February 25, 2024

Catching up on a new podcast should get easier very soon. Apple has announced that it will automatically transcribe podcasts, which should allow more people to enjoy episodes. Apple Podcast will allow creators to upload their own transcript for display or opt for Apple to create one.

There are some caveats to be aware of, though. Apple Podcasts should start creating the transcription when the episode is uploaded. However, it has a “short delay” until it’s available, so people eager to play their favorite podcast right away will have to wait for an unspecified amount of time (Apple tells podcasters to give it at least 24 hours after uploading an episode). It’s likely that the longer the episode is, the longer the transcription will take to be ready. The transcription will also not update if parts of the recording are changed with dynamically inserted audio, and it won’t display music lyrics.

Podcasters must follow Apple’s quality requirements for their episodes to get correctly transcribed. According to Apple, podcasts with people talking over each other or music might not have as good a transcription. If someone chooses to upload their own, it must be a VTT or SRT file. A podcaster can also edit a transcription for greater accuracy.

Apple Podcasts’ transcriptions should launch in the spring on iOS 17.4 in English, German, Spanish and French. The feature is available in over 170 countries and regions, with older episodes getting transcribed over time.