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  1. #1
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    Voice Recognition Software for Writing (Dragon Naturally Speaking, etc)

    Has anyone here ever used voice transcription software for writing, such as Dragon Naturally Speaking? I'm not sure if I'll ever get something like this, especially since it's not like I have carpal tunnel syndrome or anything. Still, it's something I've been curious about for a while.

    If you've used voice recognition software, what's been your experience? Are these things of any use when it comes to writing?

  2. #2
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    I'd be interested too. I tried it a while back and found that overall typing was much faster.

  3. #3
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    I'm not sure that such things work properly

  4. #4
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    I have thought this might be worth looking into myself as well. My typing is not the fastest and I wondered if I could be more productive using software like this. Unfortunately there is no kind of demo for the Dragon Naturally Speaking and at $100 it is not cheap. There is a video here showing them using it http://www.nuance.com/talk/ where they claim that they can do 160 words per minute.

  5. #5
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    Dang. I see other folks are curious like me, but I guess not too many writers are using voice transcription software... guess that means I'd better get off my butt and do my own digging.

    On the plus side, it looks like you can get Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 for a lot less than $100 bucks on eBay, plus get a free headset to go with it. Most of the auctions seem to be in the $40 to $50 range. That's still a lot of cash to blow on software that you can't test-drive first, though.

    Reviews seem to be mixed. Some people love Dragon, other people have problems installing it or can't seem to get it to work right.

    I found a positive review by someone who uses Dragon Naturally Speaking to write articles...

    A negative review from The Blog Joint...

    And a neutral review from Globeandmail.com.

    The results are iffy enough that I probably won't get Dragon unless I win it or find it for a fantastic price. Ah well. I still think voice transcription software that honest-to-goodness works is a cool idea.

  6. #6
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    hmmm... Month old thread warning huh? interesting. [I'm a nub today ] Well, I don't see the reason to start a new thread when adding content to this one should benefit everyone.


    I recently started using dragon naturally speaking 9. It works surprisingly good on my m1210 webcam speaker, but it's bad at picking up background noise. On this same laptop I've used the Vista speech recognition and it seems to outperform dragon by a decent margin. I've done no more training than the default setup each one, so I'm sure it could get better. But so far vista wins.

    On a side note, the thought crosses my mind that vista is designed to better handle laptop mics since one of it's primary focuses was voice laptop voice command. Dragon's install harps on having a good mic. I'll try dragon more throughout this week with a dedicated headset and post my results.

  7. #7
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    It sounds like one of us needs to get off our butt and try it.
    (I'll see what I can do)

  8. #8
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    Dragon and other software is a helpful tool for some but more trouble than its worth for many. It depends on "teaching" the software to understand what you're saying. If you have an accent or talk too fast, or a speech impediment, you're not going to be happy with the results.

    When I've tested the software I found I had to do so much clean up in the end it wasn't worth it.

    Now, if you truly can't type because of a disability, it's a nice tool as long as you have the time to play with it and make it work.

    I hear the new VISTA package has voice recognition software included.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    Wow that takes me back, I played around with Dragon getting on for 10 years ago! As I remember it wasn't bad back then so it should have improved a helluva lot by now.

  10. #10
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    I have version 9.5 professional. It works and it is fairly accurate. But I find it easier just to type. It's a nice change sometimes but I always seem to go back to typing.

    I find I can't talk at my normal fast pace so I slow down a little. This causes me to lose the best benefit of just blurting out my thoughts.


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