Image scaling arrangement
USOO7881564B2
(12) United States Patent
Marriott et al.
(54)
IMAGE SCALING ARRANGEMENT
(58)
Jesse Boettcher, San Jose, CA (US);
Miller, Mountain View, CA (US);
Jeffrey L. Robbin, Los Altos, CA (US)
Field of Classi?cation Search ............... .. 382/305,
See application ?le for complete search history.
Thomas Dowdy, Sunnyvale, CA (US);
David Heller, San Jose, CA (US); Jeff
*Feb. 1, 2011
382/312; 707/1,10,101,104.1; 709/213,
709/219, 227, 231; 711/133; 717/109; 713/300;
715/500.1; 370/310; 345/762; 700/1
(75) Inventors: Greg Marriott, Honolulu, HI (US);
(56)
References Cited
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4,090,216 A
(73) Assignee: Apple Inc., Cupertino, CA (US)
Notice:
US 7,881,564 B2
(10) Patent N0.:
(45) Date of Patent:
5/1978 Constable
(Continued)
Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
patent is extended or adjusted under 35
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
4334773 A1
DE
U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
4/1994
(Continued)
This patent is subject to a terminal dis
claimer.
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Chinese Of?ce Action dated Oct. 16, 2009 from Chinese Patent
(21) Appl. No.: 12/577,677
(22)
Filed:
Application No. 2005800365813.
(Continued)
Oct. 12, 2009
(65)
Primary ExamineriKanji Patel
Prior Publication Data
US 2010/0054715 A1
(74) Attorney, Agent, or FirmiBeyer Law Group LLP
Mar. 4, 2010
(57)
Related US. Application Data
(60)
Continuation of application No. 12/145,362, ?led on
Jun. 24, 2008, now Pat. No. 7,623,740, which is a
division of application No. 10/ 973,657, ?led on Oct.
25, 2004, now Pat. No. 7,433,546.
(51)
Int. Cl.
G06K 9/54
G06F 17/00
(52)
ABSTRACT
Methods and system for transferring images between devices
are disclosed. For example, differently scaled images by a
host device may automatically and/or selectively be trans
ferred to a media player for display. In turn, appropriately
scaled images may be transferred automatically and/ or selec
tively to another display device for example a TV, camera or
printer. The selectivity may occur either at the host level or at
the player level.
(2006.01)
(2006.01)
US. Cl. .................................. ..
382/305; 707/104.1
28 Claims, 9 Drawing Sheets
500
502
HOST COMPUTER
514%
COMM.
504
MANAGEMENT
MODULE
COMM. N516
MODULE
g A
PLAY
MODULE
v
PLAY
MODULE
§ 2524
512 1
MEDIA
DATABASE
MEDIA
DATABASE
2510
MEDIA
STORE
508
MEDIA
STORE
MEDIA PLAYER
US 7,881,564 B2
Page 2
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Spiller, Karen. “Low/decibel earbuds keep noise at a reasonable
level”, The Telegraph Online, dated Aug. 13, 2006, http://www.
nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?Date:20060813&Cate..
Downloaded Aug. 16, 2006.
Steinberg, “Sonicblue Rio Car,” Product Review, Dec. 12, 2000,
http://electronics.cnet.com/electronic s/0/6342420/ 1 304/40983 89.
html.
Travis Butler, “Archos Jukebox 6000 Challenges Nomad Jukebox,”
Aug. 13, 2001, http://db.tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tbart:06521.
No. PCT/US2005/046797.
Travis Butler, “Portable MP3: The Nomad Jukebox,” Jan. 8, 2001,
International Search Report in corresponding European Application
http://db.tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tbart:06261.
No. 062562152 dated Feb. 20, 2007.
U.S. Appl. No. 11/621,541, “Personalized Podcasting Podmapping”,
?led Jan. 9, 2007 (Pub. No. 2008/046948).
International Search Report in Patent Application No. PCT/US2006/
048738 dated Jan. 29, 2008.
International Search Report in Patent Application No. PCT/US2007/
077020 dated Jan. 28, 2008.
International Search Report in Patent Application No. PCT/US2007/
076889 dated Jan. 28,2008.
Invitation to Pay Additional Fees and Partial Search Report for cor
responding PCT Application No. PCT/U S2005/ 046797 dated Jul. 3,
2006.
iTunes 2, Playlist Related Help Screens, iTunes v2.0, Apple Com
puter, Inc., Oct. 23, 2001.
iTunes, Playlist Related Help Screens, iTunes v1.0, Apple Computer,
Inc., Jan. 2001.
iTunes, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; downloaded on Oct. 5,
2005, pp. 1/6.
Waterproof Music Player with FM Radio and Pedometer User
Manual, Oregon Scienti?c, 2005.
Written Opinion dated Dec. 5, 2007 in PCT Application No. PCT/
US2007/004810.
Written Opinion in Patent Application No. PCT/US2006/048738
dated Jan. 29, 2008.
Written Opinion in Patent Application No. PCT/US2007/076889
dated Jan. 28, 2008.
Written Opinion in Patent Application No. PCT/US2007/077020
dated Jan. 28, 2008.
Written Opinion of the International Searching Authority dated Nov.
24, 2006 in PCT Application No. PCT/US2005/046797.
