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DESCRIPTION JP2012105352

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DESCRIPTION JP2012105352
An improved interactive sound reproduction system is provided. An audio system attachable to a
computer includes an audio reproduction device that produces an audible sound from an audio
signal. The sound reproduction device comprises a radio tuner and a power supply speaker. The
audio system further comprises a connector for connecting the sound reproduction device to the
computer. The computer provides audio signals from a plurality of signal sources, which include
a computer CD player, digitally encoded computer files stored on the computer, and a computer
network connected to the computer. The sound reproduction apparatus comprises control
buttons for controlling at least one of a computer CD player, a digitally encoded computer file
and a computer network. [Selected figure] Figure 1
Interactive sound reproduction system
[0001]
The present invention relates to interactive (acoustic) sound reproduction, and in particular to
sound reproduction from computer compact disc (CD) drives, network radio stations, broadcast
radio stations and digitally encoded computer files.
[0002]
Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open No. 09-230976
[0003]
It is an important object of the present invention to provide an improved interactive sound
reproduction.
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[0004]
According to the invention, an audio system comprises a sound reproduction device for
reproducing audible sound from an audio (audio) signal.
The sound reproduction apparatus includes a radio (radio) tuner, a powered speaker, and a
connector for connecting the sound reproduction apparatus to a computer.
A computer provides audio signals from multiple signal sources.
Signal sources include computer CD players, digitally encoded computer files stored on a
computer, and computer networks connected to a computer. The sound reproduction apparatus
includes control buttons for controlling at least one of a computer CD player, a digitally encoded
computer file and a computer network.
[0005]
In another form of the invention, an audio system comprises an audio reproduction device that
produces an audible sound from an audio signal. The sound reproduction apparatus comprises
an enclosure that houses a radio tuner and a power supply speaker. The audio system further
comprises a connector for connecting the audio reproduction device to the computer, and a
computer providing audio signals from the computer CD player, the digitally encoded computer
file and the computer network.
[0006]
In another aspect of the present invention, an audio system is an audio reproduction device for
reproducing an audible sound from an audio signal, an audio signal from a computer network,
and any one of a plurality of selectable network addresses. A computer coupled to the audio
player for receiving audio signals transmitted from the remote control device, and a remote
controller for communicating commands to the audio player, the remote controller including a
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plurality of indicator buttons Have. By pointing to one of the indicator buttons, the computer
selects one of the network addresses pre-assigned.
[0007]
In another aspect of the invention, an audio system comprises a computer system and a sound
reproduction system for reproducing audible sound from an audio signal. Audio signals come
from multiple selectable signal sources. The method of switching the sound reproduction system
from a powered down (not powered) state to a powered (powered) state consists in transmitting
the control signal from the sound reproducing system to the computer system. Including. If the
computer system responds to the control signal, the method determines by the sound reproducer
that the computer system is in a responsive state, and if the computer system does not respond
to the control signal, the computer system Is determined to be in a non-responsive state.
[0008]
In another aspect of the invention, the radio receiver has n preset indicators. The method of
assigning broadcast frequencies to individual preset indicators involves determining the location
of the radio receiver and scanning the frequency spectrum to identify the strongest signal.
[0009]
In another form of the invention, the sound system comprises a sound reproduction device
coupled to the computer system and a remote control device for transmitting the encoded
control instructions to the sound reproduction device. A method of decoding a command
comprises receiving one of the encoded control commands by the sound reproduction device,
decoding the one reception control command by the sound reproduction device, and the sound
reproduction device To execute that one reception control command. The method includes
transmitting encoded control instructions to the computer system if the one received control
instruction is not decodable or not executable by the audio player.
[0010]
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In another aspect of the invention, an audio system comprises an audio reproduction device for
reproducing audible sound from audio signals from a plurality of sources. The signal source may
be a radio tuner and a CD including a plurality of individually addressable tracks, a plurality of
individually addressable network addresses, and a plurality of individually addressable digital
storage devices stored in the memory. At least one of the encoded files is included. The audio
system includes a selector for selecting a signal source of the audio signal reproduced by the
sound reproduction device from a plurality of signal sources, and a control signal input device. If
the selected signal source is a radio tuner, activation of the control signal input device changes
the tuning frequency of the radio tuner, and if the selected signal source is a CD, activation of the
control signal input device is instructed Changing the playback position within the CD track or
track, activation of the control signal input device changes the indicated network address if the
selected signal source is a selectable network address.
