Apple Podcasts is receiving a useful new feature in iOS 17.4 – automatic transcription of episodes. The transcripts will allow listeners to search podcasts and jump to specific sections.
Transcripts will be generated automatically using Apple’s software shortly after new episodes are uploaded. They will support English, French, German, and Spanish initially and be available in over 170 countries.
With transcripts, Apple Podcasts users can search for keywords or phrases and tap on a result to skip to that spot in the episode. Readers can follow along as the transcript highlights words while the podcast plays. Access transcripts via the new quote icon in the player toolbar.
While transcripts are auto-generated, podcast creators have options too. They can provide their own transcripts if desired. Or they can download Apple’s transcript, edit it, and reupload a revised version. However, music lyrics won’t be included in the transcriptions.
Back catalog episodes will gain transcripts gradually over time as Apple’s systems process the audio.
The addition of transcripts makes Apple Podcasts far more accessible. Follow along with the text if you’re hard of hearing. Easily find relevant sections to revisit without scrubbing through the episode. And discover new podcasts by searching through transcripts for topics of interest.
Transcripts join other recent Apple Podcasts improvements like channels and enhanced show pages. Apple continues to invest in podcasting as it remains a popular audio medium, though facing stiff competition from Spotify.
iOS 17.4 with podcast transcripts will likely be released publicly in March, update also includes Apple’s App Store changes for the EU like sideloading and alternate app stores. Support for next-generation CarPlay expands too.
Overall, automatic transcription makes Apple Podcasts a much more engaging listening experience. Podcast creators also gain helpful tools to make their shows more discoverable and shareable.