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DESCRIPTION JP2016184964

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DESCRIPTION JP2016184964
Abstract: A method, apparatus and program for promoting portable playback of multimedia
content. The apparatus comprises a communication interface for transmitting and receiving data
including multimedia content for playback through a network connection, a memory for storing
instructions and data, and a processor. The processor searches for available playback networks
and automatically connects if there are available playback networks. The processor establishes a
mobile zone that facilitates playback of the multimedia content in the absence of an available
playback network. The processor provides content playback through the portable playback
device by automatically switching between the playback network and the mobile zone according
to the availability of the playback network. The processor facilitates control and playback of
content in the playback network through the portable playback device. [Selected figure] Figure
10
System and method for mobile music
[0001]
The present disclosure relates to consumer products, and in particular to systems, products,
features, services, and other items directed to media playback, and some aspects thereof.
[0002]
Advances in technology make it easy to access not only music content but also other types of
media such as television content, movies and interactive content.
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For example, users can add audio, video, both audio and video content on the Internet through
online stores, Internet radio stations, music services, movie services, etc. in addition to
conventional means of accessing conventional audio and video content. You can access to The
demand for music, video, and audio and video content inside and outside the home continues to
grow.
[0003]
The features, aspects, and advantages of the disclosed technology are better understood with
reference to the following detailed description of the invention, the appended claims, and the
accompanying drawings.
[0004]
Diagram of an example of a system in which embodiments of the methods and apparatus
disclosed herein can be practiced. Diagram of an example zone player with an integrated
amplifier and speakers. An example zone player with an integrated amplifier and connected to an
external speaker. Figure Illustration of an example zone player connected to an A / V receiver
and speakers Illustration of an example controller Internal functional block diagram of an
example zone player Example internal functional block diagram of an example controller Figure
showing an exemplary ad hoc playback network Figure Figure showing a system comprising a
plurality of networks including a cloud based network and at least one local playback network
Internal functional block diagram of an exemplary portable player Mobile device interfacing with
one or more playback devices through a network Including Figure showing an exemplary
playback network configuration. Flow diagram of an exemplary method for playing zones
configuration and content through a portable playback device.
[0005]
Further, while the drawings are intended to illustrate some exemplary embodiments, it is
understood that the present disclosure is not limited to the arrangements and instrumentality
shown in the drawings.
[0006]
I.
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Overview
[0007]
Wired, wireless, or both may be used in connecting one or more multimedia playback devices to
establish a playback network (eg, a home audio system) at a home or other location.
For example, when a network, such as an ad hoc network, is established in the home,
communication between groups of playback devices is facilitated.
Music and other types of multimedia content may be shared between playback devices and / or
groups of playback devices associated with a playback network. At least one playback device may
be removed from the ad hoc network to perform audio playback at another location, eg, beach,
park, boat or hotel room. The deleted playback device may then rejoin the ad hoc network in a
manner that is relatively seamless to the user.
[0008]
One embodiment provides a method for portable playback of audio content regardless of
network connection. The exemplary method includes identifying, via a portable playback device,
an available network for content playback. The method further comprises the step of
automatically connecting the portable playback device to the available playback network. The
method further includes facilitating control and playback of the content on the playback network
through the portable playback device. The method further comprises the step of establishing a
mobile zone in the absence of an available playback network. The mobile zone promotes local
content playback in the mobile zone through a portable playback device. The method further
includes the step of providing content playback through the portable playback device by
automatically switching between the available playback networks and the mobile zone.
[0009]
One embodiment provides a user portable device that provides portable playback of multimedia
content. The illustrated apparatus comprises a communication interface that sends and receives
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data, including multimedia content for playback, over a network connection. The apparatus
further comprises a memory for storing instructions and data. The apparatus further comprises a
processor. The processor searches for available playback networks and performs the steps of
automatically connecting to the available playback networks, if any. The processor performs the
steps of establishing a mobile zone if there is no play network available. Mobile zones facilitate
the playback of multimedia content through the mobile zones. The processor performs the steps
of providing content playback through the portable playback device by automatically switching
between the playback network and the mobile zone according to the availability of the playback
network. The processor performs steps to facilitate control and playback of content in the
playback network through the portable playback device.
[0010]
One embodiment provides a computer readable recording medium having instructions for
execution by a processor, the instructions implementing a portable playback system when
executed by the processor. The exemplary system searches for available playback networks and
automatically connects to the available playback networks, if any. The system further establishes
a mobile zone in the absence of an available playback network. Mobile zones facilitate the
playback of multimedia content through the mobile zones. The system further provides content
playback through the portable playback device by automatically switching between the playback
network and the mobile zone depending on the availability of the playback network. The system
further facilitates control and playback of content in a playback network through a portable
playback device.
[0011]
Many other embodiments for providing mobile music to a user are described herein.
[0012]
II.
Example of Operating Environment Referring to the drawings, similar parts are denoted by the
same reference numerals in multiple drawings. FIG. 1 illustrates an example of a system 100 in
which one or more embodiments disclosed herein can or can be practiced.
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[0013]
For the sake of illustration, the system 100 shows a home configured with multiple zones, and
the home can be configured with only one zone. Each zone within the home may represent a
different room or space, such as, for example, an office, a bathroom, a bedroom, a kitchen, a
dining room, a family room, a home theater room, a utility or laundry room, and a patio. In such a
configuration, one zone may include multiple rooms. One or more zone players 102-124 are
shown for each zone in the home. Zone players 102-124 are referred to as playback devices,
multimedia units, speakers, players, etc. and provide audio, video and / or audio visual output.
The controller 130 controls the system 100. The controller 130 may be fixed to the zone, or the
controller 130 may be a mobile movable around the zone. System 100 may include multiple
controllers 130. Although system 100 represents the entire exemplary house audio system, the
techniques described herein are not limited to application to these particular locations, and may
also be similar to the entire house audio system 100 of FIG. It is not limited to a wide range of
systems.
