Dictation Software

I’m considering using MacSpeech Dictate for blogging. However I can’t decide yet whether using dictation software is more liberating or more constricting in the writing process. So far I feel I have a limited vocabulary, and the dates it and the dictation software can’t pick up on my implicit punctuation. However the software is otherwise quite fast, and generally highly accurate.

The next thing that I would like to see, is MacSpeech Dictate implemented on the iPhone. A dictation application on the iPhone would be really awesome. However, I wonder about the accuracy of the built-in microphone. Although I imagine a Bluetooth headset, along with noise reduction technology, could be a solution.

5 thoughts on “Dictation Software

  • I strongly recommend MacSpeech Dictate. I use it and it is excellent. Here are my experiences related to your concerns.

    The built in mic is not bad but I don't suggest it. Use the USB mic that comes with software. It is far better and there are other mics recommended by the manufacturer.

    The accuracy is surprisingly good. The learning curve is in the speaking. You have to learn how to speak almost like a broadcaster. It really is the hardest part, but once you get that down, you're in great shape.

    One of the benefits to my writing is simple and clear. I hate to proof read. I feel like I will always miss something. When I write not using Dictate, I'll review once or maybe twice. With MacSpeech, I only have to correct minor OBVIOUS errors and it's almost fun. Most corrections are simple and easy.

    Bottom line, for me this product helps the writing process tremendously. I'm writing articles in less than half the time that I normally take in writing.

  • Unfortunately, you won't see MacSpeech Dictate (or any other dictation software) on the iPhone any time soon. The processor and available memory just aren't enough to handle the intensive processor and storage demands. I can imagine the storage demands will be remedied within a year or two, if not sooner. But the processor demands require something much faster that can handled the incoming audio stream, translate it to text, and then output it to the desired location – something the iPhone probably won't have for many, many years (if ever).

    You are correct in assuming the built-in speaker will not work well for dictation. Unfortunately, neither will Bluetooth. It samples at a frequency too low to achieve acceptable accuracy.

    Now, one thing you *could* do at some point in the future is record your speech on the iPhone then transcribe it using your Mac and MacSpeech Dictate once you get back to your computer. This would require an application that can record and store sound on the iPhone (there currently isn't one), as well as appropriate speakers for receiving the speech from a stored recording in MacSpeech Dictate (which it does not yet have).

    MacSpeech's previous software, iListen, had this capability with the optional TranscriptionPak plugin and an iPod with a microphone attachment.

    Chuck Rogers
    former Chief Evangelist, MacSpeech, Inc.

  • I strongly recommend MacSpeech Dictate. I use it and it is excellent. Here are my experiences related to your concerns.

    The built in mic is not bad but I don't suggest it. Use the USB mic that comes with software. It is far better and there are other mics recommended by the manufacturer.

    The accuracy is surprisingly good. The learning curve is in the speaking. You have to learn how to speak almost like a broadcaster. It really is the hardest part, but once you get that down, you're in great shape.

    One of the benefits to my writing is simple and clear. I hate to proof read. I feel like I will always miss something. When I write not using Dictate, I'll review once or maybe twice. With MacSpeech, I only have to correct minor OBVIOUS errors and it's almost fun. Most corrections are simple and easy.

    Bottom line, for me this product helps the writing process tremendously. I'm writing articles in less than half the time that I normally take in writing.

  • Unfortunately, you won't see MacSpeech Dictate (or any other dictation software) on the iPhone any time soon. The processor and available memory just aren't enough to handle the intensive processor and storage demands. I can imagine the storage demands will be remedied within a year or two, if not sooner. But the processor demands require something much faster that can handled the incoming audio stream, translate it to text, and then output it to the desired location – something the iPhone probably won't have for many, many years (if ever).

    You are correct in assuming the built-in speaker will not work well for dictation. Unfortunately, neither will Bluetooth. It samples at a frequency too low to achieve acceptable accuracy.

    Now, one thing you *could* do at some point in the future is record your speech on the iPhone then transcribe it using your Mac and MacSpeech Dictate once you get back to your computer. This would require an application that can record and store sound on the iPhone (there currently isn't one), as well as appropriate speakers for receiving the speech from a stored recording in MacSpeech Dictate (which it does not yet have).

    MacSpeech's previous software, iListen, had this capability with the optional TranscriptionPak plugin and an iPod with a microphone attachment.

    Chuck Rogers
    former Chief Evangelist, MacSpeech, Inc.

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