Apple Podcasts to get auto-generated transcripts in iOS 17.4

Among the changes in iOS 17.4 is support for auto-generated transcripts in the Apple Podcasts app, making it easier for listeners to follow along to their favorite shows. Transcripts will only appear for English, French, German, and Spanish-language podcasts. It’ll be available in over 170 countries and regions.

Similar to how lyrics work in Apple Music, users can view a live text version of an episode, and the words are highlighted as they listen. Users can also tap anywhere in the transcript to play the episode at that specific spot. To pull up the transcript, users click on the new “quote” icon at the bottom of the Now Playing screen. In addition, there’s a way to view the transcript without listening by holding down on the episode details page and selecting “View Transcript.”

Every time a new episode is published, a transcript is automatically generated by Apple’s software. Understandably, the company says there will be a “short delay” while it processes the transcript, so it may not show up immediately after the episode is uploaded. Back catalog episodes will get transcriptions “over time,” the company wrote.

Creators can also release their own transcripts by changing the setting in Apple Podcasts Connect within the Availability tab. However, it’s important to note that uploaded transcripts won’t be displayed if it doesn’t meet Apple’s standards. For instance, there should be no spelling or punctuation errors.

The company states that episodes with cross-talk — multiple speaking at the same time — may “limit the quality of the transcription.” Transcripts also aren’t displayed for “explicit episodes” when content restrictions are turned on. Additionally, Apple won’t transcribe music lyrics.

Apple released iOS 17.4 in beta today, with most of the changes affecting EU developers, including a new fee structure, new frameworks and APIs for alternative browser engines, and new options to distribute iOS apps from alternative app stores. iOS 17.4 is expected to be released to the public in March.

Earlier this week, Apple made iOS 17.3 widely available, giving users access to its Stolen Device Protection feature and collaborative playlists for Apple Music.

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