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Publication numberUSRE41977 E1
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 12/360,666
Publication dateNov 30, 2010
Filing dateJan 27, 2009
Priority dateFeb 9, 1998
Also published asDE69934156D1, DE69934156T2, EP0935248A2, EP0935248A3, EP0935248B1, EP1564739A2, EP1564739A3, EP1696435A2, EP1696435A3, EP1696436A2, EP1696436A3, US6408332, US6704777, US20020035599, USRE41112, USRE42810, USRE43917
Publication number12360666, 360666, US RE41977 E1, US RE41977E1, US-E1-RE41977, USRE41977 E1, USRE41977E1
InventorsKissei Matsumoto, Min-Jae Han, Takuya Kaeriyama, Tsutomu Imai, Seiichi Jinbo
Original AssigneeSony Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Recording and reproducing apparatus and terminal apparatus
US RE41977 E1
Abstract
A recording and reproducing apparatus has a communicating unit, a reading unit, a storing unit, a control unit, and an output unit. The communicating unit transmits and receives data to/from an information center in which a plurality of additional information have been stored. The reading unit reads out recorded data from a recording medium on which a plurality of data and index data of a plurality of data have been recorded. The data read out from the recording medium by the reading unit is stored in the storing unit. The control unit reads out the additional information corresponding to the recording medium from which the data is read out by the reading unit from the information center by the communicating unit and writes the read-out additional information into the storing unit as additional data of the recording medium which is read out by the reading unit. The output unit outputs the data stored in the storing unit and the additional data.
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Claims(50)
1. A recording and reproducing apparatus comprising:
communicating means for transmitting data to and receiving data from an information center in which a plurality of additional information have been stored;
reading means for reading recorded data from a recording medium on which a plurality of data and index data for use in managing said plurality of data have been recorded, said recording medium being loaded in said recording and reproducing apparatus;
storing means for storing said recorded data read from said recording medium by said reading means;
control means for controlling said communicating means to transmit to said information center said index data of said recording medium from which said data are read by said reading means based on said index data and to read from said information center additional information corresponding to said transmitted index data and for writing said read additional information into said storing means as additional data of said recording medium from which said recorded data are read by said reading means; and
output means for outputting said data stored in said storing means and said additional data corresponding to said data stored in said storing means.
2. A recording and reproducing apparatus comprising:
reading means for reading data recorded on a recording medium;
first storing means for storing said data read from said recording medium by said reading means;
reproducing means for reproducing said data stored in said first storing means;
control means for inhibiting said data stored in said first storing means from being further reproduced from said first storing means by said reproducing means when said data read out from said first storing means is stored into second storing means connected to said recording and reproducing apparatus; and
an operating unit operated by a user, whereby said data stored in said second storing means may be deleted based on an input from said operating unit, wherein
said deletion of said data stored in said second storing means is performed in accordance with an order from previous data in said data stored in said second storing means; and
when a storage capacity of said second storing means is larger than said amount of data supplied to said second storing means as a result of a deletion of the data stored in said second storing means, said control means reads out said data stored in said first storing means and supplies said read-out data to said second storing means.
3. The apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said control means sets an inhibition flag to the data read out from said first storing means and stored in said second storing means.
4. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said output means comprises reproducing means for reproducing said recorded data stored in said storing means.
5. The apparatus according to claim 4, wherein said output means comprises converting means for converting an output signal from said reproducing means into a sound audible to a user.
6. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said additional information includes title data of the recorded data on said recording medium.
7. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein when the recorded data read out from said recording medium by said reading means is recorded from said recording medium to said storing means at a high speed, said control means transmits data indicative of an execution of said high-speed recording to said information center through said communicating means.
8. A recording and reproducing apparatus comprising:
an information supplying unit in which a plurality of additional information have been stored;
a recording and reproducing unit for transmitting data to and receiving data from said information supplying unit,
wherein said recording and reproducing unit includes communicating means, reading means, storing means, control means, and output means;
said communicating means transmits said data to and receives said data from said information supplying unit;
said reading means reads data from a recording medium on which a plurality of data and index data for use in managing said plurality of data have been recorded, said recording medium being loaded in said recording and reproducing apparatus, whereby
said data read from said recording medium by said reading means are stored in said storing means;
said control means controls said communicating means to read from said information supplying unit additional information corresponding to said recording medium from which said data are read by said reading means based on said index data and to write said read additional information into said storing means as additional data of said recording medium that are read by said reading means; and
output means for outputting said data stored in said storing means and for outputting said additional data stored in said storing means.
9. The apparatus according to claim 8, wherein the index data read out from said recording medium by said reading means is transmitted to said information supplying unit through said communicating means.
10. The apparatus according to claim 9, wherein on the basis of said transmitted index data, said information supplying unit retrieves the additional information corresponding to said transmitted index data from said plurality of additional information and transmits the retrieved additional information to said recording and reproducing unit.
11. The apparatus according to claim 10, wherein said recording and reproducing unit transmits said index data read out from said recording medium by said reading means to said information supplying unit through said communicating means and transmits user identification data of said recording and reproducing unit, and
said information supplying unit controls a retrieving operation of said information supplying unit of said additional information based on said index data transmitted on the basis of said user identification data transmitted together with said index data.
12. The apparatus according to claim 8, wherein said output means includes a display unit providing a display based on said additional data.
13. The apparatus according to claim 8, further comprising reproducing means for reproducing the data stored said storing means.
14. The apparatus according to claim 13, wherein said output means includes converting means for converting an output signal from said reproducing means into a sound audible to a user.
15. The apparatus according to claim 8, wherein said additional information includes title data of the data recorded on said recording medium.
16. The apparatus according to claim 8, wherein when the data read out from said recording medium by said reading means is recorded from said recording medium to said storing means at a high speed, said control means transmits data indicative of an execution of said high-speed recording to said information supplying unit through said communicating means.
17. The apparatus according to claim 16, wherein said information supplying unit executes an accounting process on the basis of the data indicative of the execution of high-speed recording transmitted through said communicating means.
18. The apparatus according to claim 17, wherein said recording and reproducing unit records at a high speed the data read out by said reading means from said recording medium to said storing means on the basis of data indicative of an end of said accounting process.
19. The apparatus according to claim 8, wherein said storing means of said recording and reproducing unit comprises first storage means and further comprising a terminal apparatus unit having second storing means, and
wherein the data which is read out from said first storing means of said recording and reproducing unit is stored into said second storing means of said terminal apparatus unit.
20. The apparatus according to claim 19, wherein said control means inhibits the data which was read out from said first storing means from being stored in said second storing means of said terminal apparatus unit and the data stored in said first storing means of said recording and reproducing unit is further read out again from said first storing means of said recording and reproducing unit.
21. The apparatus according to claim 20, wherein said control means sets an inhibition flag for the data which was read out from said first storing means and stored in said second storing means of said terminal apparatus unit in the data stored in said first storing means of said recording and reproducing unit.
22. The apparatus according to claim 21, wherein when the data read out from said second storing means of said terminal apparatus unit is again supplied to said first storing means, said control mean provides control, whereby the data in said first storing means corresponding to the data supplied from said second storing means can be further read out from said first storing means.
23. The apparatus according to claim 19, wherein said control means performs a comparison by comparing a storage capacity of said second storing means with an amount of the data which is read out from said first storing means and supplied to said second storing means.
24. The apparatus according to claim 23, wherein as a result of said comparison between said storage capacity of second storing means and said amount of the data read out from said first storing means and supplied to said second storing means, when said storage capacity of said second storing means is larger than said amount of data supplied to said second storing means, said control means reads out the data from said first storing means and supplies the read-out data to said terminal apparatus unit.
25. The apparatus according to claim 23, wherein as a result of said comparison between said storage capacity of said second storing means and said amount of data read out from said first storing means and supplied to said second storing means, when said storage capacity of said second storing means is smaller than said amount of data supplied to said second storing means, said control means deletes the data stored in said second storing means of said terminal apparatus unit.
26. The apparatus according to claim 25, wherein said terminal apparatus unit deletes data stored in said second storing means in accordance with an order from previous data in the data stored in said second storing means.
27. A The apparatus according to claim 25, wherein said terminal apparatus unit further includes an operating unit operated by a user, and said terminal apparatus unit deletes data stored in said second storing means on the basis of an input from said operating unit.
28. The apparatus according to claim 25, wherein when said storage capacity of said second storing means is larger than said amount of data supplied to said second storing means as a result of the deletion of the data stored in said second storing means of said terminal apparatus unit, said control means reads out the data from said first storing means and supplies said read-out data to said terminal apparatus.
29. The apparatus according to claim 3, wherein when the data read out from said second storing means is again supplied to said first storing means, said control means performs control so that the data in said first storing means corresponding to the data supplied from said second storing means can be further read out from said first storing means.
30. A recording and reproducing apparatus comprising:
a first recording and reproducing unit including:
reading means for reading data recorded on a recording medium, said recording medium being loaded in said recording and reproducing apparatus;
first storing means for storing said data read from said recording medium by said reading means;
reproducing means for reproducing said data stored in said first storing means; and
control means for controlling operations of said reading means, said first storing means, and said reproducing means; and
a second recording and reproducing unit; and
an operating unit operated by a user, whereby the data stored in second storing means are deleted based on an input from said operating unit, wherein
said control means inhibits said data from being reproduced by said first recording and reproducing unit when said data have been stored in said second storing means;
said control means deletes said data stored in said second storing means in accordance with an order from previous data in said data stored in said second storing means; and
when a storage capacity of said second storing means is larger than an amount of said data supplied to said second storing means as a result of said deletion of said data stored in said seconds storing means, said control means controls said reproduction of said data from said first storing means and supplies said reproduced data to said second storing means.
31. The apparatus according to claim 30, wherein said control means sets an inhibition flag to the data which was reproduced from said first storing means of said first recording and reproducing unit and stored in said second storing means.
32. The apparatus according to claim 31, wherein when data reproduced from said second storing means is again supplied to said first storing means, said control means performs a control so that the data in said first storing means corresponding to the data supplied from said second storing means can be further reproduced from said first storing means.
33. A recording and reproducing apparatus comprising:
reading means for reading data recorded on a recording medium;
storing means for storing said data read from said recording medium by said reading means;
reproducing means for reproducing said data stored in said storing means;
communicating means for transmitting said data reproduced from said storing means; and
control means for inhibiting an operation to reproduce said data from said storing means by said reproducing means when said data have been transmitted to an other external apparatus by said communicating means, wherein
said storing means includes first storing means;
said control means sets an inhibition flag to said data reproduced from said first storing means and transmitted by said communicating means and stored in second storing means; and
when said data transmitted by said communicating means are again supplied to said apparatus, said control means performs a control operation such that said data in said first storing means corresponding to said data supplied to said apparatus through said communicating means can be further read out from said first storing means.
34. An audio apparatus comprising:
a main body that includes
acoustic speakers arranged as an integral component of said main body;
a receiver configured to receive an operation command via a wireless remote control device; and
an interface component including
a single physical interface that is part of said main body and is configured to mutually correspond to a physical interface of a portable music player device for docking said portable music player device thereon, said portable music player device having music content stored therein, and
a single electrical interface that provides electrical power to said portable music player device and is configured to receive said music content from said portable music player device and to play an audible version of said music content through said acoustic speakers in response to said receiver receiving a play command as said operation command, wherein
said music content, and metadata information retrieved over a network and associated with said music content, are stored on a semiconductor non-volatile random access memory of the portable music player.
35. The audio apparatus of claim 34, wherein
said main body does not include a tactile user interface and relies on said infrared receiver for receiving all user-initiated commands for controlling playback of said music information.
36. The audio apparatus of claim 34, wherein
said wireless remote control device is contained in a different housing than said main body.
37. The audio apparatus of claim 34, wherein
said main body is configured to be portable when in a normal mode of operation.
38. A portable audio playback system comprising:
a docking station that includes
a main body that includes
acoustic speakers arranged as an integral component of said main body,
a receiver configured to receive an operation command via a wireless remote control device, and
an interface component including
a single physical interface that is part of said main body and is configured to mutually correspond to a physical interface of a portable music player device for docking said portable music player device thereon, said portable music player device having music content stored therein, and
a single electrical interface that provides electrical power to said portable music player device and is configured to receive said music content from said portable music player device and to play an audible version of said music content through said acoustic speakers in response to said receiver receiving a play command as said operation command; and
said portable music player device, including
a semiconductor non-volatile random access memory that stores said music content and metadata information associated with said music content,
a rechargeable battery configured to be recharged when said portable music device is docked on said physical interface of said docking station, and
a display, wherein
said metadata information is retrieved over a network.
39. The system of claim 38, wherein
said main body does not include a tactile user interface and relies on said receiver for receiving all user-initiated commands for controlling playback of said music content.
40. The system of claim 38, wherein
said wireless remote control device is contained in a different housing than said main body.
41. The system of claim 38, wherein
said main body is configured to be portable when in a normal mode of operation.
42. A method for physically and electrically coupling a portable music player device to a music playback station comprising:
storing music content and associated metadata information in a semiconductor non-volatile memory of the portable music player device;
physically connecting said portable music player device to said music playback station at a single physical interface configured to mutually correspond between said portable music player device and said music playback station;
electrically connecting said portable music player device to said playback music station at a single electrical interface, said electrically connecting including connecting a power source provided by said music playback station to said portable music player device to provide power to said portable music player device and connecting signal conductors provided by said music playback station to said portable music player device;
playing through an integrated acoustic speaker system, in response to a receipt of a selection control signal from a remote control wireless device, an audible version of said music content received from the portable music player device through the connected signal conductors, wherein
said metadata information is retrieved over a network.
43. The method of claim 42, further comprising:
displaying said metadata information on a display formed in said music playback station.
44. The audio apparatus of claim 34, further comprising:
a tactile user interface on said main body for controlling said audio apparatus.
45. The audio apparatus of claim 34, wherein
said metadata comprises song titles, artist names, and jacket images associated with said music content.
46. The audio apparatus of claim 45, wherein
said metadata is displayed on a display of said portable player music device.
47. The audio apparatus of claim 38, wherein
said metadata comprises song titles, artist names, and jacket images associated with said music content.
48. The audio apparatus of claim 47, wherein
said metadata is displayed on said display of said portable music player device.
49. The method of claim 42, wherein
said metadata comprises song titles, artist names, and jacket images associated with said music content.
50. The method of claim 49, further comprising:
displaying said metadata on a display of said portable music player device.
Description

