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Thread: iCloud Patent Different Than Expected

  1. #1
    Default iCloud Patent Different Than Expected



    Wading through the recently uncovered iCloud patent an interesting tid bit emerges. In the patent there is the option to "Sync partial music."

    This feature likely refers to the "local caching" of music stored on Apple's cloud based servers. What this means is when a playlist or group of songs is synched to your iDevice a small portion of each song, usually the beginning, is stored locally on the device while the rest of the song is then streamed from the cloud.

    While this might seem to defeat the entire purpose of cloud based storage, with today's wireless speeds local caching is necessary for all cloud based services. The small amount of locally stored data allows users to jump between songs without waiting for them to buffer and load eliminating lag. This provides the user with the illusion that all of the songs are stored on the device. Local caching is what Spotify has been doing this since 2008. Pandora, Slacker, and other cloud based music services have figured this out on their own as well.

    What seems odd though is Apple is giving the user the option to partially sync songs. It seems this differs from other services in that the local caching would occur while your iDevice is synching to your computer, caching the file from there, rather than downloading the information from the cloud. In an earlier patent Apple proposed a solution that would merge local and cloud based libraries into one. A problem arises for the operating system the device uses though. If cloud and local files are indiscernable and the experience must be the same, wouldn't the illusion be broken if a song is to be played, but needs moments to load? This partial synch could be the solution. The beginning of the song would be played, while a request for the rest of the song could be sent out from the device via the Internet.

    It goes without saying this two year old patent (it was filed in 2009) by no means is an exact representation of the service Apple will ultimately implement. Still it seems odd that Apple could patent a method of local caching a year after Spotify started doing it. Not to mention the fact that most cloud-based music services operate this way.

    Source: Wired

  2. #2
    Livin the iPhone Life steve-z17's Avatar
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    Interesting article, thanks for the info, I didn't know that companies did that. Pretty smart.

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    so again we ask...what happens if you don't have a signal or have a very weak signal? do you get choppy playback or none at all or is there some sort of contingency plan for this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Swanson View Post



    It goes without saying this two year old patent (it was filed in 2009) by no means is an exact representation of the service Apple will ultimately implement. Still it seems odd that Apple could patent a method of local caching a year after Spotify started doing it. Not to mention the fact that most cloud-based music services operate this way.

    Source: Wired
    Also again this article says "patent a method of..." which leaves the door open for other methods of local caching and thus will likely disallow Apple the ability to sue merely for the idea of "local caching." This is good for us because when companies get sued we ultimately end up paying for it.
    Last edited by alexevo; 05-19-2011 at 05:27 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  5. #5
    I sync my iPhone to the computer whenever I want. Is synch the new sync, or did I miss something?

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    Livin the iPhone Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexevo View Post
    so again we ask...what happens if you don't have a signal or have a very weak signal? do you get choppy playback or none at all or is there some sort of contingency plan for this?
    Well with Google music, it automatically saves your top-however-many songs locally so you can play them offline, and you can also tick as many other songs/albums that you want always stored locally too.

    The contingency plan is to just keep your music on your iPod/iPhone. Don't have to worry about data caps, signal strength or any of that.
    And if you have more songs than your device can hold....how really cares, you're not gonna listen to all of them, you're only gonna listen to the same few playlists and albums anywho.
    Or alternatively, get an iPod Classic.

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