Dragon Dictate 2.0 English
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- Product Type/`Software`
- License Pricing/`Standard`
- License Type/`Complete Product`
- Platform Supported/`Intel-based Mac`
- Language Supported/`English`
There is a newer version of this item:
- Platform: Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion
- Media: Software
- Item Quantity: 1
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Speech-recognition software designed exclusively for the Mac. Input text just by speaking - up to 3 times faster than typing. Interact with your favorite Mac applications using only your voice. Produce reports, email, articles, books, research notes, online content, and more. Amazingly accurate; requires just minutes of training to get started.
Top Customer Reviews
This is a product that has a clear and identifiable market. This product possesses some refined audio-to-text algorithms. It offers a variety of microphone input sources, but the included microphone headset is generally the most accurate (although the corded one feels like 'cheap' plastic (because it is) & uncomfortable perched on your head (no padding).
The program allows one to train the software for certain words / speech patterns that don't come up properly in it's Speech recognition. However, understanding what happens after you train the program to identify your speech and when it actually begins to work are 2 different matters. There is a lot of trial and error required, by the user, to get it working reasonably; which is very un-Mac like. For instance, while one is investing in training it is, seemingly (to the user), more efficient to have the Vocabulary Training window open- on the side, rather than wait to close it down each & every time you enter a Speech-trained word. But, you don't find out that the program hasn't saved your word/ way of speaking until it's too late- one realises that without closing the window each time it will not save your training (and you are left thinking - "this is not working.."). Why not add a 'Save" button? . There are many instances of this counter-intuitive design .
The menu on the right hand side is vague as to whether these are actual spoken commands or subject titles (you click on them for help and they just sit there). Your only help is either 20 min of waiting on the phone for Tech Support, or going back into the computer to scroll page after page -while you are trying to work in the programme (...oh yeah, don't expect this "...for MAC" product to recognize the useful 3 finger 'Mac' trackpad scroll!Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Simplicity of using a Mac made me migrate from Windows to Mac side a few years ago. But I missed the speech recognition software on Mac and keep on using Dragon Naturally Speaking on Windows under Boot Camp. Mac has lacked a usable speech recognition software. MacSpeech Dictate was terrible and unusable. Now the owners of Dragon Naturally Speaking, Nuance have bought MacSpeech product and they have given it the original name Dragon Dictate. Thinking that now Dragon Dictate has the speech engine of Dragon Naturally Speaking and must be better, I purchased the product Dragon Dictate at special introductory price from Nuance. But I regret spending that money, total waste.
Dragon Dictate comes in two discs, Application Disc and Data and includes wired Plantronics headset but I set it up to use with PLANTRONIC Calisto Headset with USB Dongle. Even the built-in MacBook Pro microphone can be used but with worse recognition accuracy. The good thing is that you can configure for different accents and from my experience with Dragon Naturally Speaking, I know it improves the accuracy a lot. Voice training took only five minutes.
The speech recognition in Dragon Dictate 2.0 has improved and is far better than McSpeech but not even close to Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 11; the product is still cooking. Particularly, it stumbles on closely sounding words like and & in; 2, to, two and too; of and off; for and of etc. The user interface is very unintuitive, not at like Mac programs. Windows Dragon Naturally speaking has a much more intuitive and easily customizable user interface.
Making corrections is very tedious compared to the Dragon Naturally Speaking 11. There is no easy way to bring up the correction menu and teaching the program what you spoke. Inability to make corrections easily makes this program unusable. Sometimes, if you move the cursor while dictating, you start getting gibberish. At times you cannot even access the menu for Dragon Dictate without closing TextEdit. I still have not figured out how to add my custom vocabulary or transcribe recorded speech. So far, it appears that it cannot be done.
By default, Dragon Dictate opens the TextEdit software where the dictation takes place. They claim that it can be used in Microsoft Word and other applications. I found that not be the case. Theoretically yes, but in practice it is unusably slow in Microsoft Word 2008. My MacBook Pro with 2.53 GHz processor and 4 Gb RAM system was crawling with spinning wheel on the screen for most of the time.
