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Activity indicators in a media sharing system

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Title: Activity indicators in a media sharing system.
Abstract: A system and method are provided for generating and displaying one or more indicators indicative of a level of activity within a media sharing system. In one embodiment, with respect to a user participating in the media sharing system, an indicator representative of an activity level of a media collection shared by the user in the media sharing system may be generated and presented to the user. In addition or alternatively, indicators representative of activity levels of media collections shared by other users participating in the media sharing system may be generated and presented to the user. Still further, in addition or alternatively, indicators representative of activity levels with respect to playlists in the media sharing system may be generated and presented to the user. ...


Browse recent Eloy Technology, LLC patents - Wilmington, DE, US
Inventors: Christopher M. Amidon, Harold Sutherland, Hugh Svendsen
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120023430 - Class: 715772 (USPTO) - 01/26/12 - Class 715 
Data Processing: Presentation Processing Of Document, Operator Interface Processing, And Screen Saver Display Processing > Operator Interface (e.g., Graphical User Interface) >On-screen Workspace Or Object >Instrumentation And Component Modeling (e.g., Interactive Control Panel, Virtual Device) >Progress Or Activity Indicator

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120023430, Activity indicators in a media sharing system.

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RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a Continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/239,877, entitled ACTIVITY INDICATORS IN A MEDIA SHARING SYSTEM, filed on Sep. 29, 2008, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a media sharing system.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

There is an enormous amount of digital media content currently available to consumers. For example, the Apple® iTunes Store® currently hosts over 8 million songs. However, since no single user owns all of the available content and because users often desire to experience new content, numerous media sharing services have been developed. One such media sharing service is disclosed on commonly owned and assigned U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/104,572, entitled METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR AGGREGATING MEDIA COLLECTIONS BETWEEN PARTICIPANTS OF A SHARING NETWORK, which was filed on Apr. 17, 2008. Another exemplary media sharing service is provided by the Apple® iTunes® media player, which enables up to five (5) users to share their music collections over a Local Area Network (LAN). There is a desire to enable participants in such a media sharing system to quickly and easily be informed of playback activity within the media sharing system.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to generating and displaying one or more indicators indicative of a level of activity within a media sharing system. In one embodiment, with respect to a user participating in the media sharing system, an indicator representative of an activity level of a media collection shared by the user in the media sharing system may be generated and presented to the user. In addition or alternatively, indicators representative of activity levels of media collections shared by other users participating in the media sharing system may be generated and presented to the user. Still further, in addition or alternatively, indicators representative of activity levels with respect to playlists in the media sharing system may be generated and presented to the user.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate the scope of the present invention and realize additional aspects thereof after reading the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments in association with the accompanying drawing figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

The accompanying drawing figures incorporated in and forming a part of this specification illustrate several aspects of the invention, and together with the description serve to explain the principles of the invention.

FIG. 1 illustrates a media sharing system according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 2A and 2B illustrate the operation of the media sharing system of FIG. 1 according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an exemplary Graphical User Interface (GUI) including activity indictors with respect to the media sharing system according to one embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a block diagram of an exemplary embodiment of one of the user devices of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The embodiments set forth below represent the necessary information to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention and illustrate the best mode of practicing the invention. Upon reading the following description in light of the accompanying drawing figures, those skilled in the art will understand the concepts of the invention and will recognize applications of these concepts not particularly addressed herein. It should be understood that these concepts and applications fall within the scope of the disclosure and the accompanying claims.

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary media sharing system 10 in which indicators of activity within the media sharing system 10 are generated and displayed to users according to one embodiment of the present invention. In general, the media sharing system 10 includes a number of user devices 12-1 through 12-N having associated users 14-1 through 14-N. In this embodiment, the user devices 12-1 through 12-N are connected via a Local Area Network (LAN) 16 and are part of the same subnetwork. However, the present invention is not limited thereto. The user devices 12-1 through 12-N may alternatively be connected via a Wide Area Network (WAN), a global network such as the Internet, or the like. As yet another alternative, some of the user devices 12-1 through 12-N may be connected via a LAN while others are connected via a WAN or global network.

Each of the user devices 12-1 through 12-N may be, for example, a personal computer, a mobile smart phone, a set-top box, a portable media player, or the like. Looking at the user device 12-1, the user device 12-1 includes a media player function 18-1 which may be implemented in software, hardware, or a combination thereof. In addition to providing media playback capabilities, the media player function 18-1 includes an aggregation function 20-1. In an alternative embodiment, the aggregation function 20-1 may be implemented as a separate function. For example, if the media player function 18-1 is a software media player application, the aggregation function 20-1 may be implemented as a plug-in. In general, the aggregation function 20-1 operates to generate an aggregate media collection 24-1 for the user 14-1 including media items in a local media collection 22-1 of the user 14-1 and media items from one or more remote shared media collections of one or more of the other user 14-2 through 14-N.

In addition, as discussed below, the aggregation function 20-1 generates and displays activity indicators. The activity indictors may include an indicator of an overall activity level of the local media collection 22-1 of the user 14-1 within the media sharing system 10, indicators of activity levels of one or more shared media collections, indicators of activity levels of one or more playlists, or the like, or any combination thereof. The activity level of the local media collection 22-1 may be determined based on or may otherwise reflect the number or percentage of other users 14-2 through 14-N that are currently playing, have recently played, or are expected to play media items included the local media collection 22-1 of the user 14-1. The activity level of a shared media collection may be determined based on or may otherwise reflect the number or percentage of users 14-1 through 14-N that are currently playing, have recently played, or are expected to play media items included the shared media collection. The activity level of a playlist may be determined based on or may otherwise reflect the number or percentage of users 14-1 through 14-N that are currently playing or have recently played the playlist.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120023430 A1
Publish Date
01/26/2012
Document #
12914103
File Date
10/28/2010
USPTO Class
715772
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
06F3/048
Drawings
6



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