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Multi-point representation

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20120284624 patent thumbnailZoom

Multi-point representation


Some embodiments of the invention provide a method that presents a preview of a set of images in a graphical user interface (GUI) of a device. To generate the preview, the method initially selects a subset of images that includes several images in the set but not all the images in the set. After selecting the subset of images, the method concurrently displays the images in the selected subset as the preview of the set of images.

Inventor: Bas Ording
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120284624 - Class: 715719 (USPTO) - 11/08/12 - 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 Video Or Audio System Interface >Video Interface



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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120284624, Multi-point representation.

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CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is related to an application concurrently filed with the present application, with the title “Motion Picture Preview Icons,” and with the attorney docket number APLE.P0112.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to multi-point representation.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In recent years, there has been a proliferation of multi-media content. One example of such content is motion picture content. Motion picture content is content that includes numerous pictures (frames, fields, images, drawings, etc.) that are displayed in a sequence in order to provide the illusion to a viewer that objects in the picture appear to move. Examples of such content include animations, movies, television shows, home videos, or any other type of video clips.

With the proliferation of multi-media content on computers, various methods have been proposed to allow computer users to identify and organize such content. However, to date, few solutions have been proposed to allow a user to ascertain quickly the subject matter of motion-picture content stored on a computer.

For instance, the graphical user interface of most computers today display a generic icon for the motion picture content and require the user to identify the content's subject matter from the title of the icon. FIG. 1 illustrates one such approach. Specifically, it illustrates four icons 105-120 of four video clips that are stored in a folder 125 entitled Videos. Each of these icons has a text component and a graphical component. The graphical component of each icon only illustrates that the icon's associated video clip is an AVI file that can be opened by the Quicktime media player. An icon's graphical component provides no other indication of the subject matter of the icon's video clip. The only indication of the subject matter of the icon's video clip is provided by the icon's text, which provides the name of the video clip. Hence, a viewer cannot glean too much information about the subject matter of a video clip from the video clip's icon.

Some have suggested having one frame from the video clip serve as the graphical component of the clip's icon. FIG. 2 illustrates one such approach. In particular, it illustrates four icons 205-220 of four video clips that are stored in a folder 225 entitled Videos. The graphical component of each of these icons illustrates the first frame in each video clip, while the icon's text provides the name of the video clip. This approach pictorially provides a user with more information regarding the subject matter of each clip than the approach illustrated in FIG. 1. However, even under the approach illustrated in FIG. 2, a viewer still might not be able to glean too much information about the subject matter of a video clip from the video clip's icon, because the first frame of the clip might not be very representative of the clip's subject matter or might not provide enough information to allow a viewer to understand the subject matter.

Another approach is to display a video preview window next to a video clip's icon when the video clip is selected. The user can then view the video clip in this preview window. FIG. 3 illustrates this approach. Specifically, it illustrates a Movies folder 305 that includes eight video clips. In this figure, the Movies folder is illustrated in a column-view format employed by the OS X operating system of Apple Computer, Inc. Also, in this figure, a video clip 310, entitled Comedy, has been selected. This selection causes a preview window 315 to open to the right of this video clip. At its bottom, the window 315 has control buttons 320 (e.g., play, volume, etc.) that allow a user to initiate and control the playback of the video clip within the window 315.

The approach illustrated in FIG. 3 allows a user to review the subject matter of a video clip without the need to have a media player formally open the video-clip's file. Hence, a user can more quickly ascertain the subject matter of a video clip. On the other hand, this approach still does not provide the user with immediate or near immediate visual data regarding the subject matter of the video clip.

