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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Apr 10, 2014
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    1
    Please, please please help…dictation software?!?!
    Ok…I'm at my wit's end trying to make a decision on this topic. I realized maybe asking for help would be my best approach.
    I'm looking for a program that dictates. I've looked into Dragon and saw numerous not-so-awesome reviews for their software for a mac….and then they released their latest version (4.0, I think…I'm somewhat tech retarded unless it says Nikon btw).
    I got excited because I was FINALLY seeing some good reviews…and then a ton of not-so-good reviews. It occurred to me that maybe said unfavorable reviews were due to issues that wouldn't really bother me, but I'm also a poor college student who lusts after camera gear and really doesn't want to blow the cash if it's not worth it.
    So…can someone please recommend a system/course of action/path to sanity?
    You see, I'm coming up on my senior year and a majority of my classes are writing intensive. I have fibromyalgia and it regularly makes me hands and fingers ache. Writing and typing (and sitting up to do so) can get very painful and VERY distracting. I basically want software that can take away the bulk to the actual physical work. I've seen things like 'it forgets to add the' or issues with capitalization….that isn't a major factor for me. I am willing to proof if it has the ability to at least handle a majority of what I'm saying.
    Anyone with dictation software want to offer up a review? Any advice or recommendations from people? I would appreciate it SO much. The idea of being able to rest my back while trying to straighten out my gnarled, cramping fingers AND actually make it to graduation is…I want to cry just thinking about it.
    So….don't waste my money? Different software? Suck it up? I need guidance! :-/

  2. #2

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
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    10,625
    Specs:
    2.8 GHz MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone 6+
    I started using Dictate 4 a about two weeks ago but haven't used it extensively. It seems to bet better than version 3. At least for me anyway. I would be using it more than I do but when my wife and I are in the same room my talking to the computer constantly drives her nuts.

    Just a guess at the moment but I am probably getting somewhere around 95% accuracy. May be able to do a more specific test in a day or two.

    If you decide to try it there are a few things to keep in mind:

    1.It world better with a decent headset/earpiece type mic. I'm using my Mac's built in mic at the moment but experience suggests that while adequate its less than an optimal situation.

    2. When speaking don't wait for a word to appear on screen. Accuracy is better when the program can use the context provided by phrases and sentences to help it figure out what you are saying.

    3. Unless you are doing a lot of writing from a template filled with boilerplate the option to let the program analyze some of your writings while developing the profile may help it get better accuracy.

    You might find this review helpful. It actually shows the program in action.
    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    20,911
    Specs:
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    The built-in dictation now on Macs and iOS devices is excellent out-of-the-box. I'm using it to dictate this response to you, and have not had to do any corrections. The only trick is that you have to remember to speak pronunciation, like so. Get used to saying things like open-quote and open-parentheses.

  4. #4

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    10,625
    Specs:
    2.8 GHz MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone 6+
    I used Dictate to dictate several posts this evening. I'm using at the moment to dictate this one. I've had to make a few corrections, but nothing unusual. The accuracy has been good even though I'm using the internal microphone.

    I have not tried the dictation feature built into OS X because when it was first released you had to be connected to the Internet in order for it to work. If you're interested in a comparison of the built-in features versus dictate check out this MacWorld article. Keep in mind that the results are for Dragon Dictate 3.0. The article was written prior to the release of version 4.
    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Nov 22, 2011
    Posts
    3
    I know this is an old thread but maybe some things have advanced. I use dictation in Pages to write a document but what I have not been able to do so far is play an audio file into a transcription app and get a written document of the audio file. I've had to resort to sending my audio files to a transcription service on-line located in England. So I get colour instead of color and other spellings which are quaint. It's just a hassle and expensive to use those kinds of services. Any apps out there?

  6. #6

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    10,625
    Specs:
    2.8 GHz MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone 6+
    I have not tried this yet so I don't know how well it works but Dragon for Mac now has some transcription capabilities.
    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  7. #7

    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 07, 2008
    Location
    Winchester, VA
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    6,315
    Specs:
    2015 rMBP, 2008 iMac, iPhone 6, iPad mini, 13" MBP, AppleTV and two MacMinis
    Quote Originally Posted by Staynavytom View Post
    I know this is an old thread but maybe some things have advanced. I use dictation in Pages to write a document but what I have not been able to do so far is play an audio file into a transcription app and get a written document of the audio file. I've had to resort to sending my audio files to a transcription service on-line located in England. So I get colour instead of color and other spellings which are quaint. It's just a hassle and expensive to use those kinds of services. Any apps out there?
    Why send to England? There are transcription services in the US. I know because m daughter worked at it for a while. Do a bit of searching. I used Duck Duck Go, searched for "transcription services <nearby city>" and got a nice list of what was available.

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Jul 18, 2015
    Posts
    1
    Dragon for Mac current version is $300. Does anyone know of a less expensive alternative that actually transcribes MP3 files into text?

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