BASED ON THE SOURCE
’\/ 820
SELECTION AND THE SELECTON
CRITERIA PREFERENCE(S)
6*)
FIG. 8A
US. Patent
Jun. 7, 2011
Sheet 9 0f 11
US 7,958,441 B2
ADD THE ADDITIONAL AUDIO TRACKS
TO THE PLAYLIST
f\’ 822
RE-DISPLAY THE PLAYLIST N 824
END
FIG. SB
US. Patent
Jun. 7, 2011
Sheet 10 0f 11
US 7,958,441 B2
900
902
2
HOST COMPUTER
914
COMM.
F MODULE
MANAGEMENT
MODULE
COMM.
MODULE
2
906
PLAY
MODULE
8
PLAY
MODULE
912 L
T 1924
M E D IA
DATABASE
M E D IA
DATABAS E
910
922 0
MEDIA
STORE
MEDIA
STORE
908
MEDIA PLAYER
FIG. 9
920
US. Patent
Jun. 7, 2011
Sheet 11 0111
US 7,958,441 B2
1000
1014
I[/
USERINPUT
DEV|CE
1008
SPEAKER
1__Q
[MSPLAY
CODEC
’\4()12
t t
1002
T
PROCESSOR
1018
1
NEHNORK/BUS Z
1011
INTERFACE
l
l
lQQ?
1016
1004
CACHE
FlE
SYSTEM
1
(STORAGEtMSK)
I%AM
Rcmn
1022
1020
'<
US 7,958,441 B2
1
2
MEDIA MANAGEMENT FOR GROUPS OF
MEDIA ITEMS
such case, the user of the host computer can select a subset of
the media assets at the host computer to be copied to the
media player. For example, a user might select certain play
lists to be copied to the media player when synchronized.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED
APPLICATIONS
Conventionally, a media player is considered a media
source for a media management application so long as the
This application claims priority to US. Provisional Appli
cation No. 60/642,334, ?led Jan. 7, 2005, and entitled
media player is connected to the host computer. That is, once
“MEDIA MANAGEMENT FOR GROUPS OF MEDIA
ITEMS,” which is hereby incorporated herein by reference.
a visual representation of the media player can be displayed.
However, once the media player is disconnected, the visual
This application is related to: (i) US. application Ser. No.
11/097,034, ?led concurrently, and entitled “PERSISTENT
representation of the media player is removed. Hence, media
assets, namely, playlists of media assets, on the media player
GROUP OF MEDIA ITEMS FOR A MEDIA DEVICE,”
can be managed at the host computer only while the media
player is connected to its host computer. In particular, if the
media player is not connected to the host computer, then the
the media management application detects the media player,
which is hereby incorporated herein by reference; (ii) US.
application Ser. No. 10/973,925, ?led Oct. 25, 2004, and
entitled “MULTIPLE MEDIA TYPE SYNCHRONIZA
TION BETWEEN HOST COMPUTER AND MEDIA
media player is not a media source and, therefore, its media
assets cannot be managed at the host computer. This can be a
disadvantage for users that want to manage the media assets
DEVICE,” which is hereby incorporated herein by reference;
(iii) US. patent application Ser. No. 10/833,879, ?led Apr.
27, 2004, and entitled “METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR
20
SHARING PLAYLISTS,” which is hereby incorporated by
reference herein; (iv) US. patent application Ser. No. 10/ 833,
399, ?led Apr. 27, 2004, and entitled “METHOD AND SYS
provided on the media player from the host computer.
Thus, there is a need for improved techniques to facilitate
management and usage of media assets for media devices.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
TEM FOR CONFIGURABLE AUTOMATIC MEDIA
SELECTION,” which is hereby incorporated by reference
herein; (V) US. patent application Ser. No. 10/277,418, ?led
25
Broadly speaking, the invention pertains to improved tech
2002, and entitled “METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR UPDAT
niques to utilize and manage a group of media items (or media
assets) on a computing device. The group of media items can
be utilized and managed at a host computer for the host
computer as well as a media device (e.g., media player) that
can couple to the host computer. One popular example of a
group of media items is known as a playlist, which can pertain
ING PLAYLISTS,” which is hereby incorporated by refer
to a group of audio tracks.
