Remote user interface for media player

Remote user interface for media player
US008538564B2
(12) United States Patent
(10) Patent N0.:
(45) Date of Patent:
Almstrand et a1.
(54)
REMOTE USER INTERFACE FOR MEDIA
PLAYER
US 8,538,564 B2
Sep. 17, 2013
710/220; 715/273, 716, 727, 740, 746, 864;
719/322, 323
See application ?le for complete search history.
(75) Inventors: Cristian Lars Almstrand, San Diego,
CA (US); Prem Aanand Venkatesan,
San Diego, CA (US); Hiroyuki Shinkai,
Kawasaki (JP); Hirokazu Imazeki,
Yokohama (JP); Masahiko Seki,
Matsudo (JP)
(56)
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
4,638,428 A *
5,625,608 A *
(73) Assignees: Sony Corporation, Tokyo (JP); Sony
Electronics Inc., Park Ridge, NJ (US)
(*)
Notice:
References Cited
6,256,303 B1*
7/2001
Drakoulis et al. .
370/344
7,102,688 B2 *
9/2006
Hayes et a1. ..... ..
348/465
2002/0002039 A1
1/2002 Qureshey et a1.
3/2004
1062812
Philips, “Philips CD-ROM Drive User’s Manual”, 1996, Philips,
Model PCA84CD/PCA104CD, pp. 13-14.*
Prior Publication Data
US 2010/0076578 A1
* cited by examiner
Mar. 25, 2010
Primary Examiner * Jesse Elbin
Related US. Application Data
(62)
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm * John L. RogitZ
Division of application No. 10/289,482, ?led on Nov.
6, 2002.
(57)
(60) Provisional application No. 60/407,174, ?led on Aug.
30, 2002.
(51)
computer can send a GUI that is displayed on the otherwise
“dumb” player, and the user can view the GUI and press a
single button to command the control software to download a
(2006.01)
(2006.01)
US. Cl.
Field of Classi?cation Search
USPC
A portable media player communicates with a host computer
for enabling a user of the player to manage media distribution
USPC ................ .. 700/94; 715/716; 710/19; 710/46
(58)
ABSTRACT
using the control software of the host computer. The host
Int. Cl.
G06F 17/00
G06F 3/00
(52)
* 12/2000
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Sep. 4, 2009
(65)
Hayward .................... .. 348/460
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
EP
(21) Appl. N0.: 12/554,394
(22) Filed:
Gemma et al. .............. .. 710/241
Grewe et al. ..... ..
369/2401
2004/0051812 A1*
Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
patent is extended or adjusted under 35
U.S.C. 154(b) by 1048 days.
1/1987
4/1997
340/351; 345/2.1; 370/346; 379/9201;
700/94; 709/212, 220; 710/19, 46, 47, 109,
media title to the player. The host computer can periodically
poll the player to determine its status.
16 Claims, 3 Drawing Sheets
[-48
WAIT FOR COMMAND
’
FROM HOST
K52
RENDERING
COMMAND
?
RENDER INFORMATION
ON DEVICE DISPLAY
LEDs, Erc.
r56
COMMUNICATE BACK
STATUS INFORMATION
TO HOST
HANDLE DEVICE
SPECIFIC COMMAND
—I
US. Patent
Sep. 17, 2013
Sheet 1 of3
US 8,538,564 B2
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US. Patent
Sep. 17, 2013
Sheet 2 of3
US 8,538,564 B2
r32
r34
ESTABLISH '
CONTROL soFrwARE
DOWNLOADES GUI/
COMMUNICATION _'—"" AND OTHER INDICATION
WITH PLAYER
To PLAYER
‘
r36
RECEIVE usER'
COMMANDS FOR
MEDIA MANAGEMENT
.
FROM PLAYER
‘
OVERALL CONTROL LOGIC
[
38
CONTROL soFrwARE
EXECUTES COMMANDS
(e.g. T0 TRANSFER
MEDIA T0 PLAYER)
INSERT
‘
HOST COMPUTER '
—-
NEI' ‘WORKED DEVICE
AVAILABILITY OF DISK
¥
USER INPUTS
K
44
coMMAND(s)
MEEEA TN' CgHYER
Hg. 5'
4
/ 46
CONTROL SOFI'WARiZ
iN HOST COMPUTER
_
EXECUTES COMMANDS
US 8,538,564 B2
1
2
REMOTE USER INTERFACE FOR MEDIA
PLAYER
In another aspect, a method for providing at least one
media stream to a media player includes engaging a data
storage disk with a medium device to establish an engage
This is a divisional application of co-pending US. patent
application Ser. No. 10/289,482, ?led Nov. 6, 2002, from
which priority is claimed.
ment, and detecting the engagement. Using the host com
puter, an indication of the engagement is caused to be dis
played on the media player. The method also includes
manipulating a single button a single time on the media player
RELATED APPLICATIONS
to cause a media stream on the disk to be sent to the media
player under control of the host computer.