It comes with a two page Quickstart Guide with few basic commands but does not explain you how to correct misrecognitions. On that Quickstart Guide they give a link to get User Manual at Nuance website where you cannot find the manual or any support for Dragon Dictate. Nuance web site is so cluttered and disorganized that finding anything usable is very hard or impossible there. But on MacSpeech website, they have videos, which show you some basic stuff on using Dragon Dictate, and as of now, no video on how to make corrections. MacSpeech web site also has manuals, knowledge base and user forums. They have not merged MacSpeech site with Nuance web site, as of now.
Having used the Dragon Dictate for only a few days, my impression is that it is improved from the previous version of MacSpeech, but the product is nowhere close to Dragon NaturallySpeaking for Windows version. To give you an idea, this review was dictated on Dragon Dictate with 37 mistakes that needed correction. The user interface is not polished (a.k.a. Mac), there are a lot of bugs, the correction of misrecognized words is very tiresome, you cannot use it in Microsoft Word or from the recorded voice on a recorder.
If you use speech recognition for a lot of text input in your work, and you have Windows, then you're much better off using Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 11 or better still, with Bluetooth headset on Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 11 Bluetooth for Windows. With the Dragon Dictate, you can do the dictation in TextEdit but not in Microsoft Word, notwithstanding the company claims. The program is buggy and still a work in progress. And if you do not have the option of using it in Windows and still want to use it on a Mac, then you are better off buying it with a wireless Bluetooth PLANTRONIC Calisto Headset with USB Dongle which is included in Dragon Dictate 2.0 Bluetooth to get better accuracy. Built-in MacBook Pro microphone also works with somewhat less accuracy. You probably will not like the geeky wired Plantronics headset the basic Dragon Dictate 2.0 comes with.
Having used Dragon Naturally Speaking for Windows for years, I found this Dragon Dictate 2.0 for Mac to be practically as unusable as MacSpeech, for day to day transcription.
All of this review will be written using DragonDictate 2.0:
I've been using Dragon Dictate 2.0 for little over two weeks, I never used MacSpeech Dictate, however, I did use Dragon Naturally Speaking nine, for Windows.
I am using a Plantronics 400 USB headset: I bought the program because I've had some pain in my wrists, and because I do a lot of writing, and need a hands-free way of typing. I write fiction, blogs, e-mails, nonfiction, and school assignments with this program, I even use it for Skype.
So far, the program has worked exceptionally well. There was one issue that I wasn't really pleased with, however, an update came out a few days ago, which mostly fixed the issue. The issue was, I wanted to be able to train the program to learn new words. I noticed, some words it could learn, but other words it refused to learn. With the update, I've been able to train the program to learn all the words I've been trying to train it prior to the update, however, I have still found a few words it has had trouble learning. But overall, I'm pleased.
Also, the program has unexpectedly quit on me a few times, not so much that I'm losing writing, but enough to irritate me. I think with the update, they have fixed the crashing issue. I hope so.
The program has this wonderful recognition window; whenever you say anything, the program writes down 10 different outcomes the program thinks she may have said. Usually, one of the 10 is correct, so it is as easy as saying pick five, or pick eight... But usually, the first one is the correct one, meaning you don't have to say anything more than what you are speaking. However, if there is a chance that none of the options are correct, you can pick the most correct one, and just by saying edit five it will open up the writing for editing. You can either use your voice, such as select that, and then fix it, or you can use your keyboard and type the word in; and then say pick five. And it will automatically change the writing in your document from the writing you edited in the recognition window.
I usually like to write in Word document, but it's a little bit sluggish and slower, so I just write in the Dragon Dictate window, and then copy everything and paste into my word document. A probably could just write my Word document, but it's faster in the Dragon window. I like faster.
I've been very pleased with the accuracy of this program; so far, I've only had to edit a few times, completely using my voice. I'm pretty sure that I might have missed a few things because I wrote this review very quickly. But, I think seeing some of the errors for yourself will allow you to see the results of this program, the results I get.
So I don't have any thick accents, but I'm pretty sure that I slur some of my words, only slightly; I'm sure others will have better success than I. Using this program has been fantastic, I thought it would distract from my train of thought, but not as much as you would think.
Anyway, if you're looking for a program to enhance your time efficiency when it comes to writing... Depending on what you're using this program for, I would say it could improve your productivity. And, if you're looking for a hands-free device to write with, this program is awesome!
One last very important thing, when I bought this program, I was hoping to put on my desktop and my laptop, however, my laptop did not have enough RAM, and my desktop did not have snow leopard. I could not even download it without snow leopard, but don't let that stop you, just by Snow Leopard, it's cheap and runs well on my computer. After that, installation was easy.
