on October 11, 2012
I bought and downloaded Ver. 3 on 9/13/12, the day it became available. It was terrible from the start with slow, unstable and erratic performance. The hardware and software was up to the task as this was on a new MacBook Pro Retina with Mountain Lion.
I tried to contact support online and didn't receive a response for a week. This consisted of only telling me to delete the"plist" file. That resulted in no change, other than requiring even more time spent recalibrating the mic and retraining the Dragon to recreate the deleted file. I responded to support again after deleting the file as suggested, but didn't get an response in a reasonable period of time.
During this period, I called support and described the strange behavior I was experiencing with "select" and "correct" commands as it was occurring on my screen. I believe that the technician hung up on me as he didn't have a solution. I called back and wound up on extensive hold. Finally, after more than an hour, I hung up.
After trying to troubleshoot my system for several more hours I saw no option and contacted customer service for a refund, which was granted. It was a product they were apparently depending on the user to be a beta tester.
I then installed Dragon Naturally Speaking Ver. 11 in a Parallels virtual machine running Windows 7 on this Mac and couldn't believe that these two dictation apps came from Nuance, the same company. The differences in the interface, performance, and speech recognition was astounding. It was as if competing companies had developed the two apps as they were that different. The Windows version is very sound and pleasant to work with; and this is before an update to the current Version 12. I'll stay on this path, even though I have to dictate a document, then copy and paste to the Mac app being used. This won't be practical for many purposes, such as routine emails, but the Mac app is totally impractical.
Note that I've been using Dragon for Windows since version 3.5 Mobile (included a hand-held digital recorder) which was purchased in April 2000, more than 12 years ago. It was used extensively to dictate lengthy reports in MS Word. The Mac Version 3 was found to be virtually unusable, and that's really sad coming more than a decade later from this same company.
on October 2, 2012
Bought Dragon Dictate for Mac 3 with great expectation. The selling deal was similar to that described by Dead Climber and seemed to be a good deal. However, although the program overall works, it is fraught with apparent bugs. For example, it crashes most of the time that I try to use Vocabulary to teach it new words. Furthermore, it does not seem to learn the new words; it will not recognize them. later This failure is in contrast to Dragon Naturally Speaking (for Windows) that performs quite well and will learn new words. I fear that the Nuance folks have released a product that needs better preparation.
on October 5, 2012
This review is coming to you directly from the app. Why type, when you can dictate. I've been using Dragon Dictate for Mac for several years, my first experience was the product MacSpeech quite a few years ago, when I was in college. I didn't get a lot of mileage with that app because the speech recognition wasn't that great. A couple of years ago I tried it again, in the form of Dragon Dictate 2 for Mac. This app was much better, and was very usable. Unfortunately, Dragon Dictate 2 for Mac didn't work with Mountain Lion. Now I was without my dictation software, again.
Last month, Nuance released Dragon Dictate 3 for Mac. I ordered a physical copy which included a USB microphone, and upon arrival, but it straight to work. Not a problem I've had thus far is updating profiles that were created in earlier versions. After discussing it with tech support, I just deleted my previous profiles, and started fresh with a new version. Thus far I've spent quite a few hours dictating using this app. The accuracy of this version is much better than previous versions. It is nearly 100% accurate, common errors can be addressed using the vocabulary tools raising the accuracy even further. His work exceedingly well for me, and I'm very happy to recommend it.
When you get the hang of dictating, it is much faster to dictate that it is to type. I'm getting pretty good at it, and have very little cleanup to do after dictating my content. I'm not even typing this review, thus far the entire review has been quickly, and efficiently, dictated to Dragon Dictate 3 for Mac, the results is been spectacular. I was not in a hurry to do this review, because I wanted to make sure that I had some time with the app before registering an opinion. I'm very happy with it, and I'm using it more than I did previous versions.
I highly recommend it. Just for the record, I have no interest in the company, was not a beta tester, nor paid opinion writer. I'm just a regular guy using an iMac and try to get my work done as quickly and as easily as possible.
on December 4, 2012
I contacted Nuance technical support to report the severe compatibility problem between Dragon Dictate 3.0 for Mac OS X and Microsoft Word 2008/2011. The problem, in a nutshell, is that when dictating, Dragon drops the insertion cursor at random locations in the document. The result is a scrambled document. Other users contacted technical support and got the same answer as I did, which is to dictate into the Notepad window and then copy paste into Microsoft Word. Of course this is unacceptable, the latest version of Dictate should work with the most popular word processor on the planet.
I am using Dragon Dictate 3.0.1(12645), Mac OS X 10.8.2, MS Word 2008 and 2011.