* cited by examiner
US. Patent
Feb. 1, 2011
US 7,881,564 B2
Sheet 1 0f 9
100 N
102
RECEIVE IMAGE DOWNLOAD
REQUEST AT HOST DEVICE
I
PRODUCE IMAGE COLLECTION FOR
EACH REQUESTED IMAGE AT A
HOST DEVICE
I
SEND IMAGE COLLECTION FOR
EACH REQUESTED IMAGE TO
104
106
MEDIA DEVICE
FIG. 1
202
STORE IMAGE DATA
I
204
RECEIVE DISPLAY COMMAND
I
206
RETRIEVE DESIGNATED IMAGES
I
OUTPUT ONE OR MORE OF
RETRIEVED IMAGES
FIG. 2
208
US. Patent
Feb. 1, 2011
Sheet 2 019
US 7,881,564 B2
300 N
302
RECEIVE DOWNLOAD REQUEST
I
304
CREATE DATABASE ENTRY FOR
EACH IMAGE TO BE DOWNLOADED
I
306
COPY DATABASE ENTRY
I
CREATE IMAGE COLECTION
I
COPY IMAGE COLLECTION
I
UPDATE DATABASE ENTRY
FIG. 3
308
US. Patent
Feb. 1, 2011
Sheet 4 019
US 7,881,564 B2
400 N
UPLOAD IMAGES TO PC
402
\/
L
STORE IMAGES ON PC
404
\,/
L
CONNECT MEDIA DEVICE TO PC
406
\J
PRESENT IMAGES AND/OR IMAGE
IDENTIFIERS ON PC
408
L
410
GENERATE DOWNLOAD COMMAND \J
L
412
DETERMINE REQUIRED FORMATS \J
¢
414
CREATE NEW VERSIONS OF ORIGINAL IMAGE
\J
COPY AND STORE ORIGINAL IMAGE AND NEW
@416
VERSIONS OF IMAGE ON MEDIA DEVICE
L
DISCONNECT MEDIA DEVICE FROM PC
418
q
¢
GENERATE DISPLAY COMMAND ON MEDIA DEVICE
420
\/
RETRIEVE ONE OR MORE IMAGES FROM STORAGE @422
BASED ON DISPLAY COMMAND
¢
PRESENT ONE OR MORE RETRIEVED IMAGES
FIG. 6
424
\J
US. Patent
Feb. 1, 2011
US 7,881,564 B2
Sheet 5 0f 9
500
502
2
HOST COMPUTER
F
COMM.
MODULE
MANAGEMENT
MODULE
2
COMM.
MODULE
A
506
PLAY
PLAY
MODULE
MODULE
2 A
v
+ Z524
512
MEDM
MEDM
DATABASE
DATABASE
2510
522
MEDM
STORE
V
MEDM
STORE
508
MEDVXPLAYER
FIG. 7
520
US. Patent
Feb. 1, 2011
Sheet 6 019
US 7,881,564 B2
600
f
6105
614
TV
USER INPUT
DEV|CE
SPEAKER
@
610A
DISPLAY
CODEC
’\J 612
I__
Q
_I
PROCESSOR
618
NETWORK / BUS
6121
INTERFACE
I
I
E
CACHE
616
u
FILE
SYSTEM
(STORAGE DISK)
RAM
ROM
622
620
FIG. 8
(
US. Patent
Feb. 1, 2011
700 \
Sheet 7 0f 9
US 7,881,564 B2
720
722 A&B
FIG. 9
US. Patent
Feb. 1, 2011
Sheet 9 019
US 7,881,564 B2
850
854
PhotoELibr—aliyj*
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FIG. 11F
US 7,881,564 B2
1
2
IMAGE SCALING ARRANGEMENT
In addition to photo management programs, the personal
computer may also include music management programs that
help transfer music from the personal computer to a music
player such as an MP3 music player. Like the photo manage
ment program their music, the music management program
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED
APPLICATIONS
This application is a continuation of and claims priority
under 35 U.S.C. §120 to US. patent application Ser. No.
12/145,362, ?led Jun. 24, 2008, entitled “IMAGE SCALING
ARRANGEMENT”, which is a divisional of and claims pri
ority under 35 U.S.C. §120 to US. application Ser. No.
10/973,657, ?led Oct. 25, 2004, now US. Pat. No. 7,433,546,
issued Oct. 7, 2008, entitled “IMAGE SCALING
purchase music over the Internet (World Wide Web), run a
visualizer to display the music in a visual form, and encode or
transcode music into different audio formats such as MP3,
ARRANGEMENT”, all of which are hereby incorporated by
AIFF, WAV, AAC, and ALE. Typically, music players only
reference herein for all purposes.
understand a single music format. Therefore, the music man
agement program typically can to transcode the music stored
in the personal computer from one music format to the desired
music format of a music player.
In some cases, both the photo and music programs are
linked so that the images and music stored therein can be
may also allow a user to sort, modify, store and catalog their
music. More particularly, the music program may give the
user the ability to organize their music into playlists, edit ?le
information, record music, download ?les to a music player,
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to portable media devices and
more particularly to data transfer with portable media
devices.
2. Description of the Related Art
The hand-held consumer electronics market is exploding,
and an increasing number of these products including for
example PDAs, music players, cellular phones, cameras, and
20
gram may allow a user to produce slide shows that show
images to music. By way of example, the photo management
program may correspond to iPhoto® and the music manage
ment program may correspond to iTunes®, both of which are
25
video games have increased their functionality to distance
design challenges will be encountered.
Many hand-held computing devices work hand in hand
with a personal computer. The personal computer typically
manufactured by and available from Apple Inc. of Cupertino,
Calif.
themselves from their competitors. By way of example, cel
lular phones have added PDA and camera functionality,
PDAs have added cellular phone and music player function
ality, music players have added PDA and video game func
tionality, etc. In the future, it is foreseeable that the function
ality of all these devices will continue to merge into a single
device. As these products evolve, it is believed that many
played together. For example, the photo management pro
Synchronization operations have been conventionally per
formed between portable devices, such as Personal Digital
Assistants (PDAs) and host computers, to synchronize elec
30
tronic ?les or other resources. For example, these ?les or
other resources can pertain to text ?les, data ?les, calendar
appointments, emails, to-do lists, electronic rolodexes, etc.
35
serves as a base to the portable hand-held computer device.