This is a division of prior application Ser. No. 09/244,651 on Feb. 4, 1999 now U.S. Pat. No. 6,408,332.The present reissue application is a continuation reissue application of reissue application Ser. No. 10/972,116, filed on Oct. 22, 2004, now U.S. Pat. No. RE41,112, which is a reissue application of U.S. Pat. No. 6,704,777, which is a divisional application of application Ser. No. 09/244,651, filed on Feb. 4, 1999, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,408,332, and claims priority under 35 USC §119 to Japanese Application No. JP10- 027297, filed in the JPO on Feb. 9, 1998. More than one reissue application has been filed for the reissue of U.S. Pat. No. 6,704,777. Along with the present reissue application and reissue application Ser. No. 10/972,116, reissue application Ser. No. 12/139,552, filed Jun. 16, 2008, is a divisional reissue application of reissue application Ser. No. 10/972,116.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a recording and reproducing apparatus and a terminal apparatus. More particularly, the invention relates to a recording and reproducing apparatus having a storing unit and relates to a terminal apparatus.

2. Description of the Related Art

Hitherto, what is called a CD changer in which a number of CDs (Compact Disc) are enclosed and an automatic reproduction of a CD is executed has been put into practical use. In such a CD changer, tens to hundreds of CDs are enclosed in one casing and the reproduction of a CD selected by a predetermined operation is automatically executed. The reproduction of the CD can be executed every CD or a plurality of CDs are selected and the random reproduction can be also executed on a CD unit basis or a unit basis of a recorded music piece. The CD changer is mainly fixedly used, namely, it is installed in the room and is used.

On the other hand, as a portable audio data reproducing apparatus, in recent years, an apparatus using a magnetooptical disc or optical disc having a diameter of almost 64 mm is spreading. In such a portable audio data reproducing apparatus, an analog audio signal is converted into a digital . signal and is compressed by a compressing technique called an ATRAC (Adaptive Transform Acoustic Coding: trade name) and is recorded to a magnctooptical disc. There are advantages such that since the analog audio signal is recorded as compressed digital data, deterioration in sound quality is small and that since the disc is used as a recording medium, the random reproduction can be performed.

In the foregoing CD changer, however, even in the automatic reproduction, an exchanging time of the CD occurs, so that there is a problem such that it is difficult to realize the continuous reproduction. The CD changer in which 100 to 200 CDs are enclosed has problems such that a casing is large and heavy and it is very inconvenient to carry and install.

