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How to use the new transcripts feature in Apple Podcasts

Automatically generated podcast transcripts are now available in the Apple Podcasts app and are one of the most useful features in the latest version of iOS. and iPadOS 17.4 update. Here's how to try it for yourself.

The release of iOS 17.4 brings a number of new features to Apple device users, including a feature for podcast listeners. Starting with iOS and iPadOS 17.4, and macOS Sonoma 14.4, Apple Podcasts app listeners can access automatically generated transcripts of the shows they love.

Initially, only shows in English, French, Spanish and German will receive automatically generated transcripts, but Apple will likely expand the number of languages ​​supported over time.

How to use the feature decryption on iOS/iPadOS

After updating your device to iOS or iPadOS 17.4, open the Apple Podcasts app and select a podcast to play. Once your device starts playing, you'll see a Now Playing screen with a podcast image or logo at the top and play/pause controls at the bottom.

New is the speech bubble icon in the lower left corner of the screen.

If you don't see it, you may have an older iPhone and it's because the playback controls banner is blocking it. You can either click on the banner to open it full screen or simply click the three dots button in the top right corner of the screen.

The transcript will open and each word will be highlighted as it is spoken. You can scroll up and down the podcast transcript, and clicking on a word will “skip” the audio to that point.

There is also a Search button at the bottom of the transcript page that you can use to search for a word, phrase, name, or other text. Using search, you will go to the first mention of the search term and find out how many times it appears in the transcript.

Next to the number of mentions in the search field, “up” and “down” carats are indicated, allowing you to move to the next or previous instance of the search query. The audio will also jump to that point and continue playing unless you pause it.

This provides an easy way to search a podcast for a specific quote or term used by one of the speakers. This makes it easy to highlight and copy for use elsewhere or define a word unfamiliar to the listener.

How to use the feature decryption on Mac

Although Apple strangely doesn't mention it, the transcription feature is also available in the Podcast app for Mac after you update your computer to macOS Sonoma 14.4. You can find it by playing the selected podcast and then clicking the three dots menu to the right of the play/resume button to access more options.

Clicking on “View Transcript” shows a scrollable transcript, but at least not yet highlights each word as it is pronounced, as it does in the iOS/iPadOS version. However, there is a small search icon in the top right corner, and unlike the mobile versions, the websites mentioned are highlighted directly in the transcript and can be navigated directly there, something that is not yet possible in the iOS/iPadOS version.

Transcribed version of the Podcast app for Mac, with mentioned websites highlighted and clickable

How creators can customize their transcripts

Podcast creators can still choose to submit their own transcripts or add VTT to RSS feed of your podcasts to differentiate between different speakers. Currently, the podcast transcript produced by Apple does not do this.

You can also download and edit the Apple-generated transcript and submit it with a link to the new file in your RSS feed. Be sure to check with your hosting provider to see if they support downloaded transcripts, otherwise you may simply rely on the Apple-generated transcript.

However, our sample of transcripts shows that Apple's version is surprisingly accurate, leaving out minor annoyances such as “uh…” or coughing and similar unfinished statements. While speaker names or separation are not yet available for most podcasts, paragraph breaks serve a similar function — as well as the individual topics discussed.

Apple notes that transcripts can also help users learn new languages ​​by reading and listening to the pronunciation of words. However, Apple transcripts currently cannot convert from one language to another.

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