Patent filings sometimes clue you in to the direction a company is headed with their devices. Sure, some are crazy and others are ridiculous, but you can get a general sense of what the company is trying to accomplish in those stencil-like drawings and comic-like blurbs.

Well, Apple has filed a patent that strongly hints toward developing an add-on/dongle/hub/dock-type device that will accept AM, FM, HD, or satellite radio along with cable TV, satellite TV, antenna, or IPTV. The multiple connecting devices, as shown in the patent filing, could range from being a dock, a stereo, or even a computer.

What makes this Apple patent unique is its ability to "tag" information about the current movie, TV show, or song, allowing you to save the information presumably to let iTunes develop a list of movies, shows, and music you might be interested in.

Honestly, I'm lukewarm about this "media extender" device coming into fruition partly because I would hate to have a dongle attached to my iPhone and more importantly, can't imagine Apple pushing media that isn't sold through their iTunes pipeline.

Either way, this patent filing makes for good conversation. What do you think?

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