Even in the foregoing portable audio data reproducing apparatus, when the recording is once performed to a magnetooptical disc, in case of reproducing, the random reproduction or normal reproduction can be performed only in a range of the recorded magnetooptical disc. There is, therefore, a problem such that in the random reproduction, music piece designation reproduction, or the like in a plurality of magnetooptical discs, it is necessary to exchange the magnetooptical discs every time. There is, consequently, a problem such that the user has to always carry a plurality of magnetooptical discs or optical discs.

In the foregoing CD changer, although a number of CDs can be enclosed, there is a problem such that there is not means for automatically fetching information regarding the enclosed CDs and the titles of the music pieces or the like recorded in the CD. Hitherto, the user cannot help manually inputting those information regarding the music piece titles or the like.

Further, there are problems such that a dubbing process from the CD changer to another audio apparatus (recording medium), for example, the foregoing magnetooptical disc can be performed at only a reproducing speed of the CD and it takes a long time even to perform the dubbing of one CD.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a recording and reproducing apparatus which resolves the above-mentioned problem.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a terminal apparatus which resolves the above-mentioned problem.

According to the present invention, there is provided a recording and reproducing apparatus including a communicating unit, a reading unit, a storing unit, a control unit, and an output unit. The communicating unit transmits and receives data to/from an information center in which a plurality of additional information have been stored. The reading unit reads out recorded data from a recording medium on which a plurality of data and index data of such a plurality of data have been recorded. The data read out from the recording medium by the reading unit is stored into the storing unit. The control unit reads out the additional information corresponding to the recording medium from which the data is read out by the reading unit from the information center by the communicating unit and writes the read-out additional information into the storing unit as additional data of the recording medium which is being read out by the reading unit. The output unit outputs the data stored in the storing unit and the additional data.

According to the present invention, there is provided a recording and reproducing apparatus including an information supplying unit and a recording and reproducing unit. A plurality of additional information have been stored in the information supplying unit. The recording and reproducing unit transmits and receives data to/from the information supplying unit. The recording and reproducing unit includes a communicating unit, a reading unit, a storing unit, a control unit, and an output unit. The communicating unit transmits and receives data to/from the information supplying unit. The reading unit reads out recorded data from a recording medium on which a plurality of data and index data of such a plurality of data have been recorded. The data read out from the recording medium by the reading unit is stored into the storing unit. The control unit reads out the additional information corresponding to the recording medium from which the data is read out by the reading unit from the information center by the communicating unit and writes the read-out additional information into the storing unit as additional data of the recording medium which is being read out by the reading unit. The output unit outputs the data stored in the storing unit and the additional data.

According to the present invention, there is provided a recording and reproducing apparatus including a reading unit, a first storing unit, a reproducing unit, a second storing unit, and a control unit. The reading unit reads out data recorded on a recording medium. The data read out from the recording medium by the reading unit is stored into the first storing unit. The reproducing unit reproduces the data read out from the first storing unit. The data read out from the first storing unit is stored into the second storing unit. The control unit inhibits the further reading operation from the first storing unit of the data which has been read out from the first storing unit and stored into the second storing unit in the data stored in the first storing unit.

According to the present invention, there is provided a recording and reproducing apparatus including first and second recording and reproducing units. The first recording and reproducing unit has a reading unit, a first storing unit, a reproducing unit, and a control unit. The reading unit reads out data recorded on a recording medium. The data read out from the recording medium by the reading unit is stored into the storing unit. The reproducing unit reproduces the data read out from the first storing unit. The control unit controls the operations of the reading unit, first storing unit, and reproducing unit. The second recording and reproducing unit has a second storing unit in which the data read out from the first storing unit is stored. The control unit inhibits the further reading operation from the first storing unit of the data which has been read out from the first storing unit and stored in the second storing unit in the data stored in the first storing unit.

According to the present invention, there is provided a terminal apparatus. Data is supplied from a recording and reproducing apparatus to the terminal apparatus. The terminal apparatus has a storing unit, a reproducing unit, and a control unit. The data supplied from the recording and reproducing apparatus is stored into the storing unit. The reproducing unit reproduces the data read out from the storing unit. The control unit deletes the data which has been read out from the storing unit and supplied to the recording and reproducing apparatus from the storing unit.

According to the present invention, there is provided a recording and reproducing apparatus including a reading unit, a storing unit, a reproducing unit, a communicating unit, and a control unit. The reading unit reads out the data recorded on the recording medium. The data read out from the recording medium by the reading unit is stored into the storing unit. The reproducing unit reproduces the data read out from the storing unit. The communicating unit transmits the data read out from the storing unit. The control unit inhibits the reading operation from the storing unit by the reading unit of the data which has been read out from the storing unit and transmitted by the communicating unit in the data stored in the storing unit.

The above and other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description and the appended claims with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram schematically showing a music server according to the invention and a system using the music server;

FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing an example of a construction of the music server;

FIG. 3 is a diagram schematically showing a signal flow until music data read out by a CD-ROM drive is recorded to a hard disk drive;

FIG. 4 is a diagram schematically showing a signal flow until compression music data read out by a hard disk drive is reproduction processed and is outputted to a terminal;

FIG. 5 is a block diagram showing an example of a construction of a portable recording and reproducing apparatus;

FIG. 6 is a block diagram showing another example of a portable recording and reproducing apparatus;

FIG. 7 is a flowchart of an example of processes when music data of a CD is recorded to a hard disk drive in the music server;

FIGS. 8A and 8B are flowcharts showing an example of an accounting process when music data of a CD is recorded to a hard disk drive at a high speed; and

FIG. 9 is a flowchart of an example of a moving process of music data according to the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

An embodiment of the invention will now be described hereinbelow with reference to the drawings. FIG. 1 schematically shows a music server to which the invention is applied and a system using the music server. A music server 50 comprises a server main body 51 and right and left speaker units 52R and 52L. A display unit 53 comprising, for example, an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) panel and a CD inserting portion 54 to insert a CD into the server main body 51 are provided for the server main body 51.

Although not shown in FIG. 1, an operating unit comprising a plurality of operation switches to operate functions of the server main body 51 by the user is provided for the server main body 51. A signal receiving unit to receive, for example, an infrared signal to remote operate the functions of the server main body 51 by a remote commander can be also provided. The server main body 51 has a controller as will be explained hereinlater. Various operations of the server main body 51 are controlled by the controller on the basis of a predetermined program which has previously been stored in, for instance, an ROM.

The user loads a CD 55 into the server main body 51 through the CD inserting portion 54 and executes a predetermined operation by using an operating unit (not shown), thereby reproducing the CD 55. He can enjoy music recorded on the CD 55 by generating a reproduction signal reproduced from the CD 55 by the speaker units 52L and 52R. When the CD 55 includes text data such as music titles or the like, the music titles or the like are displayed to the display unit 53 on the basis of the text data.

The music server 50 has therein a recording medium of a large capacity by, for example, a hard disk. By executing a predetermined operation by using the operating unit (not shown), the reproduction data reproduced from the CD 55 loaded into the server main body 51 from the CD inserting portion 54 can be recorded to the recording medium comprising a hard disk. In this instance, either one of a method of recording at the same transfer speed as the standard reproducing speed of the CD 55 and a high speed recording to record at a transfer speed higher than the standard reproducing speed of the CD 55 can be selected. In case of recording at the high transfer speed, by executing an accounting process by a predetermined procedure, a desired CD can be selected or a desired music piece recorded on the CD can be selected and the reproduction data as music data reproduced from the CD can be recorded at a transfer speed higher than the reproducing speed of the CD.

In the music server 50, the music data reproduced from the CD 55 is compression encoded to compression music data by a predetermined method such as a foregoing ATRAC or the like and is recorded. For example, music data of about 1000 music pieces can be memorized or stored to the hard disk having a capacity of 6 GBytes. A list of the titles of the music pieces memorized or stored on the hard disk is displayed on, for example, the display unit 53. The user can select an arbitrary one of the music pieces memorized or stored on the hard disk on the basis of the music title list displayed in the display unit 53 and can reproduce. Since a random access can be performed in the hard disk, a number of music data memorized or stored can be read out and continuously reproduced in accordance with an arbitrary order.

Although various methods can be used for compression encoding, the method as disclosed in, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,717,821 is used in this embodiment of the invention. This method is a method of improving the ATRAC as a compression encoding system which is used in the foregoing portable audio data reproducing apparatus. By using a masking effect based on the nature of hearing and a frequency dependency of the minimum audible limit and by using both of a transform coding and an entropy coding, the audio data is compression encoded. The encoding/decoding can be performed at a high speed while maintaining a high sound quality by hardware of a relatively small scale.

