Sep 21

This month Macspeech have released a major upgrade of Macspeech Dictate and they have also renamed it to include the Dragon branding – Dragon Dictate. It’s the equivalent of Dragon Naturally Speaking version 11 on Windows.

I’ve only been using it for a couple of hours, but I can say it’s definitely an improvement on MacSpeech Dictate. Dragon have put their name on the product, which I assume means they’ve put out something that they’re finally happy with.
I was happy with the last version, but this one is even better. Continue reading ⟩

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Sep 20

Nuance have just launched Dragon Dictate voice recognition software for the Mac. Anyone tried it out yet? It’s an upgrade of Macspeech Dictate but they have changed the name from Macspeech Dictate to Dragon Dictate. It’s powered by the dragon v11 engine.

Dictate 2.0 “learns” better than any previous version via training in the Recognition window, as well as through the Vocabulary Training feature.

Hopefully this means the problems I describe here regarding learning as you dictate have been addressed. It will be nice if it boots up straight away without having to manually select a profile… Let’s see – I’m just downloading an update now (1.2 GB – 1 hour to go!) so I’ll keep you updated after I install it… It requires OS X  Snow Leopard or later. The full version at $199 is still dearer than Dragon Naturally Speaking for windows, but the upgrade from Macspeech Dictate was only $49 – quite reasonably priced.

I’m hoping the fact that they now have put their ‘Dragon’ name onto it means they have a Speech recognition product that rivals the PC version in all aspects.

UPDATE: I now have a copy and you cna read my review here.

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Jul 28

[This article was written in 2010. For a more recent of Dragon click here.]

I’ve been waiting for almost 10 years for Dragon Naturally Speaking to arrive on the Macintosh!  And finally it’s here –  Dragon Dictate. Continue reading ⟩

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Aug 05

Screen shot 2010-09-21 at 11.24.57 PM

With Dragon NaturallySpeaking the only option was to purchase it in Australia because there was a special Australian edition which was made using the Australian accent.

With Macspeech Dictate however, the US version comes with Australian accent,  so you can buy the normal version of MacSpeech Dictate from the US for about $200 ($100 less than Australia) and it will still work here.

It comes with USA, UK and Australian versions built-in. So the cheapest way is to buy the US version here and choose ‘digital download’ so you don’t get charged shipping.

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Nov 18

I have  previously reviewed MacSpeech Dictate but here are some tips on how to use it well. Continue reading ⟩

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Apr 28

When Macspeech Dictate was first released I gave  it a negative review. It has improved incredibly and the  most up to date review is here. But I have left my initial older review  here as a reference – you can read it below….

28th April, 2008 Macspeech Version 1.0

Ever since I first used Dragon Naturally Speaking Version 4 in 2000, I have been waiting for it to be released on the Macintosh.  Well  it’s finally arrived, it’s called “MacSpeech Dictate”, and it’s powered by Dragon. Unfortunately there are still a few hiccups. My advice is if you have been using voice recognition already – Viavoice or iListen, then make the switch – it’s an improvement. But if you are not currently using speech recognition, wait a little longer. It’s not quite there yet, and the adjustment to speech recognition combined with some bugs makes for a steep learning curve.

Now in terms of dictation and recognition, MacSpeech 1.0 Dictate is fantastic. The accuracy is very impressive  and it does not take much training.  In fact I think I was reading stories for about five  minutes and then I was ready to Dictate. It’s also a very stable application,  unlike IBM ViaVoice which was frequently crashing.

It integrates very easily so that you can dictate into any Macintosh program. IBM ViaVoice was meant to do this but in reality whenever you were dictating into anything other than the ViaVoice speakpad it was tediously slow.

So what are the problems in 1.0?

Firstly there is a bug in it so that if you correct anything with your mouse and keyboard, it gets out of sync and loses it’s place, and you can’t keep dictating.

Secondly, it doesn’t train itself from your mistakes.

One of my favourite features of Dragon NaturallySpeaking was the correction window where the program automatically learnt from your mistakes. When it mis-recognised a word, all you had to say was  “correct that” and type in the  correct word, and Dragon NaturallySpeaking would automatically train itself so that whenever you spoke that word again it would get it right.

When Macspeech Dictate makes a mistake it just keeps misrecognizing the word, and you can’t re-train it. The manual promises that this correction feature will come in an update – let’s hope it’s soon.

Conclusion – Macspeech Dictate Version 1.0

If you have been using ViaVoice or iListen, then you will be blown away by the accuracy of Macspeech Dictate – it’s simply the best voice recognition software for the Mac.

On the other hand, if you have come across from the PC using Dragon NaturallySpeaking you will be taking a step backwards due to the lack of automatic correction, and the buginess of the software.

It’s a very nice piece of software, but with its current lack of features and bugs, it should be a beta version. In my opinion, it’s worth $100, $200 if you really need it, but at $300, it’s way overpriced given it’s problems.

NOTE: All these features that I mentioned needing improving have been fixed in version 1.3 and even more features have been added to 1.5. Macspeech now automatically learns from it’s mistakes so it trains itself as you use it. Also editing your text after you have dictated is much easier.  And it’s much more stable.
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