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Composite audio waveforms

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Composite audio waveforms

A technique for aligning a plurality of media clips is provided. One or more intra-clip points of interest (POIs) are identified in at least a first media clip. When aligning a first point in the first media clip with a second point in a second media clip, the first point may be snapped to the second point, wherein at least one of the first point and second point is an intra-clip POI. When a snap occurs, at least one of a visual or audible indication is generated, such as a “pop” sound, a snap line, or automatically aligning the first point with the second point when the first point is within a specified number of pixels of the second point. Techniques for representing multiple channels of an audio clip as a single waveform and caching waveforms are also provided.

Apple Inc. - Browse recent Apple patents - Cupertino, CA, US
Inventor: Keith D. Salvucci
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120269364 - Class: 381119 (USPTO) - 10/25/12 - Class 381 
Electrical Audio Signal Processing Systems And Devices > With Mixer

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120269364, Composite audio waveforms.

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This application claims the benefit as a Continuation of application Ser. No. 11/325,886, filed Jan. 4, 2006 the entire contents of which is hereby incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein, under 35 U.S.C. §120. The applicant(s) hereby rescind any disclaimer of claim scope in the parent application(s) or the prosecution history thereof and advise the USPTO that the claims in this application may be broader than any claim in the parent application(s), which claims the benefit of priority from U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/642,138, filed on Jan. 5, 2005, entitled “Composite Audio Waveforms with Precision Alignment Guides”; the entire content of which is incorporated by this reference for all purposes as if fully disclosed herein.


The approaches described in this section are approaches that could be pursued, but not necessarily approaches that have been previously conceived or pursued. Therefore, unless otherwise indicated, it should not be assumed that any of the described approaches qualify as prior art merely by virtue of their inclusion in this section.

Digital audio players or video players are capable of playing audio and video data from digital files, such as, for example, MP3, WAV, or AIFF files. Known digital audio or video players are capable of showing basic information about a media file, such as the name of the file and any status or progression information regarding the playback process if the audio or video file is being played back on a digital audio or video player. This same type of information is available to and displayed by video, audio, and movie editing software.

FIG. 1 illustrates digital movie editing software that shows the name 102 of an audio file 101, basic time length information 104 associated with audio file 101, and a progression status bar 106. While this information is useful and, indeed, necessary in digital media editing, it would be beneficial to be able to see more detailed information about audio data, such as audio intensity over time, via a visual representation.

Sometimes, audio data is comprised of multiple channels, such as a surround sound mix which could have six or more channels. Thus, the additional detailed information, alluded to above, could be presented with six or more visual representations, each visual representation associated with one channel. Not only do such visual representations occupy much space on a computer display, but much of the information may not necessarily be useful (i.e., the type of digital media editing a user wants to perform does not require editing multiple channels), unless a user is interested in working specifically on one or more of those channels.

Another problem associated with digital media editing is generating visual representations of media files, such as audio clips. Significant time and memory is required to read in all the audio data for a given audio clip and then generate a visual representation based on the audio data.

Lastly, many users of media editing software wish to align two or more media clips. For example, a user may wish to begin a video clip as soon as an audio clip begins. However, often times an audio clip begins with silence and a video clips begins with blank video. Furthermore, there may be many places within a video and audio clip, other than where the audio begins, in which a user may wish to align the media clips. Thus, it is likely that simply aligning the beginning or ending (i.e., edges) of a video clip with an edge of an audio clip may not produce the desired results.

Because simply aligning the edges of media clips may not produce the desired results, editors of digital media may have to manually edit each clip, such as deleting “silence” at the beginning of a media clip, or manually aligning the media clips with a selection device, such as a mouse. Each of these latter techniques are prone to producing less than precise alignments where too much or too little audio is deleted at the beginning of an audio clip (when manually editing) or where a video clip may not start exactly when audio begins (when manually aligning).


The present invention is depicted by way of example, and not by way of limitation, in the figures of the accompanying drawings and in which like reference numerals refer to similar elements and in which:

FIG. 1 is a representative screenshot of digital movie editing software displaying basic information about an audio clip without any accompanying graphic waveforms;

FIG. 2 illustrates two individual audio waveforms, each representing two channels of audio data that are coalesced to create the single composite waveform of FIG. 3;

FIG. 3 is a representative screenshot of digital movie editing software displaying information about an audio clip that includes a single composite waveform that represents two channels of audio data, according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a representative screenshot illustrating a “timeline snap” feature according to one embodiment of the invention, according to an embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 5 is a block diagram that depicts a computer system upon which an embodiment of the invention may be implemented.



Techniques are described hereafter for providing detailed information about audio when editing digital media, for example. Additional information may be displayed while an audio clip is being played as well as when the audio clip is not being played. An example of information that may be displayed is information about volume intensity at different points in time in an audio clip. Certain points of interest within an audio clip may also be automatically identified for “snapping.”

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