In the case of media players, such as MP3 players, ?les are
typically moved between a host computer and a media player
through use of a drag and drop operation, like is convention
ally done with respect to copying of a data ?le from a Win
dows desktop to a ?oppy disk. Hence, the user of the media
For example, because they are hand-held, they are typically a
player can manually initiates synchronization for individual
portable extension of the personal computer. Like personal
computers, these highly portable devices typically include a
media items. As a consequence, synchronization tends to be
40
processor that operates to execute computer code and produce
and use data in conjunction with an operating system. Unlike
personal computers, however, these devices typically use less
complex operating systems as well as smaller and less expen
sive processors that are slower than the processors used in
tedious and time consuming for users. More recently, media
players have been able to be synchronized with a host com
puter when a bus connection over a cable is made. Here, the
synchronization can be automatically initiated when the cable
is connected between the ho st computer and the media player.
45
The iPod® offered by Apple Inc. of Cupertino, Calif. has the
personal computers. While this may be appropriate when the
devices operate normally, dif?culties arise when these hand
capability to provide such synchronization over a cable.
Thus, there is a continuing need for improved features for
held computing devices are called upon to perform process
intensive tasks. The dif?culties include slow responsiveness
and high power consumption. As a result, the user may be left
their hosts.
connecting and transferring data between media devices and
50
with a negative user experience, i.e., users may not like a
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
product that is slow and whose battery life is short.
Personal computers typically include software that helps
manage the handheld computing devices. The personal com
puter may include for example a photo management program
that helps transfer photos from the camera to the personal
computer. The photo management program may also allow a
table media device. The method includes storing image data.
The image data includes a plurality of image collections.
Each image collection contains a plurality of differently for
matted images based on the same original image. The image
The invention relates to an operational method for a por
55
user to sort, store and catalog their images as well as to
collections are separately generated on a device other than the
provide touch-up capabilities such as red eye reduction, black
and white conversion, image cropping and rotation. In some
cases, the cameras modify the original image by embedding
or storing thumbnail images inside the original image. The
portable media device. In some cases, the original image is
60
photo management program uses the embedded thumbnail
images when importing the original image. For example, as
each photo is being imported, the photo management pro
gram may show the thumbnail image thereby relaying to the
user that the image is being imported.
stored along with the differently formatted images. The
method also includes receiving a display command. The dis
play command designates one or more images of the image
data to be displayed. The method further includes retrieving at
least the designated images. The method additionally
65
includes outputting one or more of the retrieved images.
The invention relates, in another embodiment, to a com
puter readable medium including at least computer program
US 7,881,564 B2
3
4
code for managing images. The computer readable medium
includes capabilities for storing a plurality of image collec
portable media devices and their hosts. Media devices with
tions where each image collection includes a plurality of
different versions of the original image and in some instances
the original image as well. The computer readable medium
also includes capabilities for retrieving one or more images
from storage when a display command is generated and pre
formats to support the various display modes of the media
device. For example, media devices typically require a full
senting one or more of the retrieved images.
One method for creating these various images is to down
load the original image to the portable media device and then
to transcode the original image into the required formats on
the portable media device when they need to be displayed.
image functionality typically require several different image
screen image that ?lls the entire display screen of the media
device as well as various thumbnail images, which may help
a user browse through a group of images.
The invention relates, in another embodiment to a portable
electronic device that includes a memory unit for storing
image data, the image data including a plurality of image
collections, each image collection containing a plurality of
This is sometimes referred to as processing data on-the-?y.
While this may work, it is generally believed that this meth
odology has several drawbacks that make it less appealing to
the user. For example, because formatting images is a process
intensive task (especially on portable media devices that lack
differently formatted images based on an original image, the
image collections being separately generated on a device
other than the portable media device, an interface for receiv
ing a display command, the display command designating
one or more images of the image data to be displayed, and a
the horsepower of their larger hosts), portable media devices
processor for retrieving at least the designated images and
tend to operate slowly and consume more power. Hence,
formatting images on portable media devices tend to result in
outputting one or more of the retrieved images.
The invention relates, in another embodiment, to a down
20
an unsatisfactory user experience. For one, the user has to
load embodied as a carrier wave in a media communication
wait while the image is being formatted. For another, the
system that facilitates communications between a host device
battery of the portable media device tends to run out more
and a portable media device. The download includes image
regularly.
data including a plurality of image collections. Each image
collection includes a plurality of different versions of an
25
original image, and in some cases the original image as well.
identi?ed for download various preformatted images derived
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
from the original image (and possibly the original images) are
sent to the portable media device. The processing is per
30
include scaling, cropping, rotation, color correction and the
like. Once received by the portable media device, the prefor
matted images and possibly the original image are stored for
35
40
FIG. 11F is a diagram of a pictorial of a TV screen image
During media device use, a user may request that an image
45
be displayed. Instead of processing the original image as in
the method described above, the device simply obtains the
appropriate preformatted image from storage and presents it
to the user on a display. The preformatted images may include
a full screen image and several different thumbnail sized
images. The full screen image typically depends on the size of
50
the display contained in the portable media device, i.e., the
55
full screen image generally ?lls the entire screen. The differ
ent sized thumbnail images, which come in various sizes, may
be used in a variety of ways including separately or together.
For example, a plurality of smaller thumbnails may be
grouped together so that a user can quickly browse through a
large number of images. The preformatted images may also
follow formats associated with standards or other devices to
60
provided by a television coupled to the media player, in accor
which the portable media device can be linked For example,
at least one the preformatted images may be based on televi
sion formats so that the portable media device can present
images on televisions (TVs). The TV formats may, for
example, include NTSC, PAL, HDTV, and the like. The for
dance with one embodiment of the present invention.
mats may also be based on formats associated with printers,
cameras or similar image using devices.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
65
The present invention relates to portable media devices
with image functionality and also to image transfer between
matted images relieve the media device of much of the work
required to display them. As a result, the device operates
faster and without repeated needs for recharging. In one
embodiment, at least some of the preformatted images are
thumbnail images.
shots of a media player with photo viewing capabilities, in
accordance with several embodiments of the present inven
tion.
later use. By storing these images, the media device is
relieved from having to perform any of the labor intensive
tasks associated with image formatting. That is, the prefor
FIG. 9 is perspective view of a handheld computing device,
in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 10 is a media device operational method, in accor
dance with one embodiment of the present invention.
