back to article On the record: Apple bags patent for iDevice to play LPs

A patent granted to Apple this week suggests the iGiant is, if not actively working on, at least entertaining the thought of introducing some modular hardware into its lineup – including, bizarrely, an old-fashioned record player.  The patent [PDF], which was rubber-stamped by US officials on July 25 after being filed a little …

  1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    If you have money to through at patents...

    You may not be able to profit from selling the protected device but if anyone else does you can take all their money.

    1. msknight

      Re: If you have money to through at patents...

      Well, they've got what looks suspiciously like an SL-1200 in that image. Wonder if they've got/need permissions to include artwork like that in their patent filings.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: If you have money to through at patents...

        I noticed that too. But as it is a drawing, and used for a non commercial purposes (they aren't making money off the patent drawing) I don't think Technics could successfully sue even if they cared.

        Plenty of DJs still use SL1200s but aren't buying a bunch of vinyl for what they play. There are specially coded records that are a series of timing marks. Inputting the turntables output to a computer it uses that timing against an audio file so you can drop the needle in any point on the coded vinyl and it will skip to that point in the audio file, adjust pitch control faster it will play the audio file faster, scratch (in a DJ sense) the vinyl it will act as if you were scratching the audio file.

        The "modular" bit that connects to an iPad is probably something that includes an A to D converter to digitize the SL1200's output, connecting to the iPad via USB-C. I doubt they would produce an actual turntable module, this would just be something that interfaces the SL1200 to the iPad for club DJs. The club would presumably already have the SL1200s and a mixing board, so you'd need two iPads to make this work. You could get by with one, but having two would provide you some backup in case one of them broke or some clubgirl in the booth spills a drink on it.

        1. msknight

          Re: If you have money to through at patents...

          Grateful for a link to these records to learn a bit more. I'm obviously not using the right terms on google.

          I have to admit I can't get my head around how such a record would work in terms of response to scratching. Even with the magnetic clutch on my SL, it's difficult to decently scratch a record. Imagining adding in the latency of AD conversion, processing, etc. has got the old brain cells wondering, "How do they do that?"

          1. martinusher Silver badge

            Re: If you have money to through at patents...

            >I have to admit I can't get my head around how such a record would work in terms of response to scratching.

            Its easy. Rotary encoders are 'quite fast' and you wouldn't need a super rapid / super accurate one for scratching. Same with A2D converters -- the cheap ones that come with a typical microcontroller converts in 2uSec or better.

            I'm trying to get my head around what's actually novel in this patent. I've spent a lot of my working life connecting things to networks for either control or telemetry and the technology in this patent would be trivial 30 years ago or more. The only reason why it isn't commonplace is that its pointless. I'd guess that this is part 'running out of real ideas' and part 'reinventing / rediscovering the wheel'

            1. Mage

              Re: If you have money to through at patents...

              Patents in USA since Edison have been about big companies keeping out smaller companies.

              Novelty isn't needed.

              Prior art isn't search.

              Is it trivial for someone versed in the Art is ignored.

              It's about having the money to create and deploy fake IP as a weapon. Not about protection for an entrepreneur or start up.

          2. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: If you have money to through at patents...

            As a former club DJ back in my college days I can tell you the mechanism of the turntable itself is irrelevant to scratching. You have a slip pad on the turntable and the record lays on that. Sliding it back and forth therefore doesn't affect the rotation of the turntable which continues unabated at its set speed (unless you had it turned off, which you might depending on what you are doing with your scratching)

            My biggest difficulty with scratching was the needle skipping out of the groove - you have to make your scratching motion very "flat" to avoid that. A "thin pressing" (how I referred to records with shallower grooves) was a problem. I even had to be careful to avoid skipping a thin pressing when speeding it up during beatmixing. In the case of beatmixing the mechanism DOES matter, at least for how I did my beatmixing (not everyone does it the same) since I was either touching the edge of the turntable to "brake" it and slow it down a bit, or giving it little pushes/nudges with my fingertips to speed it up. Personally, I could only scratch decently if I had a record that was both a deep pressing AND perfectly flat - if you watch the tone arm travel you can see it move up and down, the majority of vinyl was not perfectly flat even when brand new (let alone today for stuff you've had many years. I scratched mainly to fool around, I was not a big time DJ traveling the country or in a big city at a top club where the DJs were putting on a real show and complete mastery of scratching was essential.

