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  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Grants Apple iTunes User Interface Patent


    Apple was recently awarded a long-awaited patent regarding the user interface of the iTunes Store. The patent covers past applications covering how a user browses, searches for, and purchases content. Patent 8.161.411 for a “Graphical user interface for browsing, searching, and presenting media items” comes in nearly 8 years after Apple originally filed the application in 2004. The main purpose of the patent being the description of iTunes as a standalone computer program that is able to organize, present, and sell media pulled from an off-site server in an intuitive and easy-to-use format.

    The patent provides for a graphical UI in which windows and sub-windows display media classified by data sets, moving from a broad “genre” of categories to the more specific “artist” or “song name.” Here, Hyperlinks are used to move through the aggregated data and appear as lists through which a user can navigate. The information is parsed by rows, columns, and lists in different sub-windows within the main iTunes window, making it a clean and information-rich interface that has become the symbol of Apple’s online store.

    Apple officially launched the iTunes Music Store in April 2003 and filed the patent a year late, claiming the invention of the program’s basic look and feel. It began leveraging the popularity of the iPod but now offers content to a variety of devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and even the Apple TV. With the increasing popularity of iOS devices, Apple’s iTunes seems to have become one of the world’s largest music stores and has served up over 16 billion songs and 25 billion apps so far.

    Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
    This article was originally published in forum thread: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Grants Apple iTunes User Interface Patent started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. bstunt10190's Avatar
      bstunt10190 -
      Honestly, i've seen a decline of people i know using itunes or storing media at all locally on their computers.
    1. BenderRodriguez's Avatar
      BenderRodriguez -
      I'd rather use Spotify cause you DON'T HAVE TO PAY FOR MUSIC at all with that and can listen to them as long as your macs on wifi and you can transfer them to an iDevice idk if it needs a signal as well but all my 70 playlists are still on iTunes
    1. cmwade77's Avatar
      cmwade77 -
      Really? A patent for something this basic? Even if the patent were legitimate, it should not take 8 years to get one, as I recall patents are supposed to become open source after a certain number of years, so this seems like it works in Apple's favor with the delay.

      That being said, they still shouldn't be able to get a patent that is that broad. I can see patenting the basic look and feel of iTunes it's self, including the layout, but it must be details and I would think that the patent shouldn't even be applied to what iTunes is today.
    1. mustard05's Avatar
      mustard05 -
      Why does this site display the comments correctly on a Mac? Whenever I want to read the comments I need to use my iPhone or iPad App.
    1. evolution83's Avatar
      evolution83 -
      I only use iTunes to sync my apps and other items. I use Winamp to play music because it's actually fast and doesn't lag. -_-
    1. mwhite67's Avatar
      mwhite67 -
      So now no other company can design a super slow terrible MP3 app, DAMN!
    1. Truckerbear's Avatar
      Truckerbear -
      Quote Originally Posted by mustard05 View Post
      Why doesn't this site display the comments correctly on a Mac? Whenever I want to read the comments I need to use my iPhone or iPad App.
      Its not just a mac, its a pc, its firefox, its IE its lots of things. The only true way to read comments is to log out of modmyi or read them in the modmyi app.

      Its been like this since last year some time when the site upgraded and I don't think they want it fixed. They want us to read from the app. Its a huge pain in the butt. I have asked and asked and asked and get "read modmyi from your iPhone or iPad" that is the fix.

      Don't shoot the messenger.
    1. budsalinger's Avatar
      budsalinger -
      I hate itunes. years ago I used Real Player which was great imo and thought Itunes was utter ****. today with all of my iStuff i'm practically forced to use itunes and so I do.
    1. teej1410's Avatar
      teej1410 -
      Quote Originally Posted by BenderRodriguez View Post
      I'd rather use Spotify cause you DON'T HAVE TO PAY FOR MUSIC at all with that and can listen to them as long as your macs on wifi and you can transfer them to an iDevice idk if it needs a signal as well but all my 70 playlists are still on iTunes
      I'm not meaning to bash on spotify but I would rather have the music that I bought and is mine on my hard drive without needing Internet connection. I can't count music from spotify being in my music collection. It is a great service, I just prefer me handling my own music.
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Truckerbear View Post
      Its not just a mac, its a pc, its firefox, its IE its lots of things. The only true way to read comments is to log out of modmyi or read them in the modmyi app.
      Or you can just go the forum view; at the end of an article, you'll see a line that reads "This article was originally published in forum thread" followed by a link to the original forum thread, which shows all replies correctly.
    1. discostar's Avatar
      discostar -
      Why would they want to patent that poor, double speaking, confusing UI?

      ITunes is literally the worst thing Apple makes. Why just yesterday I had to hit sync 4 times before it would add 4 new podcasts.
      And the 3rd sync removed all the content from my device.

      They patented it? Who the hell else wants it?
    1. BenderRodriguez's Avatar
      BenderRodriguez -
      Quote Originally Posted by discostar View Post
      They patented it? Who the hell else wants it?
      Lol