Published for the first time on Thursday, the filing lays out improved techniques for rendering a peripheral -- such as an iPod or iPhone -- removable from a host computer without the user first having to perform preparatory unmounting actions through software.
"In effect, the peripheral device can be automatically prepared for removal in the event that its user removes (unplugs) it from its host computer," Apple explained in the filing.
The invention calls for devices with their own means of data storage -- such as iPods -- to be mounted to a file system of the host computer when the host computer desires access, but otherwise to be "normally unmounted so that if the peripheral device were to be removed (e.g., unplugged) no harm or damage to data stored therein would occur."
For instance, an iPod would be accessible to the host computer during synchronization but then unmounted once synchronization has completed. "Such synchronization can be achieved in a sophisticated manner through comparison of media information" stored on both the player and the host computer, Apple said.