The music server 50 can be connected to an external system, for example, an internet server 60 as a server connected to the internet through a communication line 61 as a public telephone line. By connecting from the music server 50 to the internet server 60 through the communication line 61, various information on the internet can be obtained. The internet server 60 has, for example, a database such as title information of commercially available music CDs. By allocating a peculiar key to use the database to the user and operating the peculiar key when the database is used, data annexed to the CDs, for example, title information of the CDs can be obtained.

In the internet server 60, an accounting process for the music server 50 is also executed in accordance with services which are presented to the user. When the foregoing high speed recording of the CD 55 is executed, the music server 50 communicates data indicative of the execution of the high speed recording to the internet server 60, so that the accounting process for the user who performs the high speed recording is executed, the selection of the CD or music piece can be performed, and the high speed recording can be executed.

Although the accounting process is executed by the internet server 60 having a large quantity of additional information of the CDs here, the invention is not limited to the foregoing example. For instance, the foregoing accounting process can be also performed by another server connected to the internet. The foregoing accounting process can be also executed by another network, for example, a dedicated network different from the internet.

A portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 has a storing medium comprising a hard disk or a flash memory. Any other storing medium or recording media can be also used so long as it can follow the reproducing speed of music. By connecting the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 to the music server 50 by a connection line 71, the music data recorded in the music server 50 is transferred to the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 and can be recorded to the storing medium of the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70. In this instance, on the music server 50 side, although the music data transferred to the apparatus 70 exists on the storing medium such as hard disk or flash memory, it is set into a state where the data cannot be reproduced. The storing medium or recording medium which is used in the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 has a capacity of, for example, about 200 MBytes and music data of tens of music pieces can be memorized or stored. In the following description, a storing device or storing medium comprising a semiconductor memory such as a flash memory or the like and a recording medium such as a disk-like recording medium or the like such as a hard disk or the like are generally called a storing medium or storing media.

The foregoing transfer method which is used in the invention, namely, an act such that in case of transferring the music data, the music data is recorded to a storing medium on the transfer destination side, and on the storing medium on the transferring source side, although the transferred music data exists on the storing medium, it is set into an unreproducible state is called a “movement”. By moving as mentioned above, an unlimited copy of the music data can be prevented.

Although the music server 50 and portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 are connected by the connection line 71 in the above embodiment, the invention is not limited to this example. For instance, it is also possible to provide mutually corresponding attaching portions for both of the music server 50 and portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 and to directly attach the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 to the music server 50, thereby enabling data to be transmitted and received between the server 50 and apparatus 70. Besides the electric connection, for example, interfaces corresponding to IrDA (Infrared Data Association) for transmitting and receiving data by an infrared signal are provided for both of the server 50 and apparatus 70 and the music data can be also transferred between the server 50 and apparatus 70 by the infrared signal.

Further, by providing a predetermined interface for the music server 50, information can be exchanged for various media. For example, by providing an interface corresponding to a PC card 80 for the server 50, music data which is distributed by the PC card 80 can be fetched to the music server 50 or data can be transmitted and received between a personal computer and the music server 50. By providing a serial digital interface by an optical cable or the like for the server 50, for example, music data can be transmitted and received to/from another digital music data recording and reproducing apparatus such as a disc recorder 81 using a small magnetooptical disc having a diameter of 64 mm. In this example, a disc cartridge 82 in which the foregoing small magnetooptical disc is enclosed is loaded into the disc recorder 81 and music data reproduced from the magnetooptical disc of the disc cartridge 82 is supplied to the music server 50. Similarly, it is also possible to provide an interface such as an IEEE 1394 for the server 50 and to connect, for instance, a set top box 83 for a CATV (Cable Television), a satellite broadcasting, or the like.

The PC card conforms to the standard of the card type peripheral equipment for personal computers by the common enactment of the PCMCIA (Personal Memory Card International Association) of U.S.A. and the JEIDA (Japanese Electronic Industry Development Association) of Japan. The IEEE 1394 is an interface standard used in Electrical & Electronics Standards Engineers Association of U.S.A.

The music server 50 can have a WWW (World Wide Web) browser as a built-in application. By connecting to the internet server 60 through the communication line 61, various contents which exist on the internet and were described by, for example, HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) can be retrieved and can be displayed on the display unit 53.

With the above construction, for instance, the user can reproduce the music data memorized or stored in the music server 50 and can listen to it by the speaker units 52L and 52R. The user can also load the CD 55 into the server 50 through the CD inserting portion 54 and can reproduce the CD 55.

By communicating between the music server 50 and internet server 60, the title information or the like of the CD 55 loaded into the server 50 through the CD inserting portion 54 can be automatically obtained from the server 60 through the communication line 61. The information derived from the server 60 is preserved in the music server 50. The preserved title information is displayed on the display unit 53 of the server 50 as necessary.

More specifically speaking, information such as user ID data of the server 50 or the like that is peculiar to the user (hereinafter, referred to as user information) is sent from the music server 50 to the internet server 60. On the internet server 60 side, a collating process or an accounting process is executed on the basis of the received user information. Media information of the CD which is needed by the user or the CD which is being reproduced is sent from the music server 50 to the internet server 60. In the internet server 60, on the basis of the received media information, for example, the additional information such as titles of the music pieces, names of the players, names of the composers and songwriters, words, jacket image, and the like for the music data is retrieved. In the internet server 60, predetermined information regarding the CD requested from the user is returned to the music server 50.

For example, TOC (Table of Contents) information of the CD 55 is sent as media information to the internet server 60. A data base in which the additional information for the music data mentioned above can be retrieved is constructed in the internet server 60 on the basis of the TOC information. The additional information can be also obtained by retrieving another WWW server on the internet. The internet server 60 retrieves the additional information of the music data by using the received TOC information as media information. For example, it can be retrieved on the basis of time information of each of the music pieces included in the TOC information and recorded in the CD 55.

The additional information obtained by retrieving is sent from the internet server 60 to the music server 50. In the music server 50, the received additional information is displayed in the display unit 53 and is written to, for example, the hard disk drive together with the TOC information of the CD 55 by a CPU 8, which will be explained hereinlater. By storing the retrieved additional information into an HTML file and sending from the server 60, the additional information can be displayed by built-in WWW browser software in the music server 50.

If another URL (Uniform Resource Locator) on the internet has been described in the additional information, it is possible to access to a homepage or the like on the internet displayed by the other URL in the music server 50.

Further, by communicating the data between the internet server 60 and server 50, the music data in the CD 55 loaded into the server 50 through the CD inserting portion 54 can be recorded into the storing medium of the music server 50 at a speed higher than the specified standard reproducing speed of the CD 55, for example, the music data of one CD 55 can be recorded for about two minutes. When a communication is not performed between the internet server 60 and server 50, the music data is recorded to the storing medium of the server 50 at the same speed as the specified standard reproducing speed of the CD 55, namely, at the one-time speed.

By connecting to the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 by the connection line 71, the server 50 can transfer and move music data memorized or stored in the music server 50 to the portable reproducing apparatus 70. The moved music data can be reproduced by the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 and can be listened by, for example, headphones 72 even if the server 50 and apparatus 70 are not connected by the connection line 71. The transferred and moved music data is set into a state where it cannot be reproduced in the music server 50.

FIG. 2 shows an example of a construction of the music server 50. First, in the music server 50, in a manner similar to the construction of the ordinary personal computer, an RAM 5, an ROM 6, a flash memory 7, and a CPU 8 which are mutually connected by a bus are provided. The CPU 8 is connected to a bus 40. The CPU 8 functions as a controller and the whole operation of the music server 50 is controlled.

A program to control the operation of the music server 50 has previously been stored in the ROM 6. In the music server 50, on the basis of this program, the CPU 8 allows the operation corresponding to the operation of input operating unit 1, which will be explained hereinlater, is executed. A data area and a task area which are used when the program is executed are temporarily assured in the RAM 5 and flash memory 7. A program loader has been stored in the ROM 6 and the program itself can be also loaded into the flash memory 7 by the program loader of the ROM 6.