[0014]
A. Zone Player Examples Figures 2A, 2B, and 2C illustrate examples of various types of zone
players. For example, zone players 200, 202, and 204 of FIGS. 2A, 2B, and 2C can each
correspond to any of zone players 102-124 of FIG. In some embodiments, audio may be played
from only a single zone player, such as a full range player. In some embodiments, the audio may
be played back in more than one zone player, such as a combination of multiple full range
players, or a combination of full range players and a specific player. In some embodiments, zone
players 200-204 may also be referred to as "smart speakers." The reason for this is that it has
more processing power than audio playback and is described in detail below.
[0015]
FIG. 2A shows a zone player 200 that includes a sound producing device 208 capable of playing
full range sound. Sound may be obtained from the audio signal, which may be received by the
zone player 200 on a wired data network or on a wireless data network. Sound generating device
208 includes one or more built-in amplifiers and one or more speakers. The built-in amplifier is
described in more detail below with reference to FIG. The speaker or acoustic transducer may
include, for example, any of a tweeter, a mid-range driver, a low band driver, and a subwoofer. In
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some embodiments, zone player 200 can be configured statically or dynamically to play stereo
audio, monaural audio, or both. In some embodiments, zone player 200 may be grouped with
other zone players. Zone player 200 may also be configured to play a subset of full range sound
when playing stereo audio, monaural audio, and / or surround audio, or when the audio content
received by zone player 200 is below full range. .
[0016]
FIG. 2B shows a zone player 202 that includes a built-in amplifier that provides power to the
separated speakers 210. A separate speaker can include, for example, any type of loudspeaker.
Zone player 202 may be configured to provide power to one, two or more separate loudspeakers.
Zone player 202 is configured to communicate audio signals (eg, right or left channel audio or a
number of channels depending on its configuration) to separate speakers 210 through a wired
path
[0017]
FIG. 2C illustrates zone player 204 that does not include a built-in amplifier but communicates
audio signals received over the data network to an audio (or “audio / video”) receiver 214 that
includes the built-in amplifier.
[0018]
Returning to FIG. 1, in some embodiments, one, some, or all zone players 102-124 may extract
audio directly from the source.
For example, a zone player may include a play list or play sequence (also referred to herein as a
"play queue") of audio content to be played. Each item in the replay sequence may include a UIR
(URI) or some other identifier. The URI or identifier can point to the zone player for the audio
source. The source may be found on the Internet (e.g., the cloud), may be found locally from
another device on the data network 128, the controller 130 stored in the zone player itself, or
communicates directly with the zone player It may be found from audio sources. In some
embodiments, the zone player can play the audio itself, send it to another device to play the
audio, or synchronize the zone player with one or more additional zone players It can also play
audio. In some embodiments, the zone player may play the first audio content (or not at all) while
transmitting different second audio content to another zone player for playback.
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[0019]
For illustration purposes, zone players called "PLAY: 5", "PLAY: 3", "CONNECT: AMP",
"CONNECT", and "SUB" currently offered by Sonoz Inc. of Santa Barbara, California. There is.
Other past, present, and / or future any zone players may additionally or alternatively be
implemented and used in the zone players of the embodiments disclosed herein. Furthermore, it
is understood that zone players are not limited to the specific examples shown in FIGS. 2A, 2B
and 2C or the Sonoz products provided. For example, the zone player may be configured of wired
headphones or wireless headphones. In yet another example, the zone player may include a
sound bar for television. In yet another example, the zone player can include or interact with a
docking station for Apple's iPodTM or similar device.
[0020]
B. Controller Example FIG. 3 shows an example of the wireless controller 300 in the docking
station 302. For purposes of explanation, controller 300 may correspond to control device 130
of FIG. If a docking station 302 is provided, the docking station 302 may be used to charge the
battery of the controller 300. In some embodiments, the controller 300 comprises a touch screen
304, which allows the user to interact with the controller 300 by touching the touch screen 304.
For example, a user can retrieve and navigate a playlist of audio content, control the operation of
one or more zone players, and control the entire system configuration 100. In one embodiment,
any number of controllers can be used to control system configuration 100. In some
embodiments, the number of controllers that can control the system configuration 100 can be
limited. The controller may be wireless, such as wireless controller 300, or may be wired to data
network 128.
[0021]
In some embodiments, when multiple controllers are used in the system 100, each controller
may be tuned to display common content, or all to indicate changes that have occurred from one
controller The controller of may be updated dynamically. Adjustments may be made, for example,
by the controller periodically requesting state variables directly or indirectly from one or more
zone players. State variables may provide information about the system 100, such as providing
the current zone group configuration, what is playing in one or more zones, volume levels, and
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other items of interest. You may State variables may be passed on the data network 128 between
zone players (and controllers, if desired) as needed or often programmed.
[0022]
In addition, applications that run on any network-enabled mobile device, such as the iPhone,
iPad, Android-enabled phone, or any other smartphone or network-enabled device, etc. By
connecting to the network 128, it can be used as a controller. An application running on a laptop
or desktop personal computer (PC) or Mac is also used as controller 130. Such controller may be
connected to the system 100 through an interface comprising a data network 128, zone player,
wireless router, or may be connected to the system 100 using some other configured connection
path. . Examples of controllers provided by Sonoz Inc. of Santa Barbara, California include
"Controller 200", "Sonos CONTROL", "Sonos® Controller for iPhone", "Sonos® Controller for
Android", Includes "Sonos (R) Controller for Mac or PC".
[0023]
C. Example of Data Connection The zone players 102 to 124 of FIG. 1 are connected directly
or indirectly to a data network, for example a data network 128. The controller 130 may be
directly or indirectly connected to the data network 128 or may be individually connected to the
zone player. Data network 128 is shown as octagonal in the figure to stand out from the other
components shown. Although data network 128 is shown in one place, it is understood that such
a network is extending into and around system 100. In particular, data network 128 may be a
wired network, a wireless network, or a combination of both wired and wireless networks. In
some embodiments, one or more of zone players 102-124 are wirelessly connected to data
network 128 based on a proprietary mesh network. In some embodiments, one or more of zone
players 102-124 are wirelessly connected to data network 128 using a non-mesh topology. In
some embodiments, one or more of the zone players 102-124 are connected through a wire to a
data network 128 using Ethernet or similar technology. In addition to connecting one or more
zone players 102-124 to the data network 128, the data network 128 is further accessible to a
wide area network, such as, for example, the Internet.