Oct. 21, 2002, and entitled “INTELLIGENT INTERAC
TION BETWEEN MEDIA PLAYER AND HOST COM
PUTER,” which is hereby incorporated herein by reference;
(vi) US. patent application Ser. No. 10/198,639, ?led Jul. 16,
30
One another aspect of the invention pertains to a graphical
ence herein; and (vii) US. patent application Ser. No. 10/ 1 18,
069, ?led Apr. 5, 2002, and entitled “INTELLIGENT
SYNCHRONIZATION OF MEDIA PLAYER WITH HOST
35
asset storage. Another aspect of the invention pertains to a
graphical user interface that assists a user with selecting
media items to ?ll a group of media items. Still another aspect
COMPUTER,” which is hereby incorporated herein by ref
erence.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
40
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to media devices and, more
particularly, to management of media on media devices.
of the invention pertains to providing a persistent media
device playlist at a host computer. The persistent media
device playlist represents a playlist dedicated to a media
device that can couple to the host computer. Another aspect of
the inventionpertains to imposing capacity limits to a playlist,
2. Description of the Related Art
A media player stores media assets, such as audio tracks or
user interface that enables a user to trade-off storage capacity
of a media device between media asset storage and non-media
45
photos, that can be played or displayed on the media player.
One example of a media player is the iPod® media player,
such as a media device playlist.
The invention can be implemented in numerous ways,
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 of providing audio tracks for a playlist for use
which is available from Apple Computer, Inc. of Cupertino,
Calif. Often, a media player acquires its media assets from a
host computer that serves to enable a user to manage media 50 on a host computer and a media device, still another embodi
ment of the invention includes at least the acts of: displaying
assets. As an example, the host computer can execute a media
management application to manage media assets. One
a listing of audio tracks that are within the playlist on a display
screen of the host computer, all of the audio tracks being
stored locally on the host computer and at least a portion of
example of a media management application is iTunes®,
version 4.2, produced by Apple Computer, Inc.
Media assets can be moved between the host computer and
55
the audio tracks being stored on the media device; obtaining
the media player through use of a manual drag and drop
a capacity limit for the playlist; receiving a user selection to
operation, or through an automatic synchronization once a
bus connection over a peripheral cable connects the media
?ll the playlist with additional audio tracks; and ?lling the
playlist with additional audio tracks to the capacity limit after
player to the host computer. Additional details on automatic
synchronization are provided in US. Patent Publication No.:
the user selection is received.
60
2003/0167318 A1, which is hereby incorporated herein by
reference.
tracks that are within the playlist, the list being displayed on
In managing media assets, a user can create playlists for
audio tracks. These playlists can be created at the host com
puter. Media assets within the playlists can then be copied to
the media player. Often, the amount of media assets at the host
computer exceeds the storage capacity of the media player. In
As a graphical user interface for providing audio tracks for
a playlist for use by a host computer and a media device, one
embodiment of the invention includes at least: a list of audio
a display device of the host computer; and a selectable user
65
interface control displayed on the display device of the host
computer, the selectable user interface control, upon selec
tion, initiates a ?lling of the playlist with audio tracks.
US 7,958,441 B2
4
3
ment of the invention includes at least: a user selection control
that enables a user of the host computer to reserve a portion of
of a media device between media asset storage and non-media
asset storage. Another aspect of the invention pertains to a
graphical user interface that assists a user with selecting
media items to ?ll a group of media items. Still another aspect
the storage capacity of the media device for storage of non
audio track data.
of the invention pertains to providing a persistent media
device playlist at a host computer. The persistent media
As a computer readable medium including at least com
device playlist represents a playlist dedicated to a media
device that can couple to the host computer. Another aspect of
As a graphical user interface provided on a host computer
for reserving storage capacity of a media device, one embodi
puter program code for providing media items for a media
item grouping for use on a host computer and a media device,
one embodiment of the invention includes at least: computer
program code for displaying a listing of media items that are
within the media item grouping on a display screen of the host
the inventionpertains to imposing capacity limits to a playlist,
such as a media device playlist.
Embodiments of the invention are discussed below with
reference to FIGS. 1-10. However, those skilled in the art will
computer, all of the media items being stored locally on the
host computer and at least a portion of the media items being
stored on the media device; computer program code for
obtaining a capacity limit for the media item grouping; com
readily appreciate that the detailed description given herein
with respect to these ?gures is for explanatory purposes as the
invention extends beyond these limited embodiments.