The input operating unit 1 comprises, for example, a plurality of push type and rotary type operation keys, switches which are operated by these operation keys, and the like. The input operating unit 1 is not limited to this type but an operation key of a rotary push type called a jog dial, a touch panel on the LCD, or the like can be also used. A switching mechanism which responds by pressing can be also used. A signal according to the operation of the input operating unit 1 is supplied to the CPU 8 through the bus 40. In the CPU 8, a control signal to control the operation of the music server 50 is formed on the basis of the signal from the input operating unit 1. The music server 50 is operated in response to the control signal formed by the CPU 8.

An infrared interface (IrDA I/F) driver 3 and/or a USB (Universal Serial Bus) driver 4 is connected to the bus 40. A keyboard 2 can communicate or connect to the drivers 3 and 4. By using the keyboard 2, for instance, the name of music piece corresponding to the music data which is recorded, the name of artist, and the like can be easily inputted. The data can be also transferred through the infrared interface driver 3 or USB driver 4. The infrared interface driver 3 and USB driver 4 can be also omitted.

A CD-ROM drive 9 is connected to the bus 40. The CD 55 inserted from the CD inserting unit 54 as mentioned above is loaded into the CD-ROM drive 9. In the CD-ROM drive 9, the music data is read out from the loaded CD 55 at the specified standard reproducing speed. In the CD-ROM drive 9, the music data of the CD 55 can be read out at a speed which is higher than the specified standard reproducing speed, for instance, which is 16 or 32 times as high as the specified standard reproducing speed.

The CD-ROM drive 9 is not limited to the foregoing example but can be also made correspond to another disk-like recording medium in which music data has been stored, for example, a magnetooptical disk or a DVD (Digital Versatile Disc). A drive corresponding to a memory card can be also used. Further, the data which is read out from the CD-ROM drive 9 is not limited to the music data but image data, text data, program data, or the like can be also read out.

A hard disk drive (hereinafter, simply referred to as an HDD) 10 is connected to the bus 40. The music data read out from the CD-ROM drive 9 is recorded to the HDD 10. As a pre-process of the process for recording the music data to the HDD 10, the music data read out by the CD-ROM drive 9 is supplied to a compression encoder 12 through the bus 40 and a DRAM 11 for audio.

In the compression encoder 12, a compression encoding process of the music data is performed by the foregoing compressing method disclosed in, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,717,821 or the like. As a compressing speed of the music data by the compression encoder 12, two speeds of a low speed and a high speed are prepared on the basis of the control of the CPU 8. The low speed compressing speed corresponds to the standard reproducing speed specified for the CD 55 in the CD-ROM drive 9. The high speed compressing speed corresponds to a speed higher than the standard reproducing speed specified for the CD 55 in the CD-ROM drive 9, for example, the reproducing speed of two times or more. The compressing speed is switched in accordance with, for example, the reproducing speed of the CD 55 by the CD-ROM drive 9. In the compression encoder 12, for example, an encoding algorithm according to the compressing speed is driven.

The changing method of the compressing speed in the compression encoder 12 is not limited to the foregoing method. For instance, it can be also changed by switching a clock frequency of the compression encoder 12. A different hardware can be also prepared. Further, in the compression encoder 12 in which the high speed compression can be performed, it is also possible to correspond to the low compressing speed by thinning out the processes.

The compression music data which was compression encoded by the compression encoder 12 is recorded and accumulated to the HDD 10 through the DRAM 11.

Although it is constructed such that the compression music data which was compression encoded by the compression encoder 12 is accumulated to the HDD 10, the music data which is read out from the CD-ROM drive 9 can be also directly supplied to the HDD 10 and can be recorded and accumulated to the hard disk of the HDD 10.

In the example, an audio signal which is inputted through an amplifier 14 from a microphone connected to a terminal 13 and an audio signal which is inputted from a line input terminal 15 are supplied to the compression encoder 12 through an A/D converter 16. Those audio signals can be compression encoded by the encoder 12 and can be recorded to the HDD 10. Further, an optical digital signal is supplied from an optical digital input terminal 17 to the compression encoder 12 through an IEC 958 (International Electrotechnical Commission 958) encoder 18. The audio signal supplied as an optical digital signal can be also compression encoded by the encoder 12 and can be recorded to the hard disk of the HDD 10.

Although the case where the compression encoder 12 uses an encoding algorithm as disclosed in, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,717,821 has been shown above, the invention is not limited to the foregoing example. That is, in the compression encoder 12, any other algorithm can be also used so long as it is an encoding algorithm by which information is compressed. For example, the compression encoder 12 can also use an encoding algorithm such as MPEG (moving picture coding experts group), PASC (precision adaptive sub-band coding), Twin VQ (trade name), RealAudio (trade name), or LiquidAudio (trade name).

A modem 20 is connected to the bus 40. For example, an external network 19 such as public telephone line, CATV, or wireless communication is connected to the modem 20. The music server 50 can communicate through the external network 19 by the modem 20.

The music server 50 is connected to, for example, the internet through the external network 19. A communication is executed between the music server 50 and the remote internet server 60. A request signal and various information such as media information as information regarding the CD 55 loaded in the CD-ROM drive 9, user ID data and user information which have previously been given to the music server 50, accounting information to the user, and the like are transmitted and sent from the music server 50 to the Internet server 60.

The various information such as media information, user information, and the like is transmitted to the internet server 60. On the basis of the received user information such as user ID data and the like, the server 60 executes the collating process and accounting process. On the basis of the received media information, the additional information of the music data is retrieved and returned to the music server 50.

Although the example in which the additional information of the music data is returned has been shown here, the music data can be also directly supplied from the external network 19 on the basis of a request by the user. That is, the user can download the music data from the internet server 60 by using the music server 50. The music data can be also returned in correspondence to the media information. Thus, for example, a bonus track of a predetermined CD 55 can be obtained by the transmission.

When the compression music data which has been compression encoded by the compression encoder 12 and recorded and accumulated in the HDD 10 is read out for reproduction from the HDD 10, it is supplied to a compression decoder 21 through the bus 40. The compression encoding of the compression music data read out from the HDD 10 is released by the compression decoder 21 and the resultant data is outputted to a terminal 24 through a D/A converter 22 and an amplifier 23. The data is supplied from the terminal 24 to the speaker units 52L and 52R and the music is reproduced. Although not shown in FIG. 2, as a path starting from the D/A converter 22 and reaching the terminal 24 through the amplifier 23, two paths are provided in correspondence to stereophonic outputs. Similarly, two terminals 24 are also provided in correspondence to the stereophonic sound.

In the compression decoder 21, a decoding algorithm corresponding to the encoding algorithm in the compression encoder 12 is used. The compression decoder 21 and foregoing compression encoder 12 can be also realized as software processes by the CPU 8 without having hardware.

A liquid crystal display device (hereinafter, simply referred to as an LCD) 26 constructing the display unit 53 is connected to the bus 40 through an LCD driving circuit (namely, LCD driver) 25. A drawing control signal is supplied from the CPU 8 to the LCD driving circuit 25 through the bus 40. On the basis of the supplied drawing control signal, the LCD 26 is driven by the LCD driving circuit 25 and a predetermined display is performed to the display unit 53.

An operation menu of the music server 50, for example, is displayed on the LCD 26. For instance, a title list of the compression music data recorded and accumulated in the HDD 10 is displayed on the LCD 26. As for the title list which is displayed on the LCD 26, since the data based on the data obtained by decoding the additional information transmitted from the internet server 60 has been stored on the HDD 10, the display is performed on the basis of the data stored on the HDD 10. For example, a folder or a jacket image corresponding to the compression music data which is selected and reproduced is further displayed on the LCD 26 on the basis of the additional information transmitted from the internet server 60.

By operating a pointing device of the input operating unit 1 or the keyboard 2 on the basis of the display on the LCD 26, the CPU 8 performs the reproduction control of the instructed music data. The erasure of the selected music data or the control of the copy or movement of the selected music data to the external apparatus can be also performed on the basis of the display of the LCD 26. For example, when the input operating unit 1 is a touch panel provided on the LCD 26, by touching the touch panel in accordance with the display of the LCD 26, the operation of the music server 50 can be performed. As mentioned above, the music data recorded and accumulated in the HDD 10 is managed and controlled by the user by using the LCD 26 as an interface.

In the first embodiment, the invention corresponds to the IEEE 1394 and PC card as an interface between the music server 50 and the external general information apparatus. An IEEE 1394 interface 28 is connected to the bus 40 through an IEEE 1394 driver 29. Similarly, a PC card slot 31 is connected to the bus 40 through a PC card driver 30.

