Apple has received a patent for a system that would enable a user to have content not of interest from a live broadcast or stream replaced with content stored on the device locally.
Systems and methods are provided for seamlessly switching media playback between a media broadcast, such as a radio broadcast, and media from a local media library. When an electronic device determines that an upcoming media item in a media broadcast is not of interest to a user, the electronic device can switch playback from the media stream to a media item from the electronic device local library. The selected local media item can be related to a previously broadcast media item to ensure continuity in the user’s listening or viewing experience. The electronic device can switch away from the local media item and return to the media stream when the media stream again broadcasts media items or segments of interest to the user.
The system as described by AppleInsider.com uses RDS or published broadcast listings to help the device “determine when an upcoming broadcast segment or media item is not of interest to the user.” Examples cited include the ability to skip a song, guest on a talk show, or commercials.
This seems more suited to television where Apple has been planning something for its AppleTV device. But what are the ramifications for radio? If the NAB continues its pursuit of mandatory FM chips in cell phones, Apple now has a way to nullify most of the reasons they would want to do so as the content will now be at the whim of Apple and the user. This has the chance to be the most disruptive technology broadcast media will have to face in the coming years.