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Apple has a team of people transcribing song lyrics for Apple Music

Time Synced Lyrics on iOS 13
Time Synced Lyrics on iOS 13 (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple launched time synced lyrics with iOS 13.
  • The feature allows users to follow along.
  • Apple has a team of people manually transcribing lyrics.

In a longer piece about Apple Music by Wired, the folks at Cult of Mac were able to spot one particularly interesting little tidbit. It turns out that Apple has a team of people transcribing songs.

That, according to Oliver Schusser, head of Apple Music, ensures that the lyrics used in the time synced lyric feature – added as part of iOS 13 – are as accurate as possible. After all, you don't want to find out the words are wrong when you're in the middle of an impromtu karaoke session, right?

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."

The point about Apple spending money to get the experience right is an interesting one to bring up. There have been many times in recent years where the fix seemed to be Apple throwing money at the problem, but it refused to do so. App Store review times were one prime example, with developers complaining that it took too long to get apps into the store. Simply growing the App Store review team by a huge number was believed to be the most likely fix.

It seems that this time Apple took the "hit it with cash" approach with Apple Music.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

2 Comments
  • Well hopefully they get it right. I’ve run across some incorrect lyrics. The chorus is wrong in Lauren Daigle’s song “Still Rolling Stones”
  • I think that's the reason for the manual transcription, many other music services simply buy their data or just copy it from somewhere without proofreading, which is what causes the errors