A method, apparatus, computer program product (10A) and computer accessible code configured to link or otherwise associate content filters with a multimedia presentation, e.g., a movie. The content filter data includes an identifier value ( 12) with an aspect ratio identifier or as a function of an aspect ratio (16) for a particular multimedia presentation associated with the filter information. In one implementation, association between a filter set and a multimedia presentation involves a filtering application that searches a particular multimedia presentation to locate aspect ratio (16) information and further searches filter information for a matching aspect ratio identifier.
A media player (10) configured with a first removable memory reader, such as a DVD drive (16), and a second removable memory reader, such as a flash memory reader (16), adapted to communicate with a removable memory containing filter data (30). The media player ( 10) is configured to allow filtered playback of a multimedia presentation, such as a movie. Filtered playback causes certain portions of the multimedia presentation to be skipped, muted, blurred, cropped, or otherwise modified to eliminate or reduce potentially objectionable scenes, language, or other content. The second memory reader (10) provides a convenient medium for the loading of filter information, whether data files, executable program code, or the like, to local memory of the media player to employ during filtered playback. Alternatively, the filters may be accessed from the removable storage media during playback rather than loading to local memory.
A client server arrangement for downloading media content filters from a server device (16) to a client device (12). The media content filters define portions of a separate audio visual presentation containing potentially objectionable subject matter. Depending on user selections, identified portions of the audio/visual presentation may be skipped and/or muted during play. In one particular implementation, the client device, e.g., a DVD player, is configured to initiate a connection with a server device. Upon successful connection, the server device transmits one or more media content filters to the client device. The client device may be configured to determine whether a particular media content filter is available, to facilitate deletion of some existing media content filters in order secure adequate memory space, and t ensure that the media player has an active account, before initiating a connection with the server device. The server device may be configured to determine whether the media player is associated with an active user account, whether requested filter is available, and whether adequate memory space is available at the media player, before transmitting media content filters to the client device.
A method for filtering portions of a multimedia presentation. A stream of multimedia media data read from a memory media (330a) is compared with a filter file associated with the multimedia data (316a). The filter file includes a start position (321a), a stop position (323a), and a filtering action (325a) to perform on the portion of the multimedia content (327a) that begins at the start position and ends at the stop position. When the multimedia data read from the media corresponds with the filter file, the designated filtering action is performed. Aspects of the invention also pertain to the format for the filter file, format for accessing filter files on a memory media
A program blocking application that blocks programming for one or more possible users, based on various criteria associated with the program. A program word muting application that selectively mutes context specific words as a function of program specific criteria.
Apparatus and methods conforming to the present invention comprises a method of controlling playback of an audio signal by analyzing close caption text for objectionable words (210) in conjunction with analysis of the corresponding audio signal. Objection text or other specified text in the close caption signal is identified through comparison with user identified objectionable text. Upon identification of the objectionable text, the audio signal is analyzed to identify the audio portion corresponding to the objectionable text by matching objectionable text with objectional audio sequence (240). Upon identification of the audio portion, the audio signal may be controlled to mute the audible objectionable text.
In accordance with the present invention, a filtering process is based on the output side of a multimedia decoder. A navigator (310a) monitors the current play position of the multimedia content and compares that position with navigation objects (316a). Each navigation object (316a) defines a start position, a stop position, and an filtering action to perform on the portion of the multimedia content that begins at the start position and ends at the stpo position. When the current play position falls within the portion of multimedia content defined by a particular navigation object, the navigator (310a) activates the filtering action that was assigned to the navigation object (316a). Filtering actions include skipping, muting, reframing, etc., the portion of multimedia content defined by a navigation object. A variety of systems may be used to implement the present invention, such as computer systems (consumer and server), television systems, and audio systems.
A navigator (310c), located at a server system (390c), monitors the current play position of multimedia content at a consumer system (380c) and compares the position with navigation objects (316c). Each navigation object (316c) defines a start position, a stop position, and a filtering action to perform on the portion of the multimedia content that begins at the start position and ends at the stop position. When the current play position falls within the portion of multimedia content defined by a particular navigation object (316c), the navigator (310) sends the filtering action to the consumer (380c) for processing. Filtering actions include skipping, muting, reframing, etc., the portion of multimedia content defined by a navigation object (316c). Alternatively, a navigator (310) may be located at a consumer (380) and the consumer system (380) monitors and filters the multimedia content based on the received (e.g. downloaded) navigation objects (316c) from the server (390).
H04N 21/442 - Monitoring of processes or resources, e.g. detecting the failure of a recording device, monitoring the downstream bandwidth, the number of times a movie has been viewed or the storage space available from the internal hard disk
H04N 21/454 - Content filtering, e.g. blocking advertisements