The letter to Nuance follows:
I am writing on behalf of of users of Dragon Dictate 3.0 for Mac OS X. I and other users have been experiencing a severe compatibility problem between Dragon Dictate 3.0 for Mac OS X and Microsoft Word 2011 (2008 as well). The problem, in a nutshell, is that when dictating, Dragon drops the insertion cursor at random locations in the document. The result is a scrambled document. Dragon is totally unusable in Microsoft Word.
Some customers contacted customer support to alert Nuance of the severe Word compatibility problem. Customer support advised that instead of dictating directly into Microsoft Word, users should dictate into Dragons "Notepad" and then copy/paste the text. This is unacceptable. Dragon Dictate for the Mac should work smoothly with Microsoft Word, the most popular word processing program in the world. Please have your engineers address this problem immediately and release a product update.
Given that Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) includes speech-to-text dictation as a free feature, Dragon Dictate seems increasingly like a product without a purpose. Dragon Dictate has many other features besides this, some of which are useful (speech-based UI control, transcription of recorded speech) -- but none of those features remotely justifies its price now that you don't need to buy it in order to do dictation on your Mac.
The unboxing and installation is straightforward enough, but Dragon does not do a good job of making the installation process smooth or Mac-like. Once the software is installed, the required registration step is unbelievably obnoxious -- you have to enter a very long serial number, and it's totally inexplicably rejected unless you manage to figure out, as the documentation explains NOWHERE, that you must enter its letter components in uppercase, not lowercase. The engineer responsible for this user-hostility should be summarily fired!
The product's UI in general is quite un-platform-native in appearance and extremely un-self-explanatory in function -- lots of tiny unlabeled icons, floating/hovering translucent overlay windows full of unexplained commands, and the menus are also completely arbitrary and Windows-y. Not a pleasant learning curve, and not one worth attempting unless you really, really need full speech control of your UI (e.g. for reasons of disability).
In a direct comparison, I found Dragon's accuracy in recognizing my speech no better than Apple's, and sometimes very much worse. Despite the training process that allegedly accustoms the software to your specific accent, and also the secondary vocabulary training based on your existing documents, Dragon was unable to handle specialized vocabulary, consistently mistaking words -- e.g. "dissertation" always became "station," "serration," etc., in my tests, even after training on a document that included the word many times. The vaunted transcription function, which should be a killer app -- taking recorded speech from a previous event and making it into text -- is comically bad (sub-20% recognition accuracy on my sample recordings even after extensive training attempts). And even worse, there's no way to tell it to turn off its command vocabulary while transcribing -- so, e.g., a recorded lecture that contains the word "period" becomes unintelligible, because the word becomes a punctuation mark every time.
This is such poor performance it's hard even to call it an "unpolished" product, because it's not clear that anyone at Dragon is even trying to polish it. It's just bad. Do they know how bad it is? I'm not sure. So the software surely doesn't justify the price. And nothing that comes in the box is worth much besides the software -- you can get a cheapo USB headset mic for $10 that's equivalent to the one included. This product needs a serious rethink before anyone spends this much, or any, money on it.
While I generally prefer typing, Dragon Dictate for Mac comes in handy when I'm not in the mood to type. Sometimes I have my computer hooked up to a hard drive on my desk, and I'd rather lean back in my chair than have my hands on the keyboard. Or when I'm taking notes for research, I'll have my hands on a book and it's something of a pain to try and type while I'm holding the book open. On those occasions, Dragon Dictate comes in handy. I'd hoped that with the new speech recognition on Mac's Snow Lion that would solve my problem. But it really doesn't recognize words very well, and I need to go back and correct things nearly every sentence. With Dragon Dictate, I almost never need to make corrections. For example, I am writing this with Dragon Dictate. All I needed to do was open up the program, enable speech recognition, then click into the box for writing reviews. Now I am speaking this review, and it works just fine. The only times I need to make corrections are in cases where I use a possessive word in a context where it isn't obvious. In those cases, Dragon Dictate naturally treats the word as if it ends with an S, and then I need to go in and fix it. If you say something that you don't mean, or that looks wrong, just say delete. And it will remove the last thing you typed. If you want to remove a single word, just say delete, and the word. You do have to mention to place a comma or a period, and I just realized that it has a hard time typing out the word "comma." I know that the program comes with a list of keywords and commands that you can carry around with you, but I don't have them with me now and I don't even remember where they are, and all I really expect to do with this is dictation, but even without that dictation works pretty well. Again, I just dictated all of this and I only had a few corrections to make. Not bad, eh? (Note that I couldn't get it to type "eh"; I had to spell it out. Oh well.)