Enjoy my friends, and I hope this review was helpful for you.
one more thing, I was speaking quite quickly, without any sharp dictation, so if you concentrate with your articulation you can achieve better accuracy. However, sometimes I like to just speak as natural as I can, and then edit it after. Because, there is nothing worse than messing with your train of thought while you're trying to write. Peace, take care. also, if you form what you're going to say in your mind before you say it, it comes out clearer! Which I didn't do for this review.
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 2.0 for Mac is the same. I will be adding to this review as I dig down into Dragon 2.0 and some of the editing and correction features. But first I want to give a basic overview on voice dictation and being successful.
Another 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 dictate 2.0 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.
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 NaturallySpeaking to anyone with a disability for sure even if you are dyslexic Dragon NaturallySpeaking can really help you 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 of AskACapper dot com and I approve this message LOL!
I'm working on a 13-in Macbook with a 2.4 ghz processor and 4 GBs of DDR3 RAM, running Mac OS X 10.6.4, Dictate Version 2.0.1 (9605), and Word for Mac 2008 Version 12.2.7 (100910).
The software works great for about the first five minutes, but then all of a sudden, it starts slowing down THE ENTIRE COMPUTER. It starts out sluggish just in Word, then in Dictate, then slowly the entire computer freezes up so that even the touchpad is unresponsive. Once I quit Dictate, everything goes back to normal.
Here's another thing they don't advertise: You cannot use your mouse/keyboard while you're using Dictate, or the program gets confused. In other words, if you need to make edits because the software didn't properly transcribe something, you must do it using Dictate itself (e.g., "Delete [Text], Insert after [text] [more text]"), which is MUCH less efficient than just using your mouse & keyboard. Problem is, if you use your mouse/keyboard, the program "loses its place," and will, from that point on, be incapable of properly making any edits. In other words, once I've used my mouse/keyboard to make an edit, suppose I say a word that I didn't mean to say ("um," for example). If I then say "delete UM" or "scratch that," the program may do what I ask it, but it may decide that what I really meant was to delete some other word five paragraphs prior, so it skips all the way up the document and deletes that word. Needless to say, this results in a seriously messed up document. The program has gone back and deleted ENTIRE PARAGRAPHS of text this way, and then not given me the ability to undo the actions, resulting in permanent loss of the text!!!
Here's the thing: the actual transcription capabilities of the software are amazing. It really is amazingly accurate, and the fact that you can continually train it and even teach it new commands is fantastic. If all you want to do is open it up and spew a bunch of stuff on a page, then go back and edit it later, this would probably work for you (provided you're ok with just using the built-in RTF notepad, and not typing directly into Word or any other program). But if you need to make edits while you're typing, or if you need to use any other programs while using Dictate, I don't recommend it.
I can't wait for them to work out all the bugs so that it actually works as advertised, because when it does, it will be extremely useful. For now, I'm going to try to return it (if possible), and deal with an aching shoulder (and various other ergonomic inconveniences) while I type with my Macbook sitting on my lap at all times (the only way I can type with my arm in a sling).
Since installing this program in an effort to increase my productivity, I have been constantly disappointed. . . Despite training it on numerous occasions, it still thinks that when I say "go to end" I am saying "goats and." I trained it to recognize a last name that rhymes with "FUSON." Trained and Trained and Trained. It ALWAYS types Fuson, and I can't remove FUSON because it was originally in the dictionary. So instead of being able to dictate a last name I use dozens of times a day, I have to SPELL IT OUT or find/replace FUSON. So I trained FUSON to be recognized as the phonetic "uggabuggabugga," and now when I say the other last name, it types SIMPSON!!!!!!!!
It crashes twice a day. At least. I'm running it on a very clean MB Pro running 10.6.4, 2.4Ghz intel core 2 duo, 4GB RAM.
Worst of all, it has messed up time machine. Time machine started failing its backups, and I had no idea why. I figured my drive failed, so I bought a new one. Still kept failing half way through. Decided to back up a critical file manually and I get this:
The Finder can't complete the operation because some data in "DRAGON PROFILE.ddictateprofile" can't be read or written.
(Error code -36)
Hmmm. Thanks dragon. The star is only because they make me give one.