Therefore, there is a need in the art for a graphical user interface that provides quick feedback to a user about the subject matter of a video presentation. More generally, there is a need for a graphical user interface that would provide the same preview feedback for any other audio presentation, image presentation (e.g., collection of images), document presentation, etc. Ideally, this graphical user interface would provide the user with several different options to quickly discern and access the subject matter of the presentation.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

Some embodiments of the invention provide a method that presents a preview of a set of images in a graphical user interface (GUI) of a device. The set of images can be a video presentation, a set of digital photographs, an animation, a set of drawings, etc. To generate the preview, the method initially selects a subset of images that includes several images in the set but not all the images in the set. In some embodiments, the method selects the subset of images in an automated manner. For instance, in some embodiments, the method automatically selects the images based on a specified set of criteria, such as specified intervals in the set of images, scene changes in the set of images, etc. Some embodiments allow a user to adjust the set of criteria (e.g., allow a user to adjust the specified intervals for selecting images in the set of images). In addition, some embodiments allow a user to select the images in the selected subset of images.

After selecting the subset of images, the method concurrently displays the images in the selected subset as the preview of the set of images. In some embodiments, the displayed images are thumbnail versions of the images in the selected subset of images. Some embodiments display all the thumbnail images in the same size in one row or one column. Other embodiments display at least two different thumbnail images in at least two different sizes. For instance, in some embodiments, the thumbnail for at least one image is larger than the thumbnail for at least two other images, and the two smaller images are aligned in one row or one column that is adjacent to the larger thumbnail. Some embodiments define the order of the thumbnail images in the concurrent display of images based on the order of the images the set of images. In this manner, the order of the images in the display is indicative of the order of the images in the content.

Some embodiments concurrently display the selected subset of images when a user selects, in the GUI, an icon that represents the set of images. Other embodiments have the subset of images form the graphical component of the icon that represents the set of images. In other words, these embodiments display the selected image subset as at least a portion of the graphical component of the icon representing the set of images. Some embodiments display the selected image subset in at least a portion of another GUI elements (e.g., a button or other user-selectable GUI element).

Such an icon or GUI element can be part of the GUI of an operating system of the device (e.g., of a computer or other electronic device). For instance, the icon can be displayed in a folder structure of the operating system. Alternatively, the operating system can display the icon in a window that displays the results of a search performed by a user. The icon can also be part of the GUI of an application program (e.g., an image or video editing application) that is executing on the device. The GUI element can be part of the GUI of the operating system of the device or any application executing on the device.

Each multi-image representation provides a static multi-image preview of a set of images. In some embodiments, each such multi-image representation can also provide a dynamic motion-picture preview. Specifically, some embodiments display the set of images in a sequence (1) within the graphical component of the set's associated icon, or (2) within the display window that opens adjacent to the icon to display the subset of images when the icon is selected.

Moreover, when a user requests such a dynamic motion-picture preview, some embodiments provide a motion-picture transition from the static multi-image preview within a multi-image icon to a dynamic motion-picture preview within the multi-image icon. For instance, in some embodiments, all but one of the images in the displayed image subset gradually disappear behind the remaining image. In these embodiments, the graphical window that contains the remaining image then sequentially displays the images in the set. The motion-picture preview icons were described above in the context of multi-image icons and previews. However, some embodiments implement the motion-picture preview in icons that are represented by only a single image (e.g., a single thumbnail image).

In some embodiments, the sequential display of images is in response to a user's request to view a motion picture preview of the images. In response to this request, some embodiments direct an application (e.g., a media player) to retrieve the images and generate the sequential display (e.g., the video display) of the image. Some embodiments have the application perform this operation without a visual indication to the user that the application has been opened.

Some embodiments provide playback control buttons (e.g., play button, stop button, enlarge button, etc.) to facilitate the playing of the sequential display. Such buttons can be part of or associated with (1) the icon that represents the image set, or (2) the displayed image subset when the subset is displayed adjacent to the icon. Some embodiments present some or all of these buttons only when a cursor of the GUI is within a particular distance of the icon or the displayed image subset. Alternatively, in some embodiments, some or all of the buttons are displayed irrespective of the position of the cursor (e.g., some of the buttons are at all times displayed with the icon).

