Technology described in a newly published Apple Patent application would let podcast viewers and listeners request personalized podcasts from podcast content creators whose podcasts they subscribe to.
The Patent app is entitled, "Creation, Management and Delivery of Personalized Media Items."
The Abstract furnishes a basic understanding of what is being proposed:
Improved techniques to facilitate generation, management and delivery of personalized media items for users are disclosed. Users are able to influence or control content within a media item being personalized. In one embodiment, personalized media items are podcasts. Users are able to influence or control the content in or with a podcast. In other words, a podcast can be created in accordance with a user's needs or specifications so that the content within a podcast is customized or personalized for the user.
Additional passages and art from the accompanying Patent app literature further describes how this would be done. Let's go there now.
Conventionally, the media content within podcasts are fixed when made available to subscribers. In other words, a subscriber can choose to subscribe to a particular podcast from a plurality of established podcasts.
However, a subscriber has no control over the content provided in or with podcasts. Unfortunately, however, a subscriber may desire a podcast that is somewhat different from the available podcasts.
In many cases, a subscriber is not interested in the entire pre-established podcast but would prefer to modify the podcast in some manner. However, there is currently no way for a subscriber to alter the content within a podcast.
Thus, there is a need for improved techniques to enable podcast users to have greater control over the content provided in or with podcasts.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The invention pertains to the generation, management and delivery of personalized media items for users. Users are able to influence or control content within a media item being personalized. In one embodiment, personalized media items are podcasts. Users are able to influence or control the content in or with a podcast. In other words, a podcast can be created in accordance with a user's needs or specifications so that the content within a podcast is customized or personalized for the user.
The invention can be implemented in numerous ways, including as a method, system, device, apparatus (including graphical user interface), or computer readable medium. Several embodiments of the invention are discussed below. As a computer-implemented method for forming a podcast, the method includes at least: determining whether a custom podcast should be formed; retrieving stored podcast characteristics associated with the custom podcast to be formed; and forming the custom podcast based on the podcast characteristics.
As a computer-readable medium including at least computer program code for forming a personalized media item, one embodiment of the invention includes at least: computer program code for retrieving stored characteristics associated with the personalized media item to be formed, the stored characteristics specifying or referencing media content to be included within the personalized media item; and computer program code for forming the personalized media item based on the stored characteristics.
As a computer system, one embodiment of the invention includes at least a processor and a data storage device. The processor is configured to execute computer program code to form one or more personalized media items. The data storage device stores one or more personalized media items and the computer program code.
The computer program code includes at least: computer program code for determining whether a personalized media item should be formed; computer program code for retrieving stored predetermined characteristics associated with the personalized media item to be formed; and computer program code for forming the personalized media item based on the predetermined characteristics.
Other aspects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.
I have chosen Figure 2, and its accompanying documentation, as an example of how this could be done.
FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a podcast system 200 according to one embodiment of the invention. The podcast system 200 provides a representative data flow view for creation and delivery of a personalized podcast. The podcast system 200 can, for example, be provided by the podcast media system 100 illustrated in FIG. 1.
The podcast system 200 initially receives a request for a personalized podcast. The request for the podcast would typically come from a requester.
In one embodiment, the request for a podcast would include at least criterion (podcast criterion) that specify or reference characteristics of the personalized podcast to be created.
In one embodiment, the criterion includes information to identify one or more categories (content categories). The criterion can also include information on at least time periods and/or at least one type of media item.
The criterion can also specify how frequently the requester desires to have such podcasts created. The requester can pertain to the client (e.g., client 102), a client program (e.g., client program 104) or a user of the client or client program.
[The podcast criterion is provided to a podcast creator 202. The podcast creator 202 would receive the podcast criterion. The podcast creator 202 would then process the podcast criterion to determine the media data to be acquired for the podcast.
Here, the podcast creator 202 could interact with one or more media content servers. The media content servers, for example, can include content server A 204, content server B 206, . . . , content server N 208. The podcast creator 202 can retrieve media content from any one or more of the content servers 204, 206 and 208 when creating the personalized podcast. In one embodiment, the podcast to be created is personalized in view of the particular request for a podcast.
The resulting podcast can then be provided to a subscription server 210 (e.g., RSS server) where it is made available for download to a client 212. Typically, to download the podcast, the client 212 would request the podcast from the RSS server 210 and then receive the podcast at the client 212.
The client 212 can also thereafter download the podcast to a portable media device 214. Once the podcast is stored on the client 212 or the portable media device 214, the podcast can be played to, in effect, present the personalized media of the podcast to the user of the client 210 or the portable media device 214.
"Portable media device?" Does the iPhone come to mind?