(12) Unlted States Patent (10) Patent N0.: US 7,702,279 B2

(12) Unlted States Patent (10) Patent N0.: US 7,702,279 B2
USOO7702279B2
(12) Unlted States Patent
(10) Patent N0.:
K0 et al.
(54)
(45) Date of Patent:
2002/0042282 A1 *
4/2002 Haupt ...................... .. 455/509
POWER REMOTE CONTROL AND METHOD
2004/0078812 A1 *
4/2004
Calvert .............. ..
. . 725/46
THEREOF
2004/0090984 A1 *
5/2004
Saint-Hilaire et al. .
370/463
2004/0133914 A1*
7/2004 Smith et al.
2004/0183756 A1*
9/2004
.
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.
( ) Inventors gtevilKobsaE FraHCISCO’FCA @S)’ CA
(Uesp) en
A
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A
SSlgneeZ
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l I
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If
2005/0273790 A1
CA (Us)
upe 1110:
_
Notlce:
2005/0042983 A1 *
emay’ an ranmsco’
PP e 11c“:
_
(*)
_
_
_
Subject to any d1scla1mer, the term of th1s
patent is extended or adjusted under 35
U.S.C. 154(b) by 807 days.
Filed_
'
345/73
2/2005 Borgward ................ .. 455/306
12/2005 Kearney et al.
4/2006
8/2006 Chen ..................... .. 455/556.1
Simmons et al. ............ .. 725/61
2007/0015457 A1
1/2007 Krampf et al.
2008/0163049
7/2008
A1
Krampf
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
02/065732
80002
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
International Search Report & Written Opinion re: PCT/US2006/
’
.
725/86
..
2006/0194612 A1*
W0
Dec 20 2005
'
Freitas et al.
2006/0085821 A9*
(21) Appl. N0.: 11/314,291
(22)
Apr. 20, 2010
PORTABLE MEDIA PLAYER ASA LOW
75
(73)
US 7,702,279 B2
047825.
.
.
US. Appl. No. 11/245,937, ?led Oct. 7, 2005.
(65)
Pnor Puhhcatlon Data
Us 2007/0169115 A1
ML 19’ 2007
Salling Clicker 2.2.1, User Manual, Sailing Software AB, 2005.
Remote for iTunes (URM-IST), product information datasheet,
(51)
Int CL
Keyspan, http://www.keyspan.com/products/usb/urml5t, down
loaded Sep. 25, 2005, pp. 1-2.
H04H 7/00
(52)
(2006.01)
(Continued)
US. Cl. .................. .. 455/3.06; 455/3.03; 455/3.04;
455/420; 725/86; 725/61
(58)
_
_
Primary Exammeroan Tr1nh
Field of Classi?cation Search .............. .. 455/3.06,
455/509, 517, 556.1, 575.1, 3.03, 3.04, 420;
345/73, 716’ 722; 725/371 135’ 81’ 31’ 61’
_
(56)
_
_
_
(57)
ABSTRACT
Aportable multimedia player is used to Wirelessly access and
725/86
control a media server that is streaming digital media by way
See apphcanon ?le for complete “321er hlswry'
References Cited
of a wireless interface to a media unit such as a stereo/speak
ers in the case of streaming digital audio. In one embodiment,
the portable multimedia player is Wirelessly synchronized to
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
5,845,282 A
a selected one(s) of a number of digital media ?les stored on
the media server in such a way that digital media ?le metadata
12/1998 Alleyetal.
6,192,340 B1*
2/2001
6,914,551 B2
7,230,563 B2
7/2005 Vidal
6/2007 Vidal
7,231,516 B1*
6/2007 Sparrellet al. ............ .. 713/156
7,574,177 B2
8/2009 Tupman et al.
(song title, author, etc.) associated with the selected digital
Abecassis ................. .. 704/270
media ?le(s) only is transferred from the media server to be
stored in the portable media player.
21 Claims, 7 Drawing Sheets
1
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US 7,702,279 B2
Page 2
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Keyspan: DMR Software v1.3 for Mac OS XiUser Manual, rev.
04.09.01Al, Keyspan.
Express Remote (URM-l7A), product information datasheet,
Keyspan, http://WWW.keyspan.com/products/usb/urml5t, down
loaded Sep. 25, 2005, pp. 1-2.
“Keyspan Express Remote Supports Apple’s Airport Express,” Press
Release, Keyspan, Nov. 10, 2004.
“Keyspan Express Remote,” Product Fact Sheet, Keyspan, Nov.
2004.
Communication pursuant to Article 94(3) EPC for European Patent
Application No. 068454818, dated Oct. 31, 2008.
* cited by examiner
US. Patent
Apr. 20, 2010
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US 7,702,279 B2
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US. Patent
Apr. 20, 2010
Sheet 2 0f7
SPEAKER
US 7,702,279 B2
200
214
WIRELESS
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NETWORK
INTERFACE
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CODEC
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USER
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US. Patent
Apr. 20, 2010
Sheet 3 0f7
US 7,702,279 B2
310
302—4
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302_3
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FIG. 3
US. Patent
Apr. 20, 2010
Sheet 4 0f7
US 7,702,279 B2
Media player generates and
forwards a multimedia metadata
/\ 402
request to the media server
l
In response to the multimedia metadata
request, the media server locates the
requested metadata associated with the
/\_ 404
media ?le(s) stored on the media server
l
Media server provides a multimedia
/\_ 406
metadata response back to the multimedia
player
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Display plurality of multimedia
metadata by multimedia player
/\' 408
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Receive user selection of at least one
of the displayed multimedia metadata L/\' 410
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In response to the user selection, the media
player generates and forwards a multimedia
?le request to the media server
400
Media server locates and retrieves an
appropriate media ?le based on the
descriptive information provided in the
-/\_ 414
media ?le request
l
Wireless transfer media file from the media /\- 416
server to a media unit for play
FIG. 4
US. Patent
Apr. 20, 2010
Sheet 5 017
US 7,702,279 B2
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Apr. 20, 2010
Sheet 6 017
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US. Patent
Apr. 20, 2010
US 7,702,279 B2
Sheet 7 0f 7
READ MEDIA PLAYER
INFORMATION FROM THE
MEDIA DATABASE ON
THE MEDIA PLAYER
/\1 602
COMPARE THE PLAYER MEDIA
INFORMATION WITH HOST
MEDIA INFORMATION FROM
THE MEDIA DATABASE ON THE
HOST COMPUTER
DETERMINE WHICH MEDIA
ITEMS TO COPY BASED ON THE
COMPARISON INFORMATION
COPY THE DETERMINED MEDIA
ITEMS AND UPDATE THE
APPROPRIATE MEDIA
DATABASE(S)
600
FIG. 6
/\ 606
US 7,702,279 B2
1
2
PORTABLE MEDIA PLAYER AS A LOW
POWER REMOTE CONTROL AND METHOD
THEREOF
of Santa Barbara, Calif. that utilizes distributed units
(SonosTM Zone Players) and a controller unit
BACKGROUND
uisite zone based remote access and control. For example,
(SonosTMController). Unfortunately, these units require sub
stantial investment in equipment in order to provide the req
Sonos Digital Music System requires a user to purchase, or
Due to the increasing capacity and capability of personal
otherwise acquire, a controller as well as one or more zone
computers, it has become popular to use a personal computer
players depending upon the area.
