iOS 17.4 Brings Auto-Generated Transcripts to Apple Podcasts

Transcripts on Apple Podcasts iOS 17 4 800x457 Credit: Apple
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Apple released the first developer seed of its iOS 17.4 beta this week, and among several new features that the new beta brings are some enhancements to Apple’s Podcasts app.

Most significantly, Apple Podcasts now includes auto-generated transcripts. The app automatically generates podcast transcripts after an episode is published, and these published transcripts can then be viewed in the app similar to how lyrics work in Apple’s Music app. Further, listeners can also search the episode for a specific word or phrase, and then tap the text to begin playing from that point in the episode.

From Apple:

How it works

With transcripts, your audience can read the full text of an episode, search the episode for a specific word or phrase, and tap the text to play from that point in the episode. As an episode plays, each word is highlighted, making it easy to follow along. Transcripts can also be accessed from the episode details page. Touch and hold a podcast episode to reveal an option to view a transcript.

Apple automatically generates transcripts after a new episode is published. Your episode will be available for listening right away, and the transcript will be available shortly afterwards. There will be a short delay while we process your transcript. If portions of your episode change with dynamically inserted audio, Apple Podcasts will not display the segments of the audio that have changed since the original transcription. Music lyrics are also not displayed in the transcripts.

Transcripts will be available with the release of iOS 17.4 for podcasts in English, French, German, and Spanish and available in over 170 countries and regions. Transcriptions for back catalog episodes of podcasts will be added over time.

The Apple Podcasts app’s “Now Playing” screen displays a new “quote” icon located in the bottom toolbar that users can tap to view an episode’s transcript.

Users can also read a plaintext version of the transcript without listening to the episode by tapping and holding on an episode, then tapping View Transcript.

Apple tells podcasters that in order to provide the best experience for their audience, they should make sure of the following:

  • That the audio quality is high and meets Apple’s requirements.
  • That the podcast’s language is set correctly in the RSS feed or in Apple Podcasts Connect.
  • That the show’s and episode’s explicit setting is set correctly. Transcripts will not be displayed for explicit episodes when a user has content restrictions enabled.

If podcasters are providing their own transcripts, they need to make sure that they have provided the correct file type (VTT or SRT), that the transcripts are free of spelling and punctuation errors, and that the transcript includes all segments of the podcast episode.

Apple also made an additional small change in the Apple Podcasts app in iOS 17.4, giving the “Now Playing” bottom navigation bar a new floating design, similar to the one in Apple Music.

Podcasters can learn more information on the Apple Podcasts for Creators website.

It should be noted that this is a beta release, so features in the app and the operating system could either change or be removed before Apple releases iOS 17.4 to the public.

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