Time synced lyrics

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.