- 1 What Is TranscribeMe!?
- 2 What Is The TranscribeMe Business Opportunity
- 3 What Does A Transcriber Do?
- 4 Application & Qualification Procedure – Requirements
- 5 How Much Does TranscribeMe Pay?
- 6 How Does It All Work?
- 7 What Are The TranscribeMe Complaints?
- 8 Is TranscribeMe A Good Opportunity For You?
UPDATE: July 3, 2018
I wrote this review 3 years ago, June 23, 2015 to be precise, and it still draws OVER 3,500 readers every month. 82% of those visitors arrive at this article through ‘google search‘ and spend and average of 6:39 minutes on the page (thank you Google Analytics).
This high interest in my review gave me 3,500 reasons for an update. I revisited TranscribeMe to see IF any significant changes took place over the past 3 years.
Basically, they are doing business as they did 3 years ago…people still complaining about ‘unfair reviewers (editors)’, lousy pay and lack of support.
However, I detected a couple of additional tidbits I think are worth letting you know about and added them below.
“Monetize your Downtime” and join a highly acclaimed ‘work from home’ opportunity. This is a pretty good catch phrase aimed at folks looking to earn money from the comfort of their home. Needless to say that the phrase caught my interest and I set out to find out if this opportunity is indeed a good way to make an income in ‘your downtime’.
No matter if you are retired, a student, a stay home Mom or Dad, or even make some money online already, there may be a good chance you are looking for an additional income stream. The subject of my review today is a company that claims to provide the perfect opportunity to do just that.
What Is TranscribeMe!?
TranscribeMe is a Berkeley, Ca. web based service provider that converts any kind of audio content into highly accurate text. This includes Single- and Multi-Speaker content, and all major European and Eastern languages are supported.
- English (US and all Commonwealth accents)
- Spanish (European and Latin American)
- Portuguese (European and Brazilian dialects)
- Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese dialects)
- Japanese, German, French, Italian
TranscribeMe uses a proprietary combination of latest speech recognition algorithms and draws on over 30,000 crowd-sourced transcribers all around the world to complete transcripts quickly, confidentially and at an affordable price All major audio and video file formats are accepted and files are uploaded directly from the web browser or with a smartphone app. The output is provided in a range of formats (DOC, PDF, HTML in addition to NVIVO and SRT).
What Is The TranscribeMe Business Opportunity
The company is looking for transcribers which convert audio content into text. But it does not end there. TranscribeMe also offers career advancement opportunities for people which want to move up the career ladder and get into higher paying positions.
Once you grow your skills, you can move into QA (Quality Assurance), first as editor and reviewing, then into Lead QA. From these Part- and Full Time positions, you have the opportunity to advance into a Salaried Position as Project Manager, Recruiter or in Customer Service. The entry point however, is ‘crowd transcriber’.
What Does A Transcriber Do?
Basically, all you have to do is listen to an audio file and type the content in a word processor or software interface. You may transcribe audio from a single speaker, a conversation between two people, or what’s been said in a group meeting or conference call. You also add footnotes, i.e. applause, laughing, chuckles ect. Have a look at the little snippet from a typical transcription:
Application & Qualification Procedure – Requirements
First off, there is no fee. You have to fill out an online form with your general details. A high school degree is the minimum requirement and you must be fluent in English with good grammar and punctuation. The same goes for any other language that is supported by TranscribeMe.
There will be a grammar test and you will have to perform a few transcriptions of audio content. Once you pass the tests, which are not too difficult, in my opinion, you can start working for TranscribeMe immediately. In case you do not pass the test in the first try, they will give you a chance to take the test again after a period of 24 hours.
There are two requirements:
1) You need a computer and stable Internet connection
2) You need to install Google Chrome Web Browser (even before you fill out the application)
Tired Of Working For Others and For Peanuts?
How Much Does TranscribeMe Pay?
As crowd transcriber you will get paid 33 cents per audio minute or $20 per hour. There is a $2 per hour bonus if you transcribe the file accurately and additional editing is not necessary. You will get paid on every Tuesday via Paypal. The payout threshold is $10.
How Does It All Work?
Very seldom will you get a large audio file to transcribe. TranscribeMe developed a system that gives you short snippets at a time, usually between 10 and 30 seconds long. Using their interface, you basically upload your finished transcription to an editor which either accepts your work, or sends it back to you for necessary corrections.
