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[Method] Transcribing on Mturk

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by Mindslaver, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. Mindslaver

    Mindslaver Newbie

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    I had this idea written down for if I ever got really desperate for cash or needed a little extra start up money for other projects. This is by no means an easy method if you do it yourself. You could however outsource it and than it wouldn't be so bad.

    The below method is mostly for those who either need start up money for a project and cant get it any other way, those who have the means to outsource, or those who are happy having $5-12 an hour translating hard to hear audio.

    For those of you who don't know what Mturk is its just a micro job site that pays small amounts for small jobs.

    [Step 1] You will need to sign up for an account on Mturk, which is an Amazon company.

    [Step 2] If you dont have it already you will need to download Dragon Naturally Speaking, I'm not allowed to post links so If you just search the downloads section here it should pop up right away and you can download it.

    [Step 3] After you have set up Dragon you need to go through training with it to recognize your voice.

    [Step 4] Log into Mturk and search for "transcription" There are a few different companies on there but most of them are by CastingWords. You will find that you need to qualify to do a lot of the jobs but the first qualification is just asking for it. It may take a day or so to qualify.

    [Step 5] After you are accepted you can do some of the lesser jobs, You can get about $5-12 per hour depending on your skill and speed in transcribing. You will need to transcribe the audio yourself using Dragon. So as you listen to the audio just repeat what is said and format the conversation as you go along. You can go through about 10 seconds at a time and after a while it shouldn't take more than about 15-20 seconds to transcribe about 10 seconds of audio and for mat it depending on your typing skills.

    After a while they will let you do some of the more difficult ones that pay more. Again this isn't for everyone. I hope that this can help at least a couple people out either by doing it themselves or taking this method and applying it somewhere else.

    As always if you have any questions I will do my best to help, and would be grateful to anyone who can add some constructive input.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  2. valleydoll

    valleydoll Newbie

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    Honestly I don't see how this could work with Dragon Naturally Speaking. In your post you mention training the program to recognize YOUR voice, when in fact you'll need to transcribe many different voices for clients on Mturk.

    I've been transcribing for several years and have seen various talk-to-text software and they all suck. My former employer paid several thousands for one program and it was the worst. It took longer to clean up the program's output than to type it from scratch.

    If you plan to do this long term and don't mind a little investment, spend $50 on a USB pedal to control the playback, so you won't need to use the mouse to constantly fast forward, rewind, etc. Express Scribe is a great program to use for transcribing, and it's free.
     
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  3. Mindslaver

    Mindslaver Newbie

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    I'm sorry your right I had forgotten a key point in my original method. I meant that you will need to repeat the audio out loud as its played. So you can do small sections at a time, repeat what is said and format it. Thanks for pointing it out to me.

    The method of using dragon naturally speaking to transcribe audio can also be used to quickly write articles.

    If you have a certain niche you are trying to write articles for you can find some actual books on the subject and transcribe text from the book into your own words and have 100% unique article.
     
  4. CrypticFalcon

    CrypticFalcon Newbie

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    One should always be careful when doing any sort of work on Mechanical Turk at all. Amazon only cares about the employers, not the workers.

    If he or she wanted to, an employer could reject all the work you did for him or her.

    This would mean the following:

    1. You wasted a lot of time for no pay.
    2. Your HIT approval rating goes down by a lot.
    3. You may even get banned by Amazon, and not get paid for any other work you did either, since it looks like you're doing a terrible job.

    In short, make sure you do your research on which employers are credible.

    Edit: I don't think outsourcing will work either. It'll be pretty hard to find someone willing to work for LESS money than MTurk will give.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  5. Mindslaver

    Mindslaver Newbie

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    That is true, as with any freelance work there is some risk of not getting paid. I have yet to have any employers not pay me, Also CastingWords has been on there for years and has a pretty good reputation.

    As long as you could find a worker to outsource this to who can do decent quality work you could easily pay them $400 a month or more for about 80 hours, or however you want to split the money. Depending on where you live $400 is not bad for part time work.
     
  6. s1wg4u

    s1wg4u BANNED BANNED

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    I do this method still. I was getting all the high paying jobs for transcribing that people would post. Then I would tell then I'd do it for cheaper and they also didn't have to deal with the hassle of posting on mturk. Now I have a steady client base. I don't use a pedal either. I downloaded WMO keys for windows media player and just use the f1 and f2 keys to stop start an rewind. I've probably made 11 grand on less than a year doing this part time.
     
  7. DarkAngel

    DarkAngel Newbie

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    One way to avoid getting caught in a dishonest employer's net is to only do one job and see if they pay you. I wouldn't do a bunch of jobs at once for any single employer until you know they are reliable. I can back up what the OP said about CastingWords too. They have been on there for a long time, so they are probably on the up and up.