[linux-elitists] Prior Art department: music player

Don Marti dmarti@zgp.org
Thu May 18 12:50:01 PDT 2006

Just thinking about music players.

So you're in the music player business, and your
device doesn't talk to the Cupertino Music Cartel.

What do you do?  Well, just ship the device full of
music already.  License a device-full from Magnatune
or somebody.

But that's a bad idea.  What if the user just wants
to hook the device up and blast it full of his or
her existing music collection?  It'll say "100%
Full" out of the box.  You don't want the user to
feel like he or she is "cleaning up" or "deleting"
as the first step in device ownership.  You want the
sample music to be there but hidden.

What if the data were there, but stored in the unused
blocks of the filesystem, and you had a utility that
would grab the content of the next-to-be-overwritten
block?  (debugfs doesn't seem to do this.)

Just press the Magic button on the device, and it
starts peeking at blocks, puts the next available
complete track on the regular filesystem, and
plays it.  Brand-new device you want to listen to on
your way home from the store?  Or just bored with
your collection?  Hit Magic and get a random new
musical experience.

Naturally as you fill up the regular filesystem
you'll lose the hidden files, but that's OK.  As you
use the device, it starts learning your preferences
and looking to a recommendation service to grab stuff
to come up in response to "Magic", and putting it on
the filesystem.

Don Marti                    
http://zgp.org/~dmarti/  FreedomHEC: May 26-27, 2006, Seattle
dmarti@zgp.org           LinuxWorld: August 14-17, 2006, San Francisco

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