[0011]
In another aspect of the present invention, a method of operating an audio system adapted to
reproduce speech from a plurality of digitally encoded files containing a signature comprises
presetting an indicator of one of the signatures. Assigning, at the time of indication of the preset
indicator, searching for the value of the one signature from a plurality of files and selecting a
digitally encoded file having that value for playback .
[0012]
In another aspect of the present invention, a method of selecting an audio signal source from a
plurality of audio signal sources having identification characteristics includes identifying one
value of the identification characteristics, which audio signal source is selected by the computer.
Determining if it has a value of one characteristic and selecting one audio signal source from a
plurality of audio signal sources.
[0013]
According to yet another aspect of the invention, the method provides multiple sets of values to a
set of presets used with the signal source.
The method changes the set of values by clicking on a graphic such as a right or left arrow on the
display to retrieve a new set of values for the preset.
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Usually, any one of a set of values by either clicking on the appropriate preset on the screen with
the pointing device, pressing the selected preset on the remote control, or pressing the preset on
the radio It is selectable.
[0014]
Other features, objects, and advantages will be apparent from the following detailed description
with reference to the accompanying drawings.
[0015]
FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a first configuration of a network sound system according to the
present invention.
FIG. 5 is a block diagram of a second configuration of a networked sound system according to the
invention. Figure 3 is a block diagram of the interface unit of Figures 1 and 2; It is a figure for
demonstrating the logical database relation of a recorded unit and a set of recorded units. FIG. 5
is a diagram of a sound reproduction device control panel according to the invention. 5 is a
display of an interface screen on a computer display according to the invention. Fig. 5 is a flow
chart of assigning a broadcast radio frequency to a preset button according to the present
invention. The button on the remote control is shown. FIG. 3 is a schematic circuit diagram of a
circuit in a radio implementing elements 12, 14 and 16 of the system of FIG. 2; Fig. 3 is a circuit
diagram of a circuit in a radio implementing elements 12, 14 and 16 of the system of Fig. 2; FIG.
3 is a circuit diagram of a circuit in a radio implementing elements 12, 14 and 16 of the system
of FIG. 2; FIG. 3 is a circuit diagram of a circuit in a radio implementing elements 12, 14 and 16
of the system of FIG. 2; FIG. 3 shows an implementation of the interface unit 54 of FIG. 2;
[0016]
Referring to the drawings, and in particular to FIG. 1, a first configuration of a networked sound
system according to the invention is shown. The sound reproducing apparatus 10 communicates
an AM / FM tuner 12, an audio (audio frequency) signal processing circuit 14, control electronic
circuit 16 for controlling the tuner and the signal processing circuit, and a command to the
control electronic circuit 16. A remote control device 17 and an electroacoustic transducer
(transducer) 18 are provided. An auxiliary (AUX) input 13, usually implemented as a single jack,
allows the sound reproduction device to receive audio signals from an external signal source
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such as a portable CD player. A computer system (PC) 20 includes a bus 22 that interconnects
various computer system components and carries data and control signals between them. The
hardware components may include a CPU 24, a RAM 26, a CD player 28, a mass storage device
such as a hard disk 30, a network interface card 32 and a sound card 33. Computer system 20
also includes a number of external connectors for connecting bus 22 to various external devices.
The first external connector 34 is connected to the external display 36. The second external
connector 38 is connected to an external input device such as a mouse 40. The third external
connector 42 is connected to the keyboard 44. The fourth external connector 46 transmits the
signal to the remote control device connected to the local area network or the wide area network,
and receives the signal from the remote control device. You are connected to a network or wide
area network. The fifth external connector 43 is connected to the external mass storage device
45. A stereo jack 48 connects the sound card 33 to the wireless audio signal processing circuit
14 via an analog input 49. An audio system control connector 50 connects the bus 22 to the
control electronics 16 via a digital input 51.
