104 of 106 people found the following review helpful
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***UPDATE*** I find that Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 is spot on in terms of getting my words right. I've only used it for a few days but as far as voice recognition goes it's great. I followed all the advice below (because it's the best way to get good dictation) I feel that this product only gets better ever iteration. And I only use it for dictation and not mouse commands etc. I'd like to note any blue tooth headset will work
The following is a guide to helping new users to voice dictation to understand how to get the most out of Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Now these principles apply to all voice dictation software. I will update this review with more of the new features and how Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 runs when I've had time to use the software more.
(This whole review is done with Dragon I will not edit it at all)
As a quadriplegic standup comedian (okay I'm the cant stand up comic) I spent a lot of time doing voice dictation. I have been using Dragon naturally speaking since 1995 and I must say it is truly an amazing product and Dragon Dictate for Mac/Dragon NaturallySpeaking are only getting better. I want to give a basic overview on voice dictation and being successful.
To see my comedy set just google: AskACapper or I'm The Can't Stand Up Comic
One other thing to note I do not use Dragon for mouse movements and commands as I had the ability to use a touchpad mouse so I will not delve into those features in my review. This will merely focus on how you can use voice dictation effectively to receive near 100% accuracy. And how Dragon does it almost perfectly every time.
One thing you need to think about when you get into voice dictation is speaking in word clumps. You have to think about what you want to have Dragon type for you then you have to say those sentences in chunks (I hope that makes sense) most people who complain about voice dictation don't take the time to realize this.
In the following example I did edit the text when errors were made for continuity of thought.
if I wanted to say "Is that the wheelchair that goes upstairs?" "No it is not but it goes downstairs one time really fast!"
The way I attacked this sentence was "Is that the wheelchair -pause- that goes upstairs question mark -pause- no it is not -pause- but it goes downstairs -pause- one time really fast exclamation point
Here is another one "what is the worst thing that a handicapped person can hear? Is it a doctor telling you you'll never walk again? Or someone saying you can't go with us because you are disabled? No the worst thing we can hear is someone in a crowd yell "run for your lives" at that point I know I am boned.
Here is how I approached saying that joke out loud I will put in a - where I pause
what is the worst thing-that a handicapped person-can hear question mark - is it a doctor-telling you-you'll never walk again question mark - or someone saying-you can't go with us-because you are disabled-question mark - no-the worst thing that we can hear-is someone in a crowd-yell-open quote- run for your lives-end quote- at that point-I know I'm boned period
I hope that helps you again understanding how to speak in clumps of words remember to keep your word count between pauses at about 7 to 10. If you do this you will be successful in using voice dictation. If you put a microphone near your mouth and learned to speak in word clumps I say you will have 99% accuracy every time.
Without speaking a word clumps and thinking about what you want to say is when voice dictation has problems, here is an example of a long sentence I will speak this without stopping and pausing at certain points.
What I said: I am not disabled I am just very lazy and really I'm only in this thing for the parking.
What Dictate heard: I am not disabled I am just very lazy and really I'm only in this thing for the parking.
There you go it got a perfect 19 word sentence correct but most of the time keeping your clumps lower helps the program not make mistakes that is just what I have found.
How to train your Dragon: DO ALL THE TRAINING Is all I have to say! Sorry for yelling out better now. But really one thing I found super helpful in doing voice dictation is doing all of the training that you can. While you might not feel like reading a bunch of chapters from random books it really helps and should be done. I make a rule to do all the training the program provides so that it gets used my voice.
Now the microphone that comes with Dragon is decent and will get you almost 99% accuracy. Right now I'm using a tabletop microphone I'm sitting about 6-8 inches away from the microphone and still getting perfect accuracy! Truly amazing how far it's come in 15 years.
What I appreciate also about Dragon is its low resource usage. I mean as I use Dragon through the years it would talk a lot of resources i.e. CPU power and RAM space but now on even a low-cost computer will be fully capable of running this powerful program. I would happily recommend at least 2 GB of RAM though.
