Apple looks towards digital media sharing during iPhone calls

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[Apple looks towards digital media sharing during iPhone calls] - AppleInsider

Apple has spent some time outlining technology that would add anew level of interaction between iPhone users, such as the ability toshare and control playback of digital media files like music tracks andvideo during a telephone call.

The concept is outlined in a 19-page patent filing discovered by AppleInsiderthis week titled "Methods and systems for mixing media withcommunications" and credited to Apple software engineer JeffreyTerlizzi. It begins by noting that while media items are becomingincreasingly portable for mobile users these days, they're still not aseasily shared with others located remotely in real time.

"For example, an individual may call his friend to discuss music, butin order for the friend to listen to the music, the individual eithermay have to send the music to the friend using a device other than histelephone," according to the filing, "or he may have to end the phonecall and use the telephone to send the friend an email with the musicattached."

Cut-and-dried, Apple's approach to improving upon this limitation is toinclude an "Add Media" option to the iPhone's phone application thatwould allow users to attach and transmit media items to another iPhoneuser with whom they're currently engaged in a phone call. Among thelisted types of media suitable for transmission during calls are musicfiles, video, images, voicemails, and podcasts.

"For example, the user may initiate a telephone call with his friend inorder to ask the friend if she is familiar with a particular song,"Apple said. "Once the phone call has been established between the userand his friend, the user may select the song of interest from hiscommunications device, and he may send the song to his friend over thesame communication path used by the communications device to establishthe communications operation, so that the two may continue their phoneconversation while the song plays simultaneously."

Alternatively, the filing notes that "the communications device mayreceive a communications operation in the form of a request for a videoconference, and once the conference is established, the user may selecta video (e.g., a YouTube.TM. selection) to be sent back to theconference initiator by the communications device over the samecommunication path."

iPhone users would also have full control over playback of media itemsonce they're shared, according to Apple. For example, they could pauseand resume playback of a shared digital music track, skip to the nextor previous track in the sender's music library, or switch totransmitting a different media item entirely.

Throughout the filing, the Cupertino-based company makes numerousreferences to interactive iPhone video conferences where digital mediafiles are shared, something not possible with today's iPhone modelsbecause they don't include include a forward-facing video camera.

"For example, the user may wish to transmit a video media item to therecipient of a communications operation, where the ongoingcommunications operation is in the form of a video conference," Applesaid. "Thus, there may be two video data streams to transmit to therecipient, one related to the media item and one related to thecommunications operation."

"There may also be two audio data streams to transmit. In order totransmit all of the streams over the same communication path, thecontrol circuitry may employ a multiplexer to combine together anyvideo streams, and to combine together any audio streams," the filingadds. "The multiplexer may then combine into one fixed stream the twocombined streams. The control circuitry may signal the communicationscircuitry to transmit the fixed stream to the recipient of thecommunications operation using any suitable approach."

by 배큼 | 2009/06/06 22:36 | Apple | 트랙백 | 덧글(0)

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