Therefore, what is desired is a system that leverages exist
ing devices (such as an iPod, AirPort Express, a Mac running
iTunes) to provide the remote access and control that would
as a repository for multimedia content, such as songs, movies,
etc. Particularly with music, the increased popularity of stor
ing multimedia data (in the form of digital audio ?les having
various formats such as MP3, AAC and AIFF) on a personal
otherwise require the purchase of specialized equipment such
computer has resulted in a variety of products and services.
For example, music players (e.g., MP3 player), such as the
as zone controller units and zone players.
iPod® multimedia device, and media management applica
tions, such as iTunes software, which as produced by Apple
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Computer, Inc. of Cupertino, Calif., are popular products.
A portable multimedia player (such as the iPodTM manu
With the ability to store large numbers and types of digital
audio ?les in such portable music players, services (such as
iTunes® Music Store provided by Apple Computer, Inc. of
Cupertino, Calif.) have been developed that allow consumers
to purchase music (and other digital multimedia data) in a
form suitable for storage and playback using portable music
factured by Apple Computer, Inc. of Cupertino, Calif.) is used
to wirelessly access and control a media server (such as a
20
digital media by way of a wireless interface to a media unit
(such as a stereo/speakers in the case of streaming digital
audio). In one embodiment, a method of using a portable
players and personal computers. In so doing, many consum
ers use their personal computer as a primary vehicle for
multimedia player arranged to store digital media ?les to
25
obtaining, storing, and accessing multimedia data.
Although the quality of multimedia playback by computers
player and the media server, wirelessly transmitting a signal
30
from the multimedia player to the media server, and stream
ing the digital media data from the media server to a media
unit by way of a wireless interface using the received signal.
In another embodiment, a portable digital multimedia
player remote controller unit arranged to store multimedia
systems, it has become common to install home network
systems whereby an individual’s personal computer is linked
(either wirelessly or wired) to a home entertainment system
forming in the process a media system. The media system
wirelessly access and/or control a media server con?gured to
stream digital media data to a media unit is described. The
method is performed by binding the portable multimedia
has improved dramatically in the last several years, these
systems still lag behind typical entertainment devices (e.g.,
stereos, televisions, projection systems, etc.) in terms of per
formance, ?delity, and usability for the typical consumer.
Therefore, in order to utilize the higher quality playback
personal computer running iTunes software) that is streaming
media ?le metadata used to wirelessly control a remote media
35
server is described. The remote controller unit includes a
wireless network interface, a display device arranged to dis
integrates several interfaces and feature sets into an integrated
platform. In this way, the individual is able to listen, view or
play a user interface having a number of user selectable items,
otherwise access this multimedia data stored on a personal
of the user selectable items generates a signal that is wire
lessly sent by the wireless network interface to the remote
computer using these various entertainment devices. For
example, a wireless network interface (e.g., 802.1 lg based
Airport Express® wireless network interface manufactured
and a processor unit that in response to a user selection of one
40
media server, the signal including multimedia ?le meta data
identifying a multimedia ?le stored on the media server that,
by Apple Computer, Inc. of Cupertino, Calif.) communicates
wirelessly with other devices and to serve as a wireless base
station or as a repeater (to increase the range of a pre-existing
in turn, responds to the signals by accessing the identi?ed
multimedia ?le and once accessed, wirelessly sends the iden
45
wireless network).
In yet another embodiment, a method of providing wireless
The network interface available on the personal computer
remote control of a remote media unit through use of a por
can be used to link to any entertainment device, such as a
stereo system, television, or home theatre system. This would
allow, for example, streaming of multimedia data from a
personal computer connected to the network interface (wired
50
personal computer using the received multimedia ?le indica
tion, accessing the identi?ed multimedia ?le; and wirelessly
timedia interface. Unfortunately, however, in order to control
certain aspects of the playback of the multimedia data (such
as changing a song, an entire playlist, or even controlling
55
by Sonos Digital Music System manufactured by Sonos, Inc.
sending the identi?ed multimedia ?le from the personal com
puter to the remote media unit.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
60
thereto located in an upstairs den, changing the song being
played would require the listener to physically walk to the
upstairs den where the computer was located and select the
desired song.
One approach used to solve the problem of remote access
and control is provided by a zone based system exempli?ed
table multimedia player and a personal computer is described.
The method is carried out by wirelessly receiving at the
personal computer a multimedia ?le indication from the mul
timedia player, identifying a multimedia ?le stored on the
or wireless) to an entertainment device connected to the mul
volume) a listener wishing to make such changes must be in
physical contact with the personal computer in which the
multimedia data being played is stored. For example, if a
listener is in a living room listening to music being streamed
to a living room based stereo by a computer wirelessly linked
ti?ed multimedia ?le to a remote media unit.
FIG. 1 shows a representative wireless media network and
a wireless battery powered portable multimedia player in
accordance with an embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 2 shows a schematic functional block diagram of a
65
portable media player according to one embodiment of the
invention.
FIG. 3 illustrates a representative multimedia player in
accordance with an embodiment of the invention.
US 7,702,279 B2
4
3
FIG. 4 shows a ?ow diagram of remotely accessing a media
previous, play, stop, etc. In such cases, a control signal alone
server in order to effect a change to a streamed digital media
?le according to one embodiment of the invention.
FIGS. 5A-5B shows how the multimedia player can be
used to remotely access the personal computer to effect any
can be sent since the associated media item is already known
by the media server.
Once received by the media server (e.g., personal com
puter), the media server can then inform the media unit of the
number of changes in the music being streamed to and played
by the stereo.
