(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 and I have been using Dragon naturally speaking since 1995 and I must say it is truly an amazing product. 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.
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 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!
on December 31, 2010
Got it on Monday and sent it back to Amazon on Friday. I was using Windows 7 Speech Recognition with surprisingly good results. After hearing all the ads for Dragon, I decided to give it a try to see if its accuracy was better than Windows. It was, except Dragon's speech recognition engine is 20 times slower than Windows. While I could speak naturally with Windows, Dragon required me to stop at the end of each sentence and wait a minute or two for it to figure out what I was saying. Dragon slowly populated one phrase at a time. The product is completely unusable. I recommend you use the built-in speech recognition of Windows 7, which is far better than Dragon and it's free!
BTW - this review was written using Windows 7 Speech Recognition. If I used Dragon, I would still be waiting.
on September 3, 2010
I previously used Dragon version 10 for about eight months. When the new version 11 came out I was called by their customer service and after they described the new improvements. I bought it and am very happy I did. I'm still trying to get used to the punctuation aspects. The help screens are very good and the fact that it will take so many verbal commands is very helpful to me. I have multiple sclerosis and can no longer type but can use the mouse so I feel grateful that such a program exists. I did upgrade to a Logitech microphone because of another review I read earlier. I found two problems: when you try to use the rename function (F2) and bring up a spell window any entry will not transferred to the renamed file.Nuance has confirmed it is a bug but as of April 2011 have not corrected it. The second is a program does have a delay in response of at least a few seconds to as long as two or 3 min. to type the dictation. What causes this. I'm not aware of but it is a flaw with this program. I just have to wait until it suddenly wakes up and starts to type. I know it's a problem that if I say " go to sleep" and wait to see when the microphone turns to yellow. It has woken up. Which happened while I was typing this. All in all it's a super program and I used all the time.
on December 29, 2010
I received the product promptly. I was able to download everything fine. When dictating, it consistently miss understands what I am saying. I have continually corrected the error as instructed to and still it misunderstands almost every word I say, for example: I say... "What is the best analgesic recommended for chest pain"? It writes "The social construction for this is"? Not even close to what I am saying!? If I say 3, it puts down see. I am a very clear speaking person, very precise and literate but it is clueless to what I am saying. I try to say my words in groups of three or four then pause as recommended but still it is continually wrong. I do not know how people are getting this to work. I called the 800 help line for them to tell me to look on a web site. I called again and they told me a 407 number to call that only gave me a recording to go on the web site which was no help at all. I called again for them to say any questions will require you to pay a large fee. Please be aware that if there is a problem with this system you will pay largely for any questions to be answered by a human being, the help website is not very helpful at all.
on November 20, 2010
Less than 30 days ago I purchased the new version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11. I was admittedly suspicious after reading the numerous claims regarding the new version of Dragon, however; after deciding to purchase software, I was ultimately proven to be wrong in a very short period of time.
Upon receiving the new software, I took it out of the box, I installed it on my computer, and I decided to give it a sample run. What I discovered was absolutely astonishing ...
Directly out-of-the-box, with absolutely no training whatsoever, Dragon 11 immediately proved that it was capable of recognizing approximately 95% plus of my speech patterns. Because the nature of my business requires that I use many technical terms that are not included in the Dragon dictionary, several of the words I continually use were not recognized. Nonetheless, after expending a few simple seconds to train Dragon to accurately recognize those words, the issues were entirely resolved.
Now, I feel I may comfortably state that Dragon has approached a near 100% rate of accuracy. I will also add that I am using nothing other than the headphones that were included with my purchase of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11. Although several users have commented that the headphones appear to be cheap, I'm quite happy with them.
In closing... I can only say that I am entirely satisfied with my purchase of the new version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11. This entire review was written using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11, and I made absolutely no corrections.
I've used previous versions of Dragon Naturally speaking and I like the voice recognition software they have in this Home Version 11. However, I would highly recommend the PREMIUM version because you can use digital voice recorders and transcribe your recordings with the upgrade. For example with the PREMIUM upgrade you can even use Bluetooth headphones and mics but not with the HOME version.
The software performs very well as it is, with a connected mic and headphones. And I will say that it took far less time to get the version 11 to learn my vocabulary. It make far fewer mistakes when determining what words I have used and the punctuation and grammar appear to be tuned up, preforming much better than past upgrade. This is definitely an improvement and I would say it works very well.
If your are expecting this product to flawlessly convert your voice to word right out of the box, you will be disappointed. Their is a learning curve on both the user and the software side, that is even after you've trained the word in the tutorials and read the necessary samples into the software. But if you have the patience to keep teaching the software you will have it completely trained after 25,000 to 30,000 words.
The Windows Vista install worked perfectly and there have been no glitches or bugs so far.
on September 28, 2010
I'm actually using Dragon to write this review. I had previously written a review using my Dragon software and I left any of the errors in the review that were caused by Dragon.
I probably trained for an additional three hours total since writing that review so I'm not going to replace the review. The accuracy is now far greater, and I've noticed that pain in my hands is being reduced quite a lot now that I only have to use the mouse once in a while and the keyboard only rarely.
Yes, is pretty tedious in the beginning, having to read a bunch of preloaded texts, and having to say "correct that". But, it is definitely worth it. You must also get used to saying your punctuation marks out loud.
The headset that came with the program works better than a microphone that I tried to purchase at Walmart, so I would definitely suggest using the headset comes with the program before you buy another microphone or headset.
