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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality Voice Recognition Sotware
I have used various incarnations of voice recognition software (VRS) for many years now as I have RSI type problems and find it a real aid for inputting text. In fact I have been studying a history degree and "write" all of my assignments using VRS and really would not have been able to do so without it. I haven't had an upgrade of Dragon for a few years now so was really...
Published on 20 Oct 2010 by uncle barbar

versus
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less of an upgrade than I would have expected
As a long standing and very satisfied Dragon user, I found myself having to upgrade from v.9 Preferred after moving up to Win 7 64 Bit - Dragon 9 is not 64 bit compatible.

First the good news - the speech engine in Dragon 11 is clearly and significantly superior; and with only basic voice training plus a little regular use the recognition quality is very...
Published on 24 Nov 2010 by T. R. Jackson


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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality Voice Recognition Sotware, 20 Oct 2010
By 
uncle barbar (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home Edition (PC) (DVD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have used various incarnations of voice recognition software (VRS) for many years now as I have RSI type problems and find it a real aid for inputting text. In fact I have been studying a history degree and "write" all of my assignments using VRS and really would not have been able to do so without it. I haven't had an upgrade of Dragon for a few years now so was really interested to see how good it was now...

First things first, get the CD out of the pack and install the software - this is a really simple task. Just set it up as "Typical/Complete" unless you have used Dragon before and want to change anything on a Custom setting. It took less than five minutes for me to get up and running.

The microphone headset is pretty good. In the past VRS's have been sold with quite poor headsets which meant that the software didn't perform as well as it should and I sourced better (Andrea) headset. This one however is decent quality so I stuck with it.

The software asks you a few basic questions - your age, where you come from etc just so it knows whether to expect an old American accent, a broad Australian one etc

You need to test your microphone to ensure it is the correct distance from your mouth and that it can hear you clearly (this can take a couple of attempts) . You then get to choose one from a number of texts to read out loud while the software gets to understand how you say all of these words. You can have the software check through your Word documents and e-mails to see the type of words you regularly use so that it can built up a dictionary of words for you.

You can then go into the Dragon Tutorial to try out Dragon's many features before embarking on writing your own masterpieces. The four overviews of "Getting Started", "Dictating", "Correcting and Editing" and "Using Applications" are all pretty basic but will get you used to using Dragon

It will then give you a few pointers as to the best way to site your microphone (which is a little late if you have not managed to get through the very first stage further back in this process!) It then tells you how to turn the microphone on and off and goes through what the "DragonBar" looks like and briefly tells you about all of its functions. Understanding the importance and usefulness of the DragonBar is essential to get the best use out of the software so it's worth spending a bit of time reading through this. There is then a short section on how to get help - and tips. Another useful thing to spend your time on.

Then once you're ready you can click on the microphone on the DragonBar, open up an application and start speaking! It's as easy as that! Just watch the words appear as you speak them. It will get some words wrong but it soon learns how you say specific words and gets even more accurate over time.

I have found Dragon version 11 extremely accurate. Unlike other older versions I do not keep having to go over my text to edit the mistakes that Dragon has made. I would say I found it 99% accurate so far.

Whilst writing this review I used Dragon version 11. I only had to go over three pieces of text in the whole piece. I would say it is the most accurate voice recognition software I have ever used and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
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117 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent package and really all you need, 26 Sep 2010
By 
Don Panik (Cambridge UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home Edition (PC) (DVD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Version 11 of this software does seem to be a major step forward. The accuracy more or less straight out of the box is very impressive and with some practice in dictating clearly and learning the command set, as well as inputting some specific words and names and analysing documents that you have previously prepared, it is entirely realistic that you can use this software for the majority of the text input that you want to make to your computer.

I was first introduced to this software via the Premium Mobile Edition which also includes the digital voice recorder. I was therefore interested try out this much cheaper home-based edition.

What you don't get in the home edition:
* the Digital voice recorder or the wireless Bluetooth microphone and headset
* dictation and command support for Microsoft excel
* highlighting of text during audio playback
* import export custom wordlists
* ability to create custom voice commands to quickly insert frequently used text and graphics.

What you do get is
* the same highly accurate speech recognition software
* the same headphone / microphone as in the Premier edition (excluding the Bluetooth setup)
* same integration with word Outlook Web browsers etc
* same ability to control many functions of PCs by simply speaking
* similar ability to personalise set up with own formatting preferences

Unless you want to make a very regular use of voice recognition within Microsoft Excel, or need the ability to transcribe from a dictation machine, I would say that this home edition will pretty much satisfy the needs of most home users and students at what is a bargain price. The ability to use a dictation machine is a good advantage on the more expensive premium version, but I have found my primary use of the software is sat in front of the computer itself.

Overall therefore I think this is a fantastic bit of software, offering the potential to totally revolutionise the way that you interact with your PC. The home edition offers a drastically reduced price whilst maintaining the most essential elements of the programme. Highly recommended, and yes I did dictate this review!
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105 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly good!, 15 Sep 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home Edition (PC) (DVD-ROM)
I've been using voice recognition products for the last 10 years or more - as I'm paralysed from the neck downwards, I'm absolutely reliant on voice recognition software which will both transcribe dictation accurately, and control all the applications I need.

