Apple Awarded Patent: Coordinated Group Musical Experience

US Patent and Trademark OfficeThe United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded Apple with a new patent this week protecting the technology behind allowing for a coordinated musical experience. Described in their documentation as “Sharing of a music experience amongst a group of people each using a personal communication device.” this new patent is also referred to as “silent disco” and “mobile clubbing.”

Also explained in the patent is that the individuals sharing music do not necessarily need to be in the same geographical location, nor do they have to be listening to the same exact music. It also suggests that other information may be transmitted along with the tune itself.

This patent promises to change the way we share music, though it is a little unclear exactly what that is going to mean.

Traditionally, a “silent disco” is a unique concept in which the DJ plays music on a host device while transmitting it out to others wirelessly with everybody tuning in using headphones. In this case, the music being shared is the same and users have the same general experience. So what’s the point? Without music being blared in a loud and disruptive manner, there is no need to stop the party because it’s late and the neighbors will complain!

In contrast, “mobile clubbing” works much differently. This concept accepts that everybody loves music, but not everybody loves the same music. This lets people dance or party with all of their friends, only doing so while listening to their own playlists –only the time and location are consistent. This one confuses me a little, because it feels a bit like everybody going to a party and listening to their MP3 players instead of socializing… but I can only assume there will be more to it when Apple applies this patent to their development efforts. (the example Macnn uses is a group of individuals in an aerobics class with a single instructor but working out to the music each person likes best, which does make good sense)

Whatever the application, it is nice to see that Apple is trying to think of ways they can drive the music player portion of their devices forward.

[via Macnn]

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About Jillian: A professional. A geek. Writer. Music fanatic. Creative. Thoughtful. Programmer. Educated. Outgoing. Thrill seeker. Realistic. Optimist. Clever. Sarcastic. Not typical. Contact me on Twitter: @codeGoddess