Apple adding transcripts to Apple Podcasts

JANUARY 26, 2024

In an email to Apple Podcasts Connect, Apple announced today they will be displaying transcripts of podcasts in Apple Podcasts, which will be generated by them.

To make podcasts accessible to more users, we’re adding transcripts to Apple Podcasts. Listeners will be able to read along while your podcast plays or access a transcript from your episode page.

Apple Podcasts will start to automatically create and display transcripts for your shows, or you can provide your own. Learn more about our newest feature.

This is a great feature which, if their transcripts are accurate enough, may render useless the countless hours of manual transcription or manual AI-transcript editing to make sure the produced transcripts are accurate.

I wondered whether Apple would allow podcast creator edits when AI gets parts of the transcripts wrong. The answer is yes; transcripts can be provided via podcasts' RSS feeds or uploaded to Apple Podcasts.

Apple will automatically generate episode transcripts for your show. You can also provide your own transcripts through RSS or upload. Displaying transcripts will make your podcast more accessible.

Apple lists two options. "Only display auto-generated transcripts by Apple" and "Display transcripts I provide, or auto-generated transcripts by Apple if one isn't provided."

If you choose to provide your own transcripts, we will ingest them using the RSS transcript tag. […] All transcripts are subject to quality standards. Files that do not meet standards will not be displayed.

You can download and edit transcripts in Apple Podcasts Connect, make changes, and link the new file to your RSS feed. For this, Apple has added the new tag <podcast:transcript> to specify "a link to the episode transcript in the Closed Caption format. Apple Podcasts will prefer VTT format over SRT format if multiple instances are included."

You should use this tag when you have a valid transcript file available for users to read. Specify the link to your transcript in the url attribute of the tag. A valid type attribute is also requried. Learn more about namespace RSS tags on the Github repository.

Options for displaying transcripts are available in Apple Podcasts Connect for each show.

I'm looking forward to this amazing feature. It will make the vast catalog of existing podcasts more accessible.