FIG. 1 is a ?ow diagram of a host-based media source
puter program code for receiving a user selection to ?ll the
management process 100 according to one embodiment of
the invention. Typically, the host-based media source man
media item grouping with additional media items; and com
puter program code for ?lling the media item grouping with
additional media items to the capacity limit after the user
selection is received.
Other aspects and advantages of the invention will become
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.
20
25
source that is associated with a media device. Then, a repre
sentation of media items that are within the media source are
displayed 104. The media items within the media source can
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The invention will be readily understood by the following
detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying
drawings, wherein like reference numerals designate like
structural elements, and in which:
agement process 100 is performed by a host computer for the
bene?t of not only the host computer but also a media device.
Often, the host-based media source management process 100
operates following a request by a user of the host computer.
The host-based media source management process 100
initially displays 102 a media source indicator for a media
then be managed 106 by adding or removing media items to
30
or from the media source. Following the block 106, the host
based media source management process 100 is complete and
ends.
FIG. 1 is a ?ow diagram of a host-based media source
In one embodiment, the media source pertains to a media
management process according to one embodiment of the
invention.
FIG. 2 is a ?ow diagram of a playlist management process
according to one embodiment of the invention.
device playlist. A media device playlist is a playlist that is
dedicated to a particular media device. That is, the media
items present on the media device should closely correspond
to the media items in the media device playlist. Typically, a
host computer can manage the media device playlist for both
FIG. 3 is a ?ow diagram of a status indication process
according to one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 4 is a ?ow diagram of an update process according to
one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 5 is a screen shot of a media management application
window according to one embodiment of the invention.
35
the host computer and the media device. The media items can
40
embodiment, the media items are audio tracks. In another
embodiment, the media items are images (e.g., photos). How
FIG. 6 is a screen shot of a preference window for a media
management application according to one embodiment of the
invention.
45
FIG. 7 if a ?ow diagram of a group ?ll process according to
one embodiment of the invention.
FIGS. 8A and 8B are ?ow diagrams of a playlist ?ll process
according to one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 9 is a block diagram of a media management system
according to one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 10 is a block diagram of a media player according to
one embodiment of the invention.
50
device. Hence, for a given playlist, the pointers to the ?les of
55
ticular playlist is moved between the host computer and the
media device.
FIG. 2 is a ?ow diagram of a playlist management process
200 according to one embodiment of the invention. The play
60
host computer, such as a host computer performing a media
The invention pertains to improved techniques to utilize
list management process 200 is, for example, performed by a
management application. The playlist management process
200 serves to manage media not only on the ho st computer but
also on a portable media device that can connect to the host
host computer. One popular example of a group of media
items is known as a playlist, which can pertain to a group of
audio tracks.
One another aspect of the invention pertains to a graphical
user interface that enables a user to trade-off storage capacity
ever, in other embodiments, the media items can be any
combination of audio, graphical or video content.
A playlist identi?es particular media items that are to be
played in a sequence. In general, a playlist can be considered
an ordered list of media items. Internally, according to one
embodiment, the playlist can be represented in a media data
base as a data structure that points to ?les of the appropriate
media items residing on the storage device within the media
the appropriate media items on the media device will differ
from the pointers to the ?les for the same media items on the
host computer, thus the need to update the pointers if a par
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
and manage a group of media items (or media assets) on a
computing device. The group of media items can be utilized
and managed at a host computer for the host computer as well
as a media device (e.g., media player) that can couple to the
pertain to one or more different types of media content. In one
65
computer.
The playlist management process 200 initially displays
202 a media device playlist indicator. A decision 204 then
determines whether the playlist indicator has been selected.
US 7,958,441 B2
6
5
Often, all the audio tracks in the list being displayed 306
Here, a user of the host computer can cause the playlist
indicator to be selected. When the decision 204 determines
are also present in the media device. However, in various
that the playlist indicator has not yet been selected, then other
circumstances, one or more audio tracks are not present on the
processing 206 can optionally be performed. Following the
other processing 206, if any, the playlist management process
media device. As an example, if the media were disconnected
before it could receive be updated with additional audio
tracks, then the indicator displayed 308 at the host computer
200 returns to repeat the decision 204 and subsequent blocks.