Transmission and reception of data can be performed between the music server 50 and, for example, a personal computer by the IEEE 1394 interface 28. Music data can be fetched from an IRD (Integrated Receiver/Decoder) for satellite broadcasting, a small magnetooptical disc or optical disc having a diameter of about 64 mm, a DVD (Digital Versatile Disc: trade name), a digital video tape, or the like by the IEEE 1394 interface 28. By loading the PC card into the PC card slot 31, an expansion of an external storage device or another media drive or various peripheral devices such as modem, terminal adapter, capture board, and the like can be easily performed.

An interface 34 is an interface to transmit and receive music data or the like between the music server 50 and corresponding another recording and reproducing apparatus. For example, the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 shown in FIG. 1 mentioned above is applied to the other recording and reproducing apparatus. The invention is not limited to it but another music server 50 can be also used as another recording and reproducing apparatus.

The interface 34 is connected to the bus 40 through an interface driver 33. An interface 35 constructing a part together with the interface 34 is provided for the corresponding other recording and reproducing apparatus. By electrically connecting the interfaces 34 and 35 by the predetermined connection line 71, for instance, the music data recorded and accumulated in the HDD 10 can be transferred from the music server 50 to the other recording and reproducing apparatus.

FIG. 3 schematically shows a signal flow until the music data read out by the CD-ROM drive 9 is recorded into the HDD 10. The music data read out from the CD-ROM drive 9 is once stored into the DRAM 11 as a buffer memory through the bus 40. The music data is read out from the DRAM 11 at a predetermined timing and is supplied to the compression encoder 12 through the bus 40. The compression encoder 12 is set to a predetermined compressing speed according to the reproducing speed of the CD-ROM drive 9 as mentioned above. The music data is compression encoded by the compression encoder 12 and is again once stored into the DRAM 11 as a buffer memory. The compression music data read out from the DRAM 11 at a predetermined timing is supplied to the HDD 10 through the bus 40 and is recorded to the disk of the HDD 10. In this instance, the TOC information of the CD 55 which is reproduced by the CD-ROM drive 9 is transmitted to the internet server 60 as mentioned above and the additional information of the CD 55 transmitted from the server 60 is also recorded to the disk of the HDD 10 and is managed as one data by the CPU 8 or the like together with the compression music data based on the music data read out from the CD 55.

FIG. 4 schematically shows a signal flow until the compression music data read out from the HDD 10 is reproduction processed and is supplied to the terminal 24. The compression music data read out from the HDD 10 is once stored into the DRAM 11 as a buffer memory through the bus 40. The compression music data is read out from the DRAM 11 at a predetermined timing and is supplied to the compression decoder 21 through the bus 40. The compression music data is decompressed by the compression decoder 21, the compression encoding is released, and the resultant data is supplied as music data to the D/A converter 22. The music data is converted into an analog audio signal by the D/A converter 22 and is amplified by the amplifier 23. An amplified signal is supplied as a reproduction output to the terminal 24. If the speakers are connected to the terminal 24, the music reproduced by the speakers can be enjoyed. In this instance, the additional information read out from the disc of the HDD 10 together with the compression music data is decoded by the CPU 8 or the like and the music piece titles or the like are displayed on the display unit 53.

FIG. 5 shows an example of a construction of the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 which is used as another recording and reproducing apparatus. The portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 has a construction similar to the music server 50 shown in FIG. 2 mentioned above. As for the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70, the interface 34 on the music server 50 side and the interface 35 on the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 side are usually separated and are carried and used as sole units.

First, in the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70, in a manner similar to the construction of the ordinary personal computer, an RAM 103, an ROM 104, and a CPU 105 which are mutually connected by a bus are provided. A flash memory can be also provided in a manner similar to the construction of the music server 50. The CPU 105 is connected to a bus 130. The CPU 105 functions as a controller and the whole operation of the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 is controlled by the CPU 105.

A program to control the operation of the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 has previously been stored in the ROM 104. In the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70, the operation corresponding to the operation of the input operating unit 102, which will be explained hereinbelow, is executed on the basis of such a program. A data area and a task area which are used when the program is executed are temporarily assured in the RAM 103.

The input operating unit 102 comprises, for example, a plurality of push type and rotary type operation keys and a plurality of switches which are operated by those operation keys. The input operating unit 102 is not limited to such a type but a rotary push type operation device called a jog dial, a touch panel on the LCD, which will be explained hereinlater, or the like can be also used. A mechanical switching mechanism which responds by depressing can be also used. A signal corresponding to the operation of the input operating unit 102 is supplied to the CPU 105 through the bus 130. The CPU 105 forms a control signal to control the operation of the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 on the basis of an output signal which is generated by operating the operation keys of the input operating unit 102. The operation of the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 is switched and the operation is controlled in response to the control signal formed by the CPU 105.

In the music server 50, the music data which was read out from the HDD 10 and in which a transfer to the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 has been instructed is transferred or supplied to the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 through the interfaces 34 and 35 and a connection line connecting the interfaces 34 and 35. At the same time, the additional information of the music data whose transfer has been instructed is also transmitted to the apparatus 70 together with the music data whose transfer has been instructed. In the case where mutually corresponding attaching units are respectively provided for the music server 50 and portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70, the interfaces 34 and 35 are directly connected and the music data is transferred between the server 50 and apparatus 70. Further, in the case where the interface by IrDA is provided for both of the apparatus 70 and server 50, the music data is transferred between the server 50 and apparatus 70 by an infrared signal.

The music data transferred and supplied from the server 50 to the apparatus 70 is supplied from an interface driver 101 to an HDD 106 as a music data recording medium of the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 through the bus 130 and is recorded to the hard disk of the HDD 106.

The music data recording medium of the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 is not limited to the HDD 106 but, for example, a flash memory can be also used. Any other recording medium such as a magnetooptic disk can be also used as a music data recording medium so long as it can follow the reproducing speed of the music data. As a music data recording medium of the apparatus 70, for instance, tens of music pieces can be recorded by using a medium having a memory capacity of about 200 MBytes. The music data transmitted from the server 50 and the additional information of the music data are also recorded to the disc of the HDD 106 of the apparatus 70.

In the example, the music data which is transferred and recorded to the HDD 106 is the compression music data which has already been compression encoded in the music server 50. In the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70, the invention is not limited to such an example but music data which is not compression encoded is supplied and can be also recorded to the hard disk of the HDD 106. For example, the music data reproduced and read out from the CD 55 loaded in the CD-ROM drive 9 of the music server 50 is directly supplied to the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 through the interface driver 101. In case of directly supplying the data to the apparatus 70, however, it will be obviously understood that the number of recordable music data is largely limited.

As a pre-process of the process for recording the music data to the hard disk of the HDD 106, the supplied music data is temporarily stored into a DRAM 107 for audio which is connected to the bus 130. The music data read out from the DRAM 107 is supplied to a compression encoder 108 through the bus 130. The compression encoder 108 executes a compression encoding process of the music data by an encoding algorithm similar to that of the compression encoder 12 in the music server 50. The compression music data which was compression encoded by the compression encoder 108 is supplied to the DRAM 107 and is again temporarily stored into the DRAM 107. Finally, the compression music data stored in the DRAM 107 is read out and recorded to the hard disk of the HDD 106.

As mentioned above, when the movement of the compression music data accumulated in the HDD 10 is instructed and the data is transmitted and transferred to the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 in the music server 50, although the compression music data of the HDD 10 exists as data on the HDD 10, it is set into a state where it cannot be read out from the HDD 10 and reproduced. The compression music data moved to the apparatus 70 is again returned to the recording medium on the moving source side, namely, to the HDD 10 of the server 50, so that it can be reproduced on the moving source side, namely, server 50 In this instance, the compression music data returned to the server 50 is deleted from the hard disk of the HDD 106 of the apparatus 70 serving as a recording medium on the movement destination side.

In this example, an audio signal which is inputted through an amplifier 110 from a microphone connected to the terminal 109 and an audio signal which is inputted from a line input terminal 111 are supplied to the compression encoder 108 through an A/D converter 112. The compression encoding process can be performed to the audio signals supplied from the A/D converter 112 by the compression encoder 108 and can be recorded to the HDD 106. Further, an optical digital signal is supplied from an optical digital input terminal 113 to the compression encoder 108 through an IEC 958 encoder 114. The audio signal supplied as an optical digital signal can be subjected to the compression encoding process by the encoder 108 and can be recorded to the hard disk of the HDD 106. So long as the apparatus 70 is a read only portable reproducing apparatus only for reproducing the compressed music data, all of the foregoing A/D converter 112, encoder 108, and the like can be also omitted.