FIGS. 11A-11E are diagrams of several exemplary screen
formed on the host, which can handle these tasks more easily
than the portable media player. The tasks may, for example,
structural elements, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a method of transferring image data between a
host device and a portable media device, in accordance with
one embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an operational method for a portable media
device, in accordance with one embodiment of the present
invention.
FIG. 3 is a method of transferring image data between a
host device and a portable media device, in accordance with
one embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 4 is an exemplary diagram of a photo database ?le, in
accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.
FIGS. 5A-5F are diagrams of image set ?les, in accordance
with several embodiments of the present invention.
FIG. 6 is media method, in accordance with one embodi
ment of the present invention.
FIG. 7 is a block diagram of a media management system,
in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 8 is a block diagram of a media player, in accordance
with one embodiment of the present invention.
In order to overcome these drawbacks, the present inven
tion provides a method where images are preformatted on the
host before or during the download thereto. When an image is
In some cases, the media device when connected to a host
expresses or informs the host as to which image formats are
desired when an image is downloaded to the media device.
US 7,881,564 B2
5
6
The media device may, for example, send various image
pro?les corresponding to the different formats to the host
device. The image pro?le generally contains the attributes or
media management program uses this ID to identify thumb
nail locations in both the host and media devices.
keys for each image format. By way of example, the image
pro?les may describe size, orientation, pixel format, color
depth, etc. for each image format. This particular methodol
time. RenderHeight is the height of the image in pixels at
render time. RenderWidth and RenderHeight generally refers
ogy helps with compatibility issues that typically come up
when different media devices having different versions of
software and hardware are used, i.e., the version of the soft
DisplayWidth is the width of the image in pixels at display
time. DisplayHeight is the height of the image in pixels at
display time. It should be noted that DisplayHeight and Dis
ware/hardware is made irrelevant since the media device
expresses what information it wants from the host device.
Embodiments of the invention are discussed below with
reference to FIGS. 1-11F. However, those skilled in the art
playWidth can differ from RenderHeight and RenderWidth in
RenderWidth is the width of the image in pixels at render
to actual physical size.
those cases like NTSC where the pixels are not square. Dis
playWidth and DisplayHeight generally refer to the true size.
PixelFormat describes information encoded in each pixel
will readily appreciate that the detailed description given
(e.g., color components (RGB), transparency, etc.). Several
herein with respect to these ?gures is for explanatory pur
formats can be used including, for example, the QuickDraw/
poses as the invention extends beyond these limited embodi
QuickTime pixel format.
Sizing describes what happens if the original image is
ments.
FIG. 1 is a method 100 of transferring image data between
a host device and a portable media device, in accordance with
one embodiment of the present invention. The method 100
smaller than the desired thumbnail. By way of example, if 0,
scale the image to the desired height/width. If 1, scale the
20
image to the desired height/width only if the image is larger
may, for example, be performed by media management soft
than RenderWidth or RenderHeight, i.e., don’t scale small
ware. The method includes blocks 102, 104 and 106. In block
102, an image download request is received at the host device.
images. If 2, center-crop the image to the desired height/width
rather than scaling it.
BackColor describes what color the background should be
The image download request designates at least one image
stored on the host device for downloading to the portable
media device. In some cases, only a single image is requested
25
in cases where the images don’t ?ll the entire viewing area.
The background color may be in big-endian ARGB format as
a hexadecimal string.
Rotation described if and how an image should be rotated.
30
rotation values may be 0, 90, 180 and 270.
ScanFormat designates what scan format the image is
stored in. ImageFormat may include progressive format or
interlace format.
35
ment is needed, and if needed what the color adjustment
should be. By way of example, if 0, no color adjustment is
and in other cases a plurality of images are requested. The
request can be made at the host device or the media device
through a user interface. For example, the user may select a
group of images and then select a download button. Alterna
tively, the request can be made by the media device without
user input.
The image rotation is typically in degrees. For example, the
In block 104, an image collection for each requested image
is produced at the host device. Each image collection contains
the new versions or different formats of the original image. In
some cases, the image collection may also contain the origi
nal image. For example, the new versions may include a full
screen image, which corresponds to the screen size on the
media player, various thumbnail images, each of which are
typically smaller versions of the original image, as well as
ColorAdjustment describes whether or not a color adjust
applied. If 1, NTSC color adjustment is applied. If 2, PAL
color adjustment is applied.
GammaAdjustment describes whether a gamma correction
40
various other images including for example TV images. It
needs to be applied to the image (e.g., brightness). If not
supplied, no correction is done.
should be noted that the ?le sizes of the new versions are
In block 106, the image collection for each requested
typically much smaller than the ?le size of the original image.
They therefore take up less space in storage than would the
image is sent to the portable media device as part of the
corresponding original image.
45
Each new version has a different image pro?le based on the
display needs of the portable media device. The image pro
?les for particular media devices may be stored in the host
device or the image pro?les may be given to the host device by
the media device. In the ?rst case, the media device may
provide the host device with an Identi?er (ID), which can be
used by the host to determine the image pro?les for the
50
images may be stored in a fourth ?le, the TV images may be
the host may refer to a previously stored table or list that
55
It should be noted that in some cases, the original image
60
held media devices that typically have limited storage capac
ity. As should be appreciated, the ?le size of the original
image is typically much larger than the thumbnail images and
therefore they can take up more space in memory. The deci
sion of whether to include the original image with the rest of
the images may be made by the user. For example, the user
Format, ColorAdjustment, GammaAdjustment, and the like.