[0017]
Referring to FIG. 2, a second configuration of the networked audio system according to the
present invention is shown. The components of FIG. 2 are the same as the components of FIG. 1
with some exceptions. The first sound card 33 is not necessary in this configuration. The stereo
jack 48 and audio system control connector 50 of FIG. 1 have been replaced by a bus interface
connector 52 connected to the interface unit 54. The interface unit 54 is connected to the audio
signal processing circuit 14 via an analog terminal 49 and to the control electronics 16 via a
digital terminal 51. The interface unit 54 will be described in more detail with reference to the
following drawings.
[0018]
A networked audio system that includes both a power supply speaker and a radio tuner in a
single enclosure can be configured to occupy less space in the work area, so it can be in a
separate enclosure It is advantageous over conventional audio systems that house speakers and
radio tuners.
[0019]
Referring to FIG. 3, interface unit 54 is shown in more detail.
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Signal line 56 from interface connector 52 is connected to logic circuit 58. Logic circuit 58 is
coupled to D / A converter 60 connected to analog terminal 49 by analog signal line 62. The
analog terminal 49 is connected to the audio signal processing circuit 14. The logic circuit 58 is
connected to the digital terminal 51 by a digital signal line 64. The digital terminal 51 is then
connected to the control electronics 16. If bi-directional flow of analog signals is desired, a
second analog signal path is provided. The second analog signal path is a second analog signal
connecting the signal line between the audio signal processing circuit 14 and the second analog
terminal 66, the second analog terminal 66, and the A / D converter 70. A line 68 and a signal
line connecting the A / D converter 70 and the logic circuit 58 are included.
[0020]
In operation, logic circuit 58 determines whether the transmission on signal line 56 from bus 22
is directed to sound reproducer 10. If the signal on the bus 22 is directed to the audio player 10,
the logic circuit 58 determines whether the signal is a control signal or audio information. If the
signal is a control signal, logic circuit 58 transmits the signal on digital signal line 64 to digital
terminal 51. If the signal is audio information, logic circuit 58 sends the signal to D / A converter
60, which converts the digital signal to an analog audio signal. The analog signal is then sent on
analog signal line 62 to analog terminal 49 and to audio signal processing circuit 14. A digital
signal path including control circuit 16, digital terminal 51, digital signal line 64, logic circuit 58,
signal line 56 and interface connector 52 is configured and arranged to transmit signals bidirectionally Thus, control signals generated by control circuit 16 can be sent to computer bus
22 for processing by CPU 24. If bi-directional flow of analog circuitry is desired, the analog signal
may be sent from the audio signal processing circuit 14 to the second analog terminal 66 and
then to the A / D converter 70, the signal being an A / D converter. After being converted to a
digital signal at 70, it is sent to the logic circuit 58.
[0021]
In one embodiment, the sound reproduction device 10 is a Wave® radio with a suitable
communication port available from Bose Corporation of Framingham, MA. Computer system 20
may be a conventional multimedia personal computer.
[0022]
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Typically, interface unit 54 has three mounting arrangement arrangements. One aspect is to
implement interface unit 54 as a module in computer system 20. In this configuration, interface
unit 54 is implemented as a circuit board internally connected to bus 22 (where interface
connector 52 is internal to the computer and physically connected to an expansion slot within
the computer). ), The signal lines 62, 64 and 68 are implemented as cables, and the digital
terminal 51 and the analog terminal 49 (as well as the second analog terminal 66, if present) are
external ports for the sound reproduction device 10 .
[0023]
The second aspect is to implement the interface unit 54 as an intermediate separate unit, usually
integrated with the cables providing the signal lines 62, 64, 68 and 56. In this configuration,
interface connector 52 is an external computer port, and digital terminal 51 and analog terminal
49 (as well as the second analog terminal 66, if present) are external ports for sound
reproduction device 10. It is.