FIG. 6 that is a ?ow diagram of synchronization processing
timedia player. For example, if the control operation is a new
selected media item to be played, the current media item
according to one embodiment of the invention.
being played by the media unit is discontinued and transfer of
control operation requested by the user via the portable mul
media data pertaining to the new selected media item begins,
such that the new selected media item can be played. In this
way, the user can indirectly remotely control the output of the
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
Reference will now be made in detail to a particular
media unit using a battery powered portable multimedia
embodiment of the invention an example of which is illus
player in a power ef?cient manner.
trated in the accompanying drawings. While the invention
will be described in conjunction with the particular embodi
(such as an iPod), is bound to a personal computer in such a
ment, it will be understood that it is not intended to limit the
invention to the described embodiment. To the contrary, it is
way that the digital media player wirelessly controls the com
puter. It should be noted, that the binding of the personal
intended to cover alternatives, modi?cations, and equivalents
as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention
In yet another embodiment, a portable digital media player
computer and the digital media player includes synchronizing
20
as de?ned by the appended claims.
According to one embodiment, a battery-operated portable
multimedia player is used to wirelessly access and/or control
media items stored in the computer over a connector such as
a USB 2.0 or FireWire cable. In this way, the requirement of
additional user interface on the digital media player for
a media server. The media server can be implemented by a
variety of computing devices. As an example, the media
server can be implemented by a personal computer. In
response to such wireless access and/or control, the media
server can operate to stream digital media by way of a wire
less interface to a media unit (e. g., a home audio system, such
as a stereo, in the case of streaming digital audio).
25
example) is needed to control the computer which, when
selected, automatically connects and authenticates the com
puter bound to the portable digital media player.
30
server 104, and a media unit 106 in accordance with an
embodiment of the invention. As con?gured, the media server
35
metadata (song title, author, etc.). In this embodiment, the
digital media items (e. g., digital media ?les) themselves need
104 includes a local storage medium 108 that can take any
appropriate form such as a hard disk drive, ?ash memory, etc.
arranged to store multimedia content 109 that can include
digitized music (e.g., songs), short video ?les, or full-length
video ?les (e.g., movies). For the sake of this discussion, the
40
ferred to the portable multimedia player, thereby saving valu
able battery resources. In addition, by not transferring the
digital media items themselves, potential copyright infringe
ment issues can be avoided.
When a user wishes to access and/or control the media 45
server in order to effectuate a change in the media item data
being streamed to the media unit (e.g., changing a song being
played as an example), the user selects a new media item (e.g.,
song) to be played by interacting with the portable multime
dia player. In one implementation, the portable multimedia
FIG. 1 shows wireless media system 100 that includes a
battery powered portable multimedia player 102, a media
lessly communicates with the media server so as to receive a
media catalog of available media items on the media server.
not be transferred to the portable media player. As a result,
only a relatively small amount of data is required to be trans
choosing, connecting to, and authenticating with the com
puter is eliminated. Therefore, in this way, only an additional
user interface having a top level menu (“remote control” as an
In one embodiment, the portable multimedia player wire
Here, the media catalog is a listing of the available media
items, e.g., digital media ?les, stored on the media server. In
one embodiment, the media catalog contains media item
the digital content stored in the digital media player with the
50
media server 104 is taken to be a personal computer arranged
to store a number of digital audio ?les (e.g., song ?les) in the
local storage medium 108 con?gured as a hard drive. In the
described embodiment, the media server 104 is wirelessly
coupled to the media unit 106 that in this case takes the form
of a stereo system 110 having a number of speakers 112. In
the described embodiment, the stereo system 110 includes a
wireless network interface 114. The wireless network inter
face 114 supports a wireless network. The wireless network
can take the form of, for example, a “WiFi” interface accord
ing to the IEEE 802.1 lb or 802.1 lg standards. Other wireless
network standards could also be used, either in alternative to
player can display a plurality of user selectable items that
the identi?ed standards or in addition to the identi?ed stan
correspond to different digital media items (e.g., song ?les).
dards. Such other network standards could include the IEEE
The user of the portable multimedia player can select one of
the user selectable items to specify a media item to be played.
required for wireless networking is typically included within
Once selected, the portable multimedia player wirelessly
802.11a standard or the Bluetooth standard. An antenna
55
the housing of the wireless network interface 114. Such an
informs the media server of the speci?ed media item to be
antenna may take a variety of forms, such as an antenna
played. In one example, the portable multimedia player trans
printed on a standard PCB (printed circuit board). Such anten
mits only some or all of the metadata corresponding to the
new media item along with a control signal indicating, for
example, that a media item currently being played is to be
replaced by the new media item associated with the control
nas are well known to those skilled in the art.
The wireless network supported by the wireless network
60
signal.
In another implementation, the portable multimedia player
can display a user interface that enables the user to control
how a media item is to be played. For example, the control
65
interface 114 can enable wireless communications between
the media server 104 and the media unit 106. In such case, the
media server 104 also includes or couples to a wireless net
work interface 116 such that the media server 104 and the
media unit 106 can communicate over the local wireless
network via the wireless network interfaces 114 and 116.
provided can alter, change or provide play characteristic, such
Furthermore, the portable multimedia player 102 can com
as volume, equalization, etc., or navigation, such as next,
municate with the media server 1 04 in a wireless manner, over
US 7,702,279 B2
5
6
the same wireless network (as used between the media server
104 and the media unit 106) or another wireless network.
To facilitate communications between the personal com
puter 104 and the media unit 106, such as to provide media
When the media unit 106 described herein is used to play
multimedia content from the media server 104 (hereafter
personal computer), the media unit 106 is plugged into a wall
the media unit 106 will advertise over the network that it
sharing functionality, the wireless network interface 114 for
supports audio streaming to the media unit 106. As required
for standard Bonjour operation, the wireless network inter
outlet for power. The wireless network interface 114 acts as a
face 114 will publish the availability of a service, the name of
the device providing the service, the network address of the
wireless base station for the wireless network thus enabling
the personal computer 104 to communicate with the media
device, and one or more con?guration parameters that are
unit 106. The wireless network interface 114 is also con
nected to the stereo system 110 to enable playback of audio
?les stored on the computer 104 by the stereo system 110. The
connection between the wireless network interface 114 and
related to the service. The registration of this service adver
tises particular audio capabilities of the system (e.g., 44.1
kHZ sample rate, 16-bit sample size, and 2-channel/ stereo
samples). The registration of the service might also include
the stereo system 110 may be by way of a digital ?ber optic
security, encryption, compression, and other capabilities and/
cable that would connect to a digital audio input port on the
stereo system 110.
or parameters that are necessary for communicating with the
device.
As brie?y described above, the wireless network interface
114 has the ability to receive multimedia information from
the personal computer 104 over a wireless network connec
tion and output this media information to an entertainment
device (e.g., the stereo system 110). Although it is contem
plated that audio, video, audio/video, and/or other forms of
In alternative embodiments, additional services may be
designed to specify a variety of parameters relating to one or
more multimedia input or output devices attached to the
20
display terminals, cameras, microphones, etc.
multimedia may be used with the media system described
herein, one exemplary embodiment relates to the sharing of
audio data stored on a personal computer with an entertain
ment device, such as a stereo system.
