Google Podcasts is now transcribing each of its episodes automatically, making it easier for listeners to search for them. The transcripts are reportedly being used as metadata by Google to help users find the podcasts that they want to listen to even without knowing the title or date they were published.
While Google has not issued any statement yet about the new feature, plans of using transcripts for improving the search experience of users had been vocally shared by the company before its launch.
In an interview last year, Google Podcasts product manager Zack Reneau-Wedeen mentioned that Google would eventually have the ability to: “transcribe the podcast and use that to understand more details about the podcast, including when they are discussing different topics in the episode.”
Reneau-Wedeen was quoted as saying:
“It’s important to say that this technology is still improving, and some of our vision here is probably a little more long-term than what we’ve talked about so far. Still, it’s an exciting motivator for us to try to make these experiences possible.”
How Google Podcasts Transcribes its Episodes
Unlike the normal user-facing transcriptions that users can see on screen, Google Podcasts transcriptions are not visible to users while they are listening to shows. Since the transcriptions are considered metadata, they can only be seen in the source page of the podcasts web portal.
The feature is powered by Google’s Cloud Speech-to-Text transcription technology. The transcriptions can now allow Google to include timestamps on podcasts episodes, index each content, or make the text searchable for listeners.
Aside from that, Google can now also understand the content and context of each podcast episode better without relying on the vague notes and descriptions provided by the podcasters.
While the transcriptions are already helpful in searching for shows efficiently, many Google Podcasts users are still hoping that Google would consider launching it as a user-facing feature soon.