[0024]
The third aspect is to implement the interface unit 54 as a module such as a circuit board in the
sound reproduction device 10. In this configuration, the audio reproduction device 10 has an
external port for receiving a cable providing the signal line 56, and the remaining signal lines and
terminals are inside the audio reproduction device 10.
[0025]
The networked sound system according to the invention can have a number of operating modes.
In the first mode, the sound reproduction device 10 operates as a stand-alone sound
reproduction device (hereinafter referred to as "stand-alone mode") similar to a conventional
radio or hi-fi receiver. When operating in this mode, the sound reproduction device 10 operates
independently of the computer system 20 and operates even when the computer system 20 is
not operating. In the second operation mode (hereinafter referred to as "sound effect mode"), the
sound reproducing apparatus 10 operates as a conventional computer speaker to reproduce
sound incidental to a program being executed by the computer system 20. Do. Examples of this
may be sound effects in a computer game, or audible alarms or alerts indicating, for example,
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that the computer system has received an email. In a third mode of operation (hereinafter "audio
system mode"), the audio reproduction device 10 may be configured to receive audio from
various signal sources, including the networked signal sources and components of the computer
system 20. It operates as a signal processing device / reproducer.
[0026]
When the system is operating in the sound effects mode and the audio system mode, the
operation of the components of the system is controlled by a software program running on
computer system 20. For efficient use of computer resources, the software program may be split
into two program modules, one of which communicates between the components of the
computer system 20 and the sound reproduction device 10 The other provides access to the
signal source as described below. In addition, the first program module automatically generates a
second program when it detects a communication from the sound reproducing apparatus 10 to
the computer system 20 which requires the second program module to operate. It can include
instructions to activate the module.
[0027]
When operating in a stand-alone mode, the sound reproduction device 10 is controlled and
operates as a standard radio or receiver. On / off, tuning and volume adjustment are all either
input by means of control buttons or dials electronically connected to the control electronics 16
or by the remote control 17. .
[0028]
When operating in the sound effects mode, the sound reproduction device 10 is controlled and
operates as a standard amplified computer speaker having an on / off switch and a volume
controller.
[0029]
When operating in the audio system mode, the audio playback device 10 connects to the tuner
12, the auxiliary (AUX) input 13, the RAM 26, the digital audio signal stored on the hard disk 30
or the external mass storage device 45, the network interface 32. Audio signal received from a
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signal source connected to the selected local area network or wide area network, and the CD
player 28 (which may be a component of the computer system 20 as shown, a sound
reproduction device Reproduce the sound from other signal sources such as may be separate
components connected directly to 10).
The source of the audio signal is controlled by a computer program running on computer system
20.
[0030]
Either the sound reproduction device 10 is in the "off" state and either the "on" or "power" button
or a button or indicator performing an equivalent function is pressed or the corresponding
button on the remote control 17 is pressed. If so, the control electronics 16 detect whether the
computer 20 is connected, and if so, whether it is in the "on" or "off" state. If the computer 20 is
not connected or in the "off" state, the sound reproduction device 10 operates in a stand-alone
mode, and the sound reproduction device 10 receives an audio signal from the last internal audio
signal source (in one embodiment) Start playing the AM or FM signal from the AM / FM tuner 12
or the signal from the auxiliary input 13). If the computer 20 is in the "on" state and the second
program module (as described above in the description of the "operation mode") is not operating,
the first program module starts the second program module. The audio player 10 then begins to
play the signal from the last audio source, as described above in the "Audio System Mode"
discussion. If the computer 20 is in the "on" position and the second program module is
operating, the sound reproduction device will begin to reproduce the signal from the last audio
signal source.
