Sometimes patents will reveal what might be coming down the pike and other times it reveals services or products in detail after they've been released. Last week Apple's patent relating to Apple Music's lyrics service was published by the U.S. Patent Office just as we're learning that Spotify is racing to match that service for their customers.
Apple Music Lyric Service Patent
Apple Music's lyric service is a lot of fun and a feature that Spotify is now racing to "copy." According to TechCrunch, "Several users in international markets are now seeing a similar synced lyrics feature in their Spotify mobile app, where lyrics scroll by in time with the music. The feature is powered by Musixmatch, according to the screenshots. The feature is a test in a limited number of markets.
Apple's patent titled "Lyric Search Service" was published on November 7, 2019. Only one of the three inventors was found on LinkedIn, Venkat Sundaranatha's LinkedIn Profile shows he's Director of Engineering. His profile also shows that he's worked on Apple Music, iTunes and more.
Apple's patent FIG. 2 below is a conceptual view of a system for implementing a lyric search service; FIG. 5B illustrates a search query performed utilizing the client-server architecture; and FIG. 9 is a flow chart of a method for querying transcription information related to multimedia content.
Apple's patent states that "In some embodiments, a service associated with a content database receives transcription information for multimedia files stored in the content database. The multimedia files can include any multimedia file that includes an audio track, such as audio files or video files.
The audio track can be transcribed, either manually or automatically, to generate a text-based representation of the audio track.
In the case where the audio track comprises a song that includes lyrics, the text-based representation of the audio track comprises a document that includes a text string that recites the lyrics of the song. The lyrics can include words, separated by line breaks or other special characters to denote logical breaks in the lyrics.
Logical breaks can be identified based on timing of measures of the instrumental portion of the audio track or, alternatively, based on the interpretation of the lyrics during transcription such as by using instrumental or grammatical clues to determine the logical breaks in the song. For example, a song can be written to include verses and a chorus, each of the verses and the chorus containing one or more lines of lyrics having logical breaks between the lines as well as between the verses and chorus.
Apple's patent application 20190340193 that was published earlier this month by the U.S. Patent Office was filed back in Q1 2019 with part of the patent having been established in 2018.