on 20 September 2010
I bought Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium after injuring my neck and being told by my doctor not to type. I have found it completely liberating. It types more accurately than I could type with my fingers and corrections are extremely easy to make. I would stress that these corrections are generally to improve writing style rather than to correct mistakes introduced by the software. It distinguishes between dictation and computer commands very readily. I have used it with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Internet Explorer and Adobe reader. It is very straightforward to use and requires little training. It is pretty good with names which it finds from reading through computer files and e-mails.
I can't recommend this product highly enough. Anyone who is likely to get RSI would benefit from using it, and anyone who is good at dictation will find it faster to use than typing using fingers.
This product is very easy to install. The CD runs an automatic process and after this, asks you to compile your own user profile to take into account any accents that might affect your voice recognition. There are only a few choices here, catering for any English/Foreign mixes in the accent. It is very important that you do vocab training in order for your voice to be recognised. I enjoyed this at first (especially the range of essays and excerpts they have for you to choose from) but it gets tiresome repeating these blocks of text after a while. Actually sitting down to use the software, I found it to be fairly fast at recognising what I'm saying, but there are still lots of errors, meaning lots more training for me. The programme makes a big effort however to ensure that audio settings are as perfect as can be before you start to transcribe. I really appreciated that the programme comes with a free microphone headset which is fairly good quality. I hope to get more use out of the whole programme in future, but you do have to be patient to use this.
on 29 September 2010
I have been using Dragon now for several versions. When I purchased version 10 Preferred, I thought it was clearly a step up from the previous version. I have now purchased version 11 Premium. It is not just a step up. It is a quantum leap ahead. There is speed and accuracy. But, from my past experience, the microphone which is sold with the software, always needs upgrading. In order to get the greatest accuracy and the greatest speed, you need to buy the best microphone you can afford, with the best external noise cancelling ability possible. That will save frustration in corrections and stop you going backwards, rather than going forwards. Hats off to Nuance - this is an exceedingly good product, only let down by the microphone. That is redeemable, by buying another microphone. Possibly an expensive option, but worth it. Still, the software deserves 5 stars.
on 1 October 2010
I dictate this review in absolute amazement. I never thought voice recognition could be so accurate. I have only dictated about 100 words or so, but so far only a surname was incorrectly spelt. I have tested it's accuracy with words such as psychology, metaphysics, Pythagoras, biology, platypus, contiguous. I could go on, and I will, absolutely unbelievably downright fantastic! I previously used via voice version 10 that I found to be absolutely useless. I'll try a well-known phrase to test it accuracy.
"The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog".
I dictate this with a West Midlands accident, which it appears to have no difficulty with. Let's try some punctuation and symbols: !"£$% & (") Hash sign? <>= Plus sign. How about I rattle off some numbers: 1234567890. Okay, one or two wrong, but not too bad. So far I have done the basic voice recognition training and program seems to be recognising most of the things that I say. In what has to be said is quite a fast-paced speech pattern. Here I go again: Orthotic, psychosis, malaise, paraplegic, Downs syndrome, hypertension, hypnotic, psychotic, Neoclassicism, necromancer subcommittee, subterranean.
Dictated from Mosby nurse's pocket dictionary (some of the words the software recognised correctly): laminectomy, osteoarthritis, polypeptide, mastectomy, spondylosis, haemorrhage & strabismus.
9.99 out of 10 excellent!
I had very mixed feelings about this voice recognition software. Here are my thoughts...
1. It works! After going through the training programme, I could just speak and it would transcribe it onto the computer.
2. You can combine voice commands with keyboard/mouse commands - whatever suits you best.
1. It's a bit of a pain to learn how to use it well - you have to remember the various commands. This isn't a major issue if you plan on using it regularly.
2. I have my PC desktop organised with icons on both sides of the screen. The Dragon toolbar always messed this up and I would have to manually move the icons back into place after each use. If you have all your icons on the left side of your screen this will not be a problem for you though.
3. If you are already used to dictating, you may have to relearn some of your commands. e.g. I dictate "(" as "bracket" but Dragon uses "left parenthesis".
1. I had visions of simply talking at my computer, but in practice you have to wear a carefully positioned headset with the microphone about an inch from your mouth. The one good thing is that the headset is included with the product in the Premium Edition.
So overall I think this is a technically brilliant product, very useful for anyone who is bad at typing or has problems with hand/arm mobility or has to type large chunks of text. I personally was put off from using it because the bother of wearing the headset and learning to use the programme properly outweighed the benefits in my particular case. Just think carefully if this is the right thing for you before you commit your money.
Voice recognition software has been around for a long time now, and is too large extent it's been a bit of a disappointment. It's always felt glitchy slow and somewhat single-minded in the interpretation is that it makes of users voice patterns.
Then again, it must be an extraordinarily difficult and complicated process to compute and process sounds into words and text; consider not only the multitude of words available to most of us, but also the myriad of different accents out there - it's really not surprising that the software available up until now has found the task to be a difficult one.
I'm glad to say that version 11 of dragon NaturallySpeaking has taken a big step towards making voice recognition software something worth considering by those who find the options it offers worthwhile.