[0031]
What is recorded in the hard disk 30 or the external mass storage device 45 is usually
information on any of AM broadcast, FM broadcast or broadcast radio station that can be used
for the sound reproduction device 10 through the tuner 12 It is also good. Typically, availability
depends on proximity and direction to the broadcast site, directivity and output of the broadcast
signal, obstacles (high buildings and mountains), and competing signals, particularly those in the
nearby frequency band. It is decided by the combination. The list of radio stations available to the
playback device can be created in many ways. In a simple form, the user can manually tune to
the radio station or manually enter identification information about the radio station in a
database. In more advanced systems, the playback device automatically scans the broadcast
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frequency spectrum and can use available radio by recording the frequency and measuring the
signal strength of the received signal based on location information such as a zip code A list of
stations or a list of proposed radio stations can be created or organized by resource (seller or
commercial information creator of the playback device). Information about each radio station can
also be collected and stored. Such information may include station broadcast frequency, station
call sign (calling code) and / or other identifiers, station type (news, music type, location, etc.).
[0032]
Information on radio stations accessible on the local area network or wide area network
(hereinafter referred to as web radio stations) is also obtained and stored. This information can
be obtained through the search engine by means of a list that can be purchased from a supplier
such as vTuner (vTuner.com) or a user generated list. Information about web radio stations
typically includes station identifiers, network addresses, categories (eg, news, rock, jazz, sports,
classics) and location of the organization.
[0033]
Information regarding broadcast radio stations and web radio stations may each be organized
and sorted based on any of the above types of information. In addition to playing the sound, the
networked sound system according to the invention can record on hard disk 30 or external mass
storage 45. The recording can be done simultaneously with the sound reproduction or in the
"background". Sounds are recorded in units, units are identified, and information about units is
recorded in a database. For example, a typical recording unit is a track on a CD. The information
about each unit (track) can include title, composer, artist, category (eg, classic, rock, blues). The
information may be obtained from purchasable Internet sources automatically or by user
intervention and / or may be entered or edited by the user. Also, for other types of recording
units, the information may be other types (eg stations and time intervals for radio broadcasts,
dates and participating teams for sporting events, dates for cultural events, performers, creators,
Other). The recorded units are not necessarily music recordings, but for convenience, the
recorded units and the collection of recorded units are called "music files".
[0034]
Referring now to FIG. 4, a diagram used to illustrate the logical relationships of recorded units
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and sets of recorded units is shown. The recorded units 110-1 to 110-n each include data
representing recorded sound and information about the recorded sound. The information can
include artist, composer and type of music. The first set of recorded units is an "album", shown
here as items 112a, 112b, 112c. The albums 112a, 112b and 112c may have similar information
associated with information about recorded units such as artist, composer and music type. The
album may contain recorded units with different composers, artists or types of music.
[0035]
The second type of collection includes recorded units with common identifying characteristics,
sometimes referred to as common "metadata" values. "Metadata" values are usually included in
the file header information of music files in many popular music file formats. Metadata values
can include artist, composer, music type and others. For example, element 114 represents a
collection including all the albums (112a and 112b) including the tracks played by a given artist
and all the tracks played by that artist. The album 112b is included in this collection, but the
album contains tracks played by the artist only one track 110-7, and may include tracks played
by other artists. In other embodiments, a collection can be organized such that only the tracks
played by the artist are included in the collection. Similarly, set 114 may represent a set of all
recorded units written by a common composer or containing a common type of music.
[0036]
For example, if the set contains music files with common composer metadata values of
"Beethoven", the computer database program will "Beethoven" as a composer each time the set is
requested. You can search all music files for the metadata value of. Thus, every time a new music
file is recorded as "Beethoven" as a composer, it is automatically added to the set. In other words,
it can be said that this second type of set is dynamically configured.
[0037]
The third type of set is represented by play list 116. In this example, the play list 116 includes an
artist collection 114, an album 112c and a track 110-n.
[0038]
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Information about recorded units, playlists and other collections, broadcast radio stations and
computer network accessible radio stations is stored in a database stored in RAM 26, mass
storage 30 or external mass storage 45. Ru. In one embodiment, the database records may
correspond to broadcast radio stations, web radio stations or recorded units. The fields of the
record representing the broadcast radio station may include information such as call letters,
broadcast frequency, station format (configuration, format) or signal strength. The fields of the
record representing a computer network accessible radio station may include an identifier, a
network address, a location and a station format. The field of the record representing the
recorded unit may contain metadata values as described above.
