Apple is bringing auto transcripts for podcasts in iOS 17.4

iOS 17 logo on iPhone
(Image credit: Future)

Apple is launching auto transcripts for podcasts in iOS 17.4 and it will allow for searching within the show as well as jumping to specific points in the audio.

Transcriptions will be available within the Apple Podcasts app and producers will be able to edit the auto-generated transcription or replace it with their own transcript.

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.

Other updates coming with iOS 17.4 include new emojis, messaging with Siri and the first steps towards offering alternative app stores.

How does podcast transcription work?

Apple will transcribe podcasts

(Image credit: Apple)

Currently only available to iOS 17.4 developer beta users, Apple’s updated podcast app makes use of speech-to-text AI tools to generate the transcript.

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. Making it available now will ensure most podcasts have consistent transcription by the time iOS 17.4 launches to the public — likely around March.

What are the main features?

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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