The past Tuesday (January 21st) the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple U.S. a patented for “automatic station tuning” for broadcast and streaming audio, as well as video content. In short this technology will analyze on-board, broadcast or streamed audio and visual media content to create a custom tailored playlist that can switch between sources to deliver an optimal user experience.
Patent #8634944 says various embodiments, a media player or portable media device can enable a user to navigate and discover content or other media assets. The media player may analyze broadcasts and other content streams to determine currently playing and forthcoming content. The media player may switch from one source of content to another to find content that matches user preferences or criteria. The media player may generate playlists based on the matching content, and switch between sources of the matching content automatically. In some embodiments, the media player may receive user input to browse content using a navigation stream. Content associated with stations within the navigation stream may be output. As if the user were tuning a radio dial, the media player may determine what content to played back for each station. The media player may procure content and generate playlists to represent each station focus on by the user.
What does this mean for radio? Well it could be a good thing in that Apple may finally make it easier for users to consume terrestrial broadcasts on the iPHONE, but it also also allow users to automatically skip commercials. You can read more here thanks to Appleinsider.com