On the other hand, when the decision 204 determines that
the playlist indicator has been selected, then a list of audio
tracks that are within the media device playlist are displayed
208. After the list of audio tracks is displayed 208, the user of
the host computer can interact with the list of audio tracks to
either add or delete audio tracks from the media device play
would indicate that such additional audio tracks are not
present on the media device. As another example, if one audio
track were added to the media device playlist at the host
list. In this regard, a decision 210 determines whether user
interaction has requested to add or delete audio tracks to or
from the media device playlist. When the decision 210 deter
mines that no such user interaction has been requested, other
processing 212 can optionally be performed. Following the
other processing 212, if any, the playlist management process
200 returns to repeat the decision 210 and subsequent blocks.
Once the decision 210 determines that user interaction has
requested to add or delete audio tracks with respect to the
20
media device playlist, then the media device playlist is
updated 214. Then, the updated list of audio tracks that are
within the media device playlist are displayed 216.
Next, a decision 218 then determines whether an associ
ated media device is connected to the host computer. When
the decision 218 determines that the media device is con
nected to the host computer, then audio tracks to be stored on
the media device are updated 220. In other words, the addi
tions and/or deletions of audio tracks can be performed to
affect update of the audio tracks stored at the media device.
computer, but such audio track was not permitted to be copied
elsewhere, then the indicator displayed 308 at the host com
puter would again indicate that such audio track was not
present on the media device.
FIG. 4 is a ?ow diagram of an update process 400 accord
ing to one embodiment of the invention. The update process
400 is performed by a host computer which serves to update
the media device playlist stored on media device. The update
process 400 represents one embodiment for the update 214 of
the media device playlist discussed above with reference to
FIG. 2.
The update process 400 begins with a decision 402 that
determines whether one or more audio tracks are to be deleted
from the media device playlist. When the decision 402 deter
25
mines that one or more audio tracks are to be deleted from the
media device playlist, then the media device playlist is
updated 404 by deleting the one or more audio tracks. Fol
lowing the block 404, or directly following the decision 402
when the decision 402 to determines that one or more audio
30 tracks are not to be deleted, a decision 406 determines
whether one or more audio tracks are to be added to the media
On the other hand, when the decision 218 determines that the
device playlist. When the decision 406 determines that one or
associated media device is not connected to the host com
more audio tracks are to be added to the media device playlist,
puter, update of audio tracks to be stored on the media device
is deferred 222. In other words, if the associated media device
is “off-line” with respect to the host computer, the update to
35
can be established in a variety of different ways. In one
embodiment, the capacity limit for the media device playlist
is determined by the storage capacity of the media device. In
another embodiment, the capacity limit for the media device
the audio tracks stored on the media device is deferred until a
later point in time when the media device is “on-line” with
respect to the host computer. For example, the update of the
audio tracks stored on the media device can be deferred 222
until the media device is next connected to the ho st computer.
Following the blocks 220 and 222, a decision 224 determines
40
playlist can be set by a user of the host computer, such as via
a media management application operating on the host com
puter.
whether the media device playlist is unselected. When the
media device playlist is unselected, the playlist management
process 200 for the media device playlist ends. On the other
hand, when the decision 224 determines that the media device
then a capacity limit for the media device playlist is deter
mined 408. The capacity limit for the media device playlist
45
In any case, after the capacity limit for the media device
playlist has been determined 408, a decision 410 determines
whether the capacity limit would be exceeded if the one or
more audio tracks are added to the media device playlist.
playlist remains selected, the playlist management process
When the decision 410 determines that the capacity limit
200 can return to repeat the decision 210 and subsequent
would not be exceeded if the one or more audio tracks were
operations so that management of the media device playlist
can continue.
50
added to the media device playlist, then the media device
playlist can be updated 412 by adding the one or more audio
tracks. Alternatively, when the decision 410 determines that
the capacity limit for the media device playlist would be
FIG. 3 is a ?ow diagram of a status indication process 300
according to one embodiment of the invention. The status
indication processed 300 represents additional processing
exceeded if the one or more audio tracks were added to the
that can be performed to provide status indication informa
tion for each of the audio tracks being listed in a media device
media device playlist, then the user can be informed 414 that
insuf?cient space prevented adding of the one or more audio
55
tracks to the media device playlist. Following the blocks 412
playlist. The status indication process 300 is, for example,
performed at block 208 of the playlist management process
200 illustrated in FIG. 2.