Once you have finished a snippet, you can request a new file to transcribe. It is your choice how much you can and want to work at any given time. You may work 5 hours or just 2, that’s up to you. Of course, it is possible that there is no work available when you log on, but these are rare instances.
Don’t Worry Too Much About Accuracy Requirements! (added 7-3-2018)
Reviewers/Editors will check your work and make changes as they fit. They also can reject your work outright, which means that you will not get paid.
However, TranscribeMe allows an error ceiling of UP TO 30% before editors can reject your work, and this is a hell of a lot leeway. So, don’t worry about it too much if you cannot figure out the spelling of a name, or how to get the formatting right.
What Are The TranscribeMe Complaints?
Before I get into details let me say this. There will always be complaints, warranted or not, with any company, even the best ones. Often times it is not easy to evaluate the relevancy as someone looking in from the outside. Therefore, I take some of the complaints with the famous ‘grain of salt’ and just report them without any judgement. There are basically three topics of complaints from people that work, or worked as transcribers for TranscribeMe:
1) QA/Reviewers Are Unfair
These complaints address an issue many transcribers will encounter. Obviously, it is not always easy to clearly understand what is said in the audio recordings. Although the transcriber may think to have done a good job, that may not be the case. Here is a quote from one disgruntled transcriber:
“[sic-Reviewer] rejects job even if it is of high quality – you won’t get paid for that. Rejects even an hour long file up to $70 if the grumpy QA/Reviewer strikes again. Admins don’t care about your concerns”.
Let me put this in perspective. I found a total of 79 complaints on different sites and forums dating back to 2012. 16 of them addressed this issue, that’s about 20% of all complaints.
2) Support at TranscribeMe Sucks
They don’t use the word “sucks”, but you get the drift. Here is another quote:
“Support section that’s like a ghost – not really there. Site loads really slow. You usually get “send error report” every time you go to a QA session – you won’t get jobs. When a big pool of work is available, after seconds it’s gone because of the big number of employees joining their easy no-need-for-a-high-quality-transcriber/QA qualifying exam. More workers, less jobs. Admins also grumpy”.
I was surprised when I came across 9 similar complaints because fast and good support for independent contractors is immensely important if you run a service company like TranscribeMe.
3) The Pay Is Lousy!
$20 bucks per hour is not a bad pay, or is it? Let’s face it, you get paid 33 cents per audio minute. But in reality it’s almost impossible to listen to, understand clearly what is being said, AND type it correctly in 60 seconds. Read what these two people had to say:
“I’m in the US, type 75 words per minute, and am multi-degreed. My highest earnings ever were $5 per hour. My mean earnings are $2.60 per hour. My mode earnings are $2.00 per hour. And, no, it’s not because I don’t know what I’m doing”. “Pay is way, way below minimum wage. It can take time to transcribe 1 minute of audio. Starting pay is $0.33 cents paid per transcribed minute. If it takes you 5 minutes to transcribe a minute of audio (which is optimistic as it will take you longer), you’re making $3.96 per hour”.
I know these complaints are warranted because I tested myself by recording 3 minutes of a 2-person conversation in a movie. It took me over 14 minutes and 3 tries to get it right.
4) Not Enough Work Available! (added 7-3-2018)
“All work is currently assigned. Please check back shortly for more work and thank you for working with TranscribeMe.”
I am not sure how it works exactly, but the problem becomes obvious after you work for TranscribMe a while. If you are NOT logging in early, there is hardly any work available for the rest of the day. It seems that work will be assigned to the early birds even if they are still working on an earlier assignment.
You will sit idle unless someone else logs out and leaves some work behind. Best thing to do is to log in early, and if you do get some work, keep logged in and grab what you can get until there is no work available.
Tired Of Working For Others and For Peanuts?
Is TranscribeMe A Good Opportunity For You?
Let me put it this way: If you are a 2-finger hack on a keyboard, or a 2-thumb typist on your smart phone, do me, and yourself a favor and forget about TranscribeMe. I honestly can’t see you making it there as transcriber. However, if you are able to type 60 to 80 words per minute, distinguish different accents and voices, AND block out background noises, you may want to give it a try. Since you can start without any investment, you have nothing to lose and may be able to earn some extra income.
I hope you enjoyed reading my TranscribeMe review as much as I liked writing it, and I would love to hear your opinion about it. So, please chime in and let us know what’s on your mind. Before you leave, let me ask you one question.
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That’s all for today folks. Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to leave a comment on your way out.