The compression music data is read out from the HDD 106 for reproduction and is supplied to a compression decoder 115 through the bus 130. The music data in which the decompressing process has been performed to the supplied compression music data and the compression encoding has been released by the compression decoder 115 is outputted to a terminal 118 through a D/A converter 116 and an amplifier 117. For example, the headphones 72 are connected to the terminal 118. The user can listen to the reproduced music by attaching the headphones 72. Although not shown in FIG. 5, as a signal path starting from the D/A converter 116 and reaching the terminal 118 through the amplifier 117, two paths are provided in correspondence to the stereophonic outputs in the L channel and the R channel. Similarly, two terminals 118 are also provided in correspondence to the stereophonic sounds of the L channel and the R channel.

An LCD 120 is connected to the bus 130 through an LCD driving circuit (or LCD driver) 119. A drawing control signal is supplied from the CPU 105 to the LCD driving circuit 119 through the bus 130, the LCD 120 is driven on the basis of the supplied drawing control signal, and a predetermined display is performed to the LCD 120. An operation menu of the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70, a title list of the music data stored on the HDD 106, or the like is displayed on the LCD 120. For example, a folder or a jacket image corresponding to the music data which is selected and reproduced from the music data stored in the HDD 106 can be also displayed on the LCD 120 on the basis of the additional information stored on the HDD 106.

By operating the pointing device of the input operating unit 102 by the user on the basis of the display of the LCD 120, one compression music data in the compression music data stored on the HDD 106 is selected and reproduced. The control of the erasure, copy, and movement of the selected compression music data can be also performed on the basis of the display of the LCD 120. For example, by touching the touch panel of the input operating unit 102 by the user in accordance with the display of the LCD 120, the operation input of the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 can be performed. As mentioned above, the compression music data recorded on the HDD 106 is managed by the user while using the LCD 120 as an interface and the recording, reproduction, and the like are controlled.

Although not shown in FIG. 5, the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 is driven by a battery. For this purpose, a power supply unit using a general secondary battery or dry cell as a power supplying source is provided and a charging unit is provided for the apparatus 70. In the case where the music server 50 and portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 are directly connected by a connection line or attaching units, the music data is transferred and an electric power is supplied from the music server 50 to the charging unit and the secondary battery of the apparatus 70 is charged. The secondary battery of the apparatus 70 can be also charged by an external charging power source. As a power supplying source, only either one of the power source by a dry cell and the charging power source using the secondary battery can be also used or provided.

FIG. 6 shows another example of the foregoing portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70. In FIG. 6, portions common to those in FIG. 5 mentioned above are designated by the same reference numerals and their detailed description is omitted. In a portable recording and reproducing apparatus 170 shown in FIG. 6, for the construction of FIG. 5 mentioned above, a switching circuit 200 is inserted between an HDD (or flash memory) 106a and the bus 130. One selection terminal 200a of the switching circuit 200 is connected to the bus 130 and another selection terminal 200b is connected to the interface 35. The HDD 106a is separated from the bus 130 by the switching circuit 200.

When the compression music data is transferred from the music server 50, a terminal is switched to the selection terminal 200b or the selection terminal 200b is selected in the switching circuit 200. The HDD 106a and the bus 40 of the music server 50 are directly connected through the interfaces 34 and 35. The HDD 106a is seen as if it were a recording medium of the music server 50 when it is seen from the CPU 8 of the server 50. The direct control of the HDD 106a is enabled by the CPU 8 of the music server 50. The movement, copy, or the like of the compression music data can be easily performed between the music server 50 and portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70.

The operation of the system constructed as mentioned above will now be described. First, functions which are executed solely by the music server 50 will be explained. FIG. 7 is a flowchart of an example of processes when the music data of the CD 55 loaded in the CD-ROM drive 9 is recorded to the disc of the HDD 10 of the music server 50.

In first step S10, the apparatus waits for a recording request of the music data of the CD 55 to the HDD 10 by the user. For example, when the recording request is inputted by the user by using the input operating unit 1, the processing routine advances to step S11. In step S11, a check is made to see if the recording requested by the user is the “high speed recording” or the “recording at the one-time speed”. For example, when the recording request is issued in step S10 mentioned above, a recording method, namely, a mode to record at a high speed or a mode to record at the one-time speed is designated by the user. The “recording at the one-time speed” used here denotes the operation for reading out the CD 55 at the specified standard speed and recording data to the disc of the HDD 10. The “high speed recording” used here denotes the operation to read out the CD 55 at a speed that is two or more times as high as the specified standard speed and to record data to the disc of the HDD 10.

If the “high speed recording” is designated in step S11, the processing routine advances to step S12 and an accounting system of the servers 50 and 60 is activated. Processes by the accounting system of the servers 50 and 60 will be explained hereinlater. When the accounting process by the accounting system of the server 50 is performed and the “high speed recording” is permitted from the internet server 60 or another apparatus, the processing routine advances to step S13 and a high speed compressing process is activated in the compression encoder 12. The processing routine advances to step S15.

When the “recording at the one-time speed” is designated in step S11, the processing routine advances to step S14 and a low speed compressing process is activated in the compression encoder 12. The processing routine advances to step S15.

In step S15, the CD-ROM drive 9 is driven at a predetermined speed on the basis of the control of the CPU 8 and the music data recorded in the CD 55 loaded in the CD-ROM drive 9 is read out. The read-out music data is compression encoded by the compression encoder 12 and is transferred to the HDD 10 and recorded to the disc of the HDD 10.

In step S16, when it is determined that the transfer of the compression music data read out from the CD 55 to the HDD 10 has been finished, the transfer of the data from the CD-ROM drive 9 to the HDD 10 is inhibited in next step S17. The compressing process of the compression encoder 12 is stopped in further next step S18.

FIGS. 8A and 8B are flowcharts showing an example of the accounting process of the accounting system in step S12 of the foregoing flowchart of FIG. 7. The accounting process is performed by performing a data communication between the music server 50 and internet server 60. FIG. 8A shows an accounting process in the account processing system in the music server 50 and FIG. 8B shows an accounting process in the account processing system in the internet server 60.

When the accounting process is started, in step S20 in FIG. 8A, the communication is started between the music server 50 and internet server 60 by a predetermined protocol. In step S21, when the connection between the server 50 and server 60 is established and a state where the communication between the server 50 and server 60 is possible is confirmed, the processing routine advances to step S22.

In step S22, the TOC information of the CD 55 which is loaded in the CD-ROM drive 9 and is transferred and recorded to the HDD 10 is sent from the music server 50 to the internet server 60. High speed recording information showing the execution of the “high speed recording” is transmitted from the music server 50 to the internet server 60 together with the TOC information of the CD 55.

In FIG. 8B, on the other hand, in the internet server 60, the apparatus waits until the high speed recording information and TOC information are supplied or transmitted from the music server 50 (step S30). When the high speed recording information and the TOC information are received by the server 60, the information corresponding to the TOC information transmitted is retrieved in step S31 by using the database in the server 60 or an external database on the basis of the transmitted TOC information. By retrieving the TOC information, the CD 55 is specified.

The accounting process is performed in next step S32. A money amount to be accounted is calculated on the basis of the information such as the number of music pieces which were subjected to the “high speed recording” and, for example, the accounting can be performed by drawing money from an account of the bank designated by the user on the basis of the credit card number of the user which has previously been registered. The accounting method is not limited to this method. For instance, there is also considered a method whereby a function to read a prepaid card is provided for the music server 50, a set account money amount is sent to the music server 50, and the user pays the account money amount by allowing the accounted money amount to be subtracted from the prepaid card. On the basis of the TOC information, the account money amount can be changed or the recording to the disc of the HDD 10 of the music data read out from the CD 55 can be also inhibited in accordance with the contents of the CD 55.

In step S33, the accounting information is transmitted to the music server 50. In FIG. 8A, the contents of the transmitted accounting information is confirmed on the music server 50 side (step S23). On the internet server 60 side as well, a check is made to see if the accounting information has been received by the music server 50 (step S34). For instance, this checking operation is performed by transmitting data indicative of the completion of the confirmation from the music server 50 to the server 60 when it is confirmed that there is no error in the accounting information received on the music server 50 side and the accounting information has correctly been received.

Returning to FIG. 8A, when the accounting information received on the music server 50 side is confirmed in step S23, the processing routine advances to step S24 and the received accounting information or the like is displayed on the display unit 53. In step S25, the music data is read out from the CD 55 at a high speed by the CD-ROM drive 9. The compressing process is executed at a high compressing speed by the compression encoder 12. The compression music data from the compression encoder 12 is supplied to the HDD 10 and recorded to the disk of the HDD 10. Step S25 corresponds to step S15 in FIG. 7 mentioned above.