The status indication process 300 initially obtains 302 the
audio tracks that are within the media device playlist. Then,
the status indication process 300 determines 304 which of the
audio tracks are present on the media device. The audio tracks
60
ity limit for the media device playlist would be exceeded if the
one or more audio tracks were added to the media device
playlist. For example, instead of merely informing 414 the
can then be displayed 306 in a list on a display screen of the
ho st computer. Additionally, an indicator for each of the audio
tracks can be displayed 308 to indicate its presence on the
media device. Following the block 308, the status indication
processed 300 ends.
and 414, as well as following the decision 406 when no audio
tracks are to be added, the update process 400 ends.
In another embodiment, the update process 400 can operate
differently when the decision 410 determines that the capac
user that insuf?cient space prevented adding of the one or
65
more audio tracks to the media device playlist, the update
process 400 could permit the additions at the host computer
following the informing 414 which would provide a warning.
US 7,958,441 B2
7
8
However, in such an embodiment, the subsequent update 220
operation is to be performed can be selected. In addition, the
?ll control region 540 includes selectors 546-550 that enable
the user to select certain features. For example, the selector
of the media device would not operate to copy excess media
items to the media device. Status indicators, such as described
above with reference to FIG. 3, could be used to designate the
excess media items at the host computer’s version of the
media device playlist but not on the media device itself.
546 allows a user to determine whether existing songs are to
be replaced when auto?lling the media device playlist. The
selector 548 determines whether songs are to be randomly
chosen when performing the auto?ll operation. The selector
FIG. 5 is a screen shot of a media management application
window 500 according to one embodiment of the invention.
cator 506. The media device indicator 506 corresponds to a
550 determines whether higher-rated songs (e.g., user rat
ings) are to be chosen when performing the auto?ll operation.
Still further, the ?ll control region 540 can display an indica
tion 552 of an amount of available storage capacity for the
media device.
In general, the auto?ll region 540 assists a user in providing
criteria for media selection when auto?lling. Although the ?ll
control region 540 includes the selectors 548 and 550, differ
media device playlist. In this example, the media device indi
cator 506 is a graphic icon. Additionally, the media device
utilized. These additional controls can also be used to specify
The media management application window 500 is, for
example, produced by a media management application oper
ating on a host computer.
The media management application window 500 includes
a source region 502 and a track listing area 504. The source
region 502, among other things, depicts a media device indi
ent or additional selectors or other types of controls can be
criteria for selecting audio tracks (i.e., songs) when auto?ll
ing the media device playlist. Some examples of these addi
indicator 506 can also include a text description. In this
example, the media device indicator 506 also provides the
text “iPod”. The track listing area 504 includes a list of audio
20
tional selectors or controls are associated with criteria such
tracks 508 together with associated status indicators 510 and
as: artist, album, composer, bit rate, date added (e.g., recently
511. The list of audio tracks 508 are those audio tracks asso
added), genre, play count, name, year, etc. A user can also
de?ne the rules or conditions for determining audio tracks to
be selected when auto?lling. The rules or conditions can
include rule components, such as: contains, does not contain,
ciated with the media device playlist. As shown in FIG. 5,
each of the audio tracks within the list of audio tracks 508
include a corresponding one of the status indicators 510. In
25
this example, the status indicators 510 are all shown being
“checked,” thus indicating that the associated audio tracks are
to be played when playing through the audio tracks within the
list of audio tracks 508.Alternatively, with the status indicator
510 “unchecked” the associated audio track is skipped (i.e.,
not played) played when playing through the audio tracks
within the list of audio tracks 508. Further, each of the audio
is, is not, starts with, ends with, in the range, etc. Besides
criteria controls and rules, importance selectors (e. g., sliders)
or other controls permit a user to further control how the audio
tracks are selected when auto?lling. For example, a criteria
30
ence which audio tracks are to be selected from a source of
media. However, the particular order in which such audio
tracks are acquired can still be is partially randomly deter
tracks within the list of audio tracks 508 can also include a
corresponding one of the status indicators 511. In this
example, the status indicator 511 is being display adjacent to
only the audio tracks 9, 10 and 11 of the list of audio tracks
508. The status indicator 511 in this example indicates that the
corresponding audio track has not yet been copied to the
associated media device. Typically, the media management
application will copy all of the audio tracks within the list of
audio tracks 508 to the media device once the media device
connects to the host computer. However, in the event that
certain ones of the audio tracks within the list of audio tracks
508 are not currently present on the media device, the status
indicator 511 associated with the certain ones of the audio
selection based on user ratings as well as an importance value
from an importance selector (e.g., slider) can be set to in?u
35
mined or can be determined based on the criteria (date added)
or rules.