            As the above poster said the speed at which computers/electronics work and the frequency of audio differ by so many orders of magnitude that latencies would not even be visible in an audio waveform, let alone being audible. I was already long out of the game when these encoded records hit the scene, but I did have an opportunity to play around with them and mix a few sets at a club in Chicago maybe 10 years ago. I had heard of these records but never seen one until then, but I was able to beatmix exactly the same way I used to with real vinyl records. I did not attempt scratching as I didn't want to make a fool of myself, but the DJ that night did - and was far more proficient at it than I ever was so clearly the encoded record did not hinder him.

          3. D@v3

            Re: Timecode Vinyl.


            I think the term you need is Timecode Vinyl

            This might answer your questions (or it might not, who knows)


      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If you have money to through at patents...

        "Well, they've got what looks suspiciously like an SL-1200 in that image."

        {Pedant mode ON} Well, it's looks like line drawing of a Technics SL1200 Mk 2 which came out in the early 1980s, and subsequent Mk3/4/5/6/7 versions came out afterwards, but followed the same design.

        And so successful a design it was, (with the pitch control slider on the right, the small retractable light that allows accurate cueing in low light conditions, and the on/off/speed change on the left hand side) that this exact layout has been copied by other firms, including (most recently) Audio Technica and by a few other firms in the past.

        One firm made a very lightweight (in overall mass terms) copy of the Technics deck which looked the part, but was nowhere near the approx 20 lb/11 kg weight of the original SL1200 Mk2.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: If you have money to through at patents...

      Apple has never gone after anyone for violating one of their patents for something that isn't and never will be a product. Like many big companies engineers sometimes have flights of fancy exploring stuff, and patent that fancy because they get a better raise having patents in their CV.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If you have money to through at patents...

        My first question over any US patent is: kindly evidence at the time of filing you had a physical prototype of the device in the patent, if not you have patented an idea, which is fraud and deception.

        1. Alumoi Silver badge

          Re: If you have money to through at patents...

          Are you mad? Think of the poor folks at USPTO and all those patent lawyers. Do you want them to starve?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: If you have money to through at patents...

          You want things done the old-fashioned way?



  2. lglethal Silver badge


    It's a docking station. A docking station potentially with a screen. Also a docking station potentially with a screen and a keyboard (otherwise known as a laptop). And you can connect things to it, like you have been able to do with cables for quite a while... I'm kinda failing to see the innovation here, or what there is to be excited about.

    Laptops are regularly connected up to Decks (sorry Turntables for the older generation). It's incredibly common to mix records and digital music during a set these days. And on the mixer you see all the info you need, so I'm kinda wondering what the purpose of the screen behind the Deck would be. It certainly would be less convenient to put the controls behind the deck. So easy to bump the arm whilst fiddling with a setting) and digital controls suck on a mixer! So I really dont see the point...

    A modular laptop could be interesting admittedly. We already have modular computers (there called Desktops or Towers), but a modular laptop could (big could!) be interesting. But, considering that laptops are designed to run in one configuration and one configuration only, due to things like cooling being a right bugger to make work in such a small form factor, I cant really imagine these will be modular in the way that we would actually want (being able to swap out memory, graphics cards, chips, etc.), I'd bet there basically just talking about swapping peripherals (like we already do using cables!).

    So I guess this is good for the Apple hype train, but I'm failing to see anything to dance about...

    1. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge

      Re: Sooo....

      I wonder if the US conflate patents (with genuine innovation) with registered designs (like breakfast cereals). The docking station thing clearly does not have any substantial innovation but Apple might want to protect a design concept.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Sooo....

      No, it's an Apple docking station.

      If Apple talks about it, it's new !

      1. that one in the corner Silver badge

        Re: Sooo....

        And records have rounded corners, so that's in Apple's wheelhouse.

        1. Kane

          Re: Sooo....

          "And records have rounded corners, so that's in Apple's wheelhouse."

          One big, continuous rounded corner.

        2. Paul Herber Silver badge

          Re: Sooo....

          The stylus has elliptical corners.

    3. ChoHag Silver badge

      Re: Sooo....

      > I'm kinda failing to see the innovation here, or what there is to be excited about.

      There's a whole new revenue stream at Apple that you can throw money in to.

    4. BenDwire Silver badge

      Re: Sooo....

      Decks ? Turntables ?

      Surely you mean the Stereogram !

      1. ravenviz Silver badge

        Re: Sooo....