Just for a quick comparison I am going to now dictate the first three sentences of my review using the built-in speech recognition on my Mac:
"well I generally prefer typing, Dragon dictate for Mac comes in handy when I'm not in the mood to type. Sometimes I have my computer hooked up to a hard drive on my desk, and I'd rather lean back in my chair and have my hands on the keyboard. Or, when I'm taking notes for research, I have my hands on a book and it's something of a pain to try and type one holding the book open." - Not terrible, but not quite as good.
Anyhow, I won't be using this to open up applications, or shift between them. I'll just be using it for hands-free composition, and mostly only when I'm taking notes on something I'm reading. For that, this does a good job, and is more reliable than the built-in speech recognition system on my Mac.
on November 19, 2012
I'm really on the fence with this. On one hand, it's actually quite fun and useful at the same time, but it wears off after a while. There's quite a learning curve as you get to know the software, and it gets to know you. In time, it does improve and becomes very personalized. Problem is that it was quite bug filled for me at the beginning. It seems to have improved and updates are in order.
Yes, I am using the software right now, but honestly, I could have typed this faster. However, if I were in a situation of disability or temporary immobility, this is a 5 star product and well worth the money. However, I am not in that situation. It's fun to surf the web a bit with it, but I would never dictate anything of length in the public eye. I'm always catching words that make no sense, and I am sure there will be some in this.
The ideal situation for me is simply put, word processing. You can speak freely and fill the pages, and then go back and read what you spoke and fix the flubs. So if you were writing a book, sure, this is great. However, the price, not so much. Compared to their Naturally Speaking series, you are better off with that. But even that is a bit much.
This version is specifically for Mac, and I already feel like my Mac does most of what it's doing anyway. A mac can talk. This just helps with interaction. I believe maybe 5 years ago this price tag would have been high, but the function so impressive, you would see it's worth. But the retail price is currently 50% too high. (not counting any discount Amazon may give it). At 99, the limitations and bugs would be a bit more tolerable with an expectation it will be fixed with free updates. In other words, if this is on a major sale, then sure, grab it. Otherwise, it's for a very specific need that not many would care about after a while.
This is my review of Dragon Dictate 3.0 this review will be unedited and transcribed exactly as Dragon Dictate 3.0 sees fit to decide what I have been saying. For the record I am not a Nuance employee I'm just a disabled person who uses Dragon on a daily basis.
In the second part of this review will focus on how to get the most out of Dragon Dictate and voice dictation in general.
I want to say that we (with) Dragon Dictate 3.0 I have found that it is highly accurate (I think 98%+). A new features that I appreciate is the intro tutorial that I think is a great addition to helping new people get used to some of Dragon Dictate 3.0's new features. And just in general get used to using voice dictation. This is an awesome new feature in this product.
If you abuse (have used) Dragon Dictate in the past a.k.a. Dragon Dictate 2.5 or below I say just do the training all over again. To me just make sense when you do a new install of the software to take the hour to do all the training over again. It helps their new engine get used to you right off the start.
One other thing I want to say that I like about Dragon Dictate 3.0 is the new correct that feature. Now I only use Dragon Dictate for dictation but when I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking on PC I was loved the correct that feature. Basically when Dragon Dictate makes a mistake you just tell it to correct the word that was mistaken and you can train it to learn new words that way. Now I'm sure if older versions of Dragon dictate had this feature (I believe they did not) because I would often say "correct that" and nothing would pop up on the screen. But now the feature is in full effect in Dragon Dictate 3.0 and it works just as I desired it would. Now training words that I use often and are recognized by the program is 1000% easier.
I want to give you a few examples of how the correct that feature helps you if you use a lot of words that Dragon probably will not understand. Things like company names and terms that are specific to certain professions.
Now I work a lot with the videogame industry and when I say - "borderlands to" this is what Dragon Dictate scribes forming (scribes for me) but what I wanted to write is "Borderlands 2" a videogame title. So when I say borderlands to, I then say borderlands to "correct that" a window pops up I say edit number two I go in and change the spelling to capital B and the number 2 so it reads Borderlands 2 and then I say choose two. Now I'm on my way to training Dragon Dictate to understand that when I say Borderlands 2 I mean the game and not borderlands to. Borderlands 2 is a great game and now Dragon Dictate 3.0 understands when I say Borderlands 2 I mean the title of the game and not borderlands to. (Now I do want to say that in writing this paragraph Dragon Dictate 3.0 is still having some issues with the title of this game but in all fairness I've only been training it to understand this games name for about 20 minutes)
This feature alone makes this upgrade worth it in my opinion. Leave a comment down below if you're an a user of an older version of Dragon Dictate and up trying touch base with you if you have a questions.