This application claims priority from US. provisional
application Ser. No. 60/407,174, ?led Aug. 30, 2002, incor
porated herein by reference.
In still another aspect, a media player includes electronic
media storing at least one media stream, and means for play
ing the stream. A display for presenting a user interface (UI)
generated by a host computer and transmitted from the host
computer to the media player is also provided.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The details of the present invention, both as to its structure
and operation, can best be understood in reference to the
The present invention relates generally to media player
systems.
accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals
refer to like parts, and in which:
BACKGROUND
20
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Media players such as digital music players and multime
dia players have been introduced. Some of these players
FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a system of the present inven
permit a user to transfer media, under control of a host com
puter operated by a user, between the player and the host
computer, which might be networked. In this way, media
tion;
25
managing media operations using the player, under control of
transferred to the media player.
To manage the above-mentioned operations, control soft
ware is executed on the host computer. The control software
is operated by a user at the ho st computer to present a graphi
cal user interface (GUI) on the host computer, to facilitate,
FIG. 2 is a ?ow chart ofthe overall logic;
FIG. 3 is a ?ow chart of exemplary non-limiting logic for
titles that are available on the network can be conveniently
30
software in the host computer; and
FIG. 4 is a ?ow chart of exemplary non-limiting logic that
can be followed to manage media using a player that receives
periodic status requests from the host processor.
e.g., browsing for media titles and controlling the transfer of
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED
EMBODIMENT
titles to the player.
As recogniZed by the present invention, the process dis
cussed above requires a user to access the host computer, and
35
Referring initially to FIG. 1, a system is shown, generally
designated 10, that includes a portable media player 12, such
to know how to operate the host computer. As further recog
niZed by the present invention, it would be advantageous to
permit the user to manage media transfer using the player
itself, without requiring the player to have a relatively expen
sive processor capable of executing the operating software.
as a music player, e. g., a Sony Walkman® or other multime
dia player with data storage capabilities, such as a Sony
40
Memory Stick®, for storing digitally recorded songs and the
45
like. The media player 12 also includes a play device that
reads electronically stored streams on the data storage and
transforms the streams into audible sounds in accordance
with media stream playing principles known in the art, such as
those embodied in a Sony Walkman®. The media player 12
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
A system for managing media distribution includes a host
computer and a media player that includes a display and at
least one input device. The media player communicates with
can be a CD player.
The media player 12 can include a processor 14 and a
the host computer. A software-implemented control module
in the host computer renders a user interface (UI) on the
player, such that a user can manipulate the input device in
cooperation with the UI to manage distribution of media
display 16, such as an LCD display, but unlike a personal
computer, the processor 14 does not generate a graphics user
50
between the host computer and player.
In a preferred embodiment, the user can manipulate the
input device to cause the host computer to transfer a media
stream to the player. The preferred input device may include
one or more buttons on the player and, if desired, a jog dial,
and a media stream can be downloaded to the player in
response to the user depressing the button once and only once,
without requiring the user to depress any other buttons. Also,
the preferred player may include at least one light emitting
diode (LED) and the host computer can energiZe the LED to
55
preferred embodiment, no display need be provided, only the
below-described LEDs to indicate status.
The media player 12 can also include a user input device
18, such as but not limited to buttons and/or jog dials. In one
preferred non-limiting embodiment, the media player 12
60
includes a housing that can be worn on the belt of a person and
headphones connected by a wire to the housing, with the
display 16 and input device 18 (in the form of buttons and jog
indicate to the user the availability of a music title.
In other preferred, non-limiting embodiments, the host
computer can periodically poll the player to determine player
status. Preferably, the host computer polls the player more
frequently when the player is in an active mode than when the
player is in an energy-saving mode. The player may not be
able to initiate communication with the host computer.
interface (GUI) on the display 16 when undertaking the media
management operations discussed below. By “GUI” or “UI”
is meant the actual graphical elements necessary for control
using a display, as opposed to data elements, such as media
titles, that are displayed using an underlying GUI. In a less
dial) being attached to the headphone wire, although all the
components of the player 12 can be mounted on a single
65
housing if desired. If desired, non-graphic indicators such as
LEDs 20 (two shown) can be provided on the belt-wom
portion of the player 12 for purposes to be shortly disclosed.