        <p id=“ntnon”>What’s the difference between that and a gramophone?</p>

      2. Jan 0 Silver badge

        Re: Sooo....

        How about the enirmously complex radiogram? A fusion of two whole technologies! Designers really pushed the boat out in those fays.

    5. theOtherJT

      Re: Sooo....

      We even have somewhat modular laptops these days. Like this here.

    6. Mage

      Re: Sooo....

      There were laprops that had modular media bays, interchangeable graphics, plug-in optical drive, socketed RAM, CPU (upgradeable), HDD on connector without opening case, plug-in battery packs, different screens etc, 20 years ago. They had docks, some even could take a PCI card. The modem and WiFi cards could be swapped too.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Sooo....

        My first laptop had interchangeable optical and floppy drives. IIRC it also had a second drive bay on a cable so both could be used.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obvious, innit!

    Unless apple have done something innovative with the joint between the various modules, I fail to see why this patent was granted.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obvious, innit!


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obvious, innit!

      "the joint between the various modules"

      So that's where I dropped it! Ta. Now I'm ready to create some more Apple patents.

  4. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge

    Portable large screen displays

    It would be nice if they could hurry up and build those holographic displays you see so much of in sci fi films. Having to plug into some tatty old hardware on a remote site is not tte best experience. I suppose I could shell out for Apple’s goggles, I could have as big a screen as I want then, but a little thingy out of which a screen magically appears would be much more fun.

  5. Rol

    All together now. "I hear the sound....of distant drums"

    "I'm not quite loving your remix"

    "That's not a remix, that's direct from vinyl"

    "But it sounds a bit duff"

    "What's wrong?"

    "Well the drums seem out of sync"

    "Err....Yes I see what you mean, but that isn't the drums. That's the sound of me typing on the keyboard and being carried through all the hard connections to the record deck"

    "Sounds a bit crap,if you ask me"

    "Yeah, I think you're right"

    "I'd ask for your money back if I were you"

    1. Paul Herber Silver badge

      Re: All together now. "I hear the sound....of distant drums"

      There are a couple of technologies that solve that problem, cassette and 8-track ...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: All together now. "I hear the sound....of distant drums"

        Open reel tape. Maybe you're too young.

  6. Blue Pumpkin

    And there was I thinking ...

    it was something novel like getting the iDevice to scan the vinyl directly into the music library with it's super-duper integrated laser and beam it round the house.

    But would the iTurn be more expensive than Jonny Ives Linn version ?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge


      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Somebody'd get fired if it wasn't.

    2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: And there was I thinking ...

      Similar expectations here: using the device cameras to read the groove modulation as the record spins and play the resulting tunes. Turns out it's just a record deck with a thunderbolt (or whatever connector) dock. Hardly inventive. USB record decks have been a thing for a long time.

  7. that one in the corner Silver badge


    As you reach past the turntable to tap the iPhone screen.

    Next patent: we turn the UI text upside down then tell you to turn the iPad over: ta da, all the Ok/Cancel/... buttons are at the top of the display and you can reach them the tone arm.[1]

    [1] multi-line dialogues being against the minimalist design ethic, so if the text is now backwards return the software as "not cool enough to be on the iPad" (Ts&Cs of the Apple Store, clause 17d).

    1. that one in the corner Silver badge

      Re: Scratching

      > you can reach them the tone arm

      The tone arm what? Who writes this rubbish!

      you can reach them over the tone arm

      Hmm, better, but a bit slow getting there. Keeping an eye on you, laddie.

  8. Bebu Silver badge

    Had to have been filed 2021-04-01?

    Or 4/1/21 in left pondian.

    Anyone that endured more than a decade of vinyls before the advent of the CD can only imagine insanity is behind any ressurrection of the LP.

    Is Apple going to have the turntable spin in the opposite direction (ccw) as a drm mechanism? Or digitally encode the audio in their vinyl?

    The first CD I heard was a test CD with a recording of Pachelbel's Canon in D and I reckon within sixty seconds I had pronounced the vinyl LP deader than a Norweigian Blue.

    All the fFaffing about with antistatic sprays and cleaners and replacing styli and adjusting tone arm weights and anti-skate settings and whatnot... madness. Remembering the preamp also had apply RIAA equalization to "correct" the distortion intrinsic in the mechanical pickup... lunacy. Try telling that to the youth today... they don't believe you. I wouldn't either.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Had to have been filed 2021-04-01?