The automatic discovery aspects of devices within the net
work permit its use in architecting easily con?gured home
25
one room of a house can create a wireless multimedia network
for his entire home simply by deploying a few of the disclosed
wireless network interfaces throughout his home. For
geous to provide access to the media unit 106 from a media
30
or other content to these devices with a simple selection at his
personal computer. For example, he may direct the living
35
tion, the media unit 106 may be selected as a destination for
media playback. The personal computer 104 can be pro
grammed such that the audio content of a media ?le to be
played will be sent to the media unit 106, while system sounds
(e.g., beeps, alerts, etc.) will continue to be presented at the
personal computer 104.
Communications between the personal computer 104 and
40
the media unit 106 over a wireless network (e.g., wireless
network 100) is initiated through a discovery process. One
example of such a discovery process uses Bonjour, which is a
example, he can put one near the stereo in the living room, and
one by the television in the bedroom. By connecting the
appropriate multimedia interface, he can serve audio, video,
manipulate, or otherwise access the particular type of media
?le. In one exemplary embodiment, the media application be
the iTunes® software for music management and playback
produced by Apple Computer, Inc. Using the media applica
networks according to a user’s preferences and designs. For
example, a user with a large library of music on a computer in
To provide a relatively simple and user friendly interface to
the media output features of media unit 106, it is advanta
application running on the personal computer 104, which is
also preferably the application normally used to create,
media unit 106. Devices that might have particular applica
bility in a home network environment include speakers, video
45
room stereo to play his favorite album, and he may direct the
bedroom television to show a home movie. This extensible
architecture allows a user to con?gure relationships between
sources and destinations of media data without regard or need
for buying all components from the same vendor, or other
such considerations that might otherwise be required to per
mit interoperability of disparate devices on a wireless net
work.
Once the wireless network interface 114 is discovered on
the wireless network, the media software running on personal
computer 104, e. g., iTunes, will recognize the associated
technology that enables automatic discovery of computers,
stereo system 110 as a destination for audio data, and will
devices, and services on IP networks. Also known as Zero
automatically provide the particular device (e.g., stereo sys
Con?guration Networking, Bonjour uses standard IP proto
tem 110) as a selectable destination within the user interface.
cols to allow devices to automatically ?nd each other without
When the user selects a particular device from those avail
the need for a user to enter IP addresses or con?gure DNS 50 able, a variety of authentication and security exchanges can
take place. For example, if password protection is provided as
servers. Various aspects of Bonjour are generally known to
those skilled in the art, and are disclosed in the white paper
55
a security feature, the user may be prompted for a password
required to use the media unit 106 (i.e., stereo system 110) for
audio ?le playback. Additionally, if the user attempts to select
a device that is already in use (for example, by another user),
the media unit 106 (i.e., wireless network interface 114) will
send a message indicating that it is busy through the user
interface.
60
e.g., a personal computer 104, and the wireless network inter
entitled “Bonjour” dated October 2003, and published by
Apple Computer, Inc., which is hereby incorporated by ref
erence in its entirety. Additional implementation details may
be found in the following co-pending patent applications,
commonly owned with the present application, which are
hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety: (1)
“Method and Apparatus for Con?guring a Wireless Device
Through Reverse Advertising,” application Ser. No. 10/ 102,
321, ?led Mar. 19, 2002; (2) “Method and Apparatus for
Once a connection is established between a media source,
face 114 media data corresponding to one or more media
Supporting Duplicate Suppression When Issuing Multicast
DNS Queries Using DNS_Format Message Packets,” appli
cation Ser. No. 10/102,l74, ?led Mar. 19, 2002; and (3)
“Method and Apparatus for Implemented a Sleep Proxy for
Services on a Network,” application Ser. No. 60/496,842,
?led Aug. 20, 2003.
65
items (e. g., songs) can be transmitted from the personal com
puter 104 to the wireless network interface 114. The trans
mission can pertain to a ?le transfer of the media data (media
?le) or streaming of the media data. The connection remains
open so long as media data is being transmitted. Once media
data is no longer being transmitted, for example, at the end of
US 7,702,279 B2
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8
playback of a song or album, the connection enters an “idle”
state. While in this idle state, the media source can begin
The packets sent over the data channel (in this example the
audio data) are preferably TCP packets in the general form
successfully transmitting data at any time, as the connection
speci?ed by the real-time streaming protocol (RTSP) stan
has not been closed. Thus, it would not be necessary to rene
gotiate or otherwise reestablish the connection.
However, while the media source has a connection in this
“idle” state, it can also accept an attempt to establish a con
nection with another media source. If such an attempt occurs,
the connection with the ?rst media source will be closed and
a new connection will be established. Preferably, in such case,
the ?rst source will also be noti?ed that its connection has
dard. RTSP is a standard communication protocol known to
those skilled in the art. Therefore, implementation details of
such a system are not discussed here, although they may be
found in Real Time Streaming Protocol Speci?cation dated
Feb. 16, 2004, and prior versions, presently available from
http://www.rtsp.org and which are hereby incorporated by
reference in their entirety. Additionally, although TCP (trans
mission control protocol) is preferably used because of its
been terminated.
robustness, UDP (user datagram protocol) may also be used,
Additionally, for digital rights management purposes, it
particularly in applications where the overhead associated
may be desirable to determine that the media unit 106 is
with TCP would be undesirable.
In either case, the data packets can use RTP (real time
authorized to receive an audio data stream and/or that the
communications link between the personal computer 1 04 and
the media unit 106 is secure (e.g., encrypted). Typically, this
requires some form of authentication, and is preferably based
on a public key/private key system. In one embodiment, each
media unit 106 may be provided with a plurality of private
keys embedded in read only memory (ROM). The media
software is then provided with a corresponding plurality of
public keys. This allows identi?cation data transmitted from
the media unit 106 to the media software to be digitally signed
by the media unit 106 using its private key, by which it can be
protocol) headers, and will include both sequence numbers
and time stamp information. However, when TCP is used, this
sequence and time stamp information is not required for
20
rect sequencing. However, the timing and sequence informa
tion is useful for feedback from the media unit 106 to the
media control software.
25
authenticated by the media software using the appropriate
public key. Similarly, data sent from the media software to the
media unit 106 may be encrypted using a public key so that
only a media unit 106 using the corresponding private key can
decrypt the data. The media software and the media unit 106
may determine which of their respective pluralities of keys to
use based on the exchange of a key index, telling them which
of their respective keys to use without the necessity of trans
transmitting over the control channel an indication of the
30
35
running on personal computer 104 will open a network con
40
45
50
provide visual effects that are synchronized with the “beats”
of the music.
