Apple’s ‘dynamic music authoring’ patent involves future versions of GarageBand

Apple has filed for a patent (number 20170206873) for “dynamic music authoring.” Most likely involving future versions of GarageBand on macOS and iOS devices, the goal is to provide software that “allows users to create music at home.”

For example, music authoring software can provide features that allow users to store music tracks, samples, or other prerecorded music segments and combine the music segments to create an original musical product. However, Apple says much music authoring software at present is often difficult to use and often requires the user to have specific expertise or training in how to use the music authoring software to combine the music segments into a coherent musical product. The company wants to change this.

In some implementations of the invention, a computing device can be configured to present a graphical user interface (GUI) that enables the dynamic authoring of music by a user of the computing device. The computing device can present a grid of cells, where each cell represents a music segment. The cells can be configured to playback the music segment once or playback the music segment in a repeating loop. The user can select (e.g., touch) one or more cells in the grid to cause the corresponding music segment to play. 

While playing selected cells, the user can provide input selecting various musical effects to apply to the playing music. The user can record a dynamically selected sequence of cells and musical effects to create an original musical product.

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.