Best speech to text

macmesser

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 13, 2012
832
65
Long Island, NY USA
Looking for a speech to text program for letters, emails and for voice control of Mac. Dragon Naturally Speaking seems to be well regarded and versatile. Too bad it's for PC. It's publisher, Nuance, also has a Mac app called Dragon Dictate. I'm wondering how this compares to Dragon Naturally Speaking in terms of accuracy and ease of use. Is anyone familiar with either of these programs, or aware of a Mac program that offers the same functionality and accuracy?

Thanks for any insights.
 

onekerato

macrumors regular
Jun 6, 2011
222
1
Looking for a speech to text program for letters, emails and for voice control of Mac. Dragon Naturally Speaking seems to be well regarded and versatile. Too bad it's for PC. It's publisher, Nuance, also has a Mac app called Dragon Dictate. I'm wondering how this compares to Dragon Naturally Speaking in terms of accuracy and ease of use. Is anyone familiar with either of these programs, or aware of a Mac program that offers the same functionality and accuracy?

Thanks for any insights.
I posted some speed+accuracy comparisons on this thread http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1516907

I use both Dragon Dictate for Mac v3 and Dragon NaturallySpeaking v12 running on Windows 7 in VMWare Fusion. Both work quite well. I don't really use the text editing commands but I do train them with my text documents for building its vocabulary.

I don't think there is any alternative to Dragon/Nuance for speech to text. The inbuilt dictation feature in OS X Mountain Lion requires a roundtrip to Apple's servers to work and I don't think it adapts to your voice over time. Has been unreliable for me.
 

macmesser

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 13, 2012
832
65
Long Island, NY USA
I posted some speed+accuracy comparisons on this thread http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1516907

I use both Dragon Dictate for Mac v3 and Dragon NaturallySpeaking v12 running on Windows 7 in VMWare Fusion. Both work quite well. I don't really use the text editing commands but I do train them with my text documents for building its vocabulary.

I don't think there is any alternative to Dragon/Nuance for speech to text. The inbuilt dictation feature in OS X Mountain Lion requires a roundtrip to Apple's servers to work and I don't think it adapts to your voice over time. Has been unreliable for me.
Thanks! Wondering if the editing commands are similar in both.
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,162
3,889
Atlanta
Looking for a speech to text program for letters, emails and for voice control of Mac. Dragon Naturally Speaking seems to be well regarded and versatile. Too bad it's for PC. It's publisher, Nuance, also has a Mac app called Dragon Dictate. I'm wondering how this compares to Dragon Naturally Speaking in terms of accuracy and ease of use. Is anyone familiar with either of these programs, or aware of a Mac program that offers the same functionality and accuracy?

Thanks for any insights.
Are you having bad results with the built in native (crippled Siri) dictation? If so Dragon may not be much (if any) better since Nuance powers Siri.
 

macmesser

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 13, 2012
832
65
Long Island, NY USA
Are you having bad results with the built in native (crippled Siri) dictation? If so Dragon may not be much (if any) better since Nuance powers Siri.
Thanks for replying. Haven't used it at all. We've been writing a lot of letters and content for our web site so I thought I'd help my out my partner by doing something to alleviate her incipient aching wrists. From what has been posted I think there might be a performance issue with training the program, which Siri apparently doesn't support. Interesting that Siri is by Nuance. Maybe I'll try the native dictation and see how it works out.
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,162
3,889
Atlanta
Thanks for replying. Haven't used it at all. We've been writing a lot of letters and content for our web site so I thought I'd help my out my partner by doing something to alleviate her incipient aching wrists. From what has been posted I think there might be a performance issue with training the program, which Siri apparently doesn't support. Interesting that Siri is by Nuance. Maybe I'll try the native dictation and see how it works out.
I believe the "training" is dynamic and accuracy increases with use. I also believe it's tied to the user account so if you have multiple people using the same account it may be less accurate. It's there, it's integrated and it's free so I would try it before spending money on other Apps. We may even see a full Siri version (knowing Apple probably limited to select [newer] Mac models) with 10.9.
 

onekerato

macrumors regular
Jun 6, 2011
222
1
Dragon Dictate is better than Mountain Lion dictation

Are you having bad results with the built in native (crippled Siri) dictation? If so Dragon may not be much (if any) better since Nuance powers Siri.
That conclusion is incorrect.