Some embodiments also provide a line that scrolls across a window that displays the sequence of images as the images are being sequentially displayed in a motion-picture icon. This line provides a visual indication of the location of a currently displayed image in the series of the images that are being sequentially displayed. In some embodiments, a user can select and move this line in order to change the image that is being displayed in the window.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features of the invention are set forth in the appended claims. However, for purpose of explanation, several embodiments are set forth in the following figures.

FIG. 1 illustrates generic icons.

FIG. 2 illustrates icons having one frame from the video clip serve as the graphical component of the clip's icon.

FIG. 3 illustrate a video preview window next to a video clip's icon of some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates multi image icons of some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 5 illustrate a video preview window as part of the graphical component of an icon of some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 6 illustrates a process that generates a multi-image icon that represents a set of images in the graphical user interface of a device of some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 7 illustrates an arrangement of the thumbnails in the pictorial representation of icons in some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 8 illustrates a search window that displays multi-image icons of videos of some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 9 illustrates a graphical user inter face of a photo editing/organizing application having multi-image icons of some embodiments of the invention.

FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate an example of moving a multi-image icon from one folder to another in some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 12 illustrates a data structure used to represent a multi-image icon of some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 13 illustrates another data structure used to represent a multi-image icon of some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 14 illustrate a multi-image content in a preview window of some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 15 illustrates multi-image icons of videos that are stored in a folder of some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 16 illustrates four stages of a motion-picture transition for the case when a user selects the play button of some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 17 illustrates a geometric shape that scrolls across an icon during a motion picture preview of the icon of some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 18 illustrates an example of a motion picture preview that provides an expansion button for expanding the motion picture preview to cover the entire display screen of some embodiments of the invention.

FIGS. 19 and 20 illustrate an example of moving a motion preview icon from one folder to another in some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 21 illustrates a data structure used in some embodiments to represent a multi-image, motion-picture preview icon of some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 22 illustrates a multi-image preview of a video clip after the selection of the clip's associated icon of some embodiments of the invention.

FIGS. 23-25 illustrate a motion picture transformation of a preview after a user selects the play button on the play bar of some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 26 illustrates the playing of a motion picture preview in an enlarged preview window.

FIG. 27 illustrates an example of a single thumbnail, motion-picture preview icon of some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 28 illustrates the display of the video represented by the icon after a user has requested the playing of this video by selecting the button of some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 29 illustrates an example of using the multi-image preview to create a multi-image preview icon that represents a word processing document in some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 30 conceptually illustrates a computer system with which some embodiments of the invention are implemented.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

OF THE INVENTION

In the following description, numerous details are set forth for the purpose of explanation. However, one of ordinary skill in the art will realize that the invention may be practiced without the use of these specific details. In other instances, well-known structures and devices are shown in block diagram form in order not to obscure the description of the invention with unnecessary detail.

I. OVERVIEW OF SOME EMBODIMENTS

Some embodiments of the invention provide a method that presents a preview of a set of images in a graphical user interface (GUI) of a device. The set of images can be a video presentation, a set of digital photographs, an animation, a set of drawings, etc. Also, in some embodiments, the device is a standalone computer, such as a desktop, laptop, handheld computer, etc. In other embodiments, the device is any type of electronic device that has embedded computing resources, such as processors with firmware or software, or configurable computing resources (e.g., FPGA\'s), etc. Examples of such devices include consumer electronic or communication devices, home media centers/hubs, handheld electronic devices, etc.

To generate the preview, the method initially selects a subset of images that includes several, but not all, the images in the set. In some embodiments, the method selects the subset of images in an automated manner. For instance, in some embodiments, the method automatically selects the images based on a specified set of criteria. Some embodiments utilize numerical or statistical criteria, such as specifying numerical or percentage intervals in the set of images. Other embodiments utilize criteria based on the content of the images in the set. For instance, some embodiments select images in a video by identifying scene changes in the video and selecting images that occur before or after the scene changes. Some embodiments allow a user to adjust the set of selection criteria (e.g., allow a user to adjust the specified intervals for selecting images in the set of images), while other embodiments do not. In addition, some embodiments allow a user to select the images in the selected subset of images.

