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Speech Recognition Software

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:15 pm
by drchuck
I am looking for speech recognition software for the Mac. I have read a number of reviews of Dragon Dictate 2.5 and they seem to be mixed with a bias towards "not so good".

Do any of you have any experience with any speech recognition software?

I know that some pretty simple SR commands are available in Lion, and I guess in Snow Leopard. But I want a pretty general program that will interface with most of the software we use on an every day basis. DD 2.5 claims to work with MS Word, but little is said about MacMail, Safari, FireFox or iWork.

Sorry, further research found this:
Dragon Dictate for Mac was built to give you the experience you expect from your favorite Macintosh applications -- an intuitive, easy-to-use interface that dramatically boosts productivity. What’s more, Dragon Dictate for Mac works with Microsoft Word 2011 and your favorite Apple applications, including Mail, iChat, iCal, TextEdit, Pages, Safari and many more.
Although, the "many more" leaves something to be desired.

But, I trust you more than the advertising...

Thanks in advance,

Chuck Howerton

Re: Speech Recognition Software

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:41 pm
by Stephen Hart
I've tested Dragon's free dictation app on my iPhone and was impressed, for what that's worth. Siri looks to be even better, and a Siri app may well appear in the Mac App Store pretty soon now.

From what I've read in the past, I'd expect to spend time training Dragon dictation software to an individual voice, time speaking slowly, then more time carefully editing the resulting text. There's been a lot of discussion in the past on Macintouch on dictation software. You could look that up and post a refresher question.

If your project is something like an oral history, you'll probably want to get a good-quality audio recording first and save that as the original "document." Portable digital recorders are excellent these days, and most have good built-in microphones. (Look for a digital recorder that's designed for music and makes standard-format files.) There's been a ton of discussion in the past on Macintouch on digital recorders. You could look that up and post a refresher question. And note that many up-to-date digital cameras can record video and sound, as can the iPhone. A lapel mic would be even better for oral history interviews, but the external mic port is less common.

If you're looking at voice command instead of dictation, you can do that now with the Speech System Preference panel: ... ion/16631/
(You should also be able to combine speech recognition with dictation software.)

If you're looking at accessibility for someone with poor visions, check out VoiceOver:

Re: Speech Recognition Software

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:33 am
by Stephen Hart
According to Pogue, on the 4s, Siri handles voice control while Dragon Dictation (unbilled) handles dictation.

It's not clear whether the built-in Dragon Dictation is built into iOS 5 and/or only works on the 4s.