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Method to reduce disk space requirements for collections of audio files

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238145D
Publication Date: 2014-Aug-05
Document File: 2 page(s) / 25K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Mp3 is a common format of encoding audio as files on a hard disk. mp3 format includes the ability to define tags as a way of storing information about the file. For example, for a music track, it is very common to have one tag that holds the title of the track, one for artist and one for album. ID3 is the de facto standard for tagging mp3 files. This article explains how to maintain those tags in a way that a single track can have multiple values for those data - for example, same track appears on multiple albums - without requiring separate copies of the file.

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Method to reduce disk space requirements for collections of audio files

There are many tools (devices and software) for storing, managing and playing mp3 files and most of them offer a user experience that allows the user to list or play tracks by artist or album. These tools typically make use of the tags in the mp3 file and this is desirable because if the file is copied to another tool, then that information about the track is copied also. So, regardless of which tool is used to play the mp3, the information about the track is transferable and a consistent user experience is achieved with respect to the organisation of tracks by album or by track.

    One problem with this method is that it is inefficient in terms of disk space utilisation for the case where the same track appears on several albums. For example, if a user has the following albums by artist A, encoded as mp3:

"Album 1"

"Greatest Hits Album 1" "Album 2"

"Movie Soundtrack 1"

the user has four copies of "Song B" (termed 'a track'), one copy on each album. The track copies may be identical, with the exception of the Album tag.

    While this model is convenient because it allows a user to listen to the track in the context of any one of those albums, it is inefficient because each copy of the track could use 10 Mb of space or greater, depending on the sampling rate etc.

    Existing solutions help to alleviate this problem by identifying duplicate tracks / audio files and removing them - however, this has the drawback of a user not being able to listen to the track in the context of each of the reference albums.

    This solution herein provides a method of storing information about the track and storing one copy of the track.

    An alternative approach is to use the playlist construct that is available on most mp3 players. However, the playlist information is stored in a separate file so this information would be lost when the file is copied to another player.

    Beside disk space utilisation, other benefits of the solution herein is that when the user decides, for example, to re-rip the track with a higher bit rate, he/she would only need to do that once.

    In ID3v2, there is a way to add user defined information (specifically using the TXXX frame). The solution herein stores a...