Apple has been granted a patent (number US 11665290 B2) for “techniques for managing album artwork images.” The goal is for Apple Music to better manage album artwork.
About the patent
The patent generally involves techniques for managing album artwork images. In particular, the described embodiments set forth techniques for dynamically generating album artwork images that, for example, incorporate artist images, design layers, and textual information written in different languages.
Album artwork for a given album typically is created manually by a combination of photographers and designers. Apple says this has been a tenable approach for many years given the average music artist releases albums on a relatively low periodic basis.
However, the rise in popularity of music applications has increased the number of playlists (both user and machine generated) that include a variety of songs from the same or different artists. Apple says it’s desirable for these playlists to be assigned album artwork images that are representative of the nature of the playlists.
In this regard, the traditional—i.e., manual—approach for creating album artwork has become untenable, especially in view of the numerous languages spoken by individuals who access these playlists. What’s more, many artists desire to frequently modify their representative images—e.g., portrait images, symbols, etc.—which causes existing album artwork that incorporates previous images of the artists to become outdated.
Apple wants to provide an improved approach for managing album artwork images within Apple Music.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “A server computing device can (1) managing a plurality of album artwork templates, wherein each album artwork template of the plurality of album artwork templates includes a plurality of entries, and each entry of the plurality of entries defines a respective manner by which a respective album artwork image is to be generated, (2) receiving, from a client device, a request for an album artwork image, wherein the request includes: a first identifier that corresponds to a particular image of an artist, a second identifier that corresponds to a particular album artwork template of the plurality of album artwork templates, and locale information that corresponds to a particular entry of the particular album artwork template, and (3) generating the album artwork image according to the respective manner defined by the particular entry, wherein the album artwork image is based at least in part on the particular image of the artist.”