Apple has filed for a patent (number 8,370,459) for a “method and user interface for accessing groups of media assets.”
Improved systems and methods to navigate, browse, search and/or playback digital media assets (e.g., media items) hosted on a media server are disclosed. One embodiment of the invention pertains to a user interface arrangement, such as a hierarchical menu system, that facilitates navigation, browsing and playing of media items remotely stored on a media server.
The user interface arrangement enables user scrolling or browsing with respect to a list or set of information pertaining to media items, where the list or set can be expanded to include information for additional media items that are subsequently acquired. The user interface arrangement can also present and permit navigation of categorized media items. The user interface arrangement can be presented on a display device associated with a client device. In one embodiment, the display device can be a television and the client device can be an electronic apparatus that can couple to the media server via a network.
Here’s Apple’s background on the invention: “Conventionally, graphical user interfaces have been presented on display devices associated with various electronic apparatus. For example, a television utilizes its television screen to present graphical user interfaces that enable a user to configure or program the television. A television can also connect to a set-top box that can also operate to present of a graphical user interface with menus that can be traversed to specify television programs that are to be played as scheduled or on-demand or recorded for subsequent playback.
“It is common that a remote controller be utilized to interact with the television or set-top box in order to make selections with respect to these graphical user interfaces. Typically, the remote controller utilizes infrared data transmission between the remote controller and the television or set-top box.
“With the growth of the Internet, centralized, online hosting of media content has become prevalent. As an example, online media stores are prevalent on the Internet and facilitate review, preview and purchase of media items, such as songs, ring tones or videos. Peer-to-peer sharing of media files is also prevalent on the Internet. Another form of online hosting of media content allows numerous users to publish media content, such as videos, to a media server coupled to the Internet.
“One example of an online host for media content is YouTube, Inc. operating a media server at the network domain name of ‘www.youtube.com.’ Upon submission of a media item to the media server, a submitter can provide information pertaining to the video being submitted. This information can include a title, brief description, category and tag(s). Once submitted and stored to the media server, other users can access the media server via the Internet to browse, search or play the various videos.”
The inventors are Rachel Clare Goldeen, Jeffrey Ma, Michael Margolis, Rainer Broderson, Calin Pacurariu and Jeffrey L. Robbin.