Apple Applies for 'Audio Hyperlinking' Patent to Help Content Creators Link to Other Media
Apple's latest patent filing is known as 'Audio Hyperlink,' and was actually filed in February 7, 2012. The patent describes a way of encoding hyperlinks into an audio stream, allowing content creators to link to other forms of content in media right within the audio file or even control the device altogether.
Hyperlinks within an audio stream provide a way for a listener to access linked resources. An audio hyperlink encoded in an audio stream indicates the presence of an audio hyperlink in the audio stream, as well as providing information for traversing the hyperlink to the linked resource. The hyperlink may be conditionally traversed upon a user interaction or automatically upon detection in the audio stream, possibly pausing the audio stream containing the hyperlink during the traversal of the hyperlink and resuming the audio stream if the audio stream is returned to from the linked material. The linked material may be other audio content, but may also be any other type of desired content that may be accessible by the system processing the audio stream.
The patent describes a way that a podcast to link to another podcast, website or more media. Apple also describes how a user interface could be offered if any audio hyperlinks are discovered so the user can control the activation of the links. Certain hyperlinks can even pause the audio and take the listener back to another position in the file or another media file.
It is still unclear what plans Apple has for the patent, or if we will ever see it in iOS or Mac OS X devices.
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