“On June 9, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for playlist creation in iTunes,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

Advertisement: Education pricing. Students and faculty save up to $200 on a new Mac. Only at the Apple Online Store.

“Instead of playlists being presented in text form, Apple is proposing the organization of your playlists into searchable Mosaic Icons that could be set in various grid arrangements of your choosing,” Purcher reports. “New navigational controls associated with the new iTune playlist icons will allow users to quickly navigate or browse through the items in the list without having to open a new view.”

Purcher reports, “To allow for this new form of graphical playlist design, Apple will have to either redesign iTunes or recreate a new Summary iTunes tab within iTunes that could present pages of your new playlists that are in mosaic icon form. Apple’s proposed icon system could also be technically applied to folders in a typical computer directory structure containing subfolders.”

More info, including Apple’s patent application illustrations, the full article here.