Till I Collapse by Eminem lyrics, this is unedited straight dictation. First line is dictation - (Second is the true verse to compare.)
As soon as the verse starts I eat it at MC's heart - (Soon as a verse starts I eat it at MC's heart) * ERROR
what's he thinking? How not to go against me? Smart. - (what is he thinking? How not to go against me? Smart.) * PERFECT
And it's absurd how people hang on every word - (And its absurd how people hang on every word.) * PERFECT
I'll probably never get the props I feel I ever deserve - (I'll probably never get the props I feel I ever deserve) * PERFECT
but I'll never be served my spot is forever reserved - (But I'll never be served my spot is forever reserved) * PERFECT
if I ever leave Earth that would be the death of me first. - (If I ever leave earth that would be the death of me first.) * PERFECT
Visit my heart of hearts I know nothing could ever be worse. - (Cause in my heart of hearts I know nothing could ever be worse.) * ERROR
That's why I'm clever when I put together every verse - (That's why I'm clever when I put together every verse) * PERFECT
my thoughts are sporadic, I act like I'm inadequate - (My thoughts are sporadic, I act like I'm an addict) * ERROR
I rap like I'm addicted to smack like I'm Kim Mathers. - (I rap like I'm addicted to smack like I'm Kim Mathers.) * ERROR
the fact is I would rather sit back and bomb some rappers. - (The fact is I would rather sit back and bomb some rappers.) * PERFECT
So this is like a full-blown attack I'm launching Them - (So this is like a full blown attack I'm launching at them) * ERROR
the track is on some battling raps who wants some static - (The track is on some battling raps who want some static) * PERFECT
because I don't really think that the fact that I'm slim matters - (Cause I don't really think that the fact that I'm Slim matters) * ERROR
a plaque of platinum status is wack if I'm not the baddest. - (A plaque of platinum status is whack if I'm not the baddest.) * ERROR
I would say that there were a few errors in that resuscitation of that rap but not bad, and good enough that it would save me about 30 minutes to type that okay maybe 15 but I do type one key at a time.
ONE BONUS OF VOICE DICTATION TO NOTE:
Is that voice dictation sometimes makes mistakes but those mistakes can really be great. So sometimes voice dictation will misunderstand what you say what the end result is better than or uses different words then you are going to ever use. For example the other day I went to use "definitely demonstrates" and Dragon burped out "deftly demonstrates" and in the context it's error was a better fit is so bonus when that happens! Keep that in mind voice dictation for the win!
So all in all I recommend Dragon to anyone with a disability for sure, and if you are dyslexic Dragon can really help you also. I think you'll find that this program will free you from the keyboard when it comes to entering tax into e-mails or documents web forums and the like.
I am Chuck Bittner and I approve this message LOL!
67 of 71 people found the following review helpful
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I am actually very happy with Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium as a software product. In fact, I am actually using it to dictate this review. However, I am not as impressed with the headset that is included in this particular package. I was actually pretty unhappy with my purchase until I tried it using an old, crappy wired headset with a boom mic that I had at home. When I used the wired headset, Dragon's accuracy shot up unbelievably. So, I am recommending that people purchase the software by itself and get a headset separately. The OfficeRunner wireless headset, offered through Amazon, is quite excellent if you are looking for a wireless offering.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
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I would recommend this product to anyone who has to do a lot of typing or transcribing. It saves a lot of time. The only thing I don't like is some words or phrases transcribe incorrectly. But being a healthcare professional, I am impressed with the medical terms the program knows. I would highly recommend the product.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
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I purchased Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium software not as a substitute for regular keyboarding, but as an adjunct, in order to spare my hands and arms from repetitive-stress syndrome from too much typing. I am a writer, and the only thing I will be using this software for is word processing, which I realize is a fraction of what it can do.