      I would have believed that you were doing what you say, when you said, right up until the point I realised you had typed "vinyls". That is a much more recent term than the decade before CDs became common.

    2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: Had to have been filed 2021-04-01?

      The only thing I miss about vinyl is gatefold sleeves. Oh, and maybe the quest you had to sometimes go on to find an album that wasn't stocked by the mainstream outlets (Woollies, WH Smith, Boots, etc).

      1. Dizzy Dwarf

        Re: Had to have been filed 2021-04-01?

        > Gatefold sleeves

        Yeah, man. It's really hard to skin up on an mp3.

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Had to have been filed 2021-04-01?

      Early CD's were very high quality. Now? They are shite. The range is all compressed even on classical music.

      I have an early CD of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 3. Not that long ago, I heard a more recent recording and it was awful. I played my CD to the owner of the new one and even he could hear the difference.

    4. Tron Silver badge

      Re: Had to have been filed 2021-04-01?

      Vinyl is mainly marketed as a collectable or to whatever hipsters now call themselves. I wonder how many new releases remain unplayed, like modern first editions of books that are kept unopened to retain the value.

      I am old enough to have grown up with vinyl (and still have it). It was difficult to store/post, warps, scratches, jumps, needle aggro, generally fiddly. Much prefer CDs. CDs are alive and kicking, especially in Japan (where they often come with DVDs containing MVs and concert footage) and South Korea (where they come with photo books and assorted kpop goodies). Whilst the discs survive as playable, a CD collection is an asset. You can sell it, donate it or bequeath it. I wouldn't advise putting your MP3 collection on ebay, however much it cost you.

      Incidentally, there are some advances in basic CD quality. Look for references to Blu-spec CD2, SHM-CD and UHQCD.

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: CDs are alive and kicking

        Yep, I volunteer at my local Oxfam Music shop* and you would be amazed at the massive turnover of vinyl, cd's and dvd's. I'm sure there is the equivalent of that legendary internet-enabled coca cola machine trained on their shop window. As soon as anything really juicy goes in there it can often be gone within a matter of an hour or so.

        *Do pop in and say hello.

        1. ravenviz Silver badge

          Re: CDs are alive and kicking

          When I can pick up classic CD’s from charity shops at 50p a pop, what’s not to like?!

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Oxymoron warning

        kpop goodies

      3. darklord

        Re: Had to have been filed 2021-04-01?

        Having occasionally bought the odd "new vinyl" honestly they are awful as the source files are digital to begin with and the pressing plants basically have zero quality control. sure for those of us who like the tangibility of our music sources.

        Its nice to see a tape turning or a record spinning plus the artwork itself. you don't get that with streaming!.

        Im not big on buying streamed content as ive been bitten by streaming companies going under and you've lost your content especially after a Backup HDD failure. ahem thanks Sony music!!!!

        Ive my original vinyl and turntable wiaiting to go back up in the attic as the inconvenience and space was just problematic plus ive far more CD's than vinyl anyway and much of the Vinyl i have now i have rebought on CD anyway.

        Back to topic. so what some one decided to create an idea for a modular system with a turntable. , Wake up call audio has been modular since the 60s adding a connector or sound card makes no difference, i was doing that along with thousands of others in the mid 90s to record our vinyls and transfer them to CD.

    5. gerryg

      Re: Had to have been filed 2021-04-01?

      The RIAA playback curve has got nothing to do with "distortion intrinsic in the mechanical pickup" but is an attempt to flatten the RIAA encoding curve without which the bass would require more room (wider grooves) so reducing playback time.

      While I broadly agree with your view of CDs versus mechanical recoding and rejoice at the ability to listen to Electric Ladyland in its entirety without a stacking mechanism and the LPs being sides 1-4 and 2-3, I do occasionally muse whether the loss of ritual and artifact associated with a 12" disc has contributed to the demise in the perceived value of "the album".

      1. Mage

        Re: the demise in the perceived value of "the album"

        Apple killed the Album with their iTunes deal to sell Album tracks at 99c / 99p

  9. trevorde Silver badge

    Hope this is compatible

    Or there is an adapter for only $5k USD

  10. Spanners Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Apple does not invent stuff

    So... this patent is either to get money out of someone else's work or to discourage someone else again from innovating.

    Which is it?

  11. heyrick Silver badge

    I claim prior art

    Plugged my turntable into my netbook computer years ago.

    Well, that's about the level of "innovation" described here, isn't it?

