Patent Number: 6,298,385

Title: Method and apparatus for optimizing playback of media files over a data network

Abstract: An adaptable communication system provides capability to change the format of multimedia files being transmitted over a data network in real-time. Incorporated into a network server is a processor and other functionality for downloading multimedia files and then recreating the files to accommodate different download formats. A file may be created that is appropriate for real-time playing for a 14.4 k modem connection as well as an high-bandwidth line, such as an ADSL line connection. A separate file is created in the network server for these different type of connections. Also incorporated into each of the newly created multimedia files are reference marks which are located at the same playing interval for each of the files. Once a system user has accessed and is viewing a multimedia file as it is being downloaded, an interface connection may detect that noise or other problems on the network are decreasing the quality of the playback. Once this occurs, a different file may be retrieved from memory which is more appropriate for that transmission medium. The processor uses the reference marks included in each of the multimedia files to make a seamless replacement of one file for the other.

Inventors: Sparks; Randall B. (Lafayette, CO), Turner; C. Reid (Boulder, CO), Weich; Craig I. (Boulder, CO), Lund; Arnold M. (Louisville, CO)

Assignee: Qwest Communications Int'l., Inc.

International Classification: H04L 29/06 (20060101); H04N 7/24 (20060101); G06F 013/00 ()

Expiration Date: 10/02/2018