iTunes Cloud Music Streaming Confirmed by Apple Patent?

May 19, 2011 - 5 Comments

overview of Apple iTunes Cloud Streaming

As if there was any remaining doubt that Apple was working on a cloud player for your iTunes library, a patent has surfaced that describes just how part of the service will work. Somewhat amusingly, one of the drawings contained within the patent is, well, of a cloud.

So how will this work for the end user? The gist is that iOS devices will have the option to locally store small cached snippets of songs you want to play, and the remaining portion of the song will be downloaded and streamed while that initial local cache is playing. This setting will be contained within iTunes, as indicated in the patent image at the bottom of this post. Patently Apple describes this further:

The electronic device could receive and locally store initial portions of media items in the electronic device. When a user then instructs the device to play back a media item, the electronic device could initiate playback of the locally stored portion of media item while requesting a stream from the user’s media library for the remaining portion of the media item

Also, in an indicator that Apple is planning far into the future, the iTunes cloud patent shows that users will be able to select the speed of the network that which they are streaming onto. These network settings include 3G, WiFi, and, somewhat surprisingly, 5G coverage. This is also referenced in the graphic below.


Patent for iTunes Cloud Sync Partial Streaming Option

While this patent details a small part of the media streaming portion of Apple’s upcoming cloud strategy, rumors persist that other cloud-based features will be coming to the Apple lineup as well, from wireless iOS syncing to over-the-air iOS updates and even some kind of cloud storage in Mac OS X Lion. Whether or not these features will be opt-in like the iTunes “iCloud” patent described above remains to be seen.

Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:

Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, iTunes, News

5 Comments

» Comments RSS Feed

  1. David says:

    No mention of EDGE suggests that streaming won’t work on EDGE networks, or am I reading too much into this?

    My problem with cloud streaming is that wireless broadband coverage is still limited to the most reliable portions of regions. Even in downtown San Francisco you will find 3G reception is spotty and unreliable.

    Also, don’t forget those data caps… cloud streaming sounds great but it will cost you a fortune in overage charges now that VZ and AT&T killed the unlimited plans.

  2. [...] is also a patent for this music service, so OS X Daily (and others) tell us and seek to link it with the other stories about the service. There are some [...]

  3. [...] fuelling the rumours, a recent patent by Apple describes how a cloud based music service would work.  The patent describes that [...]

  4. [...] calls. The age of ever-expanding Wifi networks also tilts in the favor of streaming. And ironically Apple owns the patent on the creative solution of storing the first few seconds of media on a device so it will play [...]

  5. [...] calls. The age of ever-expanding Wifi networks also tilts in the favor of streaming. And ironically Apple owns the patent on the creative solution of storing the first few seconds of media on a device so it will play [...]

Leave a Reply

 

Shop for Apple & Mac Deals on Amazon.com

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates