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Providing broadcast listener participation

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20120321098 patent thumbnailZoom

Providing broadcast listener participation


A listener participation interface allows listeners to generate playlists that include media elements selected from a library of available media elements. The playlists generated by the listener participation interface are automatically compatible with broadcast automation software used by a broadcaster, so that little, if any, modification of listener-submitted playlists is required before the broadcast automation software incorporates the playlists into an actual broadcast schedule.
Related Terms: Listener

Browse recent Clear Channel Management Services, Inc. patents - San Antonio, TX, US
Inventors: Theodore A. Myers, Kevin R. Lockhart, Jeffrey D. Zigler, Alan L. Sledge, Richard D. Wooden, Jacqueline J. Lockhart
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120321098 - Class: 381 77 (USPTO) - 12/20/12 - Class 381 
Electrical Audio Signal Processing Systems And Devices > One-way Audio Signal Program Distribution

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120321098, Providing broadcast listener participation.

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CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENTS

This application claims priority pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §120, as a continuation, to the following U.S. Utility patent application which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety and made part of the present U.S. Utility patent application for all purposes:

1. U.S. application Ser. No. 12/231,069, filed Aug. 28, 2008, and entitled “SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR PROVIDING BROADCAST LISTENER PARTICIPATION”, which claims priority pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §119(e) to the following U.S. Provisional patent application which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety and made part of the present U.S. Utility patent application for all purposes: 1.1 U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/968,710, entitled “System and Method for Providing Broadcast Listener Participation”, filed Aug. 29, 2007, now expired.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

This application contains material that is subject to copyright protection. Such material may be reproduced by any person exactly as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent files or records. The copyright owner otherwise reserves all rights to such material.

FIELD

This application generally relates to information technology in the field of radio broadcasting, and more particularly to interactive radio broadcasting.

BACKGROUND

In the field of radio broadcasting, present broadcast scheduling technology is not utilized to its full potential. For example, listeners are not able to interact with broadcasters to create, hear and rate broadcasting playlists. Therefore, there is a need in the art for a system and method for providing listener participation of that sort.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is depicts an embodiment of a system that may be used for providing a listener participation interface.

FIG. 2 depicts an embodiment of a screen for a listener to register for access to a listener participation interface that may be provided by the exemplary listener participation software.

FIG. 3 depicts an embodiment of an interface for a listener to log into a listener participation interface that may be provided by the exemplary listener participation software.

FIG. 4 is an embodiment of an interface for defining and creating a playlist of media elements that may be provided by the exemplary listener participation software.

FIG. 5 is an embodiment of an interface having a selection of media elements that may be assembled into a playlist which may be provided by the exemplary listener participation software.

FIG. 6 depicts a display that may be provided by the exemplary listener participation software of a playlist that may be created by use of the interfaces of FIGS. 4-5.

FIG. 7 depicts one embodiment of an interface that may be provided by the exemplary listener participation software for viewing and listening to a playlist that may be rated.

FIG. 8 depicts an embodiment of an interface that may be provided by the exemplary listener participation software for a listener to rate a plurality of playlists that have been created and submitted.

FIG. 9 depicts one embodiment of an interface that may be provided by the exemplary listener participation software for providing frequently asked questions and answers regarding a playlist contest.

FIG. 10 is a schematic diagram of an alternative embodiment of a system that may provide a listener participation interface.

FIG. 11 depicts another embodiment of an interface that may be provided by the exemplary listener participation software for previewing, listening to, and rating one or more playlists.

FIG. 12 depicts another embodiment of an interface that may be provided by the exemplary listener participation software for defining and creating a playlist from a selection of media elements.

FIG. 13 depicts another alternative embodiment of an interface that may be provided by the exemplary listener participation software for a listener to rate and preview a playlist that has been created and submitted.

FIG. 14 depicts an embodiment of an interface that may be provided by the exemplary listener participation software for a radio broadcaster to manage and edit a playlist that has been submitted.

FIG. 15 depicts an embodiment of an interface that may be provided by the exemplary listener participation software for a radio broadcaster to incorporate a plurality of playlists into a radio broadcast.

FIG. 16 depicts another embodiment of an interface that may be provided by the exemplary listener participation software for a radio broadcaster to incorporate a plurality of playlists into a radio broadcast and export that information into its broadcast automation software.

