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on August 22, 2012
Hello everyone! Here is some insight on my initial experiences with this product as was purchased through Amazon thus far. Upon receiving this version of Dragon (Premium 12 - Student Teacher Edition), I opened the box and proceeded with going through the "Identit-E" process to obtain my serial number so that I could continue with installation. After going through the process and utilizing my school e-mail address I promptly received the required serial number necessary for me to continue the process.

Using the serial number I was provided, I installed the software without issue. Upon first run, you are required to "activate" and "register" the product. I clicked the "activate now" button to do so, and then received an error message and was informed via a pop-up box that the serial number I entered belonged to a different version of Dragon, Dragon Premium 11 Student Teacher Edition to be exact and the product could not be activated.

I immediately contacted Nuance at their technical support line to obtain assistance, to be greeted with quite a long wait to speak to a human. After finally reaching a human named "Andie" and providing all the necessary information, I was directed to contact "Identit-E" via their online chat to immediately receive the correct serial number for my product. I was quite irritated that the manufacturer themselves could not assist me with their own product, but since they outsource the registration and validation process to a third party, issues such as these must be handled by "Identit-E". I asked Nuance for a phone number to "Identit-E" but was told that the only way to communicate with them was via online chat or email.

I subsequently contacted "Identit-E" via their online chat, informing them verbatim of the situation and what Nuance had told me, furthermore expecting to receive a new serial number as was promised by Nuance. Upon speaking with a CSR named "Beth Gerber" through online chat at "Identit-E", I was informed: "....I have escalated your code with my supervisor. He is the only one who is able to get the correct code for your product. Either he, or myself will be able to send you the information tomorrow as he is already gone for the day".... - and needless to say I was quite irate. Bottom line, I was left to be stuck in technical support #$%! until the supervisor did whatever supposedly they could only do come tomorrow, and there's apparently only one single person who can assist me. What complete and total crust!

There are a few points to note here... 1) "Identit-E" can only be reached via online chat and/or e-mail. It should be noted that their "chat" is up and down in terms of availability so its a crap shoot (in my experience); 2) How Nuance can contract with a 3rd party provider for the servicing of their activations and/or registrations with a Company such as "Identit-E" who does not have or maintain a supervisor available during all business hours of availability since their CR's are powerless is beyond me... as if you are Nuance's customer you are at the mercy of "Identit-E" if you have nay problems with registration and activation; and 3) How sad is it that Nuance has ZERO control over issues with their own product that THEY manufactured... they simply pawn issues such as these off to the 3rd party contractor; I mean seriously!?!

So ultimately it does not matter to either Nuance and/or "Identit-E" that I needed this up and running by tomorrow, that this software is not cheap and the fact that contact during normal business hours should have yielded a simple resolution (the proper code) which I shouldn't have to wait additional time for considering I proved my eligibility for the product fair and square, but am being inconvenienced for an issue that is their own fault combined between the two companies. This is my first time doing business with Nuance and with their partnership with "Identit-E" and I can tell you that thus far its not leaving a hint of a positive taste in my mouth.

At this rate, I do plan to come back and post a review on the software itself and a follow up as to how this whole serial number issue is sorted out, but wanted to post this for others to be aware of what can happen if and when things go terribly wrong.
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on October 6, 2012
I ordered this Student/Teacher version 12 because I'm a college instructor. Obtaining the serial number was not a problem. However, the DVD I received is warped, emits a loud clicking noise in my computer's DVD drive (the same noise is audible on two other systems so the problem is clearly a defective disk), and it is unable to read the disk to install the program.

That's when I had the misfortune of contacting "Benjamin" in customer service. He is semi-literate in English and apparently located somewhere in India. He asked for all my order data from Amazon (order number, etc.). He even listened to the loud clicking of the disk in the drive, and agreed it sounded like there was clearly something wrong with the disk.

Then some additional hoops to jump through:

1. E-mail him screenshots of the Windows Explorer interface to prove that my computer can't fully read all the files on the warped disk.