One last important thing to remember: no matter how long you train the Dragon software, you will see improvement until you actually launching the "accuracy tuning". When you do that, the software reconciles all the corrections you made with your own personal speech profile.
To summarize this review, I would simply say that this product is well worth the cost and the time you need to invest to get it to work properly. Whether you type a lot for your job or at home, this product can save you time and possibly even the physical pain of RSI (repetitive strain injury/carpal tunnel/etc.).
This was my first time trying Dragon Naturally Speaking, after several years of debating whether it would be useful to me. I finally decided to give it a try after discovering that you could do more than simply dictate letters to your computer. After installation and activation, you set up your user profile (based on factors such as age, region, hardware, etc). You are then offered the option of training, which takes roughly five minutes and consists of reading onscreen paragraphs while the program analyzes your speech pattern. After training, the program offers to personalize your vocabulary by scanning all documents in the My Documents folder, running scheduled accuracy updates (done behind the scenes with the computer on and program closed. The default times are 2-3am), and sending anonymous usage data. I declined all three. After your profile is complete, you have the option to complete a tutorial or start using the program.
Using the program is relatively easy and intuitive. So far, the program has recognized nearly every spoken word and command thrown at it. There are occasional mistakes (Like once, I said "You see" and the program typed the letters "UC"). However, the program gets high marks for accuracy. Most essential commands are simple and direct (space, period, comma, undo, minimize, maximize). I was able to complete an entire document (including launch, save, and closing), without any tutorials or help guides. Navigating the web with voice control was a little trickier, like when I found out after many failed attempts that you must say "Click go" or "Go there" instead of "Go to" or "enter". Fortunately, the program does allow you to create custom commands, which can be added to an available sidebar "cheat sheet". Although the program can launch any program on your PC (I've launched everything from media players to video editing software), it works best with productivity software and web browsers. I tried using it to play MP3 files, but so far, it hasn't worked out too well. It seemed to only recognize play and stop. Song names were useless. I plan to explore this more in-depth because it would be nice to simply say "play <song name>" and have the requested song immediately start playing. Think of the time saved searching for music in my eighty-gig music library.
I created profiles for other family members. Dragon worked well for all but my youngest daughter. For some reason Dragon did not initially respond well to her voice, despite completing the initial training. It frequently inserted the wrong words, even if she spoke them perfectly clear. Although she's relatively young, she's very articulate and people usually have no problem comprehending her. However, she does have a slightly raspy voice and I wonder if this somehow makes it harder for the program to interpret her speech. We eventually corrected the missed words through more focused training under her profile. Apparently, accuracy does vary a bit based on inflection and tone of voice.
Dragon has a lot of potential if you take the time to properly train it to your voice and learn all of the commands (or create your own custom commands), necessary to effectively utilize the speech control features. I hate typing long letters and it's so much easier to speak out the body of the text and make fine corrections later. The program does take some acclimation and can seem counter-intuitive at times (Just remember, you can always turn off the program and grab your mouse). However, if you're patient, it can turn out to be a real time saver.
Just so you know, I'm writing this review using the Dragon Naturally Speaking software. This is much more fun than I ever thought speech recognition software could be. It's like bossing my computer around all day. Instead of sitting at the keyboard typing out everything I want to say, I just start talking and the software does the rest. It even spells everything correctly! I tend to speak really fast sometimes but this software picks up whatever I say, and prints it out accurately, just as I say it. (You do have to tell it the punctuation to use.) It also understands commands in most of the programs that I've used it on so far, including Microsoft Outlook, Firefox, and the CRM, Maximizer, that I use daily.
I had a problem at first because my computer wasn't picking up my voice on the microphone headset. I used the "help" menu in Dragon NaturallySpeaking and found out that a couple of my controls were set to "mute" for some unknown reason. Once I corrected that all systems were go. The software had me reading a few paragraphs in order to learn my speech patterns (It learned that really fast!) and we were off and running.
Another nice feature is that you can set a key on your keyboard to make the microphone stop or start listening. When I first started using the software I was dictating an e-mail and the phone rang. I forgot that the software was still listening and started speaking to the person on the phone without paying attention to my e-mail program. Imagine my surprise when I realized the whole phone conversation was added to my e-mail! I've since learned to use the off/on key and the sleep key when I don't want the program to write out what I'm saying. Another thing I like is that you can say "scratch this" when you want to correct something you just said. I use that feature quite a bit.
The thing I like the best about the software is that it saves me a lot of time. I'm a pretty fast typist but I can still speak a lot more quickly than I type. And I really like ordering my computer around all day - Do this and do that and then do this and this and this. It never gets tired of listening to me or talks back which is very cool. You know those endless business e-mails that you have to reply to that seemed to take forever? This software not only lets you dictate the replies and attach copies of documents, but you can just say: "click send" or "send e-mail"and voilà! Off it goes! Oh, and surfing the web? I love ordering Firefox around, telling it to go here, go there, find this or find that. It's like my wish is its command. And it doesn't back-talk at the end of the day, it only wants to do more. Yeah, I really love this software. It not only saves me time but it's big fun to play around with.
on December 26, 2010
The company claims the software types three times faster than a person; I'd like to know which person?? Be prepared to wait up to 30 seconds or more for the computer to type what you said. And don't expect what the computer types to bear any resemblance whatsoever to what you said. I can understand errors that sound somewhat alike, but Dragon types wild and crazy things about illegals in resorts in Hollywood when my daughter is trying to write a simple letter to grandma about Christmas. What a waste of money.