Patent-Weekend: Portable Media Player as an instrument ~ Creative Labs Zen MP3 Players Sound Blaster Card
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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Patent-Weekend: Portable Media Player as an instrument

Patent-Weekend covers Creative patents. Some might really give us insights of what Creative has got up their sleeves. Some are just for the fun.



Creative has always had the passion for Sound and more specifically Music. You can give a person an instrument and he might create sound, but wouldn’t be able to create music. Creative has always tried to make music and sound seem more interactive and easy with technology dating to when PC’s weren’t mainstream.

In this weekend’s patent overview, I present you a patent which was filled in December 2005 and Published mid last year June. One of the striking thing is that Mr. Sim Wong Hoo (CEO of Creative Labs) himself invented this patent. Labelled under Portable Media Player, the patent has the following Abstract :

There is provided a portable media player including; a non-volatile memory; a decoder for playing back media files stored in the memory; a display unit for displaying information from the media files stored in the memory; a MIDI synthesizer coupled to the processor; a sound input for passing sound signals through an analogue-digital converter and subsequently, the synthesizer. There is also a sound output for transmitting sound signals from the synthesizer; and a port for the coupling composition apparatus to the media player. A method for composing music using the portable media player is also disclosed.

How interesting! A part of the patent that interests me is the top down flow chart that describes how the media device would be sensitive to the speed, path and volume of air blown in (the zen) after selecting an instrument. Based on that in real time it would output the relative instrument selected.

This idea seems familiar to Creative’s direction of music creation. Creative made an entry in music creation quite some time back with its prodikey range of products.

Creative Prodikeys

A similar idea is mentioned in this patent which brings different useful features into one device. It does sound quite goofy having something to stick out of your Media player to create music, but its one step of an idea which might work for enthusiastic beginner musicians.

Instrument patent Instrument patent Instrument patent

Another thing to note is that it necessarily doesn't have to be a part of the media device. It could be as an extension. I have a feeling most of these innovative ideas (relating to media players) revolved around when the Zen Vision Series was in production and after. This also gives more reason to why Creative used to use their proprietary connections in the Vision series of media players. As of now, they are back to USB connections. This makes me wonder if they would ever come with such ideas into reality.

Do leave your comments on this idea and your thoughts without really thinking how goofy it might look. It’s not really out and might never be. Link to patent:


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