Apple Patents The Silent Disco

Apple Patents The Silent Disco

Music sharing technology could provide a new way for iTunes users to interact

Ross Brooks
  • 28 august 2013

Apple has always been a fan of proper patenting, which is why on Tuesday they secured one for a method of providing a ‘silent disco’ experience to anyone with access to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

The original concept of a “silent disco” is when a group of people come together as they would at any conventional concert, but listen to a DJ’s music with headphones instead of loudspeakers.

Apple’s version is not exactly the same, for example not every user has to be listening to exact same song, or even the same genre. Instead, musical characteristics such as tempo are sent to other users’ devices, which in turn find stored music that most closely matches the DJ’s track.


While other technology of this kind is normally focussed on shared location – such as “mobile clubbing” – rather than shared experience, Apple’s technology focusses on a more networked concept of the “silent disco.”

Geographic location is not a limiting factor, as the invention can use ad hoc wireless networks, Bluetooth, cellular networks, the Internet, or any other means of wireless communication to connect listeners in near real time. The user nominated as the “roving DJ” determines what others listen to based on the digital information of the song they are listening to.


Information other than music data can also be transferred – avatars and personal information being a perfect example. A session timer can also be sent out, while other data may include overall beats per minute of a song being played.

As pointed out by Apple Insider, while musical concept is novel, the social aspects of the patent are interesting,especially as Apple has yet to successfully connect its massive base of iTunes users on a unified networking platform.


Images via Urban75


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