Apple's audio playback patent filing

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
The United States Patent and Trademark Office this week published a patent filing by Apple Computer that describes techniques for modifying the playback rate of an speech-based audio track on a computer or iPod digital music player.



"The invention pertains to improved techniques for modifying a playback rate of an audio item," Apple wrote in the filing. "As a result, the audio item can be played back faster or slower than normal."



The company said its approach to the technology is also more resource efficient than existing techniques.



"Portable media devices, such as media players, are small and highly portable and have limited processing resources," it explained. "Given the resource efficiency of these techniques, the improved techniques are also well suited for use with portable electronic devices having audio playback capabilities, such as portable media devices."



In the filing, Apple says the invention is "well suited for audio items pertaining to speech, such as audiobooks, meeting recordings, and other speech or voice recordings." It also makes reference to "an interface" (shown below) that "can facilitate a user's selection of a desired playback rate."



One of the advantage of the invention, the company said, is that speech-related audio can maintain its intelligibility despite a wide range of timescale modification. It would therefore allow users to speed up playback of pre-recorded meeting dialog or audio books for faster digestion.



The April 1, 2005 filing is credited to Apple employees Aram Lindahl and Joseph Mark Williams.



Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    April 1, 2005? The patent office sure takes their time, huh?
  • Reply 2 of 17
    donlphidonlphi Posts: 214member
    This would also be a useful tool for musicians trying to transcribe solos or learn how to play something that is technically difficult. There are several devices that already allow you to slow down audio without changing pitch, but perhaps this is much deeper than that. I'm sure they will limit what audio files you can slow down.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BrianMojo


    April 1, 2005? The patent office sure takes their time, huh?



    patent applications are published 18 months after the filing date.



    think about what would happen if someone applied for a patent and the next day the PTO published your idea for everyone to see.
  • Reply 4 of 17
    g-dogg-dog Posts: 171member
    Amazing Slow Downer (excellent program) has been doing this sorta thing for years for musicians.

    I think Apple is shooting more for the iPod on this.



    http://www.ronimusic.com/amsldox.htm
  • Reply 5 of 17
    I've never seen it mentioned before, but the latest iPod already HAS this.



    Just got a new 30, and going through the settings there's one (I think under audiobook) that gives a choice of slow/standard/fast.



    So yeah, Apple has already implemented this and released it.
  • Reply 6 of 17
    g-dogg-dog Posts: 171member
    I guess if I had a new iPod I would know that. Damn this whole "technology gettting better over time" thing.
  • Reply 7 of 17
    crees!crees! Posts: 501member
    But wasn't this all demoed at WWDC? Remember the comparison between Tiger, Leopard, and Vista?
  • Reply 8 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider


    The April 1, 2005 filing is credited to Apple employees Aram Lindahl and Joseph Mark Williams.



    ...april fools!!



    sorry too tempting.
  • Reply 9 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crees!


    But wasn't this all demoed at WWDC? Remember the comparison between Tiger, Leopard, and Vista?



    I think that was just Text-to-speech, not voice audio.
  • Reply 10 of 17
    If you want to see it now, it's also in Quicktime (pro might be required). If you look in AV controls, there's a playback speed slider similar to this patent. Speeds up the movie without changing the pitch of the audio.



    That one has been there months, if not a year.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    This is ironic, because the speed-up audio function in Quicktime actually doesn't work!



    I don't know why I'm the only one who seems to have noticed this, but on a wide variety of video that I've tried, when you speed it up to around 2.5 or 3x, the sound becomes garbled with an overlapping echo of itself. People must just assume that 3x is too hard to understand, but it's not--try the 2xAV plug-in for real video, which leaves audio perfectly comprehensible. Quicktime, on the other hand, just doesn't do it right.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoboomafoo


    patent applications are published 18 months after the filing date.



    think about what would happen if someone applied for a patent and the next day the PTO published your idea for everyone to see.



    Makes sense to me!
  • Reply 13 of 17
    Thats great - should be able to fit a lot more songs on the ipod if they are saved at the faster speed
  • Reply 14 of 17
    Quote:

    rate of an speech-based ...



    When to use a and when to use an: if the word proceeding begins with a vowel then use an to separate to consecutive vowels. If the word proceeding begins with a consonant then use a.



    Quote:

    rate of a speech-based ...



  • Reply 15 of 17
    maccrazymaccrazy Posts: 2,657member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by minderbinder


    I've never seen it mentioned before, but the latest iPod already HAS this.



    Just got a new 30, and going through the settings there's one (I think under audiobook) that gives a choice of slow/standard/fast.



    So yeah, Apple has already implemented this and released it.



    My 60GB photo Pod also has this. This has been here a while! Since, maybe April 2005 by any chance?
  • Reply 16 of 17
    donlphidonlphi Posts: 214member
    And... "The Biggest Loser on Apple Insider" award goes to "The Grammar Guy". This guy has nothing better to do all day than check every post on the website and criticize the grammar. Congratulations!!! Y O U W I N ! ! !



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer


    When to use a and when to use an: if the word proceeding begins with a vowel then use an to separate to consecutive vowels. If the word proceeding begins with a consonant then use a.



  • Reply 17 of 17
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer


    When to use a and when to use an: if the word proceeding begins with a vowel then use an to separate to consecutive vowels. If the word proceeding begins with a consonant then use a.



    Ah, I love it when people correct grammar, then get it wrong in their correction.



    Let me ask you, fine sir: what do you put in front of "university"? Hm? By your post, it would be "An". And you'd be wrong.



    The rule relates purely to pronunciation, not spelling.
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