FormatID refers to an identi?cation number that de?nes
stored in a ?fth ?le and so on.
may not be sent to or stored on the hand held media device.
This may be done to save valuable storage space on the hand
matID, RenderWidth, RenderHeight, DisplayWidth, Dis
playHeight, PixelFormat, Sizing, BackColor, Rotation, Scan
the image pro?le. Changing any of the attributes within the
image pro?le will change the identi?cation number. The
device for later use. The image collection may be stored in the
memory of the portable media device. In order to ef?ciently
store the images in memory, each of the different image sets
may be stored in their own ?le. That is, images having the
same image pro?le are grouped in the same ?le. For example,
the original images may be stored in a ?rst ?le, the full screen
images may be stored in a second ?le, a ?rst set of thumbnail
images may be stored in a third ?le, a second set of thumbnail
requesting media device. For example, after obtaining the ID
includes all the capabilities of the identi?ed media device. In
the later case, the media device may automatically upload this
information as part of synchronization or handshaking pro
cedure with the host device.
The image pro?le generally includes a list of keys or
attributes which de?ne the qualities or characteristics of each
image. The keys or attributes may include for example For
downloading process. Once received by the portable media
device, the image collection is stored in the portable media
65
may be presented with a choice as whether they desire or do
not desire to download or store the original image. This deci
sion may be based on how the user uses the media device. For
US 7,881,564 B2
7
8
some, the media device may be used to transfer images from
where a down load request is received. The download request
one host to another. In cases such as these, the user typically
designates one or more images to be downloaded from the
wants to include the original image. The decision may be set
host device to the portable media device. The download
request is typically implemented via a user selection, i.e., a
for all downloads or it may be made at each down load
request. Similarly, the same decision can be made for all the
different formats if so desired (as some of these formats may
user selects one or more images and initiates a downloading
not be needed).
Once downloaded and during operation of the media
where a database entry is created for each image to be down
procedure.
Following block 302, the method proceeds to block 304
loaded. The database entry provides information about the
images to be downloaded. The information may for example
be metadata. Following block 304, the method proceeds to
device, a display request may be made on the media device.
Thereafter, one or more images are retrieved from memory
based on the display request. The display request indicates the
images to be shown on the media player and/or images that
block 306 where the database entry is written or copied on the
media device. The database entry is typically copied to an
image database on the media device. If an image database
does not exist, one will typically be created. If one does exist,
the database entry will be copied thereto.
Also following block 304, the method proceeds to block
are to be sent to another device connected to the media device.
Once retrieved, the images can be displayed. The manner in
which the images are displayed are typically determined by
the mode of the media device. The modes can include a
browse mode, a slide show mode, a full screen mode, etc. In
308 where an image collection is created on the host. This
browse mode, a plurality of tiny thumbnail images are dis
played in rows and columns. In a slide show mode, a medium
thumbnail image may be displayed in the center and smaller
thumbnail images may be displayed on either side of the
medium thumbnail image. The small image to the left of the
medium image may represent a previously shown image, the
20
image into an image collection. The image pro?les de?ne the
features of the new images. By way of example, the image
pro?les may include keys for making thumbnails and other
medium image may represent the current image being shown,
and the small image to the left of the medium image may
represent the next image in the slide show sequence. If a TV
is connected to the media device, the media device may
output the TV version of the current image being shown to the
TV. In a full screen mode, the full screen image is displayed.
FIG. 2 is an operational method for a portable media device
200, in accordance with one embodiment of the present
invention. The method includes blocks 202, 204, 206 and 208.
images such as those which can be used on TV, printers, and
25
stored locally on the host device. This may be part of the
synchronization procedure that occurs between the host
device and media device when they are connected together.
30
contain a plurality of differently formatted images based on
The image collections are not formed on the portable media
device. They are separately generated on a device other than
40
and providing pointers to the location where the actual image
is stored (e.g., image ?les).
45
user making a selection on the user interface of the media
It should be noted that the all or some of the steps men
tioned above can occur separately as distinct events or they
50 can occur simultaneously. In the later case, at least some of
the steps can be interleaved. In interleaving, while some
images are being copied, other images are being created.
Interleaving is generally preferred in order to reduce the
example, although the display command may only designate
a single image, other images associated or linked to that
image may be additionally retrieved.
In block 208, the one or more retrieved images are output
ted. The retrieved images may be outputted to a display. The
display may be located on the portable media device or it may
be located external to the portable media device. In either
case, upon receiving the retrieved images, the retrieved
images are displayed. IN some cases, all of the images are
displayed, and in other case only a portion of the images are
displayed. The later case may be implemented when the size
and number of images is greater than the screen size.
FIG. 3 is a method 300 of transferring image data between
a host device and a portable media device, in accordance with
one embodiment of the present invention. The method may
It should be noted that in most cases the host device stores
a copy of the database entry and image collections in parallel
with the media device.
be displayed. The display command may be generated via a
In block 206, at least the designated images are retrieved.
In some cases, only the designated images are retrieved. In
other case, more than the designated images are retrieved. For
Following block 310, the method proceeds to block 312
where the database entry is updated. That is, the database
entry is ?lled with the appropriate image data. The step of
updating typically includes grouping together all the images
of a particular image collection (original, thumbnails, TV),
may be downloaded from another portable media device that
has already downloaded them from a host.
In block 204, a display command is received. The display
player.
example, all of the originals are stored in an original image
?le, all of a ?rst thumbnails are stored in a ?rst thumbnail
image ?le, and so on.
example be generated on a ho st device that downloads them to
command designates one or more images of the image data to
Following block 308, the method proceeds to block 310
where each image in the image collection is written or copied
to the media device. That is, each new version of the original
image and in some cases the original image are copied to the
media device. In one embodiment, each particular type of
image is stored in a separate ?le on the media device. For
35
the portable media device. The image collections may for
the portable media device for storage. By way of example, the
image collections may be provided by the method described
in FIG. 1. Alternatively or additionally, the image collections
other media devices (e.g., camera). The image pro?les may be
supplied to the host device by the media device, and thereafter
In block 202, image data is stored. The image data includes at
least a plurality of image collections. The image collections
an original image and may also include the original image.
may include transcoding new versions of the selected image
based on a plurality of image pro?les, and grouping the new
versions of the original image and in some cases the original
55
amount of time needed for downloading.