Another use for the packet sequence and time stamp infor
up to that point. In such a case, buffering by the media unit
106 requires that the packets to be discarded be identi?ed,
timestamp information.
The data payload of the RTP packets contains the audio
55
information to be played back by the media unit 106. In a
preferred embodiment, media ?les may be stored on personal
computer 1 04 in one or more formats, including, for example,
MP3 (Motion Picture Expert’s Group Layer 3), AAC (Ad
vanced Audio Coding a/k/a MPEG-4 audio), WMA (Win
dows Media Audio), etc. The media software running on the
is improved response to user commands. As noted above, the
60
personal computer 104 decodes these various audio formats,
eliminating the need for the media unit 106 to include decod
ers for multiple formats. This also reduces the hardware per
formance requirements of media unit 106.Yet another advan
are included in the data stream, these commands would not be
reached until the media unit 106 plays through the buffer,
meaning there would be a delay of up to several seconds
before implementing the user command. This is obviously
undesirable, and thus a separate channel for control data
provides an enhanced user experience.
not become completely empty. This information may also be
used by the media software for synchronizing visual effects
displayed on a monitor (display) of the personal computer
104 or other device with the sound being output from the
media unit 106 (i.e., the stereo system 110). Visual effects to
be synchronized with the audio playback may take a variety
which is most readily accomplished using the sequence and
One advantage to using separate control and data channels
media unit 106 includes buffering of data, which compen
sates for network delays, latency, etc. If control commands
media software determines that the buffers on the media unit
106 are low, additional data may be transmitted to the device
in faster than real time, to insure that the device’s buffers do
mation relates to the case in which the media unit 1 06 receives
an instruction to stop playback and discard all data received
a varying capacity, determined, for example, by network traf
?c or reliability conditions.
In a preferred embodiment, the audio channel is separate
from a control channel. For reasons explained below, it is
advantageous to have the data channel separate from the
control channel. However, a single channel could be used for
data and control information.
unit 106 may indicate the packet just received as well as the
status of the device’ s buffers. This information is useful to the
of forms, including various artistic “visualizations,” which
media unit 106 may have a total of 8 seconds of buffering, but
may begin playback when 2 seconds of audio data have been
received. Additionally, it is also possible for the buffer to have
packet currently being played back. Alternatively the media
media software for multiple purposes. For example, if the
ware. Upon successful authentication, the media software
nection to the media unit’s audio channel and begin sending
data. In this embodiment, the media data is “pushed” from the
media software to media unit 106 rather than being “pulled”
by the media unit 106 from the media software. The media
data received by the media unit 106 can be played by the
media unit 106, namely, played by the stereo system 110. The
media unit 106 receives this audio data, buffers some portion
of the data, and begins playing back the audio data once the
buffer has reached a predetermined capacity. For example, the
For example, the media unit 106 may periodically provide
information about where it is in the playback of the media
stream. This may be accomplished by the media unit 106
mitting entire keys.
It is preferable that authentication of a media unit 1 06 occur
upon initial establishment of a connection to the media soft
detecting missing packets or reordering packets because TCP
automatically provides guaranteed packet delivery and cor
tage of performing decoding on the personal computer 104 is
65
that various effects may be applied to the audio stream, for
example, cross fading between tracks, volume control, equal
ization, and/ or other audio effects. Many of these effects
US 7,702,279 B2
10
would be dif?cult or impossible to apply if the media unit 106
For example, in a particular embodiment, the available
were to apply them, for example, because of computational
media assets are arranged in a hierarchical manner based
resources required.
In one embodiment, the decoded audio data is compressed
upon a selected number and type of groupings appropriate to
the available media assets. For example, in the case where the
by personal computer 104 before transmission to media unit
106. This compression is often accomplished using a lossless
media player 200 is an MP3 type media player, the available
media assets take the form of MP3 ?les (each of which cor
responds to a digitally encoded song or other audio rendition)
stored at least in part in the ?le system 204. The available
media assets (or in this case, songs) can be grouped in any
manner deemed appropriate. In one arrangement, the songs
compression algorithm to provide maximum audio ?delity.
One suitable compressor is the Apple Lossless Encoder,
which is available in conjunction with Apple’ s iTunes® soft
ware. The media unit 106 does require a decoder for the
compression codec used. It is also desirable that the data
stream sent from personal computer 1 04 to the media unit 1 06
be encrypted. One suitable form of encryption is AES using a
pre-de?ned key determined as described above.
can be arranged hierarchically as a list of music genres at a
?rst level, a list of artists associated with each genre at a
second level, a list of albums for each artist listed in the
second level at a third level, while at a fourth level a list of
songs for each album listed in the third level, and so on.
The media player 200 also includes a wireless network
FIG. 2 shows a schematic functional block diagram of a
portable media player 200 according to one embodiment of
the invention. The media player 200 is, for example, suitable
for use as the battery powered portable multimedia player 1 02
shown in FIG. 1. The media player 200 includes a processor
202 that pertains to a microprocessor or controller for con
interface 226 arranged to wirelessly transmit any selected
data from the media player 200 to any appropriately con?g
ured receiver unit (e.g., the wireless network interface 114)
20
over a wireless network. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1,
25
the wireless network interface 226 that takes the form of, for
example, a “WiFi” interface according to the IEEE 802.1 lb or
802.1 lg standards. Other wireless network standards could
also be used, either in alternative to the identi?ed standards or
in addition to the identi?ed standards. Such other network
30
standards could include the IEEE 802.11a standard or the
Bluetooth standard.
In one embodiment, the media player 200 is a portable
computing device dedicated to processing media such as
audio. For example, the media player 200 can be a music
trolling the overall operation of the media player 200. The
media player 200 stores media data pertaining to media assets
in a ?le system 204 and a cache 206. The ?le system 204 is,
typically, a storage disk or a plurality of disks. The ?le system
204 typically provides high capacity storage capability for the
media player 200. However, since the access time to the ?le
system 204 is relatively slow, the media player 200 can also
include a cache 206. The cache 206 is, for example, Random
Access Memory (RAM) provided by semiconductor
memory. The relative access time to the cache 206 is substan
tially shorter than for the ?le system 204. However, the cache
206 does not have the large storage capacity of the ?le system
204. Further, the ?le system 204, when active, consumes
player (e.g., MP3 player), a game player, a remote controller,
a portable communication device, and the like. These devices
are generally battery-operated and highly portable so as to
more power than does the cache 206. The power consumption
is particularly important when the media player 200 is a
35
portable media player that is powered by a battery (not
allow a user to listen to music, play games or video, record
video or take pictures, communicate with others, and/ or con
trol other devices. In one implementation, the media player
shown). The media player 200 also includes a RAM 220 and
a Read-Only Memory (ROM) 222. The ROM 222 can store
200 is a handheld device that is sized for placement into a
such as for the cache 206.
