On July 23, 2015, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their iTunes and Apple Music invention as it relates to new interfaces for media playback for music or future TV streaming services from Hulu, Netflix, Apple TV and more. Apple's Trent Reznor is listed as one of the inventors of the new design.
Apple's Patent Background
Media services are gaining in popularity as more consumers seek immediate access to comprehensive media libraries. For example, instead of purchasing individual copies of songs or albums (e.g., CDs), videos (e.g., dvds of television shows, movies), printed media (e.g., books, newspapers, magazines), games, and the like, consumers can register with various media services to access media offered by the media services. Particularly, various media services and platforms enable users to download or stream media such as for example specific songs, albums, playlists, television shows, movies, books, newspapers, games, and the like, to desktop applications or mobile devices. One benefit advertised by many media services is the ability to discover new media (e.g., new songs, shows, books, magazines) and/or new media that could be of potential interest to the users. However, there are deficiencies in existing media services and platforms.
For example, existing media services tend to provide graphical user interfaces for controlling the playback of a media object that can lack artistic value or an element of interest. For example, existing interfaces typically include a horizontal bar with a sliding mechanism for controlling media playback, the horizontal bar representing the total play time and the sliding mechanism being movable between a start time and an end time at discrete intervals along the horizontal bar. Accordingly, with the advent and popularity of media services offering users the ability to expand their access to media libraries, there is an opportunity for implementing systems and methods for providing new and inventive graphical user interface techniques for controlling the playback of media.
Apple Invents Animated Media Related User Interfaces
Apple's invention is intended to solve the above-noted business and technical problems by providing systems and methods for providing a circular graphical user interface that enables a user to control the playback of media objects in a media service or other software application. In one example embodiment, a method for controlling playback of a media object on an electronic device includes: receiving an input to initiate playback of the media object using the electronic device; displaying, on a display of the electronic device, a circular progress bar having an inner boundary, an outer boundary, and a first circular progress bar width disposed between the inner boundary and the outer boundary; and during the playback of the media object, radially filling the width of the circular progress bar to graphically depict a playback progress for the media object.
Apple notes that a "media service" can be understood to be any service, platform, application, or the like that enables a set of users to access and manage media data, such as, for example, media objects or music objects, among other functionalities. Some examples of media service providers include, but are not limited to, Netflix, Amazon, VUDU, Hulu, YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, and Beats Music/Apple Music. Further, as used herein, a "playlist" can be understood to be a listing, indication, or aggregation of one or more songs, tracks, albums, videos, and/or other media data files or objects that are accessible to and manageable by one or more users, and from which the one or more users can select one or more media objects for playback.
Apple's patent FIGS. 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E noted below illustrate exemplary interfaces associated with the execution, facilitation, and implementation of an aspect designed to control the playback of a media object in accordance with embodiments. More specifically, FIGS. 4A to 4E illustrate screenshots of exemplary graphical user interfaces associated with a playback control application, or a playback control aspect of a media service application, executing on an electronic device. The exemplary interfaces shown in FIGS. 4A-4E can be displayed on a display of a device used by a user of a media service. The devices can be configured to execute the playback control application, and the interfaces of the application can enable the users to provide input associated with various functionalities. The data associated with the exemplary interfaces can be transmitted to, received from, and/or synchronized with a server.
Apple's patent FIG. 3 is a flow diagram illustrating an exemplary method of controlling playback of a media object.
Apple's patent FIGS. 11A and 11B illustrate exemplary interfaces associated with controlling a playback volume of the media object.
Apple's patent FIGS. 6A and 6B noted above are flow diagrams illustrating an exemplary method of controlling the playback progress of a media object.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating an exemplary environment for implementing a media service. Apple notes that a "media service" can be understood to be any service, platform, application, or the like that enables a set of users to access and manage media data, such as, for example, media objects or music objects, among other functionalities. Some examples of media service providers include, but are not limited to, Netflix, Amazon, VUDU, Hulu, YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, and Beats Music – Apple Music.
Apple credits Trent Reznor, Fredric Vinna, Rob Sheridan, Trent Reznor, James Temple, Scott Shaw and Lucio Rufo as the inventors of patent application 20150205511 which was originally filed in Q 2012. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time. For other Apple TV related patents see our archives.
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