[0024]
In some embodiments, data network 128 may be formed by connecting some or some other
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connected devices of zone players 102-124 to a broadband router. The other zone players 102124 can then be added wired to the data network 128 or can be added wirelessly. For example, a
zone player (eg, any of zone players 102-124) may be added to system configuration 100 (or
perform some other action) by simply pressing a button provided on the zone player; A
connection to the data network 128 is made possible. The broadband router may, for example,
connect to an Internet Service Provider (ISP). A broadband router can be used to form another
data network within system configuration 100 that can be used for other applications (eg, web
surfing). Data network 128 can also be used if so programmed. In one example, the second
network may implement the SonoznetTM protocol developed by Sonoz Inc. of Santa Barbara.
Sononos NetTM represents a secure, AES encrypted, peer-to-peer wireless mesh network.
Alternatively, in one embodiment, data network 128 is the same network as the network used for
other applications in the home, such as a conventional wired or wireless network.
[0025]
D. Examples of Zone Configurations A particular zone can include one or more zone players.
For example, the family room of FIG. 1 includes two zone players 106 and 108, while the kitchen
is shown to have one zone player 102. In another example, the home theater room has an
additional zone player that plays audio (e.g., a movie encoded with 5.1 or more audio channels)
from an audio source of 5.1 or more channels. In some embodiments, one can place a zone
player in a room or space and assign the zone player to a new zone or assign an existing zone
through controller 130. As such, a zone may be formed, combined with another zone, removed,
or given a specific name (e.g., a "kitchen"). Also, if desired, controller 130 may be programmed to
do so. Further, in some embodiments, the zone configuration may also change dynamically after
being configured using the controller 130 or some other mechanism.
[0026]
In some embodiments, where zones include two or more zone players, eg, two zone players 106
and 108 in a family room, the two zone players 106 and 108 synchronize and play the same
audio source Can be configured to Also, the two zone players 106 and 108 can be paired to play
two separate sounds, for example, left and right channels. In other words, the stereo effects of
the sound may be reproduced or enhanced through the two zone players 106 and 108 which use
one for the left sound and the other for the right sound. In one embodiment, a pair of zone
players (also referred to as "combined zone players") may also play audio in synchronization with
other zone players in the same or different zones.
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[0027]
In some embodiments, two or more zone players can be acoustically integrated to form a single
integrated zone player. The integrated zone player (which consists of several different devices) is
a non integrated zone player or a paired zone as the integrated zone player sounds through the
additional speaker driver The processing and reproduction of sound can be configured
differently as compared to a player. The integrated zone player can also be paired with a single
zone player or other integrated zone player. Each playback device of the integrated playback
device is, for example, configured in an integrated mode.
[0028]
According to some embodiments, the user may continue to do zone player grouping,
consolidation, pairing, etc. to complete the desired configuration. The grouping, integration, and
pairing operations are preferably performed through a control interface, such as, for example,
using the controller 130, and speaker wires, eg, to individual, remote speakers, to create different
configurations. It is done without physically connecting and reconnecting. Thus, certain
embodiments described herein can provide a more flexible and dynamic platform, and provide
sound reproduction to end users.
[0029]
E. Example Audio Sources In some embodiments, each zone can be played from the same
audio source as an audio source in another zone. Each zone can also be played back with
different audio sources. For example, someone can listen to jazz music through zone player 124
while grilling on the patio (grilling). Also, someone can listen to classical music through zone
player 102 while preparing meals in the kitchen. In addition, the same music as the jazz music
being played through zone player 124 on the patio can also be heard through zone player 110
while someone is at the office. In some embodiments, jazz music played through zone players
110 and 124 is played synchronously. Synchronized playback between zones allows the user to
move through the zones while listening to the audio without interruption (or nearly without
interruption). In addition, zones can be set to "party mode" and all connected zones can play
audio synchronously.
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[0030]
There are many sources of audio content played by zone players 102-124. In some
embodiments, the music that the zone player itself has may be accessed and the music played. In
some embodiments, music from a library of individuals stored on a computer or network
attached storage (NAS) may be accessed through data network 128 and played back. In some
embodiments, Internet radio stations, programming, and podcasts can be accessed through data
network 128. A music service or cloud service that allows the user to stream and / or download
music and audio content can be accessed through data network 128. Furthermore, music may be
obtained from a conventional source, such as, for example, a turntable or a CD player, connected
to the zone player through a line-in connection. Audio content can also be accessed using
different protocols, such as Apple's Airplay (TM) wireless technology. Audio content received
from one or more sources may be shared between zone players 102-124 through data network
128 and / or controller 130. The sources of audio content described above are referred to herein
as network-based audio information sources. However, network based audio information is not
limited to them.
[0031]
In some embodiments, the illustrated home theater zone players 116, 118, 120 are connected to
audio information such as the television 132. In some examples, television 132 is used as an
audio source for home theater zone players 116, 118, 120, while in other examples, audio
information from television 132 is a zone in audio system 100. It can be shared with any of the
players 102-124.
[0032]
III. Zone Player Referring to FIG. 4, an exemplary block diagram of zone player 400 in
accordance with an embodiment is shown. Zone player 400 in FIG. 4 includes network interface
402, processor 408, memory 410, audio processing component 412, one or more modules 414,
audio amplifier 416, and speaker unit 418. The speaker unit 418 is connected to the audio
amplifier 416. FIG. 2A illustrates an example of such a zone player. Other types of zone players
may not include the speaker unit 418 (eg, shown in FIG. 2B) or the audio amplifier 416 (eg,
shown in FIG. 2C). Furthermore, zone player 400 is intended to be able to be integrated into
another component. For example, zone player 400 may be configured as part of a television,
lighting, or some other device for indoor or outdoor use.
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[0033]
In some embodiments, network interface 402 enables data flow between zone player 400 and
other devices on data network 128. In some embodiments, in addition to obtaining audio from
another zone player or device on data network 128, zone player 400 may be from an audio
source, eg, from an audio source on a wide area network, or locally You can access audio directly
from audio sources on the network. Furthermore, in some embodiments, the network interface
402 handles the address portion of each packet and receives packets that should be directed to
the zone player 400 such that each packet reaches the correct destination. Thus, in particular
embodiments, each of the packets includes not only an IP-based source address but also an IPbased destination address.