The image data stored in the media device will now be
described. As mentioned above the image data is spread
among multiple ?les. The main image database ?le holds
image metadata, photo album lists, and “pointers” to the
original image as well as all available thumbnails. The images
60
themselves are stored either as individual ?les (originals) or
in image set ?les, which contain one or more thumbnails of
the same type. This is typically done to save storage space. It
should be noted, however, that this is not a limitation and that
the images may be stored as an image collection rather than in
separate ?les.
for example be performed by a media management program
In one embodiment, the photo database ?le contains a
header followed by several “sections.” The number of sec
operating on the host device. The method begins at block 302
tions can be widely varied although it is expected that the
65
US 7,881,564 B2
10
photo database will contain three sections: image list section,
album list section and the image record ID table. The image
list section contains a list of all images stored on the media
device. Each image entry contains all of the metadata for an
image as well as a list of locations for all available images
list section header 354 are image entries 360, and pointers
362, which provide image locations for the various images in
the image entry including for example the original image 0
5
associated therewith including the original, thumbnails and
TV. Each image has a unique persistent record ID which is
used in both the album and record ID table sections. The
album list section contains a list of the albums, each of which
ID descriptions 370.
FIGS. 5A-5E are diagrams of exemplary image set ?les
is simply an ordered list of image record IDs. The image
record ID table is a table containing record IDs and ?le offsets
for all images, sorted in ascending record ID order. This table
allows the media device to quickly load only those image
records for a given album, rather than requiring loading the
whole image record list.
The images themselves are stored in image set ?les. Each
15
image set ?le contains a ?le header, followed by one or more
images, each with a header. This allows scavenging of the
data should the need arise. The image records in the photo
database are by ?le speci?cation (path) and ?le offset, so it is
not necessary to parse an image set ?le to get to a particular
20
a personal computer and a media device. The method begins
at block 402 where one or more images are uploaded into a
personal computer. The images may be uploaded from a
25
camera, memory device, Internet or the like. After block 402,
the method proceeds to block 404 where the images are stored
in the personal computer. Blocks 402 and 404 may be accom
plished with a media management program. In Block 406, a
30
be accomplished through a wired or wireless connection. The
connection may include a handshaking and/or synching pro
cedure.
media player is connected to the personal computer. This may
Image 1 Original Image Location
Image 1 Thumbnail 1 Image location
<additional image locations>
Image 2 Metadata
Image 2 Original Image Location
In some cases, the media management program is auto
matically opened when the two devices are connected. The
35
Image 2 Thumbnail 1 Image location
<additional image locations>
<additional images>
Album List Section Header
Album 1 Metadata
Album 1 Image Record ID 1
Album 1 Image Record ID 2
40
<additional album images>
<additional album images>
particular media management program opened may depend
on the type of media device. If the media device is a music
player, the media management program may be a music pro
gram. If the media device is a photo player, the media man
agement program may be an image program. If the media
device is a combination music/photo player, the media man
agement program may be music program or a photo program
or a combination of the two. If the different programs are
Album 1 Metadata
Album 1 Image Record ID 1
Album 1 Image Record ID 2
<additional albums>
Record ID List Section Header
Record ID List Header
Record ID 1 Description
Record ID 2 Description
<additional record Ids>
FIG. 6 is media method 400, in accordance with one
embodiment of the present invention. The method may be
performed on a media system including a host device such as
File header
Image List Section Header
Image List header
Image 1 metadata
372, in accordance with one embodiment of the present
invention. FIG. 5A is a diagram of an original image set ?le
372A, FIG. 5B is a diagram of a tiny thumbnail set ?le 372B,
FIG. 5C is a diagram ofa small thumbnail set ?le 372C, FIG.
5D is a diagram of a medium thumbnail set ?le 372D, FIG. SE
is a diagram of a full screen image set ?le 372E, and FIG. SE
is a diagram of a TV screen image set ?le 372E. In each of
these ?gures, the image set ?les 372 include a ?le header 374,
image headers 376 and the actual image data 378.
image. The number of images per ?le and/or the maximum
image ?les size may be widely varied. By way of example, the
maximum size may be 500 Megabytes.
The following is an exemplary layout for the photo data
base stored on the media device:
and a plurality of thumbnails T thereof. Inside the album list
section header 356 are album entries 364 and record IDs 366
for each of the images in the album. Inside the record ID list
section header 358 are Record ID list header 368 and record
operated independently, the music program and the photo
program may be linked so that information can be shared
45
there between. For example, the music program may be able
to access data from the photo program and vice versa.
In block 408, images and/or image identi?ers (e.g., text)
are presented on the personal computer. This too may be
50
accomplished with the media management program. In fact,
the images and image identi?ers may be included in a photo
window associated with a graphical user interface. In block
410, a download command is generated. The download com
mand designates one or more images to be downloaded from
The following is an exemplary layout for an image set ?le
stored on the media device:
the personal computer to the portable media device. The
55
File Header
Image 1 Header
Image 1 Data
Image 2 Header
Image 2 Data
<additional images>
download command may be generated when a user selects
one or more images and hits a download feature located in the
photo window.
