How To Use iOS 17.4 Podcast Transcripts?

Apple’s iOS 17.4 update introduces a highly anticipated new feature – live podcast transcripts. Now you can follow along with the words as you listen to your favorite podcasts right in the Apple Podcasts app. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to use podcast transcripts on iOS 17.4.

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Accessing Podcast Transcripts

The transcript feature is easy to find. Just open the Apple Podcasts app and start playing an episode. At the bottom of the Now Playing screen, you’ll see a new “quote bubble” icon. Tap on this to bring up the live transcript.

The transcript will automatically scroll and highlight words as the podcast plays. You can also manually scroll through and read the transcript like any other text document.

Not all podcast episodes will have a transcript right away. Transcripts are initially available for Apple’s featured podcasts and new episodes. But over time, Apple plans to add transcripts for all podcasts in its catalog.

What is Requirements for Transcripts

For podcast episodes to get automatic transcripts, they need to meet certain requirements:

  • The podcast must be in English, French, German or Spanish. Transcripts aren’t yet available for other languages.
  • The episode needs to be at least 5 minutes long. Shorter episodes won’t get transcripts.
  • The episode has to contain a sufficient amount of speech. Episodes with too much background noise or music may not be transcribed.

So if you don’t see a transcript option for an episode, it likely doesn’t meet these requirements yet. But Apple is continuously improving the transcription process and adding support for more podcasts.

Reading and Navigating Transcripts

The podcast transcript acts much like any text document. You can:

  • Scroll up and down to read different parts of the transcript.
  • Search for keywords by tapping the search icon and typing a term. This highlights matching sections.
  • Tap and hold on any word to select it. Drag the selection handles to highlight a section of text.
  • Tap on a paragraph indent icon to collapse or expand that section of text.
  • Tap on the “A” icon to change text size, font and background color.

So transcripts offer a great way to skim through episodes, re-read certain sections, or find that perfect quote you want to share.

Syncing to Audio

Here’s where transcripts really shine – you can tap on any word or sentence to immediately jump to that spot in the audio. The podcast will begin playing from that exact moment.

Likewise, as you listen to the episode, the transcript text is highlighted in real-time. This keeps you visually synced to the audio.

Having the written words sync up with the spoken audio makes it really easy to:

  • Clarify a section you didn’t understand the first time.
  • Repeat an important point or quote.
  • Skip ahead to later sections.
  • See the spelling of names or words you’re unfamiliar with.

So transcripts transform the listening experience, making podcasts more engaging, useful and accessible.

How to use Adding Custom Transcripts as a Podcaster

While Apple provides automatic transcripts for podcast episodes, creators can also add their own custom transcripts. Here are a few reasons you may want to do this:

  • You want transcripts available for episodes under 5 minutes long.
  • You need transcripts for non-English episodes.
  • You want to ensure maximum accuracy with no transcription errors.
  • You want transcripts for sponsor reads, interviews or call-ins that automated transcripts can’t handle.
  • You want additional rich text formatting, images or interactive elements in the transcripts.

To add a custom transcript, you’ll need to edit the settings in Apple Podcasts Connect. Here are the steps:

Step#1.In Apple Podcasts Connect, open the podcast settings and go to Episode Transcript Availability.

Step#2.Change the default setting to “Use a custom setting for this podcast.”

Step#3.Scroll down to the episode you want to add a transcript for.

Step#4.Choose “Use a custom setting for this episode.”

Step#5.Set the Transcript Availability to Yes.

Step#6.Hit Save in the upper right corner

Now when you upload your next episode, you can include your transcript file. It will then appear in the Podcasts app.

You have a lot of flexibility in how you create the transcript files:

  • Simple text or RTF files work well.
  • For richer formatting, use HTML or PDF files.
  • Insert images, headers, bullet points or other elements as needed.
  • Link out to footnotes or sources for a more interactive experience.

Just make sure the transcript content aligns accurately with the audio timing. This ensures the syncing works properly. Detailed time stamps are best for longer, complex transcripts.

Downloading and Editing Transcripts

Whether you want to copy a quote, make edits, or export transcripts for your own records, you can download any podcast transcript right from the Podcasts app.

Here’s how:

Step#1.Open the transcript you want to download.

Step#2.Tap the share icon in the top right corner.

Step#3.Choose “Download Transcript” from the menu.

Step#4.Pick a format – plain text, RTF, PDF, or web archive. The web archive bundles the audio, transcript and metadata into one file.

Step#5.The transcript will download directly to your device.

You can now open the transcript file and use it however you need. For minor edits, you can make changes directly in the downloaded file.

But for significant revisions, you’ll need to re-upload the transcript to your podcast hosting platform. Check with your provider on the proper workflow. Often you’ll update the transcript link or file in your podcast RSS feed.

Podcast Transcripts – Key Takeaways

Here are some top highlights about the new live podcast transcripts feature in iOS 17.4:

  • View interactive, scrolling transcripts synced to the podcast audio.
  • Easily search, highlight, and navigate episodes.
  • Adds accessibility for hearing-impaired listeners.
  • Find spoken words you didn’t catch upon first listen.
  • Hosts can provide their own custom transcripts.
  • Download transcripts for editing, sharing and archiving.
  • Supported for English, Spanish, German and French podcasts.
  • Available for new episodes from top podcasts, with more added over time.

So transcripts make it easier than ever to get the most out of your favorite podcasts. Whether listening for learning, entertainment or convenience, you can now follow along with the spoken words right in the app. It’s an exciting new chapter in the podcasting experience on iOS.

Frequently Asked Questions About Podcast Transcripts

What podcasts support transcripts?

Initially, transcripts are available for new episodes of Apple’s featured podcasts and top podcasts on the platform. Over time, Apple plans to add support for transcripts across its entire podcast catalog.

Are transcripts available for all languages?

Right now transcripts only support English, Spanish, French, and German. Support for additional languages is expected in future iOS updates.

How accurate are the automated transcripts?

Accuracy will vary depending on the podcast episode’s audio quality. Well-recorded speech in a studio environment will see the highest accuracy. Live recordings or poor audio may have more errors.

Can podcasters edit the automated transcripts?

Hosts cannot directly edit the machine-generated transcripts. But they can provide their own custom transcripts that will override the automated ones.

Why don’t old podcast episodes have transcripts?

It takes time for Apple to process back catalog podcast audio to add transcripts. Older episodes will see transcripts added over time.

Can listeners export transcripts to other apps?

Yes, podcast transcripts can be downloaded in text, RTF, PDF or web archive files. These can be opened in other apps for notes, highlights, citations and more.

How much does it cost to add transcripts?

For listeners, transcripts are free. Apple generates them automatically. Podcasters pay to host their shows on Apple, but transcripts don’t incur any additional fees. Custom transcripts just require some one-time setup.

Are transcripts available on other podcast platforms?

Currently, interactive synced transcripts are unique to Apple Podcasts on iOS 17.4. But other apps may add similar features over time. Third-party transcription services are also available.

So those are the details on how to make use of podcast transcripts on iOS 17.4! Let us know if you have any other questions. Happy podcasting!                                

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