Apple Inc. (Cupertino, CA)

These systems allow for automatic logins to content provider applications. Operating systems store the credentials for authentication of the applications and can be used to launch the content provider apps.

Many modern computing devices provide options that let users consume streaming media. A smartphone, laptop or set-top box may be configured to have applications from different content providers. This allows the user to access content offered by the servers of the respective content providers. When the user wishes to see a particular item (e.g. film or television show. The user can launch the app of the content provider, look for or browse the content item and watch the content when it is offered by the service provider. The application for content providers can be used to see the content that the user has seen before, get recommendations for new content, and then resume watching content that the user has watched in part.

However it is true that the process of locating the item of content by calling several different content provider applications could be lengthy, burdensome, and costly to the user if the user does not realize that the content is free on one platform and is charged on another. Furthermore, the user could overlook that they have accessed a content item from one service and not the other and spend time trying to continue watching the content item by attempting to locate the content by using a provider who does not offer the content item. Thus, a more efficient method that allows a user to browse, search or continue to watch content from different content providers is required.

The systems discussed herein comprise an all-encompassing watch and browse list which can provide a centralized user interface to display recently watched or recommended content, as well as for continuing watching content from different content providers. A media device may include multiple apps from content providers to view media items. When a content provider application presents a media item the application can send playback status information to a Content aggregator app on the device. The content aggregator application will provide the playback status data to a server for content aggregators. The content aggregator application will communicate with a aggregator server to determinewhich content providers are able to provide the media item that is played or other related media items. The content aggregator application provides a central user interface that permits the user to initiate playback of the media items offered by various content providers.

Specific implementations could have the following benefits, but they are not an essential feature in any form of. The media device permits users to select the media content item that they want to playback using any application regardless of the source. The content played by the media devices does not necessarily have to be from the same vendor or content source as the one it before. A media device can be configured to determine the best content provider and provide the highest quality content (e.g. the best quality, the lowest cost, no advertisements, and the most affordable). to playback the source content and then invoke the appropriate apps for media content providers without any involvement by the user.

The drawings that accompany the descriptions below offer details about one or more implementations. Additional features, aspects and benefits could be obvious from the drawings and claims.

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