2. E-mail him digital photographs of the disk itself (top and edge) to prove that I have an authentic disk and prove that it is warped. Okay, this was a strange request, but using my digital camera not too much of a problem if it would have satisfied Nuance and gotten me on the road to receiving a new disk. Were these thoughts ever naive.

3. Ben replies. He now wants "the POP proof of purchased of the Dragon 12 that came from Amazon." Huh? What exactly does "POP proof of purchased" mean, and why wasn't it requested during the original phone call? I send him a screen shot of my order record from my Amazon account and the scanned barcode label from the box. (Maybe the latter is what he meant by "proof of purchased" [sic]?)

4. Ben replies again. This time he wants the "email from amazon indicated the the payment you made from them if there is please attached it with this email as you reply." LOL. This reads like work from one of my grade-F students. Again, if this is what was required, why wasn't it clearly requested in the original phone call?

I forwarded him the original invoice e-mail. I made a little wager with myself that this would magically prove insufficient as well. Sure enough, it did.

5. "Sorry it's me again, as i can see in your screenshot [sic] of the email you got from amazon one last favor, can you please take a screenshot also of that the same email but open the VIEW INVOICE option."

Take a screenshot of an e-mail he already has right in front of him and at the same time click some link. Boy, that sure makes sense.

Sorry, but I'm now done with this: from the bizarre request for photographs of the defective disk, to one illiterate and cryptic request after the other. Anyway, Ben made clear on the original call (after we had spent about 5 minutes entering my Amazon order information into his system) that the system screenshots showing the disk as unreadable along with the disk photos would be sufficient. Now there's another new and nebulous obstacle course to run every day. I am a very busy college instructor who doesn't have time for this.

If I don't receive a response from this review within a week from a literate adult at Nuance, I will immediately initiate a chargeback on my credit card and look at other options, particularly Windows Speech Recognition. Not only is it free, but it's been reported to be a decent program with even more improvements expected on the forthcoming Windows 8.

I've been a solid Dragon customer since version 9, but after this experience I'm done with Nuance.
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on December 6, 2013
Prior happy user of version 11. I bought Dragon 12 specifically because I am now running Windows 8.1 X 64 and Office 2013 and Dragon version 11 wouldn't work for me in Office 2013. This product says it works with Window 7 and higher and Office. But all it did was stall, seize, and crash Word to the point a Word error message pop-up suggested I disable the add-in within Word and try to reinstall or repair. First I tried repair, but it would not allow my to change anything without doing the setup.exe file from the CD. So, I uninstalled Dragon and reinstalled it, still won't work, It will not allow me to install the available update 12.5 as it says in cannot "find a qualified Dragon NaturallySpeaking product to patch". I have tried everything I know to try to get the program working and it simply won't talk to my Office 2013. Also, it comes with a jack-in type microphone headphones and the program suggest you not use jacked but rather use an UBS or better connection. This inferior microphone headphones adds no value to version 12, as it appears that IF I ever get the program to work in Office I will have to upgrade the microphone headset.

So, I spent 80 bucks for a program that I am unable to use for the only program I bought it to use with! I needed it to help with writing research papers and other homework assignments for my university classes. Instead I am spending extra time, energy, and emotion trying to get the program to do what I paid for it to do! Argh!! Their website has no support for issues with use of Windows 8.x or Office. I am disgusted. I get emails almost daily from them to upgrade but no response to my inquiry on making their program functional on my system. Not cool Dragon. At least they don't call anymore.
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on September 10, 2012
Similar problem with the verification system. Identit-E recognized my university email immediately and sent me a serial number in seconds. However, for v12 products, Identit-E sends users a version 11 serial number . This makes it impossible to run the v12 software. I have emailed both Identit-E and Nuance to get some help with this. We will see how long it takes. Given that this has been a known problem for some time now (see previous review) it is very disappointing to see it is still happening. If it can be resolved before close of business today, then I will consider it all good. If not until tomorrow, then minimally acceptable. I will update the review when I get this activation mess resolved.

Update: Well, general customer service emails are not answered in a timely fashion. Both Identit-E and Nuance are slow to respond to issues by email. I don't have time to sit on the phone and deal with customer service, so I emailed Peter Mahoney at Nuance directly (see the comments thread in the other review for his email address). Peter did get back to me within an hour with a working key.