FIG. 17 depicts a time-based log of media elements that have been created by incorporating one or more playlists created by listeners into a radio broadcast.

FIG. 18 depicts an interface that may be provided by the exemplary listener participation software for a radio broadcaster to manage and edit media elements that have been or will be populated onto a listener participation interface database.

FIG. 19 depicts an interface that may be provided by the exemplary listener participation software for a radio broadcaster to create and manage one or more playlist contests.

FIG. 20 is a schematic diagram of yet another alternative embodiment of a system that may provide a listener participation interface.

FIG. 21 depicts an embodiment of an interface that may be provided by the exemplary listener participation software for viewing, listening to, and rating a plurality of songs.

FIG. 22 depicts an embodiment of an interface that may be provided by the exemplary listener participation software for a radio broadcaster to access the ratings submitted through the interface of FIG. 21.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In one embodiment, a system and method is described in connection with radio station broadcasting for providing a listener participation interface. Such a listener participation interface may be provided to allow listeners to organize media elements into a playlist and to facilitate the judging of playlists by listeners and/or by radio broadcasters. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the system and method described herein may alternatively be provided in connection with television or other media broadcasting. Accordingly, a “listener” may refer to a consumer of audible media, visible media, data media, or some combination thereof, and may also refer to, e.g., more general users and to evaluators of such media.

In one embodiment, a listener participation interface may allow listeners to use the same or similar technology as that used by radio broadcasters to create playlists from media elements provided by a radio broadcaster, allow secure access to broadcast data or media elements stored on a radio broadcaster\'s database, and allow playlists to be judged in a contest by listeners and by radio broadcasters. In one embodiment, once playlist finalists have been determined by the radio broadcaster, playlists may be imported into the broadcaster\'s broadcast scheduling computer and database for broad transmission, e.g., over-the-air or via the Internet. Listeners may then hear the playlists on the radio broadcast and have the opportunity through the listener participation interface to rate and judge the playlists. The timing and order of broadcasting listener playlists may be based on the playlist impact amongst the listeners who have submitted the playlists, as well as how the listener playlists pertain and relate to the other programming scheduled in the day. A broadcaster may examine when to best air playlists such that the playlists do not appear to repeat other listener playlists or the broadcaster\'s broadcast schedule. Historical data may be logged by the broadcaster\'s existing broadcast scheduling computer in order for future schedules to be based on what media elements were broadcast in listener playlists.

Radio broadcasters generally use playlist assembler software to create one or more playlists that may be incorporated into a given radio broadcast. Playlist assembler software may comprise computer instructions to assist in organizing a plurality of media elements to form a playlist for a given radio broadcast. For example, playlist assembler software may comprise the MusicGen.® or GSelector.® music scheduling software installed on a radio broadcasting station workstation. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that various embodiments of playlist assembler software may be used in connection with the system and method described herein. A media element may include, but is not limited to, a song, an advertisement, a radio host commentary, news, a segue, beds, a promotion, station identification, a traffic report, a time or temperature announcement, a sound effect, a show, and the like, and may include metadata associated with those media elements, such as artist, title, track and the like. Some embodiments of playlist assembler software may provide a segue editor that a listener may use to define the relationship between media elements such as cross-fades and voice-overs. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that assembling media elements in other contexts, such as assembling video and text files, may include video elements, text and other visual events, as well.

A playlist is generally a time-based collection or arrangement of media elements organized in playback order. For example and not by limitation, a broadcaster may define, over a 24-hour period, when various media elements will be played to create the radio (or television, etc., as the case may be) broadcast “experience,” as is known to those skilled in the art. A playlist may be planned and created well in advance of actual broadcast, or may be created or modified “on the fly.” A playlist may also include metadata associated with the media elements, such as song title, artist, radio station identification, macros (listener-defined sequences of media elements) and the like. As noted above, playlist assembler software may allow the relationship or transition between media elements to be defined through use of a segue editor to provide a particular listening experience.