[0034]
In some embodiments, network interface 402 can include wireless interface 404 and / or wired
interface 406. The wireless interface 404, also referred to as a radio frequency (RF) interface,
provides the zone player 400 with a network interface function, and communicates with a
communication protocol (eg, IEEE 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, or 802. Communicate
wirelessly with other devices (eg, other zone players, speakers, receivers, components associated
with data network 128, etc.) according to any wireless standard, including 15.1. Wireless
interface 404 may include one or more radios. The zone player 400 includes one or more
antennas 420 to receive wireless signals, provide wireless signals to the wireless interface 404,
and transmit wireless signals. The wired interface 406 provides a network interface function to
the zone player 400 and communicates with other devices in a wired manner according to a
communication protocol (eg, IEEE 802.3). In some embodiments, the zone player includes both
interfaces 404 and 406. In some embodiments, zone player 400 includes only wireless interface
404 or only wired interface 406.
[0035]
In some embodiments, processor 408 is a clocked electronic device and is configured to process
input data according to instructions stored in memory 410 of the computer. The memory 410 is
data storage that can be loaded with one or more software modules 414 and can be executed by
the processor 408 of the computer to perform specific tasks. In the illustrated embodiment,
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memory 410 is a tangible computer readable storage medium storing instructions executable by
processor 408. In some embodiments, the task is that zone player 400 gets audio data from
another zone player or device on the network (eg, using a uniform resource locator (URL) or
some other identifier) It may be to do. In some embodiments, the task may be for the zone player
400 to transmit audio data to another zone player or to transmit audio data to a device on the
network. In some embodiments, the task may be to synchronize the playback of zone player 400
audio with one or more additional zone players. In some embodiments, the task may be to pair
zone player 400 with one or more zone players to create a multi-channel audio environment.
Additional or alternative tasks may be performed through one or more software modules 414
and processor 408.
[0036]
Audio processing component 412 may include one or more digital to analog converters (DACs),
audio preprocessing components, audio enhancement components or digital signal processors,
and the like. In some embodiments, audio processing component 412 may be part of processor
408. In some embodiments, audio retrieved through audio retrieved through network interface
402 may be processed and / or intentionally altered by audio processing component 412.
Additionally, audio processing component 412 can generate an analog audio signal. The
processed analog audio signal is provided to the audio amplifier 416 and reproduced through the
speaker 418. The audio processing component 412 can also process analog or digital signals as
input for playback from the zone player 400 and send it to another zone player over the network.
Audio processing component 412 may also include circuitry for both playing and transmitting to
another device on the network. Examples of inputs include line in connections (e.g., autodetecting 3.5 mm audio line in connections).
[0037]
The audio amplifier 416 is a device that amplifies the audio signal to a level that can drive one or
more speakers 418. The one or more speakers 418 can include a complete speaker system
including a housing that encloses an individual transducer (e.g., a "driver") or one or more
drivers. The specific driver may be, for example, a subwoofer (for low frequency), a mid-range
driver (for medium frequency), and a tweeter (for high frequency). The housing can, for example,
be sealed or implanted. Each transducer may be driven by its own individual amplifier.
[0038]
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Currently known as a commercially available example zone player is PLAY: 5, which has a built-in
amplifier and a speaker. The PLAY: 5 can, for example, retrieve audio directly from sources such
as the Internet or a local network. In particular, PLAY: 5 is a 5 amp, 5 driver speaker system,
which includes 2 tweeters, 2 mid range drivers and 1 woofer. When playing audio content
through PLAY: 5, audio data on the left side of the track is sent from the tweeter on the left side
and the mid-range driver on the left side. The audio data on the right side of the track is sent
from the tweeter on the right and the midrange driver on the right. Also, monaural bass is sent
from the subwoofer. Furthermore, both mid-range drivers and both tweeters may have the same
equalization (or substantially the same equalization). That is, both of them are transmitted from
the same audio channel but different audio channels. PLAY: 5 can play audio from Internet radio
stations or online music and video services, downloaded music, analog audio input, television,
DVD, etc.
[0039]
IV. Controller Referring to FIG. 5, an exemplary block diagram of a controller 500 that can
correspond to the control device 130 of FIG. 1 is shown. The controller 500 can be used to
enable control, automation and the like of multimedia applications in the system. In particular,
the controller 500 allows to select a plurality of audio sources available on the network, and one
or more zone players (e.g. the zone player of FIG. 1) through a wireless or wired network
interface 508. 102-124) can be configured to allow control. According to one embodiment, the
wireless communication is based on a standard (e.g. infrared, radio or wireless standard IEEE
802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n or 802.15 etc). Further, if a particular audio is being
accessed through controller 500, or if a particular audio is being played via the zone player, then
an image (eg, album art) or other data may be audio and / or audio. An audio source may be
associated with and transmitted to the controller 500 for display from a zone player or other
electronic device.
[0040]
The controller 500 is provided with a screen 502 and an input interface 514. This allows the
user to interact with the controller 500, for example, to navigate through the playlists of many
multimedia items, and to control the operation of one or more zone players. Screen 502 on
controller 500 may be, for example, a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen. The screen 502
communicates with a screen driver 504 controlled by a microcontroller (eg, processor) 506 and
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receives commands. Memory 510 may load one or more application modules 512. In some
embodiments, the application module 512 is configured to group selected zone players into zone
groups and synchronize the zone players to play audio. In some embodiments, application
module 512 is configured to control the audio sound (eg, volume) of zone players in the zone
group. In operation, when the microcontroller 506 executes one or more of the application
modules 512, the screen driver 504 generates control signals to drive the screen 502 and
displays the application on a particular user interface.