  12. mark l 2 Silver badge

    No one who has done any DJing would want to be reaching over the turntable and prodding at an Ipad behind it like as shown on the diagram. You are asking to accidentally knock the record deck and cause the record to skip doing that.

    And if you aren't touching the screen I don't see what use it would have, other than maybe a visualizer showing pretty patterns in time with the music played?

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      I like the obvious difference in scale between the diagrams. The first show a typical laptop dimensioned device, the second shows a clearly much larger device - you couldn’t balance a 12” turntable on the device shown in the first diagram.

      1. that one in the corner Silver badge

        > you couldn’t balance a 12” turntable on the device shown in the first diagram.

        12"? Nah. But would you believe 7"?

        You didn't notice that there is no scale provided and a number of the turntable parts are carefully labelled, indicating that they make up an important part of the patent, being commented upon in the text?

        Welcome to the true innovation, Apple's new Compact Vinyl Disc player (or as we called it, "that stupid toy which only plays singles"). The comments note that what appears to be the RPM selector is actually to reverse the platter for listening to demonic invocations (or " You mother sells whelks in Hull", apparently).


        The sides of the platter appear to show strobe markings for three speeds (three? Who would trust antique shellacs to this?! Oh,that third must be for reverse but notice part 808 is also labelled: it is tweaked to fake whatever speed you put into the iPad, just or the effect. Or just to have a unique, patentable feature no one else has done...

        1. GioCiampa

          "You mother sells whelks in Hull"

          Ozzy says "Hi"...

        2. tiggity Silver badge

          The strobe markings reminded me of my old Dual turntable which had 78 option in addition to "33" and 45.

          I did occasionally made use of that 78 setting (mainly for taping 78s owned by family members who no longer had 78 playing equipment), but it was a bit of a pain as needed to swap in 78 specific stylus unit, though when I got a better turntable (that only did "33" and 45) Dual was semi-retired and used as 78 only for doing family taping help duties.

          1. that one in the corner Silver badge

            > a bit of a pain as needed to swap in 78 specific stylus unit

            Ah, you didn't have the tone arm head shell that held a rotating end, which allowed you to have both needles fitted at the same time. Very useful addition to the Garrard (sp?) deck, made sure we didn't put the not-in-use needle down "somewhere sensible", as that inevitably meant we'd not find it for a week.

            Even better, meant no more stroppy tweenage girl being told that, no, we couldn't listen to any pop music this evening, but there is plenty of big band jazz or show tunes on the 78s to while away the evening. Me? I like the big band better than her choice of pop and would never have thought of moving the little tin from one shelf to the next. Ahem.

            1. gerryg

              Ceramic cartridges only

              I don't recall if the Garrard SP25 was ever available with a ceramic cartridges (and flippable styii) but the upmarket 86 and 100 ("SB"?) were only MC/MM. However the distortion from a ceramic cartridge was around 10% IIRC somewhat limiting other benefits.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Ceramic cartridges only

                "I don't recall if the Garrard SP25 was ever available with a ceramic cartridges (and flippable styii) but the upmarket 86 and 100 ("SB"?) were only MC/MM"

                Indeed most Garrard turntables AFTER the SP25 Mk 1/2/3/4 were really only suitable for MM cartridges as the manufacturers chose to follow the route of low mass tonearms, albeit, significantly impeded by the use of semi- or fully-automatic operation (by way of gear-wheels and cogs underneath the rotating platter).

                Moving Coil (aka "MC") cartridges become more "in vogue" in the late 1970s, when Linn imported Supex cartridges (originally designed and made by Sugano San, who later went on to make Koetsu MC cartridges). Supex SD900E's cost more than an entire Garrard SP25Mk4 !!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Most Dual turntables had bespoke headshells, that allowed one to quickly change entire cartridges so you could use a high end cartridge when playing your valuable LPs, then have a cheap as chips catridge mounted on a 2nd headshell (for the kids to play their 45s, if they were allowed to). And a third headshell could have a bespoke cartridge equipped with a 78 stylus assembly for those old 78s that belonged to your parents !

            Note: Yo'd need to rebalance the tonearm after each change of headshell else you'd damage the record or the stylus if played at the wrong tracking weight. :-)

            Many Duals also had a pitch control, so you could also play records that needed 80 (rpm) speed (hence why they had edge markings on the platter for the strobe to set the 33/45/78 speed accurately.