pocket or hand of the user. By being handheld, the media
player 200 is relatively small and easily handled and utilized
by its user. By being pocket sized, the user does not have to
directly carry the device and therefore the device can be taken
The media player 200 also includes a user input device 208
that allows a user of the media player 200 to interact with the
by carrying a large, bulky and often heavy device, as in a
programs, utilities or processes to be executed in a non
volatile manner. The RAM 220 provides volatile data storage,
media player 200. For example, the user input device 208 can
take a variety of forms, such as a button, keypad, dial, etc. Still
40
almost anywhere the user travels (e. g., the user is not limited
portable computer). Furthermore, the device may be operated
45
further, the media player 200 includes a display 210 (screen
display) that can be controlled by the processor 202 to display
information to the user. A data bus 224 can facilitate data
transfer between at least the ?le system 204, the cache 206,
and the processor 202. The media player 200 also includes a
50
by the users hands, no reference surface such as a desktop is
needed.
The multimedia player 102 can be used to remotely access
and/or control the personal computer 104 to effect any num
ber of changes in the music being streamed to and played by
the media unit 106, namely, the stereo system 110. Such
changes include selecting different songs, playlists, changing
bus interface 216 that couples to a data link 218. The data link
218 allows the media player 200 to couple to a host computer
volume, bass, treble, etc. each at the discretion of the user of
over a wired connection.
the multimedia player 102.
When a user desires to have the media player 200 play a
FIG. 3 illustrates a representative multimedia player 3 00 in
accordance with an embodiment of the invention that is suit
able for use as the multimedia player 102 illustrated in FIG. 1
particular media item, a list of available media assets is dis
having a number of input buttons 302. Such input buttons 302
played on the display 210. Then, using the user input device
take the form of a rotatable dial 302-1 in the form of a wheel
capable of rotation in either a clockwise or counterclockwise
In one embodiment, the media player 200 serves to store a
plurality of media assets (e.g., songs) in the ?le system 204.
55
208, a user can select one of the available media assets. The
processor 202, upon receiving a selection of a particular
60
direction having at its center an depressable input button
media item, supplies the media data (e.g., audio ?le) for the
302-2 arranged to receive a user input event such as a press
particular media item to a coder/decoder (CODEC) 212. The
event. Other input buttons 302 include input buttons 302-3
through 302-6 each available to receive user supplied input
action. It should be noted that each of the above described
CODEC 212 then produces analog output signals for a
speaker 214. The speaker 214 can be a speaker internal to the
media player 200 or external to the media player 200. For
example, headphones or earphones that connect to the media
player 200 would be considered an external speaker.
65
buttons can be programmed or otherwise con?gured singly or
in any combination to perform a particular function or suite of
functions. For example, if so desired, the rotatable dial 302-1
US 7,702,279 B2
11
12
can be con?gured to associate a scroll forward function with
a clockwise rotation of the dial 302-1 and a scroll back func
tion with a counterclockwise rotation, or vice-versa. In
another situation, a user can con?gure the dial 302-1 to scroll
Once the media server has received the media ?le request,
an appropriate media ?le is retrieved from the media server
and wirelessly forwarded by way of the wireless network
interface across the wireless network to a media unit (such as
supplied input event in the form of a press of the depressable
button 302-2 to scroll forward in discrete steps, for example,
the stereo 110). In some cases, the media ?le being wirelessly
forwarded is accompanied by an associated control command
to control the stereo system, such as to change the volume,
as opposed to a continuous scroll action. In this way, a user
treble, bass, etc.
can program any of the buttons 302 (singly or in any combi
FIGS. 5A-5B graphically illustrate a data ?ow between the
multimedia player 102, the media server 104, and the media
forward with a clockwise rotation in combination with a user
nation) to perform any function.
Although the multimedia player 300 makes use of the dial
unit 106 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.
Once a user has interacted with the multimedia player 102 to,
for example, select a new song to be played, the multimedia
302-1 and various input buttons 302-2 through 302-6, in
another embodiment, the dial 302-1 can be replaced by a
touch pad, preferably a touch pad supporting circular inputs.
Also, the buttons 302-2 through 302-6 can be provided else
where. For example, if a touch pad is used, the buttons 302-2
through 302-6 can be associated with portion of the touch
player 102 generates a multimedia metadata request 502 that
is then forwarded to the personal computer 104. In response
to the multimedia metadata request 502, the personal com
puter 104 locates the requested metadata associated with the
pad, dispersed about and beyond the outer periphery of the
touch pad, or provided underneath the touch pad.
media ?le(s) 106 (e.g., audio tracks) stored on the personal
computer 104. Typically, the multimedia metadata request
FIG. 4 shows a ?ow diagram of remotely accessing a media
20
502 is a request for a catalog of all media items available on
the personal computer 104. The catalog is typically predeter
server in order to effect a change to a streamed digital media
?le according to one embodiment of the invention. The pro
mined and stored on the personal computer 104. However, if
cess 400 begins by the multimedia player generating a mul
timedia metadata request that is then forwarded to the media
requested need not be for all the media items available on the
not, the catalog canbe generated when requested. The catalog
server 402. In response to the multimedia metadata request,
the media server locates the requested metadata associated
with the media ?le(s) 404 stored on the media server. Typi
cally, the multimedia metadata request is a request for a
catalog of all media items available on the media server. The
25
catalog is typically predetermined and stored on the media
server. However, if not, the catalog can be generated when
requested. The catalog requested need not be for all the media
30
(e.g., song), the metadata can include, song title, author, track
duration, etc. that corresponds to the requested song and is
typically much smaller in size than the associated media ?le.