[0041]
The controller 500 includes a network interface 508 that can communicate with the zone player
in a wired or wireless manner. In some embodiments, commands such as volume control and
audio playback synchronization are sent through the network interface 508. In some
embodiments, the stored zone group configuration is transferred between the zone player and
the controller through the network interface 508. Controller 500 may control one or more zone
players, such as zone players 102-124 in FIG. Multiple controllers can be utilized for a particular
system. Each controller can share common information with another controller. Alternatively, if
the zone player stores configuration data (eg, state variables etc.), common information can be
retrieved from the zone player. Furthermore, the controller can be integrated into the zone
player.
[0042]
Other network enabled devices, such as, for example, iPhone (registered trademark), iPad
(registered trademark) or any other smart phone or other network enabled device (for example,
networked computer such as PC or Mac (registered trademark)), It should be noted that it can
also be used as a controller to interact with or control a zone player in a particular environment.
In some embodiments, software applications or updates may be downloaded onto a network
enabled device to perform the functions described herein.
[0043]
In one embodiment, a user can create a zone group (also referred to as a combined zone) that
includes at least two zone players from controller 500. The zone players in the zone group play
the audio in a synchronized manner, and all zone players in the zone group play the same audio
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source, or there is no audition delay or uninterrupted sound (listening) The same audio source
list can be played back in a synchronized manner with almost no delay or almost no breaks in the
sound. Similarly, in some embodiments, when the user increases the audio volume of the group
from the controller 500, a signal or data that increases the audio volume of the group is sent to
one of the zone players and the other in the group Increase the volume of zone players together.
[0044]
The user may group zone players into zone groups by activating the "Link Zones" ("Link Zones")
or "Add Zones" ("Add Zones") soft buttons through the controller 500. The user can also ungroup
zone groups by activating the "Unlink Zones" ("Unlink Zones") or "Drop Zones" ("Drop Zones")
button. For example, one mechanism for "joining" zone players together to play audio is to link
multiple zone players to form a group.
[0045]
In one embodiment, the user may only link any number of zone players of the six zone players,
for example by starting with a single zone and then manually linking each zone to that zone it
can.
[0046]
In one embodiment, zones can be linked together dynamically using commands to create a zone
scene or theme (after initially creating a zone scene).
For example, the "Morning" ("morning") zone scene command can link the bedroom, office, and
kitchen zones together in one operation. Without this single command, the user may manually
link each zone individually. A single command may include a mouse click, a double mouse click, a
button press, a gesture, or some other programmed action. Other types of zone scenes can also
be programmed.
[0047]
In one embodiment, zone scenes can be triggered based on time (eg, alarm clock function). For
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example, a zone scene can be configured to apply at 8:00 AM. The system can be automatically
linked to the appropriate zone and can be configured to play specific music. While any particular
zone can trigger the state "on" or "off" based on time, for example, a zone scene may have any
zone linked with the scene pre-defined audio (eg, , Favorite songs, predefined playlists) at specific
times and / or for specific periods of time. The scheduled music playback has failed for some
reason (eg, the playlist is empty, there is no connection to the share, a universal plug and play
(UPnP) failure, no internet connection to the internet radio station etc.) ) Can be programmed to
sound a backup buzzer.
[0048]
V. Several examples are provided in conjunction with FIG. 6 to describe some systems and
methods that facilitate connection to an exemplary ad hoc network playback network. FIG. 6
shows that there are three zone players 602, 604, 606 and a controller 608 forming a network
branch, also referred to as an ad hoc network 610. The network 610 may be wired, wireless or a
combination thereof. Generally, an ad hoc (or "spontaneous") network is a local area network or
other small network where there is usually no access point for all traffic. In the established ad
hoc network 610, the devices 602, 604, 606, 608 are all communicable with one another, eg, in
a "peer-to-peer" communication scheme. In addition, devices may be added / removed in the
network 610, and the network 610 automatically reconfigures the network 610 itself without
reconfiguration by the user. Although an ad hoc network is shown in FIG. 6, the reproduction
network may be based on a completely different or partially different network type from the ad
hoc network.
[0049]
Using ad hoc network 610, devices 602, 604, 606, 608 share or exchange one or more audio
sources and dynamically group them to play the same or different audio sources. It is possible.
For example, while the devices 602, 604 are grouped to play one song of music, the device 606
plays another music. In other words, the devices 602, 604, 606, 608 form a HOUSE HOLD that
delivers audio and / or plays audio, as shown in FIG. As used herein, the term HOUSEHOLD
(represented in capital letters to distinguish it from the user's place of residence) is intended to
denote a collection of network devices that cooperate to provide an application or service. used.
Although an example of HOUSEHOLD is specified by the house hold 610 (or a house hold
identifier), HOUSE HOLD may be specified by a different area or place.
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[0050]
In one embodiment, the Household Identifier (HHID) is a short computer generated string or
identifier to ensure uniqueness. Thus, the network 610 can be configured with unique HHIDs and
configuration variables such as channels (eg, each frequency band), SSID (a series of
alphanumeric characters to name a wireless network), WEP keys (wired equivalent privacy or
other security keys), etc. And a unique set of parameters. In one embodiment, the SSID is
configured to be the same as the HHID.
[0051]
In one embodiment, each HOUSEHOLD has two types of network nodes: Control Point (CP) and
Zone Player (ZP). The control point performs the automatic generation of the necessary network
parameters (e.g. WEP key) and controls the setup process of the entire network and its
sequencing. In one embodiment, the CP provides the user with a user interface for setting the
household. The functionality at the CP can be provided, for example, by a computer executing a
CP application module or by a handheld controller (eg, controller 308) executing a CP
application module. Zone players are other devices on the network that are deployed to subscribe
to the autoconfiguration process. ZP as a notation as used herein includes, for example,
controller 608 or a computing device. In some embodiments, the functionality or portions of
functionality in both CP and ZP are combined at a single node (eg, ZP comprises CP, or CP
comprises ZP).
[0052]
In one embodiment, the HOUSEHOLD settings aggregate and establish known settings so that
standard network protocols for communication (eg, IP over wired or wireless Ethernet) can be
used. With multiple CPs and ZPs. In one embodiment, two networks / protocols are employed:
Ethernet 802.3 and Wireless 802.11g. Any network / protocol can be used for interconnection
between CP and ZP. Devices in the system that are members of HOUSEHOLD can connect to both
networks simultaneously.