After selecting the subset of images, the method concurrently displays the images in the selected subset as the preview of the set of images. In some embodiments, the displayed images are thumbnail versions of the images in the selected subset. FIG. 4 illustrates an example of such a display. Specifically, it illustrates four icons 405-420 of four video presentations that are stored in a folder 425 entitled Videos. Each icon has a text component that provides the name of the video presentation associated with the icon.

Each icon also has a graphical component that illustrates five images of five frames in the video presentation. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4, the first image 430 is larger than the other four images. Also, the four smaller images 435-450 are arranged in two rows that are to the right of the larger image. However, as further described below, other embodiments arrange the images differently, have other images appear larger, use the same size for all the images, and/or allow a user to select the arrangement or size of the images.

In each icon 405-420, the order of the images is based on the order of the images in the icon\'s corresponding video. In this manner, the order of the displayed images is indicative of the order of the images in the video. The combination of an icon\'s displayed images and the order for their display provides a user with immediate information about the subject matter of the video presentation associated with the icon. Hence, by simply viewing a video\'s icon in FIG. 4, a user can immediately obtain information about the subject matter of the video.

FIG. 4 provides just one example of some embodiments of the invention. Many other embodiments exist. For instance, multi-image icons can be used (1) by the GUI\'s of application programs (e.g., image and video editing applications) to display multi-image content being organized, stored and/or edited by these programs, (2) by operating systems or applications to display results of searches, etc. Moreover, as further described below in Section IV, some embodiments use the multi-image representation of a multi-image content not in the content\'s associated icon but rather in a preview window that opens when a user selects the icon. These alternative embodiments are further described in Sections III and IV. The multi-image preview is also shown in other GUI elements (such as button, other user-selectable GUI elements, etc.).

Some embodiments provide a motion picture preview window as part of the graphical component of an icon that represents an image set, such as a video presentation. This window allows a user to view a preview of the image set within the graphical component of the set\'s icon. FIG. 5 illustrates one such approach. Specifically, it illustrates the video folder 425 of FIG. 4 after a user has initiated a motion picture preview of the video presentation associated with icon 410. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5, the five images of the icon 410 have collapsed into a single preview window 510, which is larger than the five images. The preview window 510 provides a preview of the video presentation entitled Europe, as indicated by the playback bar 505 at the bottom of the window 510.

Section V further describes an icon\'s motion-picture preview window of some embodiments. This section also describes playback control buttons and features that allow a user to direct the display in the preview window in some embodiments. This section further describes alternative embodiments for a motion-picture preview icon. As further described below, some of these alternative embodiments implement the motion-picture preview icons in icons that are represented by only a single thumbnail image.

Before describing additional embodiments in Sections III-V, several definitions are provided in Section II below.

II. DEFINITIONS

As used in this document, the terms image, thumbnail, icon, motion picture, and slide show have the following definitions.

An image is a picture, a drawing, a video frame, a video field, etc.

Multi-image content is any content that includes two or more images that can be displayed in a sequence. Motion picture content is one example of multi-image content. Motion picture content is content that includes several images that are displayed in a sequence in order to provide the illusion of motion to a viewer (i.e., to provide the illusion to a viewer that objects appear to move in the images). Multi-image content includes any type of video presentation (movies, television shows, home videos, other types of video etc.), digital photographs, animation, drawings, slide shows, etc.

A slide show is a series of images that are displayed in sequence. In many digital slide shows today, multiple images in the slide show are generated from one image by zooming in and panning across the one image. However, some slide shows do not account for panning and zooming by generating multiple such images from a single image. These slide shows simply change the size of the image and the location of a window that captures the enlarged-image\'s portion that is shown in the slide show.

