Audio/Video Book Marking
Original Publication Date: 2000-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
Disclosed is a method by which Audio/Video streams are book marked for playback at another time. It will be increasingly common for Internet users to receive audio and video streams where the content is viewed or played as it is received. This obviates the requirement for any type of storage on the user's device, which is good since there is a trend toward smaller computing devices which have limited or no storage capabilities. Currently, streams are always started from the beginning, even if the user previously viewed or listened to part of the stream. The lack of being able to start a stream elsewhere is often a problem because viewing may be interrupted or the user wishes to continue viewing on a different device. For instance, the user may start an audio book stream on the desktop computer at the office, but then wishes to switch to the car's on board computer for the trip home, and finally finish the stream at the home computer. This process is currently difficult given that the stream must be restarted on each new device and even fast forwarding the stream requires a large amount of time and guess work as to where the stream was left off. The solution to this problem is an Audio/Video stream bookmark. This feature would allow long streams to be interrupted and later resumed (long afterwards or even on a different viewing device). Bookmarks could also be used for streamed news reports, e-mail attachments, marketing materials, etc. One way the 'bookmark' may be accomplished is for a user to select a stream from an Internet server. The server identifies the user and begins sending the stream while monitoring the port for a broken connection. Should the connection break before the stream has completed or should the user indicate to set a bookmark, the current location within the stream is recorded and associated with the user. The next time the user selects a stream the server identifies the user and if the user has a bookmark set for this stream he is given the opportunity to resume at the bookmark. How bookmarks are recorded and the method of matching a bookmark to a stream position is determined by the server, but is likely to depend on the server's streaming software. The level of user identification and security is also determined by the server. It can be as simple as using a browser cookie or could require encrypted username and password.