Apple’s famed audio director, inventor of Lucasfilm THX Sound System, invents next-gen audio system

“Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a key patent application from Apple that relates to a system and method for controlling the directivity of dialogue channels separate from music and effects channels in a piece of sound program content for movies and television,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple. “To understand the importance of this invention long term for Apple, you have to know the inventor that is now the Audio Director at Apple.”

“Apple’s audio director is none other than Tomlinson M. Holman who is an American film theorist, audio engineer, and inventor of film technologies, notably the Lucasfilm THX sound system,” Purcher reports. “He developed the world’s first ‘10.2 sound system,’ and now he’s working on a new advanced sound system for Apple.”

“In one patent point Apple notes that ‘the listening area may be a room within a house or a commercial establishment or an outdoor area (e.g., an amphitheater),'” Purcher reports. “That last point is very interesting considering that Apple’s future flagship store in Milan is to incorporate and amphitheater, as noted in our cover graphic. More than likely the new sound system will be put to the test at this future location which will make the introduction of the amphitheater in Milan all that more exciting to see unfold.”

Much more, including Apple patent application illustrations, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple iPod Hi-Fi 2. 😉

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. Great news! I’m so tired have having the music and sound effects drowned out the dialogue. Soon, I’ll be able to hear what the characters are saying! Yes.

          1. You have a neighbor who beats his wife every day.
            One day, he says something nice to you.
            You still feel negatively towards him and give him the cold shoulder – or tell him to fuck off.
            I think that is completely reasonable and appropriate… and does not make you the same as him.
            I think the overall context of the person’s day to day behavior is the critical fact… and that the isolated neutral or even nice action does not have to be judged as a factor isolated from the violent jerk.

            1. Fuckin’ nutcase… You are completely unable to express disagreement with anyone without insane rudeness and insult. I just insult YOU because you are The Belligerent Asswipe.

  2. I’ve often thought similar vocal emphasized audio systems should be invented for live performance. How often do you go to see a group in some venue you aren’t familiar with and can’t hardly make out any of the words being sung? So like, what’s the point of going besides drinking and creating mischief? P.A. systems, besides just making things loud, are woefully behind in intelligible acoustics.

  3. I used my iPod Hi-Fi quite a bit back in the day. I never understood why Apple didn’t put an AirPort card inside it so I could stream content from my iMac to it.

  4. I love my iPod HiFi. It’s still going strong as a TV soundbar connected with an optical cable. Sounds amazing to me, easy to forget it’s 10 years old!

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