Thank you for reading this I hope this helps! Below is my guide to getting the most out of voice dictation it's from reviews I've done on Dragon Dictate and Dragon NaturallySpeaking in the past.
TIPS ON USING VOICE DICTATION
(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!
on November 27, 2012
I have use speech recognition for years on a PC. It works great. Then I switched too Apple Computers, and it has been a struggle with Dragon Dictate ever since! I used Dragon Dictate 2.5 for the last year and a half, and it has been really bad when I installed Mt. Lion. So I was really excited to see Dragon Dictate version 3.0. But it is a disappointing program. Although it is a slight improvement from 2.5 it still has a lot of bugs in it. Sometimes it does not understand the simplest words, example "middle of February". The vocabulary training doesn't seem to help, it seems like the software cannot "remember" that I trained it to specific words.
It is good to use on Facebook, it seems to work okay in the dictate notepad, and email but works marginally in Word.
I cannot understand why Nuance cannot make it decent speech recognition software for Mac.
BTW: I find it totally overpriced!
November 5, 2012
revision: after using Dragon Dictate 3.0 consistently for the last week, I can only tell you: "stay away from this product". Some of the people who have reviewed this product here, said it does not distinguish between "select" and "Correct", and they are right! The software behaves very erratically, especially when it comes to corrections. It also inserts randomly single letters after the end of a sentence. I will send it back to Amazon and get my money back.
If I could give it "zero" stars I would.
on October 9, 2012
UPDATE: How can I change this rating to a MINUS 5?
I can't express to you how deeply I dislike this product and Nuance, the producer. Their v3.0.4 "update" crashed my program (which took forever to get set up and working more-or-less reliably in the first place). Even following their instructions for completely uninstalling the software so I could reload my original, now even the original crashes every time I try to start it. Currently I have no working version of this piece of c*&% software, and I'll have to pay them even more to get them tell me how to make it work--with no guarantee whatever they tell me will work. With their abysmal track record, I'm not sanguine about a positive outcome.
But wait . . . there's more. The "support" phone numbers currently listed on the Nuance website are FAKE--none of them are valid for Nuance. I challenge you to get through to anybody on any of those numbers. I've seen at least one reference to Nuance winning some sort of award for "customer service;" however, this is clearly something they awarded to themselves, as their customer service is utterly non-existent.
Oh, yeah. They're happy to charge you for online tech support. What a racket! One could be excused for thinking Nuance is nothing more than a criminal enterprise. Maybe the PC side of their software works OK, but their Dragon Dictate For Mac is simply horrible.
Because Dragon is not supplying DDM3 to vendors as of this writing, we had to buy directly from Nuance. Interesting pricing structure there; boxed version (with headset) $199, download version (no headset) $199. Same price. Asked them about this obvious illogic and the Nuance "customer service" person got VERY angry and told me that's the price. If you don't like it, don't buy it.
Now that I have, I wish I hadn't. We're pretty computer savvy around here (not bragging, just explaining) and we've yet to work our way through the abysmal "help" materials included in the program and on the Nuance website. VERY poorly organized and coded. Example: search for something related to DDM3, then search for something different regarding DDM3 using the search box and suddenly you're in the "general" search area and receiving results for completely different Nuance programs. Total incompetence.
We bought this product to help speed up the writing of film scripts and books. This requires the use of words, a few which are technical, that DDM3 does not understand out of the box. Fair enough, there are a lot of words in the English language, and even more when common foreign words are included. Surely need a quick and easy way to train the program to recognize and correctly spell those words.
Good luck trying to figure this one out. If you've used an earlier version of Dragon Dictate and have already gone through the very steep learning curve, maybe this is not such a big deal. However, if you're planning to use this morass quickly and easily straight out of the box, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Perhaps if you're doing extremely simple projects that require no training it will work OK.
Our experience is that everything with even the slightest complexity first requires earning a PhD in Dragon Dictate. NOT what we are after--we want to get actual work done, not waste time trying to figure out what the morons who put this together want us to do to make the simplest things happen. Sorry about the language, but the foregoing is a technical description, not a value judgement.
We've been using the free Dragon Dictate for our iPhones for a while now, and that app works great. Very small percentage of transcription errors; the only problem is it will record only for one minute at a time. Not a huge problem to keep touching the start button, but it does distract from the flow of thought.
We'd hoped and expected DDM3 to let us get and stay concentrated on our projects, transcribing correctly as we go along, with nothing to divert our concentration. Hasn't worked out that way, and I'm about to send our copies back to Nuance.
This program is not worth the trouble it takes to get set up and running. Buy at your own risk.
I would have rated this zero stars if the rating was available.