Apple gets patent for cleaning up explicit streaming audio

Apple logo black canvasApple has received a patent for technology that censors bad language in music being streamed online. The system can identify explicit words in a song and either replace them with a beep or non-explicit lyrics, or it can simply lift the offending words out and leave only the music. The tech company filed for the patent, titled “Management, Replacement and Removal of Explicit Lyrics during Audio Playback,” in September 2014.

While this may seem like bad news for the people who were thrown by the clean versions getting airplay on Beats 1, it isn’t clear yet when or how Apple might choose to employ its newly patented system. The company has a reputation for keeping things squeaky clean on its App Store. And according to the filing, the technology could also be applied to other forms of media, cleaning up sex scenes or cursing in audiobooks as well.

Anna Washenko