In block 412, the image formats required by the portable
60
media device are determined The determination may be made
before the download or it may be made as part of the down
loading process. In some cases, the host device stores a list of
required formats for a variety of media devices. In other cases,
FIG. 4 is an exemplary diagram of a photo database ?le
350, in accordance with one embodiment of the present
invention. The photo database 350 includes a ?le header 352,
an image list section header 354, an album list section header
356 and a record ID list section header 358. Inside the images
the portable media device supplies the personal computer
with required formats and image pro?les, which describe how
65
to format each image. In block 414, new versions of the
original image are created. That is, using the image pro?les,
the personal computer transcodes the original image into
US 7,88l,564 B2
11
12
differently formatted images based on the image pro?le. By
way of example, the transcoding may be performed by a
received over the connection or link 518 from the host com
puter 502. More particularly, the management module 506
multimedia technology such as QuickTime of Apple Inc. of
Cupertino, Calif. QuickTime is a powerful, cross platform,
sends all or certain of tho se media items residing on the media
store 508 over the connection or link 518 to the media store
multimedia technology for manipulating, enhancing, and
storing video, sound, animation, graphics, text, music, and
520 within the media player 504. Additionally, the corre
sponding media information for the media items that is also
delivered to the media player 504 from the host computer 502
the like. In Block 416, the new versions of the original image
and in some cases the original image are copied and stored
command is generated on the media device during transport.
can be stored in a media database 522. In this regard, certain
media information from the media database 510 within the
host computer 502 can be sent to the media database 522
within the media player 504 over the connection or link 518.
Still further, lists identifying certain of the media items can
also be sent by the management module 506 over the connec
In block 422, one or more images are retrieved based on the
tion or link 518 to the media store 520 or the media database
display command. In block 424, at least one of the retrieved
522 within the media player 504.
Furthermore, the media player 504 includes a play module
524 that couples to the media store 520 and the media data
onto the media device.
In block 418, the media device is disconnected from the
personal computer thereby allowing the images to be trans
ported via the portable media device. In block 420, a display
images is presented. The retrieved image can be any of the
stored images including the original and/or the new images.
The retrieved image can be presented on the portable media
base 522. The play module 524 is a software module that can
device as for example though an LCD and/or it can be pre
sented on an external display such as a television.
20
FIG. 7 is a block diagram of a media management system
500, in accordance with one embodiment of the present
invention. The media management system 500 includes a host
computer 502 and a media player 504. The host computer 502
is typically a personal computer. The host computer, among
played by the play module 524.
Hence, in one embodiment, the media player 504 has lim
25
module 506 provides for centralized management of media
items not only on the host computer 502 but also on the media
30
manages those media items stored in a media store 508 asso
ciated with the host computer 502. The management module
506 also interacts with a media database 510 to store media
information associated with the media items stored in the
media store 508.
35
The media items may correspond to audio, images or video
items. The media information, on the other hand, pertains to
characteristics or attributes of the media items. For example,
in the case of audio or audiovisual media, the media informa
tion can include one or more of: title, album, track, artist,
composer and genre. These types of media information are
alterations) to characteristics of a media item were made at
the host computer 502 using the management module 506,
40
batch-like process during synchronization of the media items
on the media player 504 with the media items on the host
45
computer 502.
In another embodiment, the media player 504 has limited
or no capability to manage playlists on the media player 504.
However, the management module 506 within the host com
50
from the media database 510. Typically, the media informa
tion of interest corresponds to the media items to be played by
the play module 512.
The host computer 502 also includes a communication
module 514 that couples to a corresponding communication
then such characteristics can also be carried over to the cor
responding media item on the media player 504. In one imple
mentation, the additions, deletions and/or changes occur in a
volume adjustment, start/ stop and total time, etc.
Still further, the host computer 502 includes a play module
512. The play module 512 is a software module that can be
utilized to play certain media items stored in the media store
508. The play module 412 can also utilize media information
host computer 502 can indirectly manage the media items
residing on the media player 504. For example, to “add” a
media item to the media player 504, the management module
506 serves to identify the media item to be added to the media
player 504 from the media store 508 and then causes the
identi?ed media item to be delivered to the media player 504.
As another example, to “delete” a media item from the media
player 504, the management module 506 serves to identify
the media item to be deleted from the media store 508 and
then causes the identi?ed media item to be deleted from the
media player 504. As still another example, if changes (i.e.,
speci?c to 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,
ited or no capability to manage media items on the media
player 504. However, the management module 506 within the
other conventional components, includes a management
module 506, which is a software module. The management
player 504. More particularly, the management module 506
be utilized to play certain media items stored in the media
store 520. The play module 524 can also utilize media infor
mation from the media database 422. Typically, the media
information of interest corresponds to the media items to be
55
puter 502 through management of the playlists residing on the
host computer can indirectly manage the playlists residing on
the media player 504. In this regard, additions, deletions or
changes to playlists can be performed on the host computer
502 and then by carried over to the media player 404 when
delivered thereto.
As previously noted, synchronization is a form of media
management. The ability to automatically initiate synchroni
module 41 6 within the media player 504 . A connection or link
518 removeably couples the communication modules 514
zation was also previously discussed. Still further, however,
and 416. In one embodiment, the connection or link 518 is a
cable that provides a data bus, such as a FIREWIRETM bus or
the synchronization between devices can be restricted so as to
USB bus, which is well known in the art. In another embodi
prevent automatic synchronization when the host computer
60
ment, the connection or link 518 is a wireless channel or
connection through a wireless network. Hence, depending on
implementation, the communication modules 514 and 516
may communicate in a wired or wireless manner.
The media player 504 also includes a media store 520 that
stores media items within the media player 504. The media
items being stored to the media store 520 are typically
65
and media player do not recognize one another.