[0053]
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In an environment where both networks are in use, it is assumed that at least one device in the
system is connected to both as a bridge device, which allows bridging services with others
between wired / wireless networks I will provide a. The zone player 606 of FIG. 6, for example, is
shown connected to both networks. The connection to the network 612 is based on Ethernet and
/ or wireless, while the connection to the other devices 602, 604, 608 is based on wireless and
Ethernet, if desired.
[0054]
However, in some embodiments, each zone player 606, 604, 602 can access the Internet when
obtaining media from the cloud (eg, the Internet) via a bridge device. For example, zone player
602 may include a uniform resource locator (URL) that specifies an address to a particular audio
track in the cloud. Using the URL, zone player 602 gets an audio track from the cloud and
eventually plays audio from one or more zone players.
[0055]
VI. In the example system as shown in Mobile Music Figure 1, 6, or 7, a Sonoz system
comprising one or more playback devices and one or more controllers is connected through a
Local Area Network (LAN) There is. In such systems, it may be useful to be able to seamlessly or
substantially seamlessly transition the audio experience as the user moves into / out of the home.
For example, according to some embodiments, the user uses the portable playback device to
migrate the audio experience from home, to the beach, to a park, to a hotel, to a friend's house, to
a boat, or wherever the user decides to go It can be done. In addition, when going out from home
with a portable device, such as when going to a beach or park, or when walking or jogging, the
function of the portable device enables the audio experience to be seamlessly or substantially
seamlessly transferred. It can be useful.
[0056]
A. In an exemplary embodiment of the portable playback device, the portable playback device
comprises the zone player described in FIGS. 2 and 4. In one embodiment, the portable playback
device comprises a broadband interface, which directly connects to the Internet without first
connecting to the LAN via a wireless or wired interface. In another embodiment, the portable
playback device comprises a Bluetooth or other wireless interface for pairing with a mobile
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19
device such as a smartphone, tablet computer or laptop. In yet another embodiment, the portable
playback device comprises a battery pack such that it does not need to be connected to the main
service for operation. In yet another embodiment, the portable playback device may be a
controller according to FIGS. 3 and 5, such as a display screen or input interface to allow the user
to configure and control the playback device and the system of the playback device. It has a builtin control function. In yet another embodiment, the portable playback device is designed to
withstand a particular weather or outdoor environment.
[0057]
Similar to the exemplary zone player 400 of FIG. 4, the exemplary portable player 800 of FIG. 8
includes a processor 408, a memory 410, an audio processing component 412, a module 414, an
audio amplifier 416, and a speaker 418. , One or more antennas 420. These components are
described in more detail above. The number of components included may be increased or
decreased depending on the desired configuration. The portable player 800 comprises a network
interface 802, which comprises a wireless interface 404, a wired interface 406 and a broadband
interface 804. The broadband interface 804 provides broadband internetwork based on industry
standards such as 3G, 4G or Bluetooth, for example. The portable player 800 comprises a battery
pack 806 that provides power to the device when the main input is not used. As a battery pack, a
single battery or a collection of batteries may be used, and the battery may be rechargeable or
non-rechargeable. The control interface 808 comprises a display screen 810 and an input
interface 812. The display screen 810 may be, for example, an LCD screen. The input interface
812 may be a touch panel interface, a hard button interface, or a capacitive or resistive touch
interface having a corresponding soft key (which may or may not always be present).
[0058]
As an example of a portable playback device, a human portable playback device (e.g., the existing
Sonoz PLAY: 3 or PLAY: 5 is portable and is further configured by software to operate as a
portable playback device) And playback devices designed for portability (eg, easily portable and /
or battery-powered), playback devices designed for outdoor use, speakers and And / or a
smartphone that operates as described herein with an audio output, a tablet having a speaker
and / or an audio output similar to a smartphone, and / or hardware and / or to operate as a
portable playback device By software Existing zone players that are Tadashisa, may be included,
such as.
[0059]
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20
In some embodiments, the portable playback device provides an acoustic solution.
For example, a portable playback device may be used alone and / or in combination with one or
more other playback devices to generate the acoustic space. The acoustic space is, for example, a
region having a specific sound texture. The portable playback device may shape or concentrate
the output sound for viewing in a room or other part of the space, rather than outputting the
sound in a large space. For example, when shaping and / or concentrating audio output from the
portable playback device to the surrounding space, the orientation, position, output parameters,
and / or other settings of the portable playback device may be used. In one embodiment, a
portable playback device may be used to provide an audio solution when connected to a home
audio playback system, but may alternatively be used as a full range or near full range
loudspeaker system .
[0060]
In some embodiments, the portable playback device has multiple power modes. For example, the
portable player may operate in a low power mode in addition to the normal power mode. The
power mode is applicable, for example, when operating in a mobile mode and / or operating
using a battery. In another example, the portable player has an on / off function or a standby
mode. For example, the portable player may have user accessible buttons or other user interface
for turning the portable player off and / or in standby mode. In another example, the portable
player has its own power management intelligence to shut down and / or put it into standby
mode.
[0061]
B. Portability In some embodiments, a portable playback device is added to the home network
or HOUSE HOLD, eg, as described above with respect to FIGS. When adding a zone player such as
a portable playback device to the home network, human intervention can be performed with
minimum. Specifically, for example, after starting a procedure of “joining a household” on the
controller, the user can play a portable playback on the network (Sonozonetto (trademark)) by
pressing a button on the device or performing another user action. This is a case where the
device can be subscribed. In some embodiments, the portable playback device may join the home
network in other ways.
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[0062]
In some embodiments, upon joining a home network by a zone player, such as a portable
playback device, a Globally Unique System ID (eg, Household ID or HHID) is used to identify the
playback network. The determination of the system ID may be performed when all devices (e.g.,
zone player and controller) in the playback network have the same system identifier after the
playback network is first established.
[0063]
Once the portable playback device joins the home network, it can be assigned to a room or zone
and integrated into an audio system. For example, if a kitchen zone has not yet been established,
the kitchen zone may be formed by assigning a portable playback device to the kitchen. In
another example, the portable playback device is assigned to a portable zone that moves around
a house, which is not fixed in position. In another example, the portable playback device may be
configured to play with another player within a zone group established as synchronized or
stereopaired with another zone player. In yet another example, sound is provided using a
portable playback device. In another example, portable playback devices are used to provide
more directional sound.