A thumbnail image is a smaller version of a larger image. A thumbnail image typically has a lower resolution than its associated larger image. A multi-thumbnail image can be defined as (1) multiple separate thumbnails, (2) a single composite thumbnail that has multiple sections with each section showing a smaller version of a larger image, or (3) some combination of a single composite image and multiple separate thumbnails.

An icon is an item in the graphical user interface (GUI) of a device. The icon represents an object (such as a document, program, folder, volume, disk, etc.) stored on the device or connected to the device. An icon has a graphical component and at times a text component. A user can perform an operation on an object through its associated icon. For instance, the user can use an object\'s icon to direct an operating system or application of a device to open the object (e.g., to open a storage structure, such as a media file, that stores media data, such as an image or video data). Many icons are also moveable within the GUI of an operating system or application of a device. For instance, an icon can be moved from one folder to another folder in a storage structure (e.g., folder structure or database) of an operating system or application.

III. MULTI-IMAGE ICONS

FIG. 6 conceptually illustrates a process 600 that generates a multi-image icon that represents a set of images in the graphical user interface of a device. An application or operating system of the device performs this process automatically for each set of images that are stored on the device. In different embodiments, the device performs the process 600 at different stages. For instance, some embodiments perform the process 600 each time an image set is loaded or specified in the device. In addition, some embodiments perform this process when an image set is retrieved in response to a search (e.g., a user-specified search for particular content stored on the device or on a network connected to the device).

As shown in FIG. 6, the process initially identifies (at 605) a set of criteria to select a subset of images in the image set. The selected subset includes several, but not all, images in the image set. Hence, the set of criteria typically specifies a number to select. The selection criteria are different in different embodiments. For instance, in some embodiments, the selection criteria specify intervals to select images in the set of images. The intervals can be provided in terms of number of images or in terms of relative percentage position within the set of images. For instance, some embodiments specify the selection of the nth frame in a video and every mth frame after that until x number of frames have been selected, where n, m, and x are integers. Other embodiments specify frames that appear after the 20%, 40%, 60%, and 80% mark in the set. In other embodiments, the selection criteria are based on the content of the images. For example, the selection criteria might specify that images that occur before or after scene changes in a motion picture need to be selected.

Some embodiments do not allow a user to adjust the selection criteria. On the other hand, other embodiments allow a user to specify or adjust the set of selection criteria (e.g., allow a user to adjust the specified numerical or percentage intervals for selecting images in the set of images), through preference settings of an operating system or an application of the device. Moreover, as further described below, some embodiments allow a user to specify a different set of images after automatically selecting and displaying the subset of images.

As shown in FIG. 6, the process 600 selects (at 610) the subset of images based on the set of criteria identified at 605. Specifically, in some embodiments, the process uses the selection criteria to identify a certain number of images in the storage structure or structures that contain the set of images. For instance, in some embodiments, the process selects the nth frame in a video and every mth frame after that until x frames have been selected, where n, m, and x are integers. Other embodiments would select images in a video by identifying scene changes in the video and selecting images that occur before or after the scene changes. Some embodiments use known techniques for identifying scene changes in a video (e.g., by identifying when differences between successive images in the set exceeds a threshold to indicate a potential scene change in the motion picture).

In some embodiments, the set of images is encoded in a particular format. For instance, in some cases, the set of images is an MPEG encoded video. Accordingly, in these cases, the process would decode the selected subset of images that are stored in an encoded manner. In some embodiments, the process uses a media player to retrieve and decode encoded images from storage structure or structures that store the images (e.g., uses a Quicktime player to retrieve and decode MPEG encoded frames from an AVI file).

