Apple Patents Technology to Store Cloud-Based Media

By Erin Harrison May 20, 2011

Apple has reportedly signed a deal with record company BMI, with more on the way, for its upcoming streaming service. The tech giant filed a patent application that would sync its ever-popular iPhone with iTunes.

According to an Apple Insider report, details were revealed this week about a new patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the report, “Local Storage of a Portion of Streamed Media Items,” which describes a device like an iPhone having pieces of songs synced to it via iTunes

Apple's solution would store only portions of media, such as songs, locally on a device like an iPhone. “Using this method, the iOS mobile operating system would be able to immediately begin playback of a song from the locally saved data,” Apple Insider said.

Instead of storing a whole user’s library on a device like an iPhone or an iPod, only a small piece of each song – and therefore a whole lot less data – would be stored on the device, with the rest going out into the cloud to be recovered using Internet streaming.

According to media reports, the music player would sync small portions of songs, which would be stored locally on the music device, and the rest of the song would be stored on either a cloud server, a user’s personal desktop or laptop, or on a “content source,” like the iTunes Store, explains a DigitalTrends report.

The system would allow users to quickly jump around to different songs as they like, without having to wait for the song to download before they can have a listen.

In related news, Amazon’s Cloud Player music streaming service launched only with Android compatibility, but an update recently rolled out introduced basic support for Apple’s iOS.


Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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