Once the metadata has been identi?ed, the personal computer
104 can provide a multimedia metadata response 504 back to
the multimedia player 102 for storage thereon. In this case,
the song title, author or other identifying indicia is returned to
the multimedia player 1 02 where it is stored for later retrieval.
items available on the media server. In any event, for a given
media item (e. g., song), the metadata can include, song title,
author, track duration, etc. that corresponds to the requested
song and is typically much smaller in size than the associated
media ?le. Once the metadata has been identi?ed, the media
personal computer 104. In any event, for a given media item
Once the appropriate metadata (e.g., catalog of available
35
media items) is stored on the multimedia player 102, a user
has the option of selecting any of the media items associated
with the stored metadata to be remotely played. For example,
server can provide a multimedia metadata response 406 back
the user can select a new song to be played using the GUI 310
to the multimedia player for storage thereon. In this case, the
song title, author or other identifying indicia is returned to the
multimedia player where it is stored for later retrieval.
that can display at least a portion of the stored metadata that
40
Once the appropriate metadata (e.g., catalog of available
media items) is stored on the multimedia player, the multi
media player displays the available metadata (or portions
thereof) 408. At this point, a user has the option of selecting
any of the media items associated with the displayed metadata
45
descriptive information (e.g., metadata) necessary to
uniquely identify the selected song by the personal computer
410. For example, the user can select a new song to be played.
Once a particular media item has been selected, a multimedia
?le request is generated at the media player consistent with
the metadata corresponding to the selected media item and is
104. At no time is the song data itself transferred from the
50
then forwarded to the media server 412. It should be noted
that the media ?le request need only include descriptive infor
mation (e.g., metadata) necessary to uniquely identify the
selected song by the media server. At no time is the song data
itself transferred from the media player to the media server,
55
thereby avoiding any copyright infringement based upon pro
tected content. Indeed, it may be that the multimedia player
does not include the song data. In addition, since the media
?le request represents a small data transfer (on the order of a
few kilobytes), the amount of power required for the genera
tion and forwarding of the media ?le request from the multi
media player to the media server is substantially reduced over
that which would be required to send the full media ?le. In this
way, a user can effectively provide remote control of the
media unit, e. g., the stereo system, by way of the media server
without adversely affecting battery life of the multimedia
player.
was previously received from the personal computer 104. As
illustrated by FIG. 5B, once a particular media item has been
selected, a multimedia ?le request 602 is generated at the
media player 102 consistent with the metadata corresponding
to the selected media item. The multimedia ?le request 602 is
then forwarded to the personal computer 104. It should be
noted that the media ?le request 602 need only include
media player 102 to the personal computer 104, thereby
avoiding any copyright infringement based upon protected
content. Indeed, it may be that the multimedia player 1 02 does
not include the song data. In addition, since the media ?le
request 602 represents a small data transfer (on the order of a
few kilobytes), the amount of power required for the genera
tion and forwarding of the media ?le request 602 from the
multimedia player 102 to the personal computer 104 is sub
stantially reduced over that which would be required to send
the full media ?le. In this way, a user can effectively provide
60
remote control of the media unit, e.g., the stereo system 110,
by way of the personal computer 104 without adversely
affecting battery life of the multimedia player 102.
65
Once the personal computer 1 04 has received the media ?le
request 602, an appropriate media ?le 604 is retrieved from
the personal computer 104 based on the descriptive informa
tion provided in the media ?le request 602. In one embodi
ment, the appropriate media ?le 604 is retrieved from the hard
US 7,702,279 B2
14
13
drive 108 and wirelessly forwarded by way of the wireless
Hence, the intelligence of the synchronization processing
network interface 116 across the wireless network to the
allows the amount of data transfer to be properly managed
such that it is relatively low or minimized. Although the
synchronization processing 700 makes use of media data
bases at the host computer and the media player, in another
embodiment, the needed host media information and the
player media information can be gathered from the media
items themselves. In one implementation, such media infor
mation can be acquired from metadata provided with the
stereo system 110 via the wireless network interface 114. In
some cases, the media ?le being wirelessly forwarded is
accompanied by an associated control command to control
the stereo system 110, such as to change the volume, treble,
bass, etc.
In some cases, the multimedia player 102 will periodically
wirelessly synchronize to the personal computer 104. The
synchronization can be manually or automatically initiated.
media items. However, by providing the media databases,
The synchronization can synchronize metadata as well as
quickly.
synchronization is able to be performed more ef?ciently and
media data between the multimedia player 102 and the per
While the invention has been disclosed with respect to a
limited number of embodiments, numerous modi?cations
sonal computer 104. Often, the synchronization only pro
vides a subset of the available metadata and media items from
and variations will be appreciated by those skilled in the art.
For example, for this disclosure, the term “computer” does
not necessarily mean any particular kind of device, combina
the personal computer 104 to the multimedia player 102,
which has less storage capacity.
FIG. 6 shows a ?ow diagram of synchronization process
ing 600 according to one embodiment of the invention. The
synchronization processing 600 is, for example, performed
by the personal computer 104 illustrated in FIG. 1. More
tion of hardware and/or software, nor should it be considered
restricted to either a multi purpose or single purpose device.
20
Additionally, although the invention has been described par
25
ticularly with respect to the output or distribution of multi
media information, it should be understood that the inventive
concepts disclosed herein are also generally applicable to the
input or collection of such information. It is intended that all
such variations and modi?cations fall with in the scope of the
speci?cally, the synchronization processing 600 is performed
by a media management application (e.g., iTunes software).
The synchronization processing 600 initially reads 602
player media information from a media database on a media
player. Next, the player information is compared 604 with
following claims.
?rst media ?le information from a media database on a host
The invention claimed is:
computer (e.g., personal computer). Such comparison pro
1. A method of using a portable multimedia player
arranged to store digital media ?les to wirelessly access and/
duces comparison information concerning differences
between the player information and the host information.
Next, the synchronization processing 600 determines 606 one
30
data to a media unit, comprising:
or more media items to copy between the host computer and
the media player based on the comparison information. For
example, media items (e.g., audio ?les for songs) can be
compared using media metadata such as song title, album
or control a media server con?gured to stream digital media
con?guring the portable multimedia player to operate the
portable multimedia player in a ?rst mode or a second
mode,
35
wherein when in the ?rst mode, the portable multimedia
name and/ or artist name which pertain to characteristics or
player performs the operations of:
attributes of the media items. Thereafter, the determined one
or more media items are copied 608 and the appropriate
metadata are updated to the corresponding media database.
displaying a list of digital media ?les on a display of the
Following the operation 608, the synchronization processing
portable multimedia player, the digital media ?les
being stored on the portable multimedia player;
40
600 is complete and ends.
According to one embodiment, the comparison of player
media information and host media information is performed
using media attributes of the various media items. Namely, a
media item on the media player can be deemed the same
media item as resident on the host computer if its media
and
playing the selected digital media ?le on the portable
multimedia player;
wherein when in the second mode, the portable multimedia
45
player performs the operations of:
binding the portable multimedia player and the media
attributes sufficiently match. Examples of media attributes
include title, album, track, artist, composer and genre. These
attributes are particular to a particular media item. In addition,
other media attributes can pertain to quality characteristics of
the media item. Examples of such media attributes include bit
receiving a selection signal to play a digital media ?le;
server; and
wirelessly transmitting a media ?le request from the
multimedia player to the media server, and
50
wherein in response to the media ?le request, the media
server performs the operations of:
rate, sample rate, equalization setting, volume adjustment,
wirelessly forwarding the appropriate media ?le from the
start/stop and total time as well as associated preference
media server to a media unit based on the media ?le
request;
?le(s). Hence, in one embodiment, if the above-identi?ed
media attributes pertaining to a media item on the media
player all match those same media attributes pertaining to a
media item on the host computer, then the two media items
55
wirelessly forwarding the control command from the
media server to the media unit if it is determined that the
control command is to be forwarded to the media unit,
stored on different devices can be deemed the same even
though still further attributes or characteristics may cause
these media items to not be exact duplications of one another.