[0039]
Referring to FIG. 5, a control panel of the sound reproduction apparatus 10 is shown. Each of the
preset buttons 72a-72f has a broadcast frequency associated with it. When the button is pressed
by the user, the control electronics, with the control electronics (of FIG. 1), tune the tuner 12 to
the frequency associated with the preset button.
[0040]
In addition to associating broadcast frequencies with identifiers, the network sound system
according to the invention can assign other entities to preset buttons. Other entities may include
web radio network addresses, playlists, or other units of recorded units or recorded units such as
individual CD tracks as described above.
[0041]
In the networked sound system according to the invention, there are at least three ways of
activating the preset button. The corresponding preset buttons of the graphic display, which can
be pressed as shown in FIG. 5, can be pressed corresponding buttons on the remote control 17,
or can be displayed on the external display 36 by a computer program. It can be selected by the
operation of the mouse 40. In the following, using the term “preset indicator”, the preset
button on the control panel (FIG. 5), the preset button on the remote control (FIG. 8) or the preset
button on the graphic display on the display Figure 6). In one embodiment, there is a one-to-one
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correspondence between the preset buttons on the control panel of the sound reproduction
device, the preset buttons on the remote control 17 and the preset buttons of the graphic display
appearing on the external display 36. There is correspondence. Activating the preset button on
the control panel of FIG. 5 causes the graphic display of the corresponding preset button on the
remote control 17 or the preset button on the external display 36 to cause the same entity to be
selected. . For each different signal source, different entities can be assigned to each preset
button, as described below. As noted above, there may be multiple sets of values for one set of
presets used with one signal source. For example, there may be multiple sets of FM and / or AM
radio stations.
[0042]
A common user interface screen (screen) is displayed on the external display, and some of the
parts of the screen have different captions (legends). Referring to FIG. 6, a user interface screen
is shown. The signal source selection area 78 has a graphic area that allows the user to select an
audio signal source. In this embodiment, CD, AM broadcast radio, FM broadcast radio, web radio
and music files (eg, recorded units) can be selected. In the current selection area 88, information
on the currently displayed selection is shown. The available selection area 90 shows information
on the available selections. The preset section 92 displays six graphic figures corresponding to
the six preset buttons shown in FIG. The "tune" graphic graphic 79 is described below in the
discussion of FIG.
[0043]
The information displayed in the available selection area 90 can be ordered based on any of the
metadata values. For example, the list of FM stations in FIG. 6 may be ordered based on the
illustrated station ID, or may be ordered based on broadcast frequency or category (station type).
Ordering the list of stations in a different way allows the user to more easily select music to play
from the list of available choices, especially when the number of available choices is large. For
example, if the user selects "web radio" as the signal source, a large number of entries may be
displayed in the available selection area. If the user wants to listen to a particular type of music,
such as jazz, the user can order the list of available web radio stations in a station format and
scroll the list until the appropriate stations are found. I can listen to the radio station. Scrolling
through the list may be performed by using the arrow keys on the computer keyboard, the
"Tuning" button 128 (FIG. 5) on the control panel or the corresponding button 147 (FIG. 8) on
the remote control. it can.
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[0044]
The entities that can be assigned to the preset button depend on the audio signal source selected
by activating the appropriate graphic in the signal source selection area 78. The preset button is
not activated when the CD signal source is activated. When AM or FM broadcast graphic graphics
are activated, broadcast frequencies in the AM and FM broadcast bands can be assigned to preset
buttons, respectively. Call signs may also be displayed on the graphic display for convenience
and ease of identification. If the web radio audio source is activated, the URL of the web radio
website is assigned to the preset button. In order to facilitate identification, usually the name and
other identification information regarding the website is displayed on the preset button.
[0045]
If a music file audio source is selected, any of the above sets of recorded units can be assigned to
a preset button. A play mode can be assigned to a preset button for a combination of recorded
units. The "play mode" is a sequence (continuous) played in the order in which the recorded units
appear in the database (usually, for example, with respect to the album, this means the order in
which the individual "cuts" appear in the album) It can include "shuffle" or "random" in which the
finished units are played in arbitrary (random) order, and "repeat" to repeat either a single cut or
a series of cuts.
