Best Speech to Text Program for Macs

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Bobcat16, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. Bobcat16 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    #1
    Just ordered a new Macbook Pro 13" base model. I write a lot, and so I'd like to try out and use a good speech recognition program to help give my hands a rest. Which program would you recommend. I know none will be perfect, I am just looking for the best fit.

    I would prefer Mac programs, but if need be I can run Windows 7 on fusion and use a program that way. Just would like to avoid that if there is a Mac alternative that works.
     
  2. Bobcat16 thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 18, 2010
  3. timscole macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #3
    Dragon Dictate

    I use Dragon Dictate - it's a mac app and pretty good. The accuracy is good to very good IMO and it doesn't take hours to "train" it. If you get it (or any speech recognition software) get one with a headset microphone. In order to get the best out of this type of software you need a good mic designed for capturing speech.

    Before I bought it I googled and there were a few reviews where the authors claimed to have dictated the review as a test and left in the errors. There were a small number and, looking back since using it myself, I'd say similar to what I experience.

    Biggest downside - its not cheap. £179 here in the UK. I got mine while they were doing a 50% off promotion and plus my company paid, so it wasn't an issue for me.
     
  4. Bobcat16 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    #4
    On Amazon it got mixed reviews for the Mac version but more positive ones for the Windows version, plus cheaper. However, that would be the only thing I would need Fusion or something for so I'd like to get the native Mac version. It does save you significant time even when you have to go back and make some edits though right?
     
  5. adan07181 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    #5
    Best Speech to Text Program for Macs

    If you run Windows, try Dictation Pro. It works perfectly with just a few minutes of training and it is completely free. Download here: http://www.deskshare.com/dictation.aspx
     
  6. timscole macrumors newbie

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    Jul 15, 2008
    #6
    It saves me a lot of time and a lot of RSI from typing too! I've found if I speak clearly making sure I pronounce things a bit more carefully than usual then I get very accurate results. It tends to be when I start speaking more quickly or in a more relaxed (lazy) way it doesn't always get what I've said first time.

    With this type of software it depends very much on the users voice / accent. I guess you will have more issues if you have a heavy regional accent and / or a particularly low / high pitched voice which "confuses" the software.

    My experience with it has been very good. I'd tried older versions of Dragon on Windows years ago and they were terrible, so I was nervous / sceptical, but was pleasantly surprised.

    I'm typing this on my iPad, but could dictate something on Dragon, leave in any errors and time the process too if you want. However, that only shows how it works for me and you might get better / worse results.
     
  7. RobertsonCrusoe macrumors member

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    Jul 21, 2011
    #7
    yes i agree with the guy that said Dragon Dictate +2
     
  8. timscole macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #8
    So, I thought it might be helpful if I was to dictate a short passage using DragonDictate, to demonstrate its capabilities. I'm not going to go back and correct anything, I'll leave all of the text exactly as it is transcribed without any editing.

    Personally, as I've already said, I find it to be fairly accurate as long as I speak clearly and pronounce things correctly. When I slip back into a more relaxed or faster speaking style that's when I begin to see errors coming in. I've also found that certain words and certain phrases don't get picked up very well and occasionally have to go back and edit those. Usually that's words and terminology that is either technical or “jargon”. If you are writing something using a lot of specialist language or acronyms you might find that you have to correct considerably more than if you just writing something in a more normal, everyday, conversational style.

    I'm going to end there, it's taken 3 min and 28 seconds to dictate this with one correction and stopping a few times to think about what I was going to say!
     
  9. Bobcat16 thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 18, 2010
    #9
    Does Dragon Dictate really heat up the computer? I imagine it would be easier on the computer (and battery life), to run the Mac version instead of firing up Parallels or something every time and run it on that.
     
  10. timscole macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #10
    I use the mac version, not parallels, etc.
    I've never thought "oh the fans are going and it's getting hot" so I guess not... Never really paid attention. Playing videos in Flash seems to heat up my MPB far more.
     

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