News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Server-Side Transcoding of Media Files", for Approval

September 9, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventor Baccichet, Pierpaolo (San Francisco, CA), filed on February 15, 2013, was made available online on August 28, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Dropbox, Inc.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The disclosed embodiments generally relate to techniques for sharing media files, such as video or audio files. More specifically, the disclosed embodiments relate to a system that facilitates sharing of media files by providing a media stream that is transcoded based on channel performance.

"Users of an online content management system, such as the Dropbox.TM. service, provided by Dropbox, Inc. of San Francisco, Calif., often desire to stream content from stored files. For example, a user may stream a video or audio (and, more generally, a type of media) to their client device so that the user can view the video or listen to the audio on their client device in real-time. Typically, such real-time playing of media can be facilitated by pre-transcoding a stored media file at a desired data rate and quality level.

"However, pre-transcoding the media file can be time-consuming and expensive. In particular, the content management system may not know in advance which stored media file(s) are potentially of interest to the user at any given time. As a consequence, many files may need to be pre-transcoded, which can consume valuable resources and may significantly increase storage costs. These challenges are often compounded by uncertainty about the communication channel performance which affects the desired data rate and quality level, and as a consequence may necessitate pre-transcoding multiple versions of a stored media file.

"Alternatively, a stored media file may be transcoded in real-time. However, it is often difficult for the client device to monitor the channel performance and communicate the desired data rate and quality level to the content management system. As a consequence, the content management system may transcode the stored media file based on a pre-defined data rate and quality level. This may result in a media stream which is transcoded at a quality level that does not match the channel capacity, which can degrade the user's experience."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "The disclosed embodiments relate to a feature of a file-communication system which improves the user experience by allowing the performance of a channel that is used to stream media to a client from the system to be used as a factor in modifying the data rate and/or the resolution of the media. In particular, an indicator of the channel performance is determined on the server side and then, based on this indicator, one or more additional transcoding operations may be spawned. This approach allows the user to stream media from an online content management system in a way that matches channel performance.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

"FIG. 1 illustrates a content management environment which includes an online content management system in accordance with the disclosed embodiments.

"FIG. 2 presents a flow chart illustrating a process for streaming media in accordance with the disclosed embodiments.

"FIG. 3 presents a flow chart illustrating more details about the process illustrated in FIG. 2 in accordance with the disclosed embodiments."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Baccichet, Pierpaolo. Server-Side Transcoding of Media Files. Filed February 15, 2013 and posted August 28, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=676&p=14&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140821.PD.&OS=PD/20140821&RS=PD/20140821

Keywords for this news article include: Dropbox, Dropbox Inc., Information Technology, Information and Data Aggregation.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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