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Greg Rickert's Posts
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on 26 Oct 2012
I'm new to this forum.
Last spring, I purchased Dragon Dictate 2.5 after a special offer was made to me. I was quite leery of yet another speech to text program.
My first desktop Mac was a Centris 660 AV. The possibility of speaking to a computer and having it do useful things sold me. Alas, I was disappointed with the performance.
When ViaVoice for the Mac came out I quickly bought it. I tried getting it to work but found that it was so buggy and all it really produced was massive frustration.
I then tried iListen. That was better than ViaVoice and I was able to do some productive work with it. But in the end it proved to be too frustrating of a program.
Dragon Dictate 2.5 proved to be quite useful, compared to my prior experiences. I was able to use it to keep a journal for work and important work related notes. Still, though, correcting the mistakes proved frustrating. And doing it via voice control most often didn't work correctly.
So, when Dragon Dictate 3.0 was released I wasn't so interested. I decided to continue to limp along with 2.5. But then I came across this forum and all the negative rants about Dragon Dictate caused me to take a look at Dragon Dictate 3.0. Sure, I agreed with everyone's opinion of the excessive upgrade price. But so many of the reviewers gave the product one star only because of the pricing! It almost seemed like several of the reviewers had an ax to grind.
After considering what I was doing with 2.5 and reading the Nuance website I gulped and decided to take Nuance up on their $100 upgrade offer. After having used to this program for about a month now I have to say it is so much better than any other speech recognition program I have ever used!
I have put time into learning how to correct and manipulate text just with commands. It really works! And it works well! There are mistakes, but if you learn the commands, you can pretty much do away with your keyboard. And it learns as you teach it!
I use it in the education field. At first, it doesn't get the names of the students I work with correctly when they are spelled in an unusual way. But after correcting it a couple of times it remembers and spells it that way anytime you use those names.
I've found that the more I use it the more I want to improve my use of it. So I looked up commands and hints and tips and put them into practice and now it just flows along nearly mistake free. I'm amazed after so many years of frustrating experiences with using text recognition programs that now all I have to do is speak (with some voice corrections) and there it is on my screen.
I've also tried using the free transcription app with my original iPad. If you use the correct punctuation patterns the way you would when using Dragon Dictate, transfer it from the iPad to the Mac, the transcription is wonderful.
Another thing I like about this, is that you can use it to open and type in many unsupported applications. I use the word processor Bean. I've created commands within Bean to select menu items and have them run in the window I'm using. I feel like I'm just scratching the surface with Dragon Dictate.
I have nothing to do with Nuance software or anyone connected to Nuance software. Though it is expensive, I would recommend Dragon Dictate 3.0 to anyone serious about ditching their keyboard. This was all written and voice corrected, when necessary, with Dragon Dictate 3.0.
on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Johnkrantz:
After rereading my review, I agree, it's pretty glowing! But for me I had few problems. Dragon Dictate crashed on the first startup after download. Since then, I haven't had a hiccup from it.
I suppose my main complaint would be the lack of information about how to optimally use Dragon Dictate. There many things that you can do with this program that you don't know about and can't know about unless you research it.
One of the things that Nuance Software touted as a wonderful addition to Dragon Dictate were their interactive tutorials. These I found to be very helpful, but unfortunately, all of the screens in the tutorial do not work. They are set up to guide you through the dictation and voice correction process, among other things. But several the screens do not recognize the script you are reading no matter how you change your reading pace or pronunciation. They just give you an error message.
Not a big thing, but added to the lack of guidance and documentation from Nuance it adds up.
Dragon Dictate still makes mistakes. But compared to version 2.5 the number of mistakes are fewer. For me, the greatest addition to version 3.0 is the ability to voice correct accurately and the program learns when you teach it through voice correction.
For example; my son's name is 'Kazushi'. In version 2.5, I tried repeating and repeating and correcting and correcting but usually Dragon Dictate 2.5 would spell out 'causes sushi'. It was maddening. After so much accuracy I couldn't get it to recognize something important in my daily life.
But with version 3.0 when the program put "causes sushi" on the screen, I would say “correct causes sushi" and I would be presented with a correction window. All of the choices were WRONG. So in version 3.0 there is a new feature. You can say 'spell that' and the first choice in the list of incorrect words is highlighted. You then spell out each letter of the word you were hoping to appear. Then, you say "Pick one" and the incorrect word is replaced with your corrected version. And the next time you say 'Kazushi’, Dragon Dictate has learned the correct spelling and from then on out it gets it correct! In my case, that relieved a lot of frustration!
Of course, you still need to edit what you've written and correct your mistakes and Dragon Dictate's mistakes that you may not have caught. But overall, the accuracy is up and the frustration is down in version 3.0 compared to version 2.5.
As for my mic... I'm using an old USB MacMice Mic I used in my days of frustration with iListen. I don't think it is noise cancelling.
As you say, your mileage may vary!
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