Now, as to the product proper, it is good but not perfect. The voice recognition is quite good and I expect will improve with time, but the software is a bit too laggy for my happiness. Whenever I click a command or activate the microphone, etc., it takes longer than it should to respond. One of the most noticeable moments of lag comes when one tries to close the dragon transcript text box. I have been using the software to transcribe .WAV files of dictations and lectures. Accuracy is pretty good and improves quickly based on my corrections, but when done, I save the text file and click to close the transcription box, and there is more than a full second of lag for the box to close. There are other little bits of lag that are similarly annoying, but not a deal breaker.

This is on a top-end i7 860 system with 16gb of ram, an SSD primary with 10k rpm 2gb secondary drive (dragon is on the SSD, audio and text files on the spinning drive), running W7x64 Pro.

If the recognition improves at the same rate as it has been now, then I will be absolutely thrilled with that end of it, though some scratchy and low-quality audio is hard for it to process, it does surprisingly well. I just wish it was a little more responsive, especially given that I have it in a system that is near bleeding-edge performance.
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on March 24, 2013
Before we get started with the main review, I'd like mention the registration process for the student/teacher edition: I had no issues and received my serial number by email in less than five minutes. I used my UMASS Boston email address. If you're a student or teacher use your .edu email, it will make registering easier. (As for those who did use their .edu email and still had issues, maybe Nuance has solved those issues?)

Quick note: set aside about 30 - 45 minutes for registration, installation and set up.

What you get: Software DVD, headphones with built in microphone, and Quick Reference Card.

As mentioned above, the academic registration went off without a hitch, as did the installation of the software (I'm running Windows 7). Drop the DVD into your computer and the auto install will take over. Easy.

The set up was a bit of a challenge. For me, the most difficult part was getting my computer to recognize the included headphone/microphone headset. I finally went with a gaming headset that connected via USB and proceeded from there - I shouldn't have even tried the included headset, my gaming headset is much more comfortable. (The included headset is a bit cheap, but what was I expecting for this price?) If you're running an OS that will support a USB headset, I would recommend using it. Once you have your headset hooked up, you'll need to set the voice levels by reading a short paragraph. Once the voice levels are set, take the time to get the system used to your voice (more reading) and establish a User Profile. The cool thing about Dragon is that it will learn how you talk - the more you use it the better it gets. Have an accent? No worries, Dragon will adapt to your voice. I also highly recommend the tutorial - I skipped that at first and using Dragon 12 went much faster once I used the tutorial.

Once you have gone through the set up process, using Dragon is fairly simple There is a bit of a learning curve, but what software doesn't have one? The Quick Reference Card comes in handy in the beginning. So far I am impressed by how quickly I can "write" papers and reports. Once this semester ends, I may even dust off an old goal and try to write a book.

Considering the price for this software ($79.99), the accuracy and the ease of use I highly recommend Dragon Premium 12.
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on March 27, 2014
This program is certainly not perfect. It misses some words sometimes, is quite the resource hog, and seems to need to be closed and reopened every 6 hours or so of use. But I've come to like it quite a lot, and use it to dictate nearly everything I write for grad school which is probably 20-30 pages of papers a week and tons of e-mails.

I've used nothing but the included headset which seems to work fine. When first setting it up I read through two of the essays for training and let the program read my past emails and papers. It immediately ran at about 99% accuracy and hasn't seemed to improve or degrade over time as some other reviewers have reported. You'll certainly need to do a bit more editing than normal but nothing extreme.

I started out speaking fairly slowly, and chunking out my sentences in 10-15 word bursts. Now that I've gotten used to thinking without typing (the biggest challenge!) I go a lot faster and it seems to keep up ok most of the time. It's kinda fun to be laying in bed talking to my laptop, or on a treadmill with the laptop above it, and dictating papers. Has raised my productivity a bit for that reason, and because I don't have to worry about the carpal tunnel I used to suffer from. But I type 40-50 wpm, and I don't know that the speed itself is that much faster.

