Apple patents iPod user interface | iLounge News

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Apple patents iPod user interface

MacObserver has discovered that Apple yesterday filed a patent for a “graphical user interface and methods of use thereof in a multimedia player.” The following is an abstract from the patent application.

“In a portable multimedia device, a method, apparatus, and system for providing user supplied configuration data are described. In one embodiment, a hierarchically ordered graphical user interface are provided. A first order, or home, interface provides a highest order of user selectable items each of which, when selected, results in an automatic transition to a lower order user interface associated with the selected item. In one of the described embodiments, the lower order interface includes other user selectable items associated with the previously selected item from the higher order user interface.”

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Comments

1

Without reading this thing, I don’t see how the menu system can be patented. It’s basically a heirchary system and most every program and device uses something similar (how else is one to find a song?). Now the scroll wheel and touchpad design… maybe.

Posted by digitaltrapper on March 26, 2004 at 9:23 AM (PDT)

2

It’s about time.

Posted by george dubya bush on March 26, 2004 at 9:31 AM (PDT)

3

The single mention of the iPod product name (provided as an example of an MP3 player with said menu system) is misspelled “IPOD”.

Posted by Ben Rosenthal on March 26, 2004 at 9:31 AM (PDT)

4

digitaltrapper…

Yeah… read the thing.  :-D

Once they get past Claim 3, it’s actually a fairly specific description of the iPod UI.

Posted by azdude_15gb on March 26, 2004 at 10:21 AM (PDT)

5

<yawn>

Posted by Guy from Apple on March 26, 2004 at 10:42 AM (PDT)

6

This has to be a wind up.  If it’s not then It’s just more proof that the US patent system is a load of bovine leavings.

Posted by Fenn on March 26, 2004 at 10:59 AM (PDT)

7

First, this has not been patented yet. This is only a published patent application. Second, if it does receive a patent, only the claims will be given legal weight. The abstract and the description are only to help further define the claims.  More than likely the claims will change over the course of prosecution. Usually the process is, file an application with broad claims. Patent Examiner finds prior art and rejects claims. Applicant then amends claims to get around prior art. Then it will be patented if it can successfully get around the prior art. Many times the final patent claims will be so narrow that they will only describe the invention, in this case the iPod. That is, if the Examiner does a good job…

Posted by dfense on March 26, 2004 at 11:07 AM (PDT)

8

Great stuff. What next, Apple patents something called the “MP3 Player”:
“A device which allows the the portable and personal playback of compressed audio music files by use of on-board digital memory, computer processor and headphone socket.”
Kill that competition why don’t you…. Whether or not Apple is successful in getting whatever it is they’re specifying, the fact that they’re attempting speaks volumes about their attitude.

Posted by pomegranate on March 26, 2004 at 11:50 AM (PDT)

9

Uhm… they just described the File Explorer in Windows, and every other electronic folder based file storage system on the planet. Morons.

Posted by coolp on March 26, 2004 at 12:22 PM (PDT)

10

what about Portal Player?

Posted by tetro on March 26, 2004 at 2:10 PM (PDT)

11

this item is misleading. Apple absolutely DID NOT file this yesterday. It was filed in 2002. The US Patent Office published it yesterday.

Posted by wolfpacker on March 26, 2004 at 4:07 PM (PDT)

12

Yet another abuse of the patent system…

Posted by orange on March 26, 2004 at 5:58 PM (PDT)

13

Seems to explains why so many user interfaces of players following the iPod are so bad in comparison and are not even close clones of the iPod’s UI: fear of the courtroom.

Posted by whoopitup on March 26, 2004 at 10:59 PM (PDT)

14

I’m going to patent the QWERTY keyboard.  I can get around the prior art thing by swapping the Q and W keys. Then I’ll be able to make a fortune!

Posted by Fenn on March 27, 2004 at 3:31 AM (PDT)

15

Believe it or not it costs at least (probably more) $5k to get a patent. If you are going to go through the time and money to get a patent, hopefully it is something marketable. I do not think a WQERTY keyboard would have a huge market. Point taken, however.

Posted by dfense on March 27, 2004 at 7:15 AM (PDT)

16

Isnt the iPod menu system based on the NEXT OS method of navigating through multiple files or windows?

I thought that at the time this type of file navigation was unique to NEXT, so if Apple purchased NEXT when Jobs came back then Apple has full right to patent this navigation method as applied to an mp3 player.

Posted by Ariza on March 27, 2004 at 11:40 AM (PDT)

17

3-4 people mentioned here that they were describing Windows Explorer, no they are NOT. In Windows Explorer, you make folders and go through them. In this one, it collects info from the songs and orders them using this method.

On Dell Digital Jukebox’es the menu system looks like this but a little… worse. When you click Artist>Evanescence, it shows all songs from the 4 albums. In iPod, you go Artist>Evanescence and then it shows album names, which you can choose and listen to one. On Dell, if you want to listen to one album, you have to find the album name yourself. In iPod, you don’t have to memorize the names of the albums, you can choose the artist and then the album.

Posted by iyiinsan on March 28, 2004 at 7:33 AM (PDT)

18

I invented music, so I rule it all. Screw you Apple.

Posted by It was me on March 28, 2004 at 11:11 AM (PDT)

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