US 8,538,564 B2
3
4
As shown in FIG. 1, the system 10 includes a host computer
22 that communicates With the media player 12 via a com
preferred embodiment, the input device 18 includes a button,
and the user simply depresses the button once and only once
to cause the host processor to provide the player 12 With a
copy of the available stream or streamsiie, one-click copy
munication path 24. The path 24 can be a Wire that uses a
universal serial bus (USB) protocol, or a IEEE 1394 protocol,
or a RS-232 protocol, or a 802.11 protocol. Or, the path 24 can
be a short range Wireless path such as Bluetooth, infrared, or
other Wireless path. The host computer 22 can be a personal
computer or other computer associated With the user that
5
ing. No other user action is required, either at the player 12,
host computer 22, or netWork device 28. Instead, at block 46
the control softWare of the ho st computer 22, responsive to the
command input at the player 12, executes the command, in
FIG. 1 also shoWs that one or more netWorked devices 28
this case, by causing a copy of the available stream on the disk
that Was engaged at block 40 to be sent to the player 12.
In another embodiment, the user of the player 12 may scroll
can be connected to the host computer 22 either directly or
through the Internet 30. If desired, a netWorked device 28 can
through a list of titles presented on the GUI using the jog dial
of the input device 18. When the desired title is displayed, the
be connected directly to the player 12. The netWorked devices
28 can be, Without limitation, CD and DVD players that can
user may depress a button of the input device 18 to receive a
executes a media management control module 26 in accor
dance With the logic beloW.
receive, e.g., CD-ROMs on Which music or other sound is
copy of the stream represented by the title. Still further, the
GUI generated by the host processor 22 may display a list of
recorded, and other computers. One of the netWorked devices
available artists, With the user selecting one of the artists to
28 may be an Intemet-accessible or otherWise accessible
electronic music distribution server.
NoW referring to FIG. 2, the overall logic of the present
cause a second menu or list of songs by that artist to appear on
20
invention can be seen. Commencing at block 32, communi
FIG. 4 shoWs logic that can be executed to copy content to
the player 12. While the logic is shoWn in How chart form With
decision diamonds for convenience of disclosure, it is to be
cation is established betWeen the host computer 22 and the
player 12. In some embodiments the player 12 cannot initiate
communication, so that the host computer 22 initiates the link
at block 32.
Moving to block 34, the control software 26 in the host
computer 22 doWnloads a GUI to the player 12 for display
thereof on the display 16. The GUI can, Without limitation,
indicate and support operations that may be executed by the
host computer 22 in response to user input at the player 12, as
the display 16 of the player 12, for subsequent selection of a
particular song or songs by that artist.
understood that the logic equivalently could be represented
25
by a state diagram or other logic indicating convention.
Commencing at block 48, a command from the host com
puter 22 is monitored for. Decision diamond 50 indicates that
the command, When received, might be a command to render
30
the GUI on the display 16 or energiZe an LED, in Which case
the logic moves to block 52 to render the GUI and/or energiZe
the LED. Decision diamond 54, on the other hand, indicates
that the command may be a status request, in Which case the
Well as provide the necessary control means that enable the
user to issue commands to cause the host computer 22 to
execute the operations.
logic moves to block 56 to communicate the status of the
In any case, the processor 14 of the player 12 need not
generate the GUI or even knoW hoW it functions. This makes
player 12 back to the host computer 22. In one preferred
non-limiting embodiment, to conserve energy the player 12
35
the player 12 very robust, in that additional functionality can
has an energy saving mode and an active mode. In the energy
be provided simply by appropriately programming the host
saving mode, the player 12 is quiescent, to conserve energy.
When this status is reported to the host computer 22, it issues
status checks to the player 12 less frequently than it does
When the player 12 is in the active mode, i.e., is being used to
computer 22 Without having to modify the relatively simple
and inexpensive player 12.
At block 36, user commands generated by appropriately
40
manipulating the input device 18 on the player 12 in conjunc
play a media stream. The user may exit the energy saving
mode at any time by, e.g., depressing a button on the input
device 18.
Block 58 indicates that if the processor 14 determines that
a command has been received but that it is not from the host
computer 22, it must be a device-speci?c command (such as
tion With the GUI are received by the ho st computer 22. These
commands represent user management desires, e.g., a com
mand to copy a stream from one of the devices on the netWork,
such as all or part of the content of a CD player netWork
device 28, to another, such as the player 12. The commands
can also indicate updating the player display to alloW the user
to navigate through the menus. The commands from the
player 12 are executed by the host computer 22 at block 38.
FIG. 3 shoWs an exemplary one-click copy operation in
accordance With the present invention. Commencing at block
“play track”) that is executed locally.
While the particular REMOTE USER INTERFACE FOR
MEDIA PLAYER as herein shoWn and described in detail is
50
invention, it is to be understood that it is the presently pre
ferred embodiment of the present invention and is thus rep
resentative of the subject matter Which is broadly contem
40, a user can engage a disk such as a CD or DVD With an
appropriately con?gured netWork device 28. The host com
puter 22 detects the engagement by, e. g., receiving a message
indicative of the engagement from the netWork device 28.