[0064]
Similar to other zone players in the system, the portable playback device may be dynamically
reconfigured into another zone or another zone group. Such reconfiguration may be performed
by the user using the user interface on the controller or player or by other mechanisms. For
example, the portable playback device may move from the kitchen zone to the family room zone.
In one embodiment, the user can make changes to the system by reassigning the portable player
to the family room zone using the controller. In another embodiment, the portable playback
device can be added to another zone without the use of a controller by pressing a combination of
buttons on the portable playback device and zone player that are already part of the zone. In yet
another embodiment, proximity detection is used to automatically join a portable playback device
to a zone or zone group.
[0065]
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22
In some embodiments, the playback system utilizes state variables that maintain information
about the playback system, such as, for example, identification of zone players in the home
network and configuration of zone groups. State variables may store other aspects. The state
variables are known, set or learned by communication between devices in the home network.
Zone players reflect membership changes in each group by automatically updating state
variables when joining and / or leaving various zone groups. The zone player may update state
variables as devices such as portable playback devices leave or fall within the range of the
network. State variables may be provided to the controller on demand or periodically to notify
the user of current system settings.
[0066]
In some embodiments, after the portable playback device is powered off, the portable playback
device is programmed to automatically rejoin the playback network when power is restored to
the device. For example, when power is restored to a portable playback device that was part of
the playback network, the device uses the state variable to identify the playback network to
rejoin. In some embodiments, when the device joins the playback network, it can query the zone
players and controllers in the network for system information and update state variables
accordingly.
[0067]
When the portable playback device leaves the playback network, the system can detect that the
player has left without input from the user and update the state variables accordingly. For
example, if the portable playback device is powered off, or the portable playback device moves
out of the network, the system may be disconnected from the playback device and disconnected
from the portable player on the local network. Decide what to do. In some embodiments, the user
is notified from the controller that the portable playback device is not connected to the home
playback network.
[0068]
In some embodiments, the zone player of the home playback network automatically reconfigures
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23
to reflect the lack of portable playback devices. For example, if it detects that a portable playback
device is missing and that the portable playback device was a stereo pair, the remaining players
temporarily delete the stereo pair and play audio at full range. Do. When the portable playback
device is returned to the home network, stereo pairing may be automatically rebuilt to allow the
two players to play in stereo pairs (eg, left and right channels or other multi Audio playback by
channel). Zone player, such as changing the volume (eg, increasing the volume of the remaining
player to compensate for the missing zone player), EQ changes, channel routing changes, and
frequency changes to address player dropouts Various settings of may be automatically
corrected. The system may return to the previous settings when the portable player returns.
[0069]
The portable playback device moves outside the range of the playback network and can operate
and play content even if it is not connected to other existing playback networks (for example,
moved out of the wireless range) It remains in the state. In one embodiment, the state variables
stored in the playback device are updated to reflect that they are not part of the home network
and that they must establish their own mechanism to acquire audio. You may In this way, the
portable playback device may be able to connect to the playback network or establish a playback
network, and also connect to the mobile zone for playing multimedia content via the portable
playback device It may be possible to establish For example, when the portable playback device
is outside the scope of a household playback network, via a cloud-based storage, via a local
storage (eg, a cell phone, tablet computer, etc.), via a streaming source (eg, The music can be
accessed directly via the mobile phone, tablet computer, etc.) or other means described herein.
[0070]
In some embodiments, multiple mobile playback devices may join the mobile zone. The user may,
for example, want to separate the stereos more widely, and may, for example, want to add a
second portable playback device to wirelessly pair in stereo between the two devices. In another
example, a user may want to synchronize and play while connecting two or more devices through
a mobile zone. To do so, each playback device subscribed to the mobile zone may share a state
variable indicating a configuration setup mobile network ID.
[0071]
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In some embodiments, at least two separate system IDs are maintained by the portable playback
device. For example, in a portable playback device, a home network system ID (HHID1) and a
mobile network ID (HHID2) are maintained and stored. In one embodiment, if the portable
playback device can verify the device from both systems (eg, detect a network from each of
HHID1 and HHID2), then by default the portable playback device has a system ID of, eg, HHID1.
Join a home network system with However, if the portable playback device can recognize only
one system, the device joins that system that it recognizes. In one embodiment, it is preferable to
update the controller controlling both networks to indicate which network the portable playback
device is currently joining.
[0072]
C. Control As mentioned above, in some embodiments, when the user configures the playback
network, such as configuring a zone group, establishing stereo pairing, or establishing subwoofer
pairing, State variables describing the system settings are updated to reflect the changes. The
updated state variables are stored on one or more playback devices and read by the controller
when needed.
[0073]
In some embodiments, where the portable playback device is part of a home network, the
controller can display home network system playback information to the user. If the portable
playback device is not part of a home network, the controller may also display home network
system playback information to the user.
[0074]
In some embodiments, the control interface adapts depending on whether it is connected to the
home network or if it is outside the home network (similar to a portable playback device). For
example, if the controller is connected to a home playback network, it may display all of the
normal information associated with the home playback network, such as zones and zone groups.
However, if the controller is away from the home playback network but in communication with
the portable playback device, the controller screen will reduce the information about the home
network and (if additional portable playback devices are paired May be modified to be more
informative about the portable playback device or the mobile music zone. The controller may, for
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example, display a "mobile zone" or other identifier. Users can interface with the mobile zone as if
they were in the home zone.
[0075]
In some embodiments, when the controller and / or portable playback device is connected to the
cloud, information regarding the home playback network is displayed on the controller. In one
embodiment, the portable playback device may be an extension of the home network, for
example by connecting to the home playback network through the cloud. In this way, information
about the home network may be displayed on the controller interface. In one embodiment, the
user manages the home network remotely through the cloud.
[0076]
D. Content Access In some embodiments, the audio content may be a controller (eg, a
smartphone or other computing device), another computing device with the capabilities of a
portable playback device called “Play to”, a USB drive, a local storage drive Or it may be from
the cloud. The cloud typically includes the Internet, as well as any cloud-based storage or service
solution.
