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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.
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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!
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VINE VOICEon 26 September 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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.
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VINE VOICEon 25 March 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I had very mixed feelings about this voice recognition software. Here are my thoughts...

The Good
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.

The Bad
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".

The Ugly
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.
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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.
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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.
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VINE VOICEon 23 September 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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.

4 stars.
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on 18 October 2010
I remember spending numerous frustrating hours trying to train an early version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking in 2001 that ended with the box and contents being firmly wedged in my waste paper basket. For many years I have not believed the claims made about the product. However, faced recently with a massive project and little time to do it I decided to give Dragon another bash. I bought the Premium version because premium allows for a digital recorder. (I have set up two profiles - one normal voice and one digital voice.) A training session during installation was optional so I gave it a skeptical 10 minutes training session because I didn't want any excuses. I was out to prove it doesn't really work. Well, I have to confess it is SLAMMING! I do not articulate particularly well, but the more you use it the more it recognises your speech habits. (Make sure Dragon knows you are correcting it rather than changing your mind about what you have said = that will make sense when you use the product.) With very little practise you no longer need your keyboard or mouse to open applications and do stuff. (e.g. Open Microsoft Word, type this stuff, save the document as, and close Word.) I have used it seamlessly with Office 2003 and 2007 applications, CorelDRAW, and this review itself. I have literally said all this to you.
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on 24 January 2011
The important bit for you to do so that you avoid the shenanigans of my experience: check the system requirements yourself carefully before buying! And make sure you account for any other applications your computer or laptop will have to deal with (e.g. I have additional heavy duty softwares to do with my work that have to be open and active at the same time as the Dragon is).

I bumbled into buying this Dragon eager to improve my productivity on my laptop (Toshiba Satellite T110-107). I replaced the memory to upgrade to 4GB RAM (£34). Then I got the Dragon and proudly installed it - easy to do. I started to train it. You are told not to shout at it as if it were a foreigner. But if it won't and won't and again won't understand you you find yourself shouting at it anyway. But maybe that is because I 'used to be' German and the Dragon does not like the accent. Then the Dragon hit back with going berserk - instead of typing opening all kinds of applications etc. - totally erratic operations.

Lengthy, pointless email exchanges with Dragon support, which involved sending a copy of my system specifications did bring suggestions that you sort of think up yourself in desperation. Eventually someone had another look at the specifications and suggested my sound card was rubbish - the cheap solution would be to get a USB headset - rather than the headset from the Dragon box -, which I did (£35.-). It hugely improved my Skype conversations, but did not much for my Dragon relationship.

A friend who looked up the system requirements spotted straight away (what to me was gobbledegoo)that my processor on the Toshiba with its processor speed of 1.3 GHz was not up to it. By then I had invested all my spare hours for about two months in fighting the Dragon. In no way could I now turn round and chuck it. So, I bought a Dell Studio XPS 8100 with a processor speed of 2.93 GHz and a specially requested increase of the system memory to 8GB RAM. The Dragon is pleased about this and even likes my accent. My occasional scrapes, I feel, are more to do with my temperament and the inevitable learning process then with anything I would want to criticise about the Dragon as a tool.

So going for three stars rather than 5 has more to do with the the friendly but useless support that dragged things out for ever (while telling me off and switching me off and telling me that depending on the nature of my query I would be charged) than with the product.
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on 23 September 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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.
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