Mountain Lion dictation (MLD) falls short of Dragon Dictate (DD) in many ways:

(1) It converts speech to text by communicating with Apple's servers which means it slower than DD which doesn't need an internet connection. If it's slow, you won't trust it with anything more than a sentence or two at a time.

(2) DD can be trained by reading passages, which helps it "understand" how you like to speak and does improve its accuracy. Moreover, you can feed it your text documents so it figures out word pairs & phrases you are likely to use together.

(3) DD has support for accents, which presumably does a better job than the generic voice model that MLD probably employs (since MLD doesn't have any customization options.)

Overall, DD is designed to improve its accuracy over time, if you help it along with vocabulary training and correcting the mistakes it makes. I'm not saying its perfect but it is surprisingly good. And when you see your words come out right, it's very addictive :)
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,162
3,889
Atlanta
That conclusion is incorrect....
"may not" is not a conclusion and leaves the door open for may be.;)

I also clearly stated in my next post.
"...It's there, it's integrated and it's free so I would try it [as in see if it works for you, OR NOT] before spending money on other Apps...."
 

macmesser

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 13, 2012
832
65
Long Island, NY USA
That conclusion is incorrect.

Mountain Lion dictation (MLD) falls short of Dragon Dictate (DD) in many ways:

(1) It converts speech to text by communicating with Apple's servers which means it slower than DD which doesn't need an internet connection. If it's slow, you won't trust it with anything more than a sentence or two at a time.

(2) DD can be trained by reading passages, which helps it "understand" how you like to speak and does improve its accuracy. Moreover, you can feed it your text documents so it figures out word pairs & phrases you are likely to use together.

(3) DD has support for accents, which presumably does a better job than the generic voice model that MLD probably employs (since MLD doesn't have any customization options.)

Overall, DD is designed to improve its accuracy over time, if you help it along with vocabulary training and correcting the mistakes it makes. I'm not saying its perfect but it is surprisingly good. And when you see your words come out right, it's very addictive :)
But Dragon Dictate is better performing, according to your test results. I have a 2.66 GHz quad Xeon Mac Pro with 32GB RAM and have Parallels 8/Windows 7 installed. Having used both side by side, which would you choose? Unless DD 3 offers special Mac functionality seems like the Windows version would be the way to go. I get the addicting thing and it will be fun to try either. Plus fun to be a nerd hero in my office. Thanks again.

----------

"may not" is not a conclusion and leaves the door open for may be.;)

I also clearly stated in my next post.
"...It's there, it's integrated and it's free so I would try it [as in see if it works for you, OR NOT] before spending money on other Apps...."
Does make sense and I shall try it. Free is good. Thanks.
 

onekerato

macrumors regular
Jun 6, 2011
222
1
"may not" is not a conclusion and leaves the door open for may be.;)

I also clearly stated in my next post.
"...It's there, it's integrated and it's free so I would try it [as in see if it works for you, OR NOT] before spending money on other Apps...."
Ok, I was hasty in my conclusion. I see your point about trying out the free version. Thing is, for me the free version sucks while DD impresses. Hence the caution in interpolating results from the inbuilt dictation feature (which is not even branded as Nuance technology) to the real thing. It is pretty bold/dumb to sell $200 software without a demo or trial period, but that's how Nuance wants to do this.

Also, there should be details of OS X 10.9 coming out next week at WWDC, which may have improved the dictation feature.

Jose
http://www.onekerato.com/ebooks.html