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An Apple patent (number 8296656) for a media manager with integrated browssers has appeared at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Methods and systems that improve the way media is played, sorted, modified, stored and cataloged are disclosed.
One aspect relates to a browse window that allows a user to navigate through and select images that are related to media items. Another aspect relates to a graphical user interface of a media management program that utilizes multiple browse windows. Another aspect relates to simultaneously displayed media browse windows whose operations are integrated together so that the content shown therein is automatically synched when selections are made. Another aspect relates to resetting browsed content to the currently playing media.
Here's Apple's background on the invention: "Personal computers typically include media management programs for managing various media such as music and videos. The media management programs typically utilize a graphical user interface that allows a user to play, sort, modify, store and catalog their media. The graphical user interface typically includes a text based browse window that allows a user to browse through and select a particular media track.
"The media management program may also be linked with an online media store so that new media can be bought and transferred to the personal computer and subsequently managed by the media management program. One example of a media management program is iTunes, manufactured by Apple Computer of Cupertino, Calif.
"While a single text based browse window is sufficient, there is still a desire for improved methods and systems for browsing through media items. For example, a single browse window may be limiting to user's who desire to browse through more than one media group at a given time. Furthermore, in some cases, finding a desired media item can be difficult when browsing through rows and rows of text. Therefore, improved methods and systems for browsing through media items are desired."
The inventors are Thomas Dowdy, David Heller and Anne Jones.