There is definitely a bit of a learning curve, and I recommend just using it for a while. You'll find certain words or names that it just doesn't want to recognize, and rather than spelling them I just type those. Sometimes it's faster to highlight using your voice, and sometimes using the mouse. I've found it works best when I bounce back and forth, typing one particularly challenging sentence then dictating a paragraph then highlighting a sentence with the mouse then saying "underline this" etc. Once you treat it like just another productivity tool it works great, but don't count on it for everything.
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on October 23, 2012
This product is a great improvement over the last version that I owned. I previously had Dragon 9 Standard Edition and would constantly train and correct words that I used during my dictations. With version 12, I find that I had to perform minimal speech training and the accuracy is greatly improved. This has cut my time spent typing to about 1/4 of what it was before.

There were two issues I had initially once I received the software. 1) During initial installation there was a glitch that caused the program to be unusable. After uninstalling and reinstalling I have had no problems. 2) The retrieval process to get the serial key initially gave me a key for version 11. After emailing customer service I had received the correct serial key within 24 hours.

The additional benefit of the Premium version allows me to use it in spreadsheets as well as web browsing. At this point I still do not have a firm grasp on all of the commands that are available within these programs, but it continues to save me time with whichever program I'm using.
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on September 13, 2013

I bought Dragon Naturally Speaking Premium 12 (Student/Teacher Edition) in April, 2013 and loved it. The speech recognition accuracy is incredible!

So I made a second purchase of the Student/Teacher Edition in September, 2013, in order to train students with it. To my surprise, I was not-so-politely told when registering it through Identit-e that the software key would not be validated because "I had made a duplicate purchase within 365 days." According to them, I was welcome to wait 365 days from the date of the first purchase and then register the second purchase. Furthermore, their reply stated "No Exceptions!" Hmm.

I reviewed the page used to purchase the Student/Teacher Edition and did not find any reference to making only one purchase per calendar year, but perhaps I missed some small print somewhere. Fortunately, Amazon is an exceptionally user-friendly dealer, and the purchase price and shipping/handling were refunded fully. Dragon Premium 12 is a great product, and Amazon offered it at a great price and with free shipping/returns. Just beware if you have one Student/Teacher Dragon and are hoping to add a second one at home or in the classroom. If doing so, the first purchase can be for a Student/Teacher Edition and the second purchase must be for a regular, full-priced version.

As a side-note, I was told by Nuance Customer Support that it is permissible to install one copy of Dragon Naturally Speaking Premium 12 on your "working" computer, and another copy on a "back-up" computer. I imagine that it would be necessary to contact Nuance Tech Support when installing the back-up version in order to "activate" it. I have not tried to install a back-up yet, but hope to do so in the near future.

4 people found this helpful
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on January 30, 2014
This is an excellent product for many people, but specifically liberating for people who struggle with typing. People who have arthritis, or injuries on their hands, people who hunt and peck but have a lot to say, students whose papers would benefit from being able to "type" faster on their keyboards, and many, many others can benefit from the use of the Dragon Naturally Speaking program (Dragon Naturally Speaking Premium 12 Bluetooth (Wireless), English). The software "learns" your voice, so no matter what dialect you speak in, it will adapt to your way of talking. Then you talk, and it types. There are all kinds of programs that it works with to make the projects you are working on move smoother. Even those of us who type quickly tire after hours at the keyboard, Dragon Speak (that's our nickname for the program) makes the effort much easier. It takes a little bit to understand how to make it work well for your particular tastes, but there are tutorials included, and online videos that make even those who struggle to accomplish typing a paper, learn fairly quickly. I have seen amazing results with students, and authors alike.
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on December 3, 2013
This review is for "Dragon Premium 12, Student/Teacher Edition, English"
The software is decent, it still messes up a few words here and there but overall it is very helpful for completing my school assignments and essays.
My only real problem with it is that the head set that is in the box was dead on arrival. It wouldn't work with the software at all, but I ran out and grabbed different head set and it worked great with the software. So overall its a very helpful program and I'm glad i bought it just know you might get stuck with a program you cant use for awhile if you're relying on the headset that comes with it.
5 people found this helpful
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