A new Apple patent filing (number 20130044883) shows that Apple is working on techniques for presenting sound effects on a portable media device.
Per the patent, the sound effects can be output as audio sounds to an internal speaker, an external speaker, or both. In addition, the audio sounds for the sound effects can be output together with other audio sounds pertaining to media assets (e.g., audio tracks being played). In one embodiment, the sound effects can serve to provide auditory feedback to a user of the portable media device. A user interface can facilitate a user’s selection of sound effect usages, types or characteristics.
Here’s Apple’s background on the invention: “Conventionally, portable media players have user input devices (buttons, dials, etc.) and a display screen for user output. Sometimes the display screen updates as user inputs are provided via the user input devices, thereby providing visual feedback to users regarding their user input. However, the display screen does not always provide visual feedback and the user is not always able to view the display screen to receive the visual feedback. Still further, some portable media players do not include a display screen.
“Portable media players can also provide auditory feedback as user inputs are provided via the user input devices. For example, to provide auditory feedback for a rotation user input, the iPod media player, which is available from Apple Computer, Inc. of Cupertino, Calif., outputs a “click” sound using a piezoelectric device provided within the media player.
“Unfortunately, however, users often interact with media players while wearing earphones or headphones. In such case, the users will likely not be able to hear any auditory feedback, such as “click” sounds from a piezoelectric device. Moreover, the user might also be listening to audio sounds via the earphones or headphones when the user interaction occurs.
“Consequently, any users interaction with the media player while wearing earphone or headphones will be without the advantage of auditory feedback. The lack of auditory feedback degrades the user experience and renders the media player less user friendly. Thus, there is a need for improved techniques to facilitate auditory feedback on portable media players.”
The inventors are Aram Lindahl, Joseph Mark Williams and Muthya K. Girish.