[0077]
In some embodiments, the controller can use the account credentials to obtain audio from the
cloud and direct the captured content to the portable playback device.
[0078]
In some embodiments, the portable playback device obtains audio content from the cloud,
maintaining either account credentials from the home network or account credentials as guest
credentials.
[0079]
In some embodiments, the portable playback device uses wireless communication to
communicate with the controller and / or the network.
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For example, the portable playback device may have wireless functionality similar to a zone
player, in addition to cellular functionality.
Such portable playback devices may implement a fourth generation or later mobile
communication standard, for example to obtain audio content. The portable playback device may
obtain audio from the controller or computing device utilizing the Bluetooth standard.
[0080]
E. Description of an Exemplary Network FIG. 9 shows the configuration of an exemplary
playback network 900. The playback network 900 shown in FIG. 9 comprises a mobile device
910. The mobile device 910 is configured to interface with one or more playback devices 930,
931 through a network 920. The mobile device 910 can connect to an existing playback network
920 and / or establish a mobile playback network for providing content and acquiring content
from one or more playback devices 930, 931. Mobile device 910 is connected to network 920
and facilitates playback of content (e.g., audio content such as music) by one or more playback
devices 930, 931 and / or mobile device 910 comprising the network. can do. For example,
mobile device 910 may be used to control one or more playback devices 930, 931 via a
connection with network 920. The connection with the network 920 can control the mobile
device 910 using, for example, one or more playback devices 930, 931. Content available for
playback, for example, using one or both of the mobile device 910 and one or more playback
devices 930, 931 through a connection with the network 920 facilitated by the mobile device
910 You can also browse.
[0081]
F. Description of Exemplary Methods FIG. 10 shows a flow diagram of an exemplary method
1000 for setting up zones and playing content through a portable playback device.
[0082]
At block 1005, the portable playback device searches for available playback networks. For
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example, the portable zone player looks for a connectable household playback network or other
building playback network. At block 1010, the portable playback device connects to the existing
playback network if it is within a playback network (eg, a house hold playback network).
[0083]
At block 1015, control of content playback over a playback network is facilitated through the
portable playback device. The portable playback device may, for example, be synchronized with
one or more playback devices connected to the playback network. For example, synchronizing
the portable playback device with one or more zone players in a household network may cause
the one or more zone players to play content at the command of the portable playback device.
[0084]
At block 1020, playback of the content is facilitated through the playback network. For example,
available content is viewed on the portable playback device or available through the portable
playback device. When viewing content, a portable playback device, another controller, or one or
more other playback devices connected to the playback network may be used. Content for
playback may be selected. For example, a song is selected from a menu of a docked portable
playback device or a menu available from the playback device. The selected content is then
played back through one or more playback devices connected to the network. For example, songs
selected on the portable playback device may be played through one or more zone players on the
playback network.
[0085]
At block 1025, the portable playback device is deleted from the playback network. Portable
playback devices, for example, are carried by the user outside the scope of the household
playback network. At block 1030, the portable playback device detects the absence of a playback
network. The portable playback device, for example, detects when it can no longer communicate
through the previously connected playback network.
[0086]
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At block 1035, the portable playback device performs a search of the mobile network. For
example, after the connection with the previous playback network is disconnected or deleted
from the playback network, the portable playback device searches for another connectable
network. When the portable device detects an available network, it attempts to connect as
described above.
[0087]
However, at block 1040, if no available playback network is detected, the portable playback
device establishes a mobile network. The portable playback device, for example, establishes a
mobile zone for playing content through the portable playback device. The portable playback
device can connect to a cloud based storage, connect to a streaming service, or connect to access
data stored locally on a portable playback device and / or other user device such as a smart
phone to allow the mobile network / Content for playback can be provided on the zone.
[0088]
At block 1045, the portable playback device facilitates playback and control of content over the
mobile network. For example, content, playlists, volume, timing, audio shaping, etc. may be set
and facilitated through a portable playback device. By connecting another playback device to the
mobile zone, it is possible to provide content and receive content for playback. A mobile ad hoc
network available to portable playback devices may facilitate dynamic mobile zone group
configuration.
[0089]
VII. Conclusion In this specification, various example systems, methods, devices, and
products are disclosed that include, among other components, firmware and / or software that
are executed on hardware. However, such examples are merely illustrative and not limiting. For
example, some or all of these firmware components, hardware components, and / or software
components may be embodied in hardware only, software only, firmware only, or any
combination of hardware, software, and / or firmware It is intended to be possible. Thus,
although exemplary systems, methods, apparatuses, and / or products are described, those
examples provided are the only way to implement those systems, methods, apparatuses, and / or
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products. Absent.
[0090]
Furthermore, reference to "an embodiment" herein means that the particular feature, structure or
characteristic described in connection with the embodiment may be included in at least one
embodiment of the invention. Although this phrase is used in various places throughout the
specification, all not necessarily referring to the same embodiment, and also, mutually exclusive
separate embodiments or alternatives to the other embodiments. It is not an embodiment of As
such, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, explicitly and implicitly, that combinations
with other embodiments are possible with respect to the embodiments described herein.
[0091]
This specification broadly describes environment, systems, procedures, steps, logic blocks,
processes, and other symbolic representations, which are directly or indirectly analogous to the
operation of data processing devices connected to a network. It is a thing. These process
descriptions and representations are commonly used by those skilled in the art to most
effectively convey the substance of their work to others skilled in the art. Many specific details
are provided to understand the present disclosure. However, it will be understood by those
skilled in the art that certain embodiments of the present disclosure may be practiced without
the specific details. In other instances, well known methods, procedures, components and circuits
have not been described in detail in order to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the embodiments.
Accordingly, the scope of the present disclosure is defined by the appended claims rather than
the embodiments described above.
[0092]
One or more of the elements in at least one example store software and / or firmware, if any of
the appended claims can be read purely to cover the implementation in software and / or
firmware. Is explicitly defined herein to include tangible media such as memory, DVD, CD, Bluray.RTM., And the like.
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