Many podcasts you come across will tell you to check the episode notes for information and links on the topic of that show. Easy enough, unless you’re using Apple Podcasts, where these episode notes don’t seem to be anywhere at all. Fortunately, they just hide in plain sight.
To access the notes, you need to add the episode to your library (tap the plus icon (+) before the episode) or subscribe to the podcast (tap “Subscribe” on the series page). You will see later why this is important. However, it is only necessary to stay in the Podcasts app; there is a way to see the episode notes outside of Podcasts if you don̵
Option 1: Find them in Now Playing
One way to see the notes is to play the podcast episode. Again, you’ll want to subscribe to the podcast first or add the episode to your library.
During playback, tap or pull up the Now Playing bar to open the full screen if it is not already showing, and swipe up on the expanded Now Playing pane to view it. Sleep timer and full Episode Notes under the player. By default, the notes are hidden, so you have to tap “Show” to show them.
below Episode Notesyou will find the full description of the episode itself, including more information on all the topics discussed. Sometimes podcast hosts include links for further reading or viewing for topics they don’t have time for or for a visual component that you can’t get from the audio experience alone.
Option 2: Find them by browsing
As long as you have subscribed to the podcast show or added the episode of the show to your library, you can view the episode notes in the Listen Now, Browse, or Library tabs. The easiest way to test it out is something in your library, so tap “Library” at the bottom, then the show and select “Details” under the episode you want.
Unlike option 1, you will see both the episode short description and the episode notes. Podcasters often use the same text for each podcast, and in those cases, you may only see the description or episode notes, not both.
Option 3: Find them on the Internet
If you’re not interested in subscribing to the podcast or adding the episode to your library, there is another way to view the episode notes. First, find the show under the “Listen Now” or “Browse” tab and open it. You can also search for a specific episode or the name of the show in Search, then select the show or episode from the results.
When you open a show’s page, you can find the episode in the episode list. Tap “Details” below the episode to see more information about it. If you’ve tapped an episode directly from a search, you’re already there.
Here you can see the short description of the episode. In some cases this could be the same as the episode notes, but only if the podcast creator used the same text for both elements. Under the short description, tap on “Delivery Web Page” and it will redirect to Safari or whatever browser you have set as the default on iOS 14 and above. There you can see the short description (or summary) of the show as well as the notes of the entire segment.
Not all podcast episodes have a web page available, so keep that in mind. It’s most common when podcasters use a hosting service such as Transistor or an RSS feed.
Episode Descriptions vs. Delivery Notes
When podcasters list their podcast chapters, there is a place for the short description (or summary) of the episode and a place for the full episode notes. Often times, creators will copy / paste the same text to both elements, whether encoded with HTML or not, and so you may see the same for both in either of the options above.
For example, in many if not all of The Daily’s episodes, they use the same content for both the summary and notes, so you’ll see the same thing whether you subscribe to the podcast, add the episode to your library, or neither. And in my example, there is no web page available for The Daily’s programs – sometimes you see what you get across the board.
To get a better idea of how these things differ, Podnews’ James Cridland has a great explainer that helps break down everything from an RSS feed.
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