[0046]
In one embodiment, the initial preset assignment of broadcast radio stations is performed
automatically. Referring to FIG. 7, a flow diagram of a process for automatic initial preset
assignment by a computer program executed on computer system 20 is shown. At step 100, for
example, the locator is input by the user inputting "zip code" using the keyboard 44. In an
optional step 102, the user enters a preference of radio format among the preferences (eg, news,
talk, music types as described above). At step 104, the computer program instructs the AM / FM
tuner 12 to search for strong signals and scan the applicable broadcast frequency band. At step
106, the strongest signal is compared to the available stations based on the information about
the locators and available radio stations, as described in the audio system mode operation
description. At step 108, the broadcast frequency of the strongest signal is assigned to the preset
by the computer program. When style preferences are input at optional step 102, the strongest
signal for each of the selected styles can be assigned to the preset. The number of presets for
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each style depends on the number of presets available and the number of styles selected. For
example, if the user selects two styles and there are six available presets, the broadcast
frequencies of the three strongest signals in each style are assigned to the presets. Stations may
be assigned to presets in other ways if optional step 102 is not performed. For example, the
strongest signal of each type can be assigned to a preset, or the strongest signal of any type can
be assigned to a preset.
[0047]
The user can input control signals or data that control the operation of the sound system via the
three data / control input systems. The first input system includes the input device of computer
system 20 which includes mouse 40, keyboard 44 and external display 36. The second input
system includes buttons (FIG. 5) on the control panel of the sound reproduction device 10 of FIG.
The third input system includes the remote control device 17 of FIG. 1, shown in more detail in
FIG. In one embodiment, various subsets of control signals and data inputs can be input via each
of the input systems. In this embodiment, the control panel (FIG. 5) has input buttons for the next
control / data function. That is, four buttons 120 for inputting control signals and data for
various watch radio (radio with timer) functions of the sound reproduction device 10, sound
reproduction device on / off switch 122, broadcast frequency band selector button 124, An
auxiliary input selector 126, a volume control button 127, two tuning buttons 128, and the
above-mentioned preset buttons 72a to 72f. The remote control (FIG. 8) has an input button for
the next control / data function. That is, the sound reproducing apparatus on / off switch 130,
volume control button 134, broadcast frequency band selector button 136, PC signal source
selector button 138, preset selector buttons 140a to 140f, CD player pause buttons 141 and 5
Are "overload" or multipurpose buttons. The button 142 activates the "snoozed" feature when the
sound reproducer is tuned to the broadcast radio station by an alarm or mutes the sound
reproducer when the sound reproducer is tuned in some other way Unmute. The button 144
turns off the alarm or shuts off the CD player 28 if the watch radio and alarm feature of the
sound reproducer is producing sound. The track / tune button 147 is described in further detail
below.
[0048]
Equivalent control signals that can be input from two or more of the three input systems have
the same effect regardless of which input system is used to input data or control signals. For
example, if the signal source is an FM broadcast radio and the preset button 1 is actuated, the
audio system may press the preset button 72a on the control panel, the remote control device
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Whether activated by pressing the preset button 140a on the 17 or by selecting the preset icon
150a on the user interface display surface (FIG. 6) shown in the display 36 (FIG. 1) , Tune to the
broadcast frequency indicated by the preset button 1. Also, when data or control signals are
input through the remote control device 17 or through the sound reproducing device control
panel (FIG. 5), visual display is provided on the user interface display surface (FIG. 6) . For
example, when the preset button 140a (preset button 1) is pressed on the remote control device
17, a visible display appears on the user interface display surface (FIG. 6) shown on the display
36.