I had previously owned an earlier version of Dragon back in 2007. At that time I wasn't as highly motivated by hand, arm and shoulder pain to learn this software as I am now, and I was also intimidated by what I assumed would be a huge learning curve to master the software before I could use it. As a result, I never got off the ground with it.
This time around, keyboarding pain inspired me to push past my previous concerns, and in doing so I made a happy discovery: it only took me a couple of hours, on a single day, to fully train the program using the bluetooth so that it could accurately recognize my voice. Also, though there are a whole lot of potential voice commands available to be used, since I only need this for word processing, there are not more than a dozen I needed to memorize to get me well on my way, for example: CAP, NEW LINE, OPEN PAREN, CLOSE PAREN, OPEN QUOTE, CLOSE QUOTE.
Here are the some things I've noticed as I've been using this software regularly which might be useful for a potential customer to know:
1. I like the functionality of the bluetooth that comes with this software package. It works extremely well for voice recognition with this software. However, it is not the most comfortable fit in my ear that I've experienced in a bluetooth. I have to fiddle with it a lot to get it firmly lodged in my ear so that it does not feel as if it is going to fall off.
2. This software offers multiple choices of readings to do to train the program. I chose the longest one, a reading from Dave Barry which took me 40 minutes to complete, because I wanted to insure I had the greatest possible accuracy of transcription. I don't know if I actually needed to do that much, but since I'm getting terrific accuracy, I'm glad I did.
3. When I dictate using the bluetooth, I have had to get used to the fact that the response time, as Dragon translates my voiced statements into words on the screen compared to me simply typing them, is massively slower than my own natural typing speed of 110 wpm. To my perception, it is somewhere around 25 wpm, if that. If you are a slow typist--or a two-finger typist--you won't find this a problem because it will be as fast, or faster, than you type yourself.
4. I separately purchased a compatible, mini recording device, the Philips DVT1000/00 2 GB Digital Voice Tracer, which was at the top of the list of compatible devices provided on the website of Nuance, the company marketing this software. This device has to be trained separately from the bluetooth, so that the software can accurately transcribe anything it records. I spent the same amount of time doing a Dragon-provided reading to train that device as I did to train the bluetooth, and it was worth it. It, too, provides a great deal of accuracy. I absolutely love the flexibility that using this recorder gives me. I can take it anywhere I go, recording anything I care to as inspiration strikes. Prior to having this option, I would use the voice recorder on my smart phone, which I would then have to later laboriously transcribe by hand. Using this device, all I have to do is hook it to my computer and run the files I've dictated through Dragon for an instant transcription. (Tip: I don't delete my voice files after Dragon transcribes them until I've had a chance to read over and edit the transcription. I may need to occasionally listen to the voice file if Dragon garbles something I've dictated and I can't figure out from the context of the garbled phrase what I might have actually said.)
The big plus of using the mini recording device versus the bluetooth is that I can go do something else while the file is being transcribed by Dragon, so the slow response time doesn't have to irritate me. However, that method of voice transcription does not provide me with an advantage that I get with the bluetooth, the ability to instantly correct the occasional error as it happens, which cuts down on after-the-fact editing. I tend to prefer using the recording device to the bluetooth because I'm an impatient person, and I don't mind hand-correcting the occasional error that occurs when I use the recording device. Note: I have the option to use Dragon and my bluetooth to edit recording-device transcriptions but since I don't have an absolute physical necessity to do that, I prefer to do it by hand because it's faster.
All in all, I am extremely pleased with the ease and convenience of using Dragon. It has been an enormous boon to me as a writer.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
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I have used Dragon in the past and found it to be a great time saving tool. Since I have a new machine, I needed a new copy and this one came with a bluetooth headphone - perfect! Or it would be if the disk were not defective.
When contacted, Nuance informed me that I would need to buy a replacement disk. This program was never loaded anywhere; the disk was defective, out of the box. I find it appalling that a consumer is forced to buy a replacement disk for a defective product.
I reluctantly paid for the disk, but future consumers need to know that the company does not stand behind its product.