Feeds

Apple eyes patent for web silence

Browserized audio lord

The next step in data security

Apple wants to give you the opportunity to selectively block web-based audio while allowing you to listen to any other audio source of your choosing.

In a filing released Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, Apple detailed plans for equipping a web browser with the ability to apply controls to audio streaming in from the web - audio that the filing kindly describes as that "which may or may not be welcomed by the user."

Most often - let's be frank - it's not. Irritating advertisements, blaring music, clanging sound effects: they all intrude upon our aural consciousness, interfere with music we're listening to in the background, or simply annoy the %$#@! out of us.

And patent #20090106657, "Web Browser Audio Controls," wants to help.

The nine-page filing is simplicity itself. The basic idea is that a browser could include audio controls that could be set to any level that a user preferred - including "Mute."

Apple patent illustration: browser-based volume control

Such a simple idea: a browser with a volume control

The controls aren't merely intended for personal computers, but for any device capable of running a browser. "Including but not limited to," as the filing states, "media players, mobile phones, smart phones, email devices, game consoles or devices, personal computers, personal digital assistants, etc."

The filing also provides for fine-grained user control. For example, you could choose to mute or decrease the volume for only selected web sources. Or you could do the reverse, allowing only selected URLs to play freely - at whatever volume you choose - but tell all the others to shut up.

You could also tell the entire system to kick in only when you're running specific apps - iTunes for background music, for example, or Logic Pro when you're in creatively compositional mode.

Finally, if you set up such a preferences database on one of your browser-running devices, you'd be able to transfer it over a network to another device. Companies, for example, could set up audio-management profiles and distribute them to their employees. Cubicles farms could become more civilized places to work.

Rarely do we see a patent filing that makes us say, "I want that yesterday!" This one does. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.