So, who uses what dictation software?

I know I’ve asked this before but let’s try again.

Is there anything which really produces a good experience? So that you end up typing at speaking speed or close to it? 100, 150 wpm sort of speed?

i know of Dragon and have experimented with it but that was some time ago and perhaps it has got better since then. I assume there’s a google product out there as there is one for Android but is there a web version and how good is it?

And for anyone who does use dictation software how the hell does it deal with punctuation? Do you end up speaking like Victor Borge?

17 comments on “So, who uses what dictation software?

  1. Punctuation. I used Dragon for a while There was a suite of punctuation instructions worked pretty well. I printed out what I needed from the documentation & kept it by the screen as I learned them. The latest Dragon issue I have must be a dozen years old, but was pretty good back when. I’d imagine it would run a lot smoother on my current machine, must be an order of magnitude or two quicker than the original, let alone what the latest issue might add.

  2. My experience with Dragon is fighting with it trying to transfer it to replacement hardware. The client universally known as The Dragon Lady refused to allow us to touch her old system until we demonstrated Dragon up and running on her new system – which had significant barriers including the fact that she had to de-register her old hardware before we could install the software on the new hardware, and the usual IT complaint of “why should I pay for a new version, I’ve already paid for it, just copy this one, we haven’t budgeted to spend money on software, pay for it out of your budget”.

  3. From my experience a few years ago I can say Dragon is the way to go. The only problem is that it’s highly dependent on current system speed. If you’re used to running 3-4 programs while dictating and try to do it with nothing else open or tons of programs open the dictation speed will change enough to drive you crazy.

  4. You can just use any sort of editor on Android (like Jota or Word) and when it opens up the keyboard, it’ll have a microphone there, which you can click and then dictate to.

  5. The voice recognition that comes with the Mac I’ve found to be pretty decent. I use it. It’s not perfect. I usually have to re-read and correct a few things, but I also make plenty of typos when I type.

    Actually, I find it most efficient if I’m reading something that I want to just repeat in a document, such as a paragraph from a newspaper article that I just can’t cut and paste or sometimes a column of numbers. The Mac’s pretty good at understanding the dictation. If I have to think and write (getting trickier as I get older) it’s still more efficienty to type.

  6. So the proof reading feedback was well recieved then Tim.

    Sod the software, get some Bangladeshi wetware to type it in via a Skype session and a remote desktop.

  7. I use Dragon, and it is pretty good but far from perfect. I found it better out of the box that after it had ‘learnt’ my preferences. It can be a shit to install. You need to proof read an article very carefully some time after you wrote it, because MS Word changes things and even if you correct as you go, what is saved outside your line of vision looks different to what you thought you dictated, and sometimes you can’t figure out what it was you said in the first place.

    Sometimes it is good with people’s names, but it has a predilection for ‘gonna’. It takes a while to start up, and heaven help you if you are writing answers to a set of questions in another document, as you don’t seem to be able to lock it to (say) MS Word and ignore Chrome or Acrobat Reader.

    It is also rather unnerving to start dictating after a life of typing, and you will do better speaking in long sequences rather than short ones. Overall, I thought it was worth the money.

  8. Voice recognition software from any major brand is OK, but none of them work well unless you have a decent microphone and (crucially) a very quiet working environment free of background noise. Even when they do work well, they’ll never be faster than a quick typist. Faster than a slow one, though. Maybe 60-90WPM is realistically achievable.

  9. Who uses that dictation software? Well I am convinced some of Spud’s fist typing is in fact shout typing.

  10. When I had serious problems with RSI nigh on twenty years or so ago, I used Dragon Naturally Speaking. It worked, sure, but I could never reach the speeds I could typing and I wound up with a sore throat after using it for any period of time.

    Unless the software has improved a heck of a lot since then, I’d really not want to go back to using speech recognition software.

  11. I’ve used Dragon and found the same as Witchie, proof reading is v important. I never had any disasters, but friends who came in to use it did end up with embarassing bloopers. For example in a report on a joint training exercise for the RNLI and Coast Guard- “Both service teams felt the joint exercise had been very beneficial, and look forward to the September exercise when they will again be re-united with their counterparts” was misheard by Dragon which substituted “underpants” for counterparts.
    Oh and our Vicar’s wife, unfamiliar with Kristingle services, accidentally put a listing in the parish newsletter inviting us all to a Krystalnacht service. The congregation stayed away in their droves.

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