As shown in FIG. 1, one embodiment of a system and method of providing a listener participation interface may include a radio station workstation 10 running radio broadcast automation software, e.g., the NexGen Digital.® broadcast automation suite from Prophet Systems Inc. or Master Control.®. studio automation software from RCS, Inc., that relies on a broadcast automation content server 9 for broadcast program content and on a broadcast automation database 8 for broadcast program schedule data such as media elements. The radio station workstation 10 may broadcast a radio program over the air via antenna 11 or transmit the program to a radio station website hosting server 2 for transmission, such as by streaming or downloading, to a listener computer 1 and/or cell phone 12 or other mobile device. Optionally, a website hosting administrator may manage the radio station website hosting server 2 via workstation 3. The radio station workstation 10 may further rely on music scheduling database 7 to supply music scheduling data for the radio program schedule. A listener may use a listener computer 1 to access a radio station\'s website at radio station website hosting server 2. Generally, a listener may listen to that radio station\'s broadcast either over the air (if within the broadcast range of antenna 11) or via network transmission, e.g., the Internet. Those having skill in the art will recognize that a broadcaster may operate multiple radio stations and may thus broadcast multiple media streams.

In one embodiment, a listener may interact with the radio broadcaster. A listener participation interface server 4 may provide a listener participation graphical user interface (GUI) to the radio station website hosting server 2 for access by the listener through listener computer 1. The GUI may be populated with media elements retrieved from a listener participation interface database 6. An administrator may manage the listener participation interface server 4 and listener participation interface database 6 via workstation 5. Alternatively, the system may include one or more listener participation interface servers 4 and one or more listener participation interface databases 6. The listener participation interface server 4 and listener participation interface database 6 may provide a more secure “layer” between a broadcaster\'s computer system and one or more listeners. A broadcaster\'s computer system may comprise, in this embodiment, radio station workstation 10, broadcast automation content server 9, broadcast automation content database 8 and music scheduling database 7, all of which may be located at a single location or at multiple locations. As such, a broadcaster may protect any proprietary or confidential information and its systems of operation while still allowing one or more listeners to have access to certain media elements, playlists or software programs, including but not limited to listener participation software or playlist assembler software. Generally, a database includes, but is not limited to, a collection of data embodied in at least one computer readable medium and organized in a suitable way to permit a computer to select one or more desired pieces of such data. For instance, listener participation interface database 6 may comprise a Structured Query Language (SQL) database or a Microsoft.® Access database. Of course, other suitable databases may be employed. The computers, workstations and servers include but are not limited to programmable machines capable of executing machine-readable instructions. The computers, workstations and servers may comprise one or more processors, which may comprise part of a single machine or multiple machines.

Each of listener participation interface server 4 and listener participation interface database 6 may comprise one or more units of hardware, which may or may not be located at the same geographic location. Listener participation interface database 6, which may be integral to or separate from listener participation interface server 4, may serve as a searchable repository for a large volume of media elements. Listener participation interface database 6 and listener participation interface server 4 may be accessible by one or more radio personnel, such as through workstations 10 or 5, and one or more listeners through a network, which may include but is not limited to the Internet. Indeed, those skilled in the art will recognize that communication between the devices illustrated in FIG. 1 may be direct or indirect, wireless or otherwise, and through any suitable network, such as the Internet. Those skilled in the art will recognize that a listener may communicate with the radio station website hosting server via any suitable electronic device, including mobile devices such as cellular phones 12 and PDAs. Listener participation interface server 4 may be programmed with one or more computer programs containing instructions for receiving input signals representative of media elements, storing the media elements in listener participation interface database 6, and providing or restricting access to media elements or listener participation software to one or more listeners, one or more radio broadcast personnel, or any other users.

In various embodiments, a radio broadcaster or radio station may create a contest by selecting a plurality of media elements available for incorporation into playlists by listeners and populating a listener participation interface database 6 with the selected media elements. For example, a listener participation interface database 6 may be populated with media elements chosen from media elements stored in the music scheduling database 7. Also, listeners may create and submit media elements and playlists by utilizing a listener participation interface.

In some embodiments, at least one listener participation interface server 4 alone or in combination with at least one listener participation interface database 6 may serve to host a listener participation interface for a plurality of radio stations located at various geographic locations. Such a configuration would allow a radio station to incorporate a listener participation interface into the radio station\'s existing website without requiring additional computers or databases to be added to the radio station\'s existing computer system. In various embodiments, listener participation interface database 6 may populate media elements into a listener participation interface, and maintain the listener participation interface, voting, and analysis tools for tallying votes for various playlists or analysis of data for promotions or accounting purposes.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120321098 A1
Publish Date
12/20/2012
Document #
13600552
File Date
08/31/2012
USPTO Class
381 77
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
04B7/00
Drawings
23


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