            1. ravenviz Silver badge

              Re: rebalance the tonearm

              I found that a 1p or 2p coin stuck on with Blu-tac was fine to compensate for records that had become warped by various degrees because they had been left in the sun for too long.

  13. TRT Silver badge

    In terms of modularly connecting a device...

    Why does this design smack of a wired connection? I mean, a dongle that plugs into a standardised connector e.g. USB and enables a wireless interface with the iPad / screen that can then be mounted to meet the user's convenience. It shocks me how similar things like the Tesla in car display is very much a tablet on an articulated holder. The lifespan of a tablet is what? 3-5 years? Of a car, 30 years to be conservative. A row of automotive rocker switches that can be serviced easily - 50 years plus. Replace / upgrade the computing component of a car... now you're taking a break from disposable consumer tech. Question is, do you actually need to do that? Apple's forays into mounting things are very limited. It's mostly up to third party suppliers to do innovative cases and mounts. That's all I see this as. There was a modular mobile phone mooted a few years ago.

    1. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: In terms of modularly connecting a device...

      You have a point TRT. What is the software support lifetime on Teslas? If it's like my so-called smart TV, it'll be 3 years. Like a laptop say 10 years at best. Car should be at least 20 years. Tesla, will it heck? The CarPlay firmware in my VW badly needs updating, and I was hoping Apple would supply that over the USB cable, but sadly not. Overall I'd guess at 5 years tops for the Tesla, before Elon gets bored and wants to burn his next 44 billion on some new plaything, perhaps Jupiter rovers.

  14. TheFifth

    For crying out loud Apple, stop dicking around with idiotic iPad / record deck / docking station ideas and just release a Surface Pro like device that runs full fat MacOS already. You have iPad Pros with the same (completely overkill for a tablet) specification as a MacBook Air and you have those ridiculously expensive Magic Keyboard things. How hard can it be to produce what people are actually asking for?

  15. Howard Sway Silver badge

    patent for iDevice to play LPs

    When I read that I was imagining it'd be something like one of those little model VW campervans that could run round a record, playing it with a stylus underneath. Except you'd clip your iPhone into it, and stream to your earpods or a speaker. Maybe with options for extra expensive wheels, as it's Apple.

    1. BenDwire Silver badge

      Re: patent for iDevice to play LPs

      Maybe not, as here is a clear case of Prior Art

  16. Plest Silver badge

    Who raided my Dad's notes cupboard?!

    Those diagrams look a lot like the tons of paper my father would keep for all the pieces of separate hi-fi kit he bought in the 1970s! Tons of wiring diagrams and manuals for all sorts of kit like quadraphonic amp and pre-amp, his MItchell turntable ( yes, he had one just like the one in Clockwork Orange ), his "tuner" ( "IT'S NOT A BLOODY RADIO!" ), loads of other boxes that gave him endless hours of knob twiddling!

  17. James Anderson

    Classic "war chest" defense.

    This is a strategy used by many large corporations.

    Patent anything you can then if another corporation sues you for patent violations you can launch a dozen counter suits.

    Nobody wins but the size of the legal expenses involved deters anyone form launching trivial challenges.

  18. Zebo-the-Fat

    but can it play wax cylinders?

  19. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge


    Add 4 wheels and a steering wheel to the iDevice - voila, iCar!

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: iCar

      Your virus checker wouldn't allow you to run it though.

      Oh sorreey, that's an EICAR, my bad.

  20. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Rounded Corners

    That turnable unit does not have rounded corners - I guess Mr Ive didn't contribute to the patent filing

  21. Mage

    More proof the USPTO isn't fit for purpose.

  22. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Apple Corps v. Apple Computers

    Does this mean another round of the above trademark violation case?

  23. Mitoo Bobsworth

    Patently ridiculous

    A bit late for April Fools Day, isn't it?

  24. gnasher729 Silver badge

    Since ideas are cheap

    ... ideas are cheap and implementations are not: I remember people built contactless LP players using a laser to scan the LP and get alll the music out of it. Would a good phone camera be good enough to do that? So you hold your camera close to the LP, make sure you get a sharp image, move camera or record until the complete surface is covered, and then you can play the music, without any additional hardware?

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Since ideas are cheap

      You can, and it's been done for example to play back delicate wax recordings. For vinyl, the disc needs to be freshly liquid cleaned but even then dust, which would not register on a stylus pick-up would effect the "visual" tracking of the groove and hence the sound reproduction

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

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