[0049]
The effect of the control signal may depend on the source of the audio signal. For example, if the
source of the audio signal is the AM / FM tuner 12 (Figures 1 and 2), the "tune" button 128
(Figure 5) on the control panel, the corresponding button 147 on the remote control. Selecting
(FIG. 8) or the corresponding graphic graphic 79 (FIG. 6) changes the tuning frequency of the AM
/ FM tuner 12. If the signal source is a music file, the name of the music file may appear in the
available selection area 90 (FIG. 6) of the interface screen, the tuning button on the control panel,
on the remote control The selection of the equivalent control button or the equivalent graphic on
the display screen may cause the display to change the highlighted music file. If the signal source
is a web radio station, the available web radio stations may appear in the available selection area
90 (FIG. 6) of the interface screen, the tuning button on the control panel, remote control
Selection of equivalent control buttons on the controller or equivalent graphic graphics on the
display screen may cause the display to change the highlighted web radio station.
[0050]
If the control electronics 16 (FIG. 1) of the sound reproduction device receives from the remote
control 17 a remote control signal that the control electronics 16 can not decode, the control
electronics 16 may decode that remote control signal. Retransmit to computer system 20.
[0051]
In one embodiment, identifying categories of signal sources (such as music files, broadcast radio
stations, computer network accessible radio stations and CDs, etc.) in order to facilitate the
selection of individual signal sources In addition, the user can select from a subset of all signal
sources in a category.
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For example, if the user selects broadcast FM radio, broadcast AM radio or network accessible
radio as the source category, the user may select individual radio stations from a subset of all
available radio stations. Also, this subset includes only radio stations having a particular format
such as news. If the user selects a music file as a source category, the user may select a file from
a subset of all available files, which subset contains only certain types of music such as jazz.
[0052]
This includes various control input devices including an available selection area 90 (FIG. 6) and a
keyboard 44 or mouse 40 (FIGS. 1 and 2), a radio control panel (FIG. 5) or a remote control 17
(FIG. This can be done conveniently using FIG. 1, FIG. 2 and FIG. 8). A computer program running
on computer 20 can be provided for the user to enter a predetermined subset category, or the
user can sort, order or filter the entries in the available selection area Can be made possible. The
input device can then be used to highlight or select an entry in the available selection area 90. In
one embodiment, the control panel's tune key 128 (FIG. 5) or the corresponding button 147 on
the remote control 17 is used to highlight and select the input in the available selection area 90.
In this embodiment, depressing the tune key 128 or 147 highlights the next entry in the
available selection area 90. The interface screen (FIG. 6) is displayed so that it may occur if the
interface screen is minimized or the graphical view generated by the software program obscures
the view of the interface screen Even though invisible above, the tuning key can be used in the
manner described above. This aspect of the invention can also be used in audio systems where no
display is associated.
[0053]
In another embodiment, if the source category is a broadcast radio, then the tuning key 128 (FIG.
5) of the control panel and the corresponding button 147 on the remote control 17 are in the
conventional manner, ie, an AM / FM tuner. It is used to change the 12 tuning frequencies.
[0054]
9, 10, 11 and 12 illustrate circuits in an exemplary embodiment radio of the present invention
implementing AM / FM tuner 16, audio signal processing circuit 14 and control electronics 16 in
the system of FIG. FIG.
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FIG. 13 is a circuit diagram of an exemplary embodiment of interface unit 54.
[0055]
In an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a CD-ROM is included that can be inserted
into the D drive of a personal computer. It is apparent that those skilled in the art can now make
numerous modifications of the specific devices and techniques disclosed herein and new
developments therefrom without departing from the inventive concept. As a result, the invention
is construed to be limited only by the spirit and scope of the claims.
[0056]
DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 10 sound reproduction apparatus 12 AM / FM tuner 13 auxiliary
input 14 audio signal processing circuit 16 control electronic circuit 17 remote control
apparatus 18 electric sound converter 20 computer system (PC) 22 bus 24 CPU 26 RAM 28 CD
player 30 hard disk 32 network・ Interface card 34 1st external connector 36 external display
38 2nd external connector 40 mouse 42 3rd external connector 43 5th external connector 44
keyboard 45 external mass storage device 48 stereo jack 50 audio system control Connector 51
Digital input terminal 52 Bus interface connector 54 Interface unit
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