Apple Employees Help Transcribe Music for iOS 13's New Real-Time Lyrics Feature


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

In an interview with WIRED, Apple Music head Oliver Schusser has revealed that Apple has a team of employees listening to songs and transcribing the lyrics to ensure they are accurate for iOS 13's new real-time lyrics feature:
In probably the most bizarre example of Apple spending to get the experience right, Schusser says that Apple has "a team of people listening to music and transcribing the lyrics" to ensure they're accurate enough for Apple Music's new time synced lyrics feature; "we don't get them from the usual sites."
With iOS 13's real-time lyrics feature, each verse appears in time with the music so you can follow along as you listen. To jump to a certain verse, just scroll and tap any line. The feature is not available for all songs.

The interview contains a few other notable tidbits from Beats 1 radio host Zane Lowe, including the possibility of the Apple Music Festival returning in the future and "some big new names" who will accompany Ebro Darden, Julie Adenuga, Matt Wilkinson, and himself as Beats 1 hosts in the future.

Full Interview: More radio, more live: where Apple Music's headed in 2020

Article Link: Apple Employees Help Transcribe Music for iOS 13's New Real-Time Lyrics Feature
Last edited:


macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
A lot of the songs I listen to don't even have lyrics still :(
Not even remotely surprising if this is the tactic Apple is taking. Apple has repeatedly demonstrated that they have less than zero interest in dealing with music that isn't the most popular.

I'm wondering whether this total abandonment of small artists is something Jobs would have approved of. Garage Band tells me no.
  • Like
Reactions: audiophilosophy


macrumors 68020
May 14, 2012
I wonder if Netflix does this. I had captioning on and they got a few words wrong.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 26, 2012
Apple originally wanted the Siri voice-to-text recognition algorithms to transcribe the songs but abandoned that approach when it was discovered that most of the songs were about restaurants that were close to you.

now i see it

macrumors 601
Jan 2, 2002
Since most lyrics are unintelligible in a lot of songs- I can't see this method as being all that accurate. Are we going to have beta versions of lyrics?
  • Like
Reactions: macfacts


macrumors 6502a
Nov 6, 2017
So that explains all the mistakes and poor quality lyrics I've seen.
- - Post merged: - -

I wonder if Netflix does this. I had captioning on and they got a few words wrong.
I've noticed horrendous captioning across all platforms in recent times. Simplified conversations that don't even match the original context with how overly simplified they are. Not just words, whole phrases and sentences altered.


macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2008
When I saw this feature on tvOS for the first time, I was very impressed by the timing. Found it better than many karaoke implementations that I've seen.
That’s only because you played the right tracks, I’m referring to some tracks not all of them obviously.


macrumors 68040
Feb 23, 2004
San Diego, CA, USA
I think that would be a job a whole lot of people would love to have.
Unless you get assigned a genre of music you don't like.
- - Post merged: - -

That explains why some are comically wrong
If you want comically wrong lyrics, watch music videos on YouTube with closed captions turned on with autogenerated captions - it approaches absurdist poetry sometimes.