For example, if modi?cation dates associated with respective
?les storing the media items were different, this difference in
modi?cation date would not trigger the copying of such
media items from the host computer to the media player when
the above-identi?ed media attributes match. However, if the
pro grammable button preference ?les do not match, then only
the programmable button preference ?les are updated.
determining if a control command is to be forwarded to the
media unit to control a function of the media unit; and
60
whereby the media unit is able to playback the appro
priate media ?le in accordance with the at least one
control command.
2. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein the binding the
65
portable multimedia player and the media server comprises:
synchronizing the digital media player and the media
server over a wired connector that includes a IEEE 1394
compliant type connector.
US 7,702,279 B2
15
16
13. A portable digital multimedia player as recited in claim
3. A method as recited in claim 1, further comprising:
9, wherein the media server is a computing device that
includes a personal computer.
displaying a top level menu having a number of user select
able items by the digital media player;
14. A portable digital multimedia player as recited in claim
selecting a particular one of the user selectable items; and
generating the signal based upon the selected item.
9, wherein the media unit is a home audio system.
15. A method of providing wireless remote control of a
remote media unit through use of a portable multimedia
4. A method as recited in claim 3, wherein the selected item
is associated with a particular one of the digital media ?les.
5. A method as recited in claim 4, wherein the signal
player and a personal computer, comprising:
receiving a signal to operate the portable multimedia player
includes digital media ?le metadata uniquely associated with
the particular one of the digital media ?les.
in a ?rst mode or a second mode,
wherein when operated in the ?rst mode, the portable mul
6. A method as recited in claim 5, wherein the digital media
?le metadata includes a digital media ?le title.
timedia player performs the operations of:
7. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein the media server
displaying a list of digital media ?les on a display of the
is a computing device that includes a personal computer.
8. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein the media unit is
portable multimedia player, the digital media ?les
stored on the portable multimedia player;
receiving a selection signal to play a digital media ?le;
a home audio system.
9. A portable digital multimedia player arranged to store
and
playing the selected digital media ?le on the portable
multimedia media ?le metadata used to wirelessly control a
multimedia player;
remote media server which interacts with a remote media
unit, comprising:
20
wherein when operated in the second mode, the portable
multimedia player performs the operations of:
a wireless network interface;
a display device arranged to display a user interface having
wirelessly transmitting a media ?le request from the
portable multimedia player to the personal computer,
a number of user selectable items; and
a processor unit con?gured to operate the portable digital
multimedia player in a ?rst mode or a second mode,
25
and
wherein in response to the media ?le request, the personal
computer performs the operation of:
wherein when the portable digital multimedia player is in
wirelessly receiving at the personal computer a multi
media ?le indication from the portable multimedia
the ?rst mode, in response to a user section of a multi
media ?le stored on the portable digital multimedia
player;
player, the selected multimedia ?le is played by the
portable digital multimedia player,
30
wherein when the portable digital multimedia player is in
media unit;
the second mode, in response to a user selection of one of
the user selectable items generates a signal that is wire
lessly sent by the wireless network interface to the media
server, the signal including multimedia ?le meta data
identifying a multimedia ?le stored on the personal com
35
identifying a multimedia ?le stored on the media server,
wherein the remote media server receives the signal sent by
the wireless network interface and responds to the signal
by accessing the identi?ed multimedia ?le and once
accessed, wirelessly sends the identi?ed multimedia ?le
40
to the remote media unit, and
whereby the remote media unit is able to playback the
appropriate media ?le in accordance with the at least one
control command.
10. A portable digital multimedia player as recited in claim
45
media unit if it is determined that the control com
mand is to be sent to the remote media unit, whereby
the remote media unit is able to playback the appro
priate media ?le in accordance with the at least one
control command.
16. A method as recited in claim 15, wherein said method
further comprises:
wirelessly instructing the remote media unit to play the
identi?ed multimedia ?le.
17. A method as recited in claim 15, wherein said method
further comprises:
50
9, further comprising:
a main bus; and
a bus interface connected to the main bus arranged to
connect the main bus to a data link that provides a data
puter using the received multimedia ?le indication;
accessing the identi?ed multimedia ?le;
wirelessly sending the identi?ed multimedia ?le from
the personal computer to the remote media; and
wirelessly sending the control command to the remote
wherein the media server determines if a control command
is to be forwarded to the remote media unit to control a
function of the remote media unit and wirelessly for
warding the control command from the media server to
the remote media unit if it is determined that the control
command is to be forwarded to the remote media unit,
determining if a control command is to be sent to the
remote media unit to control a function of the remote
providing, to the multimedia player, metadata pertaining to
a plurality of multimedia ?les residing on the personal
computer.
18.A method as recited in claim 17, wherein saidproviding
55
is performed by wirelessly sending the metadata to the mul
timedia player.
path for wired transmission of a catalog of digital mul
timedia ?le meta data corresponding to the digital mul
19.A method as recited in claim 18, wherein saidproviding
does not also provide the multimedia ?les to the multimedia
timedia ?les stored in the media server.
player.
11. A portable digital multimedia player as recited in claim
10, further comprising:
20. A method as recited in claim 17, wherein the metadata
60
a ?le system coupled to the main bus for storing the catalog
of digital multimedia ?le meta data received from the
21. A method as recited in claim 17, wherein the metadata
is a catalog of information associated with the multimedia
?les.
media server.
12. A portable digital multimedia player as recited in claim
11, wherein the portable digital multimedia player remote
controller unit is an MP3 player.
for each of the multimedia ?les including at least descriptive
information and a unique multimedia ?le indication.
65
UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION
PATENT No.
: 7,702,279 B2
APPLICATION NO.
: 11/314291
DATED
: April 20, 2010
INVENTOR(S)
: Steve Ko et al.
Page 1 of 1
It is certified that error appears in the above-identi?ed patent and that said Letters Patent is hereby corrected as shown below:
In column 16, line 26, in Claim 15, delete “operation of:” and insert -- operations of: --, therefor.
In column 16, line 37, in Claim 15, delete “media; and” and insert -- media unit; and --, therefor.
Signed and Sealed this
David J. Kappos
Director 0fthe United States Patent and Trademark O?ice
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