This version of NaturallySpeaking beats everything I've tried so far (cranky old IBM ViaVoice, versions 1 to 10). Quick, accurate, copes with background noise, stable - the last version of ViaVoice used to crash my PC every session, at least - and works well with every application I've tried, so far.

The accurate transcription helps keep spontaneity (you don't have to keep stopping to correct the mistakes) and has increased my productivity many times over. For example, it's taken me just a couple of minutes to type this review. I only had to correct a few words.

Just a few moans: the contextual help isn't, well, very contextual. You really have to hunt around to find the commands that you need to say, which isn't easy when you're starting out. And I can't find a way of getting NaturallySpeaking to boot up with my user profile already loaded when I start my PC.

Otherwise, I couldn't recommend this more highly.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazed at its capability, 9 Nov 2010
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home Edition (PC) (DVD-ROM)
Although I have yet to make use of every facility that this program offers, I am amazed at its capability. It has, most certainly, improved my productivity and helped to reduce the overhead costs of my small business. I need to spend more time to fine tune recognition of some of my words but the program makes very few mistakes, and most of these are quite logical, for example 'to', 'too', '2', 'two' are difficult to differentiate when speaking. I am sure that there is a way to do this!

I would recommend this product without hesitation and I have already done so to many of my colleagues. I find that the Home Edition is more than adequate for my needs as a freelance writer, editor and book publisher. The Professional Edition might be necessary for a larger business.

Some of the reviews that I studied before purchasing the product were critical of the headset and microphone that come boxed with the software. I actually purchased a separate stand-alone microphone, having seen that others had done so. However I have been using the Dragon headset and it works perfectly well for me, and it seems to be sufficiently robust.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Clever Software but Resource Hungry, 8 Oct 2010
By 
Robert Groom (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home Edition (PC) (DVD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'd looked into getting some voice recognition software for some time, and to be honest I'd always had my doubts about how genuinely helpful it would be. However, this product has made me realise that it can actually be a convenience and a timesaver if:

1. You are prepared to put in the (modest) amount of time required to learn how to use it correctly.
2. Your computer is sufficiently powerful (Dragon Naturally Speaking uses about 300MB of RAM when running, and up to 25% CPU on my Lenovo (IBM) X61 whilst it's actively capturing input.
3. You work alone in a reasonably quiet environment.
4. You are prepared to train it to recognise technical terms and unusual names.

The first piece of good news is that Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home Edition is customisable. Depending on the version you choose, it is more or less so. The Home Edition is the least so, but it is still possible to train it to recognise new words, names and acronyms with minimal effort. The second good news is that it can be switched into three different modes of English; US, UK and Australian.

Installing it is relatively painless, although you do need to go through several minutes of 'training' which involves reading aloud one of 5 different tracts of text. I happened to choose President Kennedy's inaugural speech which, to be honest wasn't as enthralling as I was expecting, but seemed to do the job. After that, I went through the tutorials, which are structured reasonably well. They could be improved - I might suggest by adding some set 'training' tasks or games to get the user more involved rather than just reading text and watching video clips. However, what is present is well written.

Recognition of most words and names is very good. It will not add punctuation by itself, however. It requires the user to dictate every comma, bracket, quotation and question mark. I would have been very impressed if it had offered this feature. However, that said, the user may then need to spend a large amount of time correcting its mistakes.Most difficult for it to handle are technical terms. I had to train it to recognise the exact format of several technical phrases, and noted that it was much better at dealing with them in certain ways, e.g:

'14-24 f/2.8' can be added as a custom word by adding: 'fourteen to twenty four f two point eight' and then briefly training it by reading the phrase aloud.

However, it failed miserably to recognise this as a whole phrase, and would repeatedly mistake it for separate words, which it would add incorrectly, so I was forced to add a prefixing word:

'Nikon 14-24 f/2.8' which was added as 'Nikon fourteen to twenty four f two point eight'

Which it recognised very well indeed. I don't necessarily always want to use the phrase in that way, but I can live with it. If I want it without the prefix I can just say "delete Nikon" after it and the word 'Nikon' will be erased. Simple!

So there are limitations with very technical acronyms and phrases, but I guess this is to be expected. The vocab editor could use some improvement - rather than editing custom words, I could only delete and re-create then, which is a little irritating. Overall however, I think you're getting a very sophisticated piece of software for very little money, and if you really think you could benefit from it, I'd say it's worth a shot.

Not perfect, but for this price, and considering it includes a headset (admittedly a fairly cheap, if functional one), you can't go too far wrong. If it were more expensive, I'd expect more, but at this price level it's worth 4 stars.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great piece of software, 30 Oct 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home Edition (PC) (DVD-ROM)
As you might expect, and like many other reviewers, I am dictating this review using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I also bought the Logitech USB desktop microphone to use with the software-the combination is awesome.