At block 42, the host computer renders an indication on the
player 12 that the disk has been engaged With the netWork
device 28 and that digitally recorded streams, such as music
or multimedia streams, are available for recording into the
player 12. A menu shoWing the available artists, and/or
plated by the present invention, that the scope of the present
55
invention fully encompasses other embodiments Which may
become obvious to those skilled in the art, and that the scope
of the present invention is accordingly to be limited by noth
ing other than the appended claims, in Which reference to an
element in the singular is not intended to mean “one and only
one” unless explicitly so stated, but rather “one or more”. All
structural and functional equivalents to the elements of the
above-described preferred embodiment that are knoWn or
later come to be knoWn to those of ordinary skill in the art are
albums, and/or tracks, can be displayed. Without limitation,
the indication can include one or more of the folloWing:
energiZing the LED 20, displaying the titles of available
streams on the display 16, and displaying a message on the
display such as “copy disk?”
Moving to block 44, the user manipulates the input device
18 as appropriate to input the desired command(s). In one
fully capable of attaining the above-described objects of the
65
expressly incorporated herein by reference and are intended
to be encompassed by the present claims. Moreover, it is not
necessary for a device or method to address each and every
problem sought to be solved by the present invention, for it to
US 8,538,564 B2
6
5
the ?rst processor being con?gured for detecting the
be encompassed by the present claims. Furthermore, no ele
ment, component, or method step in the present disclosure is
intended to be dedicated to the public regardless of Whether
the element, component, or method step is explicitly recited
in the claims. No claim element herein is to be construed
5
7. The system of claim 5, the ?rst processor being con?g
ured for causing the media player to display a GUI generated
by the host computer.
8. The system of claim 7, Wherein the GUI indicates the
under the provisions of 35 U.S.C. §ll2, sixth paragraph,
unless the element is expressly recited using the phrase
“means for” or, in the case of a method claim, the element is
recited as a “step” instead of an “act”.
title in human readable form.
9. The system of claim 5, Wherein the media player cannot
initiate communication With the host computer.
What is claimed is:
1. A media player, comprising:
electronic media storing at least one media stream;
10. A system, comprising:
host computer;
a play device for playing the stream; and
a display for presenting a user interface (UI) generated by
media player for playing electronically-stored streams, the
media player communicating With the host computer;
a host computer and transmitted from the ho st computer
to the media player, Wherein the media player is con?g
ured to respond to polling signals from the host com
puter to determine player status, Wherein the player
receives more potting signals from the host computer
When the player is in an active mode than When the
at least a ?rst processor for causing a media title to be
displayed on the media player, the title being associated
With a piece of music;
20
player is in an energy-saving mode, the player respond
at least a second processor the same as or different from the
saving mode.
?rst processor periodically polling the player using the
25
more frequently When the media player reports being in
an active mode than When the media player reports being
30
at least a ?rst processor for causing a media title to be
displayed on the media player, the title being associated
a data storage disk engageable With a medium device to
the ?rst processor con?gured for facilitating, responsive to
35
at least a second processor the same as or different from the
40
engagement and for causing an indication of the engage
ment to be displayed on the media player.
13. The system of claim 12, Wherein the indication is
established by energiZing at least one LED.
14. The system of claim 12, the ?rst processor being con
45
?gured for causing the media player to display a GUI gener
ated by the ho st computer.
15. The system of claim 14, Wherein the GUI indicates the
title in human readable form.
16. The system of claim 10, Wherein the media player
cannot initiate communication With the host computer.
Whether the media player is in a poWer saving mode and
responsive thereto establishing a frequency of polling.
4. The system of claim 3, Wherein the ?rst processor is
con?gured to cause the piece of music to be doWnloaded
using one and only one click of a button.
5. The system of claim 3, comprising:
a data storage disk engageable With a medium device to
establish an engagement, the storage disk containing the
media title;
establish an engagement, the storage disk containing the
media title;
the ?rst processor being con?gured for detecting the
doWnloaded into the media player; and
?rst processor con?gured for periodically polling the
player using the host computer to determine player sta
tus, the second processor con?gured for determining
in an energy-saving mode.
11. The system of claim 10, Wherein the ?rst processor is
con?gured to cause the piece of music to be doWnloaded
using one and only one click of a button.
12. The system of claim 10, comprising:
With a piece of music;
a click of a button on the media player, the music to be
ho st computer to determine player status, the second
processor being con?gured for polling the media player
media player con?gured for playing electronically-stored
streams, the media player con?gured for communicat
ing With the host computer;
the ?rst processor facilitating, responsive to a click of a
button on the media player, the music to be doWnloaded
into the media player; and
ing to at least some polling signals When in the energy
2. The media player of claim 1, Wherein the player cannot
initiate communication With the host computer.
3. A system, comprising:
host computer;
engagement and for causing an indication of the engage
ment to be displayed on the media player.
6. The system of claim 5, Wherein the indication is estab
lished by energiZing at least one LED.
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