According to one embodiment, when a media player is ?rst
connected to a host computer (or even more generally when
matching identi?ers are not present), the user of the media
player is queried as to whether the user desires to af?liate,
assign or lock the media player to the host computer. When
the user of the media player elects to af?liate, assign or lock
the media player with the host computer, then a pseudo
US 7,881,564 B2
13
14
random identi?er is obtained and stored in either the media
database or a ?le within both the host computer and the media
player. In one implementation, the identi?er is an identi?er
associated with (e. g., known or generated by) the host com
puter or its management module and such identi?er is sent to
this, the media data displayed on both displays may be the
same of it may be different. In the later case, for example, the
internal display may include a slide show interface showing
the previous image, the next image and the image currently
being displayed on the external display.
and stored in the media player. In another implementation, the
identi?er is associated with (e. g., known or generated by) the
The media player 600 also includes a network/bus interface
616 that couples to a data link 618. The data link 618 allows
the media player 600 to couple to a host computer. The data
media player and is sent to and stored in a ?le or media
database of the host computer.
link 618 can be provided over a wired connection or a wireless
FIG. 8 is a block diagram of a media player 600, in accor
dance with one embodiment of the present invention. The
media player 600 includes a processor 602 that pertains to a
connection. In the case of a wireless connection, the network/
bus interface 616 can include a wireless transceiver.
In another embodiment, a media player can be used with a
microprocessor or controller for controlling the overall
operation of the media player 600. The media player 600
communication capability (e.g., wireless transceiver) for the
docking station. The docking station can provide wireless
media player, such that the media player can communicate
with a host device using the wireless communication capa
stores media data pertaining to media items in a ?le system
604 and a cache 606. The ?le system 604 is, typically, a
storage disk or a plurality of disks. The ?le system 604 typi
bility when docked at the docking station. The docking sta
cally provides high capacity storage capability for the media
player 600. However, since the access time to the ?le system
604 is relatively slow, the media player 600 can also include
a cache 606. The cache 606 is, for example, Random-Access
20
ment between sending and receiving devices. Hence, syn
Memory (RAM) provided by semiconductor memory. The
chronization can be achieved while a media player remains in
a bag, vehicle or other container.
The ho st device can also be a media player. In such case, the
relative access time to the cache 606 is substantially shorter
than for the ?le system 604. However, the cache 506 does not
have the large storage capacity of the ?le system 604. Further,
25
the ?le system 504, when active, consumes more power than
does the cache 606. The power consumption is often a con
cern when the media player 600 is a portable media player
The various aspects, embodiments, implementations or
features of the invention can be used separately or in any
combination.
30
hardware and software. The invention can also be embodied
as computer readable code on a computer readable medium.
The computer readable medium is any data storage device
35
that can store data which can thereafter be read by a computer
system. Examples of the computer readable medium include
read-only memory, random-access memory, CD-ROMs,
DVDs, magnetic tape, optical data storage devices, and car
40
transfer between at least the ?le system 604, the cache 606,
the processor 602, and the CODECs 612.
In one embodiment, the media player 600 serves to store a
plurality of media items in the ?le system 604. The media
items may for example correspond to audio (e. g., songs,
The invention is preferably implemented by software, but
can also be implemented in hardware or a combination of
further, the media player 600 includes a display 610 (screen
display) that can be controlled by the processor 602 to display
information to the user. A data bus 611 can facilitate data
synchronization of media items can between two media play
ers.
that is powered by a battery (not shown). The media player
600 also includes a RAM 620 and a Read-Only Memory
(ROM) 622. The ROM 622 can store programs, utilities or
processes to be executed in a non-volatile manner The RAM
620 provides volatile data storage, such as for the cache 606.
The media player 600 also includes a user input device 608
that allows a user of the media player 600 to interact with the
media player 600. For example, the user input device 608 can
take a variety of forms, such as a button, keypad, dial, etc. Still
tion may or may not be itself portable.
The wireless network, connection or channel can be radio
frequency based, so as to not require line-of-sight arrange
45
rier waves. The computer readable medium can also be dis
tributed over network-coupled computer systems so that the
computer readable code is stored and executed in a distributed
fashion.
FIG. 9 is perspective view of a handheld computing device
700, in accordance with one embodiment of the present
invention. The computing device 700 is capable of processing
books), images (e.g., photos) or videos (e.g., movies). When
data and more particularly media such as audio, video,
a user desires to have the media player play a particular media
item, a list of available media items is typically displayed on
the display 610. Then, using the user input device 608, a user
images, etc. By way of example, the computing device 700
may generally correspond to a music player, game player,
can select one of the available media items. The processor
602, upon receiving a selection of a particular media item,
supplies the media data (e.g., audio ?le, image ?le or video
?le) for the particular media item to the appropriate device.
For audio items, the processor supplies the media item to a
coder/ decoder (CODEC) 612. The CODEC 612 then pro
50
video player, camera, cell phone, personal digital assistant
(PDA), and/or the like. With regards to being handheld, the
computing device 700 can be operated solely by the user’s
duces analog output signals for a speaker 614. The speaker
hand(s), i.e., no reference surface such as a desktop is needed.
In some cases, the handheld device is sized for placement into
a pocket of the user. By being pocket sized, the user does not
have to directly carry the device and therefore the device can
be taken almost anywhere the user travels (e.g., the user is not
614 can be a speaker internal to the media player 600 or
limited by carrying a large, bulky and heavy device).
external to the media player 600. For example, headphones or
earphones that connect to the media player 600 would be
considered an external speaker.
For visual items, the processor supplies the media item to
the display 610. The display may for example be a liquid
As shown, the computing device 700 includes a housing
712 that encloses and supports internally various electrical
crystal display (LCD) that is integral with the media player.
Alternatively, the display may be an external display such as
55
60
components (including integrated circuit chips and other cir
cuitry) to provide computing operations for the device. The
integrated circuit chips and other circuitry may include a
microprocessor, memory, a battery, and various input/ output
(I/O) support circuitry. In most cases, the microprocessor
a CRT or LCD, or a television of any particular type. In some 65 executes instructions and carries out operations associated
cases, the processor is con?gured to supply media data to both
an integrated display and an external display. In cases such as
with the computing device. For example, using instructions
retrieved for example from memory, the microprocessor may
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