After 15 minutes, the software was quite happily recognising over 90% of my speech. The training is ongoing and I'm sure I'll very soon be able to achieve 100%.

All in all a great purchase!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much more than just typing, 20 Sep 2010
By 
J. Lyne (Forres, Morayshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home Edition (PC) (DVD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
obviously the best way to review this product is by using it. So what you see before you is an uncorrected spoken review using this software.

I can remember many years ago using a very early version of Dragon software, but found that speaking in single words as you had to do back then was very restrictive and after only a few tries the software was uninstalled and never used again. Having installed this though I am totally amazed at how well it works after only a few minutes and very little training from myself.

Installation went almost faultlessly on my Hewlett-Packard netbook running windows vista on 4 GB of RAM, although I did think the computer had frozen at the online registration point but this turned out to be a dialogue box waiting to be closed. Once I had done this I simply had to read through a few paragraphs presented on the screen and know I was up and running. The software sits unobtrusively at the top of your screen and you can either use voice commands or keyboard commands to open your software and start using dragon NaturallySpeaking. As you can see the speech recognition is exceptionally good, and this gets better over time the more you train the software. Training can be done without the keyboard although I have found it better to use the keyboard some of the more complicated phrases. Over time I really do believe that this software will give me almost 100% accuracy.

But this software is about more than just typing. My family are now amazed that I can control my computer just by speaking. From opening Internet Explorer, to clicking the mouse and searching on Amazon all of these things no longer require the use of the keyboard. Obviously for a lot of people full computer control using your voice is very impractical (imagine surfing the web while your family are trying to watch TV) but for me this software is worth it just for the typing. I have a reasonably good typist and yet I have written this review in a court of the time it would normally taken. That should have read quarter of the time!

Initially I thought this would begin it but I think now I'm going to keep this on my computer and save my fingers! Highly, highly recommended.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less of an upgrade than I would have expected, 24 Nov 2010
By 
T. R. Jackson (Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home Edition (PC) (DVD-ROM)
As a long standing and very satisfied Dragon user, I found myself having to upgrade from v.9 Preferred after moving up to Win 7 64 Bit - Dragon 9 is not 64 bit compatible.

First the good news - the speech engine in Dragon 11 is clearly and significantly superior; and with only basic voice training plus a little regular use the recognition quality is very good.

However...
(and I may be in the wrong here by not comparing like for like across the versions - but for the price paid for v.11 Home I expect to be able to.)
I seriously miss vocal playback in my own voice of what I have dictated when doing corrections.
An artificial voice simply reading what the software has written when I know it to be wrong is frustrating.
The other big frustration at the moment is the significantly shorter periods of dictation allowed by v.11 before the dictation limit is reached.
Is this because the better speech engine is more RAM intensive I wonder.

I feel that Nuance have sold us short in this version.
That said I would still recommend Dragon to any potential new 'two finger typists' looking for an easier way to get words onto paper.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dragon - A Natural, 12 Oct 2010
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home Edition (PC) (DVD-ROM)
Does exactly what it says on the box. Easy to install and use. Picked up my strong Scots accent without a problem. Fantastic package.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am dictating this review title after having just installed the program, 10 Mar 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home Edition (PC) (DVD-ROM)
I have just bought DragonDictate 11 home version and installed two hours ago. I was immediately impressed by how easy it was to dictate. in fact I am doing that right now. as you can see I have not yet learned how to do simple things like capitalise letters at the beginning of sentences. however it seems to be working more or less out of the box. I am Scottish, originate in Glasgow, and have been told that I mumble. so I am making a deliberate effort to speak clearly. it seems to work. I had an old version of IBM ViaVoice which was for me utterly useless. I could not get it to understand even very simple words. for that reason I uninstalled it almost immediately. clearly things have moved on.

I had the unfortunate experience of pulling the head phone out of the jiffy bag contained within the box and accidentally ripped off one of the headphones. so I would advise you to be careful about that.

Even right from the beginning I have been able to use simple commands to control the computer. I managed to start Firefox and Windows mail using voice commands. presently I am dictating this in Microsoft word and will cut and paste it into the browser. end of dictation for the moment.

now in Firefox and dictating review directly into the window on the Amazon.co.uk website. it seems that the program is very effective.

I would recommend that you try this program even if like me you have a Scottish accent. if you are concerned about you about your failure to use old programs I would not let that put you off.

now if I could just press the submit button by speaking!

Update 2 days later: I really see this as the future of the human-computer interface. After my 15-year-old son came home from school on the first day I was using the program, he just started to laugh. That's the future he said. I am now realising there is quite a lot to learn in terms of commands both within a word processor, within Dragon itself and more generally within the operating system. Some commands are however quite intuitive and thus very easy to learn. Naturally I am dictating this update! I will now attempt to preview this review using dictation!
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Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home Edition (PC)
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home Edition (PC) by Nuance Communications, Inc. (Windows 2003 Server / 7 / Server 2008 / Vista / XP)
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