The installation process takes about 20 mins. T in his time is frequently spent waiting for the computer to do something whilst it takes a few minutes to go through databases etc - it would be nice if Dragon could have put a few moving graphics on the screen during this process, as I found myself wondering whether my computer had frozen (yet again), whereas in reality everything was running fine. Apart from that, the process was easy and even quite fun: in order for a new profile to be set up sample portion of text as to be read into the computer, and this takes the form of a choice of different reading materials - every thing from a comedy routine, to a political speech by Kennedy; it felt like a reading test!
I'm a native English speaker, I trained as an actor and my accent is fairly close to received pronunciation. Yet I still have problems with the program misinterpreting my speech patterns, and typing other words than I had chosen. It's not perfect - as with most of us, it's not really sure what words need hyphens, and it's going to take a long time before it can interpret what I say without making a mistake once every other sentence. So that's the level it's at - be prepared to have to speak quite differently from how you normally would; there's very little difference between the vocals of 'it's at' and' it sat'. I'm still using the keyboard to correct the software, which obviously isn't going to help me in the long-run, but I think that slowly we're getting there.
The following paragraph was produced using the program:
"I think I prefer the slight delay caused by the slowness of writing in long hand - i.e. seem to edit my sentences as I write them, and I'm thinking ahead as my pen moves across the paper this feels almost to sudden I can't think ahead because I'm spending so much time just trying to make sure that I'm speaking properly and I'm not able to just talk of the hoof I might have an idea of what I want to say that the reality is that I need to draft a couple of times in order to develop a reading style that I'm happy with will stop."
There's a lot to learn here, as the communication process is definitely quite complicated learning the commands takes a certain time. Luckily, there's a handy quick reference card included in the box, which is handy because there doesn't seem to be any other sort of manual included. And it's going to take time to learn the commands - however, it's very easy pick up and start using straightaway. I wrote this review using the software and I will keep you updated with it as my struggles continue. So far, I'm dubious about it, but it's gradually winning me over.
on 19 September 2010
I like to begin my review by stressing the fact that I am a real novice when it comes to computer hardware and software, but I have been thinking about getting some voice operated software for quite some time, and jumped at the chance to review this product from amazon. I last tried to use voice operated software about 11 years ago, and as you can imagine if it was rather creaky and uncooperative.
This program is easy to install, is presented effectively, and its instructions are clear legible and logical. I had never used any software like this before, but within a few moments, I had it loaded and working and was using it effectively. In fact, this review is written using the same software, and I've managed to put it together quite quickly without too many editorial choices! I've been working with the software for about three days now, and I feel very just begin to scratch the surface of its potential. The software since learned quite quickly after you've read some passages illustrate what's your voice. I had to read John F. Kennedy's inaugural speech to train my voice, which is quite an impressive debut I felt!
I really enjoyed using it, and given that I have a slight medical condition which can sometimes make typing difficult, I really appreciate being used to use it. One possible downside is that the program is quite intense on memory, needing in excess of 4 GB to work effectively. That said, I don't appear to have had any problems yet, and I'm loving using it quite happily so far for at least two days. The software is both easy to use, attractively presented, and provides a really easy access introduction to voice operated computing.
on 23 September 2010
This is an excellent product, it's simple to install, configure and use. It's amazingly prompt and responsive, you can almost forget you're using it, unless... you have three kids, a partner, their associated friends and your house resembles Piccadilly Circus on a summer Saturday evening. While I loved this product it'd only work if I had a study on my own or if I was using it my own office with a locked door. I'd probably buy a nicer headset, too. Other than my own very personal gripes, this is a fantastic product.
I have a pretty broad accent and I was sceptical about whether this software would be able to handle it. I'm glad to report after using this software for a few days it's passed the test pretty well.
It was easy to install the software and it comes with a good quality headset which I was pleased to see, as I couldn't see anywhere on the product descript if it came with any.
It takes a little while to get used to the basic commands, but once you do you are on your way. I haven't gone into the more complex side of controlling your computer. I have just used for writing the odd email. As the software explains it takes it while to train itself to learn how you speak. For example it kept putting the word pipe instead of Pike. After saying the word a little slower it now seems to have recognized its error and I can now say the word at normal speed.
Now being truthful I personally can't see myself changing from the good old fashioned keyboard. However anyone with any reasons that make using a keyboard difficult or uncomfortable I would recommend this product whole heartedly as I'm sure with time it would be a godsend.
on 7 September 2010
I normally do not write reviews but I felt I had to after reading the reviews on here.
Dragon 11 is a lot quicker and better than my previous version 9.
I skipped version 10 as I did not see the need to spend more money. If Dragon 10 was half as good as 11 is, maybe I should have upgraded earlier.
As for the support. I have been a using Dragon since version 5 and have never had a bad experience.
Yes, sometimes one agent might not be as chatty as another but nobody has ever been rude or made me feel stupid unlike some other support helplines I have called.
They have always been helpful and explained how thing work (or do not work).
Keep it up and I will buy the next version sooner.