Space Reservation for Variable Sized Feeds
Original Publication Date: 2008-Oct-15
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Oct-15
Andrew L. Silverman: INVENTOR [+3]
Portable media device technologies do not provide content management capabilities for administering media content having dynamic version-over-version updates. Where the aggregate file size of a collection of media content is variable, a storage reservation is needed to preserve storage for future expansion of the content. A space-reservation system is described herein in which developers of media content updated by a version-over-version process, determine a maximum aggregate file size restriction for the content. The maximum size is communicated to a user’s portable device and PC client software, and storage is reserved on the portable device accordingly. The storage reservation is maintained at the maximum size, and the available storage is reported by the device as if the storage reservation is completely full. Thus, no other content is allowed to be stored within the reserved space, and there is always sufficient storage space for newer versions of the media content.
Portable media devices have become increasingly popular, and the technologies embodied thereon have opened a multitude of new methods for providing content to users. Traditionally, content was obtained by a user by synchronizing the portable media device to a computing system, such as a personal computer (PC). Client software on the PC and the device allowed the user to manage and synchronize content. Technological advances allow a user to connect to networks directly and download content directly to their portable device.
Typically, content downloaded to a portable media device has a known, static file size. A determination is made by software either on the device itself, or on an associated PC, based on that known file size, whether there is enough available storage space on the device to store the new content. Generally, such software will allow a user to fill all available space. This process works well where the media content has a static file size. Where a user subscribes to, or downloads a collection of content that may be periodically updated and where the aggregate size of the contained content from one iteration to the next is unknown, there is a risk that there will not be enough available storage on the device to compensate for changes in the aggregate file size.
A space reservation system has been developed to compensate for variable sized feeds resulting from version-over-version media content subscriptions. A maximum size parameter is provided in a file describing the media content subscription, and storage space is reserved to accommodate that maximum size. The storage space reservation is maintained whether or not the media content related to the subscription fills the space.
A variable sized feed refers to a file or files that are downloaded to a portable device or computing system and are periodically updated; wherein the updated file, or files, may have a larger or smaller file size than the originals. One example might occur where a user subscribes to a music playlist, such as the “Billboard Top 40®,” much like a Channel offered by the Zune Marketplace for the Zune® media player from Microsoft Corporation®. The subscription downloads a playlist including all of the song files and any other associated content to the user’s portable device. Then, when the playlist is periodically updated, the subscription service sends an updated playlist to the device to replace the previous playlist. Due to variations in the songs and other media included in the playlist, the aggregate size of the content in the playlist [ALS1] may vary from version to version.
To compensate for the variation in aggregate si...