New patent application reveals a spiral Cover Flow UI for music selection


Another Apple's patent application had been unveiled this week by the U.S. Patent and trademark Office. It is entitled "User Interface for Media Playback" and describes a new UI for browsing music albums on the iPhone and other touch-based devices.

The technology uses the idea of Cover Flow interface, which allows users to flip through album art and select the desired music, but now albums are proposed to be moved in a spiral form, not horizontally.

It is noted that the current Cover Flow user interface allows user to view only "about one or two files before and after the selected file". Moreover, that takes too much place on the screen, so this interface should be further improved.

"It does not display much, if any information about the other files in the list. Accordingly a method for displaying a list with a large number of icons of a sufficient size to be capable of conveying detailed information about each file and the list as a whole is needed".


The patent application gives an example to prove why spiral form for displaying playlist can be more optimal. When the album art for the song, which is currently running, is situated at the top of the screen, and following songs are displayed subsequently with its size decreasing as they go down the 3D spiral, it becomes much easier for the user to touch and drag album art so that playlist could be reordered.

"The embodiments described herein provide for a more efficient way of managing a digital list. Users can view and arrange a great number of items in a list. Further, users can create a new list using one drag operation".

Besides spiral form, the application suggests using cascading style and some other options for sorting album art and icons.

The patent application was filed on June 11, 2009. William Martin Bachman and Michael Neuman are listed as its authors.

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Written by SimplyMax

Saturday, December 18, 2010. 21:07

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