In the embodiment, the interlocking operation can be performed between the music server 50 and portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70. For example, when the music data is moved from the music server 50 to the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70, the interlocking operation between the server 50 and apparatus 70 is executed between them. FIG. 9 shows a flowchart of an example of such a movement.

In first step S40, a check is first made to see if the music server 50 and portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 have been connected by the interfaces 34 and 35. The connection between the server 50 and apparatus 70 is detected by, for example, transmitting and receiving a predetermined signal between the interfaces 34 and 35. The detection of the connection between the server 50 and apparatus 70 is not limited to this method but the connection between the server 50 and apparatus 70 can be also detected by using a mechanical detecting mechanism by providing a switching mechanism to the portion where the music server 50 and portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 are connected.

When the connection between the server 50 and apparatus 70 is confirmed in step S40, a check is made in next step S41 to see if the movement of the music data recorded and accumulated in the HDD 10 to the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 has been requested. For example, a list of the information as well as the music piece titles of the compression music data accumulated in the HDD 10 is displayed on the display unit 53 and the user selects predetermined compression music data from the list displayed in the display unit 53 by using a predetermined pointing device as an input operating unit 1. Further, an instruction for movement to the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 is inputted from the input operating unit 1 to the compression music data selected by the user.

Various methods of inputting the instruction for movement using the input operating unit 1 are considered. For example, a button to instruct the movement is displayed on the display unit 53 and by designating this button by using the pointing device of the input operating unit 1, the movement can be instructed. For example, the movement can be also instructed by using what is called a drag & drop such that an icon is displayed on the display unit 53 every compression music data and the icon displayed on the display unit 53 is moved onto an icon indicative of the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 on the movement destination side also displayed on the display unit 53. The movement can be also instructed by the operation of the operation switch provided for the input operating unit 1.

When it is determined in step S41 that there is a moving request of the compression music data, a file size of the compression music data whose movement has been designated, namely, a data amount is examined by, for example, the CPU 8 on the server 50 side in step S42. In next step S43, a vacant capacity of the HDD 106, namely, a recordable memory capacity is checked by, for example, the CPU 105 of the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70. The vacant capacity of the HDD 106 and the file size of the compression music data whose movement has been designated and which was examined in step S42 are compared by, for instance, the CPU 8 of the server 50 (step S43). On the basis of a comparison result in step S43, the CPU 8 discriminates whether the compression music data in which the movement has been designated can be recorded to the HDD 106. If it can be recorded to the HDD 106, the processing routine advances to step S45 and the transfer of the compression music data in which the movement from the server 50 toward the apparatus 70 has been designated is started.

When it is determined in step S43 that the vacant capacity in the HDD 106 of the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 is insufficient, the processing routine advances to step S44. In step S44, the compression music data which has already been recorded to the HDD 106 is deleted automatically or on the basis of a procedure or method, which will be explained hereinlater, by the CPU 105 of the apparatus 70 so that the compression music data whose movement has been designated can be recorded to the HDD 106. The processing routine advances to step S45.

The deletion of the compression music data in step S44 is automatically performed under control of the CPU 105 on the basis of a predetermined parameter in the compression music data which has already been recorded in the HDD 106. For example, in the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70, there is considered a method whereby the number of reproducing times is counted every compression music data recorded in the HDD 106 and the compression music data is sequentially deleted from the HDD 106 in accordance with the order from the data in which the number of reproducing times is small. The compression music data recorded on the HDD 106 can be also sequentially deleted from the data in which the date of recording to the HDD 106 is old.

There can be a situation such that when the compression music data is automatically deleted from the HDD 106 in step S44, the compression music data which is important to the user is deleted from the HDD 106. To prevent such a situation, it is also possible to display a warning showing that the apparatus is in an operating mode in which the compression music data is automatically deleted from the HDD 106, a list of data to be deleted is displayed, or the like to the display unit 53 of the music server 50 or the LCD 120 of the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 and to delete the compression music data from the HDD 106 after obtaining a confirmation of the user. It is also possible to use a method whereby a list of the compression music data which has already been recorded in the HDD 106 is displayed to the display unit 53 of the music server 50 or the LCD 120 of the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 and the user himself selects the compression music data to be deleted.

By the processes in steps S43 and S44 mentioned above, when the apparatus is set into a state where the compression music data whose movement has been designated in the compression music data stored on the HDD 10 can be recorded to the HDD 106, the transmission, namely, transfer of the compression music data from the music server 50 to the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 is started in step S45. That is, the compression music data read out from the HDD 10 is supplied to the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 through the bus 40 and interface 34. In the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70, the compression music data supplied through the interface 34 is recorded to the HDD 106 through the interface 35.

The transferred compression music data also exists in the HDD 10 on the music server 50 side in a manner similar to the case before the transfer to the apparatus 70. In the embodiment, the reproduction of the compression music data which has already been transferred to the apparatus 70, namely, the compression music data which has been moved to the apparatus 70 and exists in the HDD 10 is inhibited (step S46). For example, a reproduction inhibition flag indicative of the inhibition of the reproduction is set to the high level for the compression music data on the HDD 10 at a time point of the completion of the movement to the apparatus 70. By the reproduction inhibition flag, the reproduction of the compression music data moved to the apparatus 70 is inhibited by the CPU 8 of the server 50 and the compression music data stored on the HDD 10 is virtually moved from the music server 50 to the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70. Therefore, the music data which can be reproduced by the server 50 or apparatus 70 in a plurality of compression music data is managed so that only one data always exists, and the illegal copy of the music data is prevented.

In next step S47, a check is made to see if there is a moving request of the next compression music data to the apparatus 70. If the user further wants to move the other compression music data, the processing routine is returned to step S42. When there is not a moving request of music data any more, a series of moving processes of the music data is finished.

Although the explanation has been made above with respect to the case of moving one compression music data in a plurality of compression music data stored on the HDD 10 in steps S42 to S46 in the flowchart of FIG. 9 from the server 50 to apparatus 70, the invention is not limited to this example. A plurality of compression music data can be also collectively moved from the server 50 to the apparatus 70.

Although the description has been made in the foregoing embodiment on the assumption that, in the process in step S46, the compression music data itself exists on the HDD 10 of the music server 50 serving as a moving source side while the reproduction of the moved compression music data is merely inhibited, the invention is not limited to such an example and the moved compression music data can be also deleted from the HDD 10, namely, the data itself can be also erased.

The example in which the compression music data is moved from the music server 50 to the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 has been described in the above embodiment. However, the movement in the opposite direction, namely, the operation such that the compression music data recorded in the HDD 106 of the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 is moved to the HDD 10 of the music server 50 can be also executed in accordance with processes similar to those in the flowchart shown in FIG. 9.

In this instance, the compression music data moved from the music server 50 to the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 is again moved from the portable recording and reproducing apparatus 70 to the music server 50, so that the reproduction inhibition flag of the compression music data serving as a moving source of the compression music data moved from the apparatus 70 in a plurality of compression music data stored on the HDD 10 is cancelled in the music server 50. That is, the compression music data can be again reproduced in the music server 50 by cancelling the reproduction inhibition flag. At this time, as for the moved compression music data which has been stored on the HDD 106 of the apparatus 70, the data itself is deleted from the HDD 106 or the management data of the moved compression music data is deleted from the management table of the HDD 106.

The present invention is not limited to the foregoing embodiment but many modifications and variations are possible within the spirit and scope of the appended claims of the invention.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification709/250, 710/303, 710/100
International ClassificationG06F13/00, G11B27/10, G11B19/12, G11B7/28, G11B27/034, B65D81/32, G11B27/34, B65D51/28, G11B27/11, B65D25/08, G11B20/10, G11B27/00, G11B27/36, G11B20/00, G06F21/10
Cooperative ClassificationG11B2220/61, G11B2220/20, G11B20/00007, G11B27/36, G11B27/002, G11B27/034, G11B20/10527, G11B2220/213, G11B27/10, G11B19/12, G11B27/11, G11B2220/2545, G11B27/105, G11B27/34
European ClassificationG11B20/10C, G11B20/00C, G11B27/10A1, G11B27/34, G11B27/00A, G11B27/11, G11B27/36, G11B27/10, G11B27/034, G11B19/12
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 15, 2011CCCertificate of correction