FIG. 6 is a screen shot of a preference window 602 for a
media management application according to one embodi
ment of the invention. In this embodiment, the media man
40
agement application is able to set preferences that determine
how a media device operates to store data. Namely, in this
example, the media device is known as the iPod® media
player, which is available from Apple Computer, Inc. Here,
45
tracks would be displayed.
The track listing area 504 also presents certain information
pertaining to each of the audio tracks. As shown in FIG. 5, the
the preference window 602 includes a selector 604 that
enables the user to determine whether the media device is
permitted to be used as a portable disk drive for data storage.
518. Additionally, the track listing area 504 also includes “go
Here, the data storage when being used as a portable storage
disk would be distinct from storage of media content, such as
media content of a media device playlist.
The preference window 602 also includes a graphical user
interface control 606 that assists the user in specifying how
to” links 520 and 522 for each of the audio tracks. Each of the
much of the available storage capacity of the media device
certain information can pertain to song name 514, duration of
time of the audio track 514, artist name 516, and album name
50
“go to” links 520 direct the user to an album page for an album
should be used for data as well as how much of the storage
including the associated audio track (song). Each of the “go
capacity should be used for media items, such as audio tracks
to” links 522 directs the user to an artist page associated with
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the artist identi?ed by the artist name 516. As shown in FIG.
5, the “go to” links can be implemented as small buttons with
arrow symbols therein.
or songs. In one embodiment, the graphical user interface
control 606 is a slider such as shown in FIG. 6. The slider
shown in FIG. 6 can be manipulated by the user to trade-off
542 that can be selected by a user. Additionally, the ?ll control
the number of media items (e.g., 27 songs) that can be stored
to the media device with the amount of other data (e. g., 151
MB) that can be stored. As a slider reference 608 is manipu
lated by the user along a slider bar 610, the number of songs
and the amount of data change. For example, if the user were
region 540 provides graphical user interface control items
to move the slider reference 608 to the left as shown in FIG.
Furthermore, as discussed below, the media management
application window 500 further includes a ?ll control region
540. The ?ll control region 540 includes an Auto?ll button
that can be selected or manipulated by the user to affect the
nature of an auto?ll operation once the Auto?ll button 542 is
pressed. Namely, the ?ll control region 540 includes a source
selector 544 so that a source of media from which the auto?ll
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6, the number of songs depicted would increase to a value
greater than 27, while the amount of other data would
decrease below 151 MB. For ease of computation, in one
embodiment, each song can be considered 1 MB or some
US 7,958,441 B2
10
other predetermined representative size. Stated differently,
obtained 814. In one embodiment, the selection criteria pref
erences are preferences, typically set by the user, that specify
criteria to be utilized in the selection of the additional media
items to ?ll the playlist. Still further, a capacity limit for the
playlist can be obtained 816. As noted above, the capacity
the slider shown in FIG. 6 can be manipulated by the user to
trade-off the amount of media item storage available on the
media device with the amount of non-media item storage
available on the media device.
FIG. 7 if a ?ow diagram of a group ?ll process 700 accord
ing to one embodiment of the invention. The group ?ll pro
limit can be in?uenced by user settings and/ or media device
capacities.
ces sed 700 is, for example, performed by a ho st computer that
operates a media management application that is able to allow
Next, an amount of free capacity for the playlist is deter
mined 818. In one embodiment, the free capacity for the
playlist represents in the difference between the current
users to group media items.
The group ?ll process 700 initially displays 702 a group of
capacity for the playlist and the capacity limit for the playlist.
media items. Next, a decision 704 determines whether a ?ll
Once the amount of free capacity has been determined 818,
additional audio tracks to ?ll the free capacity of the playlist
request has been received. When the decision 704 determines
that a ?ll request has not been received, then other processing
706 can be optionally performed. In any case, the group ?ll
are determined 820 based on the source selection and the
selection criteria preferences. Then, the additional audio
process 700 returns to repeat the decision 704 to await a ?ll
tracks that have been determined 820 are added 822 to the
request.
playlist. Finally, the playlist can be re-displayed 824. Once
re-displayed, the playlist is illustrated with a full complement
Once the decision 704 determines that a ?ll request has
been received, a capacity limit for the group is obtained 708.
