An Apple patent hints that Apple is considering a Plex competitor

On Tuesday Apple World Today reported that Apple had been granted a patent by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for “accessing digital media.” It allows for movies, music, photos, and more to be shared across a network. Now the company has been granted a patent (number 20150319206) for “sharing a media station,” which sounds like a competitor to Plex. Alex is a solution that organizes your video, music, and photo collections and streams them to all of your screens.

Online media stations allow uses to stream media items such as music, videos, and photos from any computing device with a network connection. A user may wish to share media stations with friends, however current systems are limited in their functionality, according to Apple. The company thinks it can do better.

According to the patent, a user can share a media station with one or more other users. The sharing user can transmit a share request to share the media station with receiving users. A share link configured to provide access to the shared media station can then be sent to each receiving user.

What’s more, the shared media station can be tailored or customized for the receiving user. For example, the shared media station can be tailored based on user preference data for the receiving user. To customize the shared media station, a new version of the shared media station can be generated based on one or more media station seeds that define the media station, as well as the user preference data. The newly generated version of the media station can then be provided to the receiving user.