Apple has been granted a patent (number 11516518) for “live streaming with live video production and commentary.” The goal is to make it easier to stream live content, along with your comments, from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
About the patent
In the patent, Apple notes that the rapidly growing use of mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and cellphones has greatly diversified the available modes of media consumption. In these and other contexts, a wide variety of different media streaming techniques are known, including techniques for streaming of media over the Internet using hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP).
More specific examples of HTTP streaming techniques include the Apple HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol, Microsoft Smooth Streaming (MSS), and MPEG Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH). Various non-HTTP streaming techniques are also known, including real-time messaging protocol (RTMP). Apple says that, despite recent advances in this area, a need remains for improved techniques for streaming of live video and other types of media content.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “A method comprises receiving from each of a plurality of commentator applications respective distinct streams of media content comprising commentary information, combining at least portions of selected ones of the distinct streams of media content comprising commentary information in a mixer associated with a media server to generate a composite media content stream, and providing the composite media content stream generated by the mixer to one or more servers of a content delivery network for delivery to one or more viewer devices.
“The commentary information of a given one of the distinct streams of media content received from a corresponding one of the commentator applications illustratively comprises at least one of audio content, video content, image content, social media posting content, chat text and closed caption text. The mixer may comprise a post-mixer coupled to the media server.”