After 610, the process generates (at 615) at least one thumbnail image for each image selected at 610, or generates (at 615) one composite thumbnail for all the images selected at 610. The process 600 generates multiple thumbnail images for each image in some embodiments. As further described below in Section V, some embodiments use multiple thumbnail images for each image in the selected subset, in order to provide a motion-picture transition from a static multi-image preview within a motion-picture\'s icon, to a dynamic motion-picture preview within the icon. Other embodiments provide the motion-picture transition by using only the single composite thumbnail. To generate a thumbnail version of a selected image, the process 600 can use any known techniques for generating a lower resolution, smaller image from a higher resolution, larger image. At 615, the process also stores in a cache some or all the thumbnails that it generates in some embodiments, in order to facilitate quick retrieval of the thumbnails whenever they are needed.

Next, at 620, the process defines and stores an icon to represent the set of images. In defining the icon, the process uses (at 620) the thumbnails or thumbnail produced at 615 to form a part of the graphical representation of the icon. In case of the multiple thumbnails, these thumbnails are arranged in the icon\'s pictorial representation (i.e., are defined in the icon\'s image file) based on an order that is indicative of the order of the selected subset of images in the set of images. Similarly, the composite thumbnail includes several image sections (1) that are smaller versions of the selected subset of images, and (2) that are arranged in the composite in an arrangement that is indicative of the order of the selected subset of images in the set.

Once the icon for an image set is defined, the icon\'s pictorial representation will provide its viewer immediately with information about the content of the image set, as it provides a concurrent preview display of several images in the set according to the order in which these images appear in the set.

As described above, FIG. 4 provides one example of how some embodiments define each icon for a set of images. Specifically, this figure illustrates that some embodiments define a multi-image icon in terms of five images, with the first image being larger and the other four images arranged in two rows to the right of the larger image. This figure also provides an example of how the order of the images in the icon\'s graphical representation relates to the order of their corresponding images in the image set. For instance, the arrangement of the images 430, 435, 440, 445, and 450 of icon 410 is indicative that (1) the frame of image 430 appears in the video before the frame of image 435, (2) the frame of image 435 appears in the video before the frame of image 440, (3) the frame of image 440 appears in the video before the frame of image 445, and (4) the frame of image 445 appears in the video before the frame of image 450. The five displayed images 430-450 can be defined as five separate thumbnails, can be defined in a single composite thumbnail that includes five sections that show smaller versions of the five video frames, or some combination of a single composite image and multiple separate thumbnails.

Other embodiments arrange the images differently in the image file of the icon. For instance, FIG. 7 illustrates another arrangement of the images in the pictorial representation of icons. Specifically, it illustrates four icons 705-720 of the four video clips that are stored in a folder 725 entitled Video.

Each icon also has a graphical component that illustrates four images of four frames in the video clip. The four images all have the same size and are arranged in a single row. The four displayed images can be defined as four separate thumbnails, can be defined in a single composite thumbnail that includes four sections that show smaller versions of the four video frames, or some combination of a single composite image and multiple separate thumbnails.

In each icon 705-720, the order of the displayed images is based on the order of the frames in the icon\'s corresponding video clip. Specifically, each image that appears to the left of another image has a frame in the video that is before the frame of the other image. The combination of an icon\'s displayed images and the order for their display provides a user with immediate information about the subject matter of the video associated with the icon.

As in the icons of FIG. 4, each icon in FIG. 7 has a text component that provides the name of the video associated with the icon. Also, other metadata (e.g., duration, resolution, size, and date in this example) of each video appears below the video\'s icon in FIG. 7. Other embodiments might display other metadata.

As mentioned above, some embodiments allow a user to select the arrangement or size of the images that appear in the multi-image preview (e.g., allow the user to make such choices through the settings of the operating system or an application of the device). Some embodiments also allow a user to change the images that appear in the multi-image preview (e.g., to change the thumbnails in the icons). For instance, some embodiments allow the user to select an image in the multi-image preview (e.g., through a right cursor-button click operation), to control a playback of the video through a scroll bar that appears across the preview, and then to identify (e.g., by releasing the scroll bar) the frame in the video that should replace the selected image.

