A while back I wrote a review of Scribie, a transcription website that you don’t have to have any experience to sign up with. Since I wrote that review, there have been some changes made at Scribie, so I thought I would revisit the Scribie website and see if these changes made any difference.
What changes has Scribie made?
When I first started working transcription for Scribie, you had to download the files to a player like Expresscribe. Now Scribie has its own integrated player, so you don’t have to download the files if you don’t have Expresscribe on your computer. You can use the key combination Control + P to play and pause the audio, or you can use your mouse to click the buttons in the player.
What if I want to use a foot pedal?
If you want to use a foot pedal with Scribie’s integrated player, you’ll have to see if you can program your foot pedal to work with keyboard shortcuts – if you can’t, you can download the free program Pedable from NCH Software, the same company that made Expresscribe. You’ll then want to program the middle pedal with the Control + P key combination, which plays and pauses the audio, and the left or right pedal (depending on your preference) with the Control + O key combination, which backs up the audio a few seconds. I tried using Pedable and found it to be difficult to work with – sometimes when I pressed my pedal, it would pull up the print page dialog, which was not what I wanted it to do of course. Luckily however, you do still have the option to download the audio and play it in a program like Expresscribe, and that’s what I find still works best for me.
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What is the new transcription area like?
The new transcription window is also difficult to work with in a lot of ways. For one thing, you can’t type when you’re listening to audio – you have to pause the audio before you can type. And if you still can’t type even after you let off on the foot pedal, then you need to click in the window – then you should be able to type. The new transcription window does have some useful features however – for example, it has buttons that you can click on to add certain things, like a blank line for times when you can’t understand what’s being said, or timestamps if you’re editing a transcript. There is also a button that will bring up a window with frequently used terms that you might hear in the transcription – this is helpful when you’re not sure of how to spell a word that you might hear when you’re transcribing the audio.
What else do I need to know about the new Scribie website?
Scribie previously worked in Internet Explorer, but with the new changes Scribie has made, you may have a hard time using Internet Explorer to transcribe your files. If that’s the case, try opening the site in Firefox or Google Chrome (I find Chrome works best for me). Also, it may take a while for any files you work on to be rated – I transcribed a few files on 3/16/13, and though the history section said my files would be rated by 3/26/13, some of them had already been rated the next day.
Also, remember that sound quality of the files is going to vary – some files will have excellent sound quality, while others will have poor sound quality. However, you do get to listen to the first minute of the file before you choose to transcribe it. Also remember that some of the speakers in the files will have accents, so if you’re not good at transcribing accents, don’t choose those file. If you do choose to do a file and find after you start transcribing it that you’re having a hard time understanding what’s being said, you always have the option to either return the file or request an extension.
Having said all this, Scribie is still a great website for beginners, or for people who want to do some transcription to make extra money, but if you want to make a full-time income from transcription, then I wouldn’t use Scribie as your only source of transcription income.