The capacity limit for the group can be stored on the host
computer in one embodiment of the invention. In another
embodiment, the capacity limit can be determined at the host
of audio tracks.
20
playlist ?ll process 800 can be repeated, if desired, so as to
obtain different selections of audio tracks within the playlist,
provided the source selection has an adequate quantity of
computer. In still another embodiment, the capacity limit for
the group can be determined based on information provided
by a media device coupled to the host computer. In any event,
after the capacity limit for the group has been obtained 708,
the group ?ll process 700 operates to automatically ?ll 710
the group to the capacity limit with additional media items. At
this point, the group of media items is deemed full of media
items. It should be understood that “?lling” the group of
media items or consuming the capacity limit does not require
that there be no remaining free capacity. For example, in one
implementation, the automatic ?ll 710 can ?ll the group with
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In another embodiment, the replacement (i.e., deletion
30
computer can manually delete one or more of the initial audio
35
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media player 904. More particularly, the management mod
ule 906 manages those media items stored in a media store
908 associated with the host computer 902. The management
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optionally be performed. Following the other processing 806,
if any, the playlist ?ll process 800 returns to repeat the deci
55
particular media items. In addition, the media information
can pertain to quality characteristics of the media items.
Examples of quality characteristics of media items can
include one or more of: bit rate, sample rate, equalizer setting,
60
the initial audio tracks are not to be replaced, then the block
810 is bypassed.
Following the block 810, or its being bypassed, a source
playlist. In addition, selection criteria preferences can be
audio or audiovisual media, the media information can
include one or more of: title, album, track, artist, composer
and genre. These types of media information are speci?c to
volume adjustment, start/ stop and total time.
Still further, the host computer 902 includes a play module
playlist. Alternatively, when the decision 808 determines that
selection is obtained 812. The source selection represents a
source for additional media items that can be added to the
module 906 also interacts with a media database 910 to store
media information associated with the media items stored in
the media store 908.
The media information pertains to characteristics or
attributes of the media items. For example, in the case of
initial audio tracks. Next, a decision 804 determines whether
Once the decision 804 determines that a ?ll request has
been received, a decision 808 determines whether the initial
audio tracks of the playlist are to be replaced. When the
decision 808 determines that the initial audio tracks are to be
replaced, the initial audio tracks are deleted 810 from the
provides for centralized management of media items (and/or
playlists) not only on the host computer 902 but also on the
list ?ll process 800 initially displays 802 a playlist having
sion 804 and subsequent blocks.
FIG. 9 is a block diagram of a media management system
900 according to one embodiment of the invention. The
media management system 900 includes a host computer 902
and a media player 904. The host computer 902 is typically a
personal computer. The host computer, among other conven
tional components, includes a management module 906
which is a software module. The management module 906
group, the group ?ll process 700 can also return to repeat the
a ?ll request has been received. Here, the ?ll request is typi
cally from a user of a host computer that operates the playlist
?ll process 800. When the decision 804 determines that a ?ll
request has not yet been received, other processing 806 can
810) of initial tracks can be limited to those of the initial audio
tracks that have been played since last updated with a host
computer. In still another embodiment, the user of the host
tracks from the playlist.
played 712. Following the re-display 712 of the group, the
group ?ll process 700 is complete. Although the group ?ll
process 700 could end following the re-display 712 of the
decision 704 and subsequent operations so that the group ?ll
process can again performed (with or without any intermedi
ate other processing).
One example of a group media items is a playlist. The
media items within the playlist are, for example, audio tracks.
FIGS. 8A and 8B are ?ow diagrams of a playlist ?ll process
800 according to one embodiment of the invention. The play
audio tracks to be chosen from and provided at least some of
the initial audio tracks are being replaced.
as many complete media items as it can hold. In any case,
following the automatic ?ll 710, the group can be re-dis
Following the block 824, the playlist ?ll process 800 is
complete and ends. However, it should be realized that the
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912. The play module 912 is a software module that can be
utilized to play certain media items stored in the media store
908. The play module 912 can also display (on a display
screen) or otherwise utilize media information from the
media database 910. Typically, the media information of
interest corresponds to the media items to be played by the
play module 912.
The host computer 902 also includes a communication
module 914 that couples to a corresponding communication
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