With the spontaneous increase in media consumption worldwide, there’s been an increase in video and audio playlists as well. YouTuve videos, news videos, playlists, podcasts, etc. have gained immense popularity all over the world.
A lot of times, however, the audio isn’t clear enough to understand what’s being said. Many people have some sort of hearing impairment, and many others don’t speak English as their first language. These people often rely on subtitles and text summarization to understand the messages conveyed in the form of audio.
Transcribing: the process of converting speech to text, has thus become a great means of income, and even a full time job for many people. Babbletype is one of the platforms that lets you do exactly this, and pays you for it.
What is Babbletype and what work does it provide?
Babbletype is a transcription, translation and content analysis platform which pays transcribers for transcribing various forms of media, and translators for translating them.
However, Babbletype is a bit different from other transcription platforms because it provides transcription, translation and content analysis services exclusively to market research firms.
How can I get started with Babbletype?
Before starting, it’s important to know that California residents are not allowed as independent contractors. With that said, you can start off by going to their Application page.
The page briefly describes the company and the kind of work you would be expected to do.
At the bottom you’ll find a video that gives you important details about the platform, the kind of people they’re looking for and the work you’d do. This lets you know what you’re putting your hands on, and whether you’re the right fit for the platform.
They claim that they’re very picky and careful when choosing employees, and you should keep that in mind while applying. It’s recommended that you watch the video carefully.
When you’re done watching the video, click on the “Get Application” button below the video.
You’d be redirected to an online file viewer with a Word document (.docx) that summarizes the process of application, software required, the testing process and gives links to the tests (audio files). It also has a questionnaire which basically sums up to be your resume.
It is basically a document that acts as a job description and application form both. You then need to edit and fill the document yourself and send it to them.
When you’re done filling the questionnaire and completing the test, save the file and email it to the email address mentioned in the document, with the subject as demanded by the document.
Your application will go for a review. Once approved, you’re in! You’d be given various audio clips to transcribe, which you’d need to do within the deadline, and thereby earn money.
Note: One thing that is very suspicious about this website is that they haven’t changed their transcription test in all these years. It’s the same audio file being used over the years. You can probably find an answer sheet online if you look carefully.
How to pass their transcription test and become a successful Transcriber?
There are several tips that can help you in clearing their test easily:
- You need to be proficient in a language, preferably English. You must be able to deduce what’s being spoken in an audio clip, and be able to transcribe it correctly.
- Note the style guide mentioned in the document. You need to follow the format mentioned in the style guide to annotate the speakers, their pauses, etc.
- You would need to download a software called Express Scribe by NCH Software and set up hotkeys on your computer. This work cannot be done on a smartphone or a tablet.
- You have to be both accurate and fast in transcription. Note that the time taken by you to transcribe audio clips is also tested in the application test. When taking the test, be calm and patient.
- Take the test in a quiet place. The test would require you to transcribe a 10-15 minute long audio clip.
Clearing the test won’t be very hard. But as a transcriber, you can increase your output drastically by using a few tools. Check out this full Transcription Tools Guide I wrote that describes it all in detail.
How much can I earn with Babbletype (or Transcription jobs in general)?
This platform is not a source of stable income and income may vary based on the number of projects you complete. In the video itself, the speaker mentions that the platform is not a replacement for a job.
It won’t pay you anything remotely similar to what you’d need to buy groceries and earn a livelihood. Babbletype generally pays you approximately $30-$40 for each hour of audio transcribed. Note that this doesn’t translate to $30-40 per hour of income, because transcribing requires time and you have to pause the audio and repeat certain portions of it over and over again to get what’s being said.
Personally, it used to take me 3-4 hours to transcribe a 1-hour audio file (as a beginner).
Payments are made by PayPal, weekly. I wasn’t able to find any payment proof of Babbletype online. Maybe not a lot of people have had success with it. But it is definitely a legit site.
But as far as transcription goes, it does not have a very bright future. Though it is easy to get into and start earning, kind of like UHRS jobs. The robots are getting better and better at transcription. Soon enough, I believe that only technical transcriptions will require human intervention.
So while you can do transcription jobs right now, if you need the money. Make sure to upskill and look for a different job in the future.