Apple launches 'auto transcripts' for podcasts — now you can read along to your favorite shows

Apple Podcasts app
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple will transcribe any new podcast and allow for searching within the show as well as jumping to specific points in the audio. Branded as an accessibility feature, it will also make content discovery within a long show much easier.

Transcriptions is available within the Apple Podcasts app and producers can edit the auto-generated transcription made by Apple, or replace it with their own transcript if it is something already produced.

The transcripts will be available for English, French, German and Spanish-speaking podcasts soon after uploading and available wherever the Apple Podcasts app is available.

How does podcast transcription work?

Apple will transcribe podcasts

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple’s updated podcast app makes use of speech-to-text AI tools running on Apple's servers to generate the transcript soon after publication.

The final transcription is based on the main file uploaded for the show so won't include any commercials added automatically by third-party advertising services.

Apple says the transcription will only transcribe spoken words. No music lyrics will be included and if podcasters want to include lyrics they'd need to provide their own transcription.

While it is focusing on providing transcripts for all new episodes, Apple says it will add transcription to older episodes over time. 

“Introducing transcripts on Apple Podcasts builds on Apple’s commitment to making products and services for everyone,” said Sarah Herrlinger, Apple’s senior director, Global Accessibility Policy & Initiatives. “We are thrilled to make transcripts widely available for all, adding an additional layer of accessibility to the Podcasts experience.”

What are the main features?

Apple Podcast transcription

(Image credit: Apple)

As well as providing a text version of the content, the new transcription feature will allow listeners to jump to a specific point or even search for a particular reference inside the podcast.

Apple says listeners will also be able to read along with the podcast, as each word can be highlighted as it's said out loud by the podcast host or their guests.

The transcription and "read along" is available through a quote icon in the bottom left of the screen while the podcast is playing.

To listen to a specific point within the podcast just scroll through the transcript and click a word or phrase. The audio will automatically jump to that point.

Apple says in its guide for podcasters that transcripts can also be accessed from the episode details page. Simply: “touch and hold a podcast episode to reveal an option to view a transcript.”

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