FIGS. 4 and 7 illustrate embodiments that are implemented in a nested folder structure of an operating system. The multi-image icons of the invention can also be used by operating system or applications of the device to display results of searches, etc. For instance, FIG. 8 illustrates a Spotlight search window 825 (used by the OS X operating system of Apple Computer, Inc.) that displays four multi-image icons 805-820 of four video. As shown in this figure, the Spotlight search has identified the four videos after performing a search of its locally stored content for any AVI file.

Like in FIGS. 4 and 7, the images are arranged in each multi-image icon in FIG. 8 in an order that is indicative of the position of their corresponding frame in the video. Also, like the examples illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 7, each icon in FIG. 8 has a text component that provides the name of the video associated with the icon. As in FIG. 7, metadata (e.g., the duration, resolution, size, and date) of each video clip appears below the clip\'s icon in FIG. 8. In the Spotlight result window 825, the folder that contains each video is also identified below each video clip\'s corresponding multi-image icon. For instance, “Trips 2003” is identified as the folder that contains the Europe.avi video clip, which is represented in the window 825 by icon 810.

The multi-image icons of the invention can also be used by the GUI\'s of application programs to display multi-image content that are being organized, stored and/or edited by the programs. For instance, FIG. 9 illustrates the GUI 925 of a photo editing/organizing application. This photo editing/organizing application displays four multi-image icons of four digital film rolls, where a digital film roll is a set of digital images that are imported (from an external source, such as a digital camera or memory, or from an internal folder) into the photo organizing application during one import session. As shown in this figure, the film rolls are stored in a folder called vacations.

Each film roll is represented by five images that represent five pictures in the film roll. Like in FIGS. 4, 7, and 8, the images are arranged in each multi-image icon in FIG. 9 in an order that is indicative of the position of their corresponding picture in the film roll. The five displayed images can be defined as five separate images, can be defined in a single composite thumbnail that includes five sections that show smaller versions of the five pictures, or some combination of a single composite image and multiple separate thumbnails. Like the examples illustrated in FIGS. 4, 7, and 8, each icon in FIG. 9 also has a text component that provides the name of the film roll associated with the icon.

In some embodiments, the photo organizing application in FIG. 9 is the iPhoto application of Apple Computer, Inc. Other embodiments might be implemented in other photo organizing applications that operate on a device or are accessible through a network, such as a network of networks (like the Internet).

The photo organizing application 925 can also use the multi-image icons of the invention to represent photo albums, slide shows and videos that it stores. Moreover, video editing applications (like iMovie of Apple Computer, Inc., Final Cut Pro of Apple Computer, Inc., etc.) can also use multi-image icons to represent different video presentation and video projects that they import, edit, generate, etc.

In some embodiments, the multi-image icons of FIGS. 4, 7, 8, and 9 not only open the media files that store their associated media data, but also can be selected and moved across (e.g., through click and drag operations) the GUI of the operating system or applications that use these icons. For instance, FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate an example of moving (e.g., through a click and drag operation) the multi-image icon 420 from the folder 425 to a folder 1005.

Also, in some embodiments, each image in a multi-image icon (such as the ones illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 7) can serve as a link to access its corresponding image in the set of images. For instance, some embodiments allow a user to direct a media player to start a video at a particular frame by selecting (e.g., double clicking) an image that represents the frame in video\'s multi-image icon. In this manner, the multiple images serve as multiple different access points to multiple different sections in a media presentation.



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Context-sensitive mobile controller for media editing systems
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Online search, storage, manipulation, and delivery of video content
Industry Class:
Data processing: presentation processing of document
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120284624 A1
Publish Date
11/08/2012
Document #
13550578
File Date
07/16/2012
USPTO Class
715719
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
06F3/01
Drawings
31


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Data Processing: Presentation Processing Of Document, Operator Interface Processing, And Screen Saver Display Processing   Operator Interface (e.g., Graphical User Interface)   On Screen Video Or Audio System Interface   Video Interface