Sunday, January 27, 2008


As long term readers of this blog (all 3 of you) will know, my hands are not in the greatest shape and so I've been lusting after voice recognition software for some time. I know, I know, there are far more sexy things in life to be lusted after, but right now some sort of software that means I don't have to limit my computer time to when or how much I can type is top of my list.

You'll also know I'm not the most technically minded of people so I thought I'd ask for advice from you lovely lot. As far as I can make out Dragon seems to be the software to go for, but there are different versions, and I've no idea what the difference between the standard or preferred editions is, or if it's even important. Can anyone advise, please?


Maddy said...

I bought Dragon for the boys [complete failure but probably for different reasons]

You may possibly [can't be sure it's just my best guess] need to be careful about your accent.

You need good diction, no slurry speech. You need to speak smoothly at a steady pace no big pauses [whilst your brain catches up!] or suddenly speed up.

A good part of it is that you can put it in 'teaching mode' ramble away for hours and hours until it gets used to your voice and that seems to help [or it would do but for the hic-cups outlined above]

As for the different versions etc. I'll leave that for the more technically minded amongst us.

fi said...

I used Dragon a couple of years back when I was lecturing in a university. I got it free in the university and because of that I assume that it's the best one out there. My GP told me that her husband uses it (my orthopaedic surgeon - it does amuse me thinking of letters going back and forward between them, do they hand deliver them??).
Overall I found the software to be fairly good, although you need to have no background noise otherwise it will pick up that. It did, however, really slow my laptop down.
It definitely did relieve my wrists from having to type too much with no wrist support and I was lucky in that there were days when typing was not as painful so I could alternate between using it and not.
It probably would be a good investment but while I would go for an uptodate version, I would not spend up on £100 on it and would stick to the standard version at under £40 on Amazon.
I also did not find it that much of a hardship to be tied to the laptop when using it as if you need to leave it you just tell it to go to sleep, so I'm not convinced of the need for the wireless microphone.
Hope this helps.


That Northerner said...

Its a big jump in price,but I would go for the wireless version,if it comes with the dictaphone too..thats not very clear in the blurb.
When you start your novel,wireless and dictaphone will be very can dictate your raunchy chapters from on top of the Captain!
You might even be able to claim some back as expenses,when you get to the point of being a self employed writer..keep the receipt safe.

Completely unrelated..remember that american robot suit I showed you?Have a look at the japanese version..its almost a nintendo wii accessory
hope all is well with you bendy x.

**heck - Fionas experience has negated everything I suggested!

Anonymous said...

try the latest version microsoft ship with vista (get all the updates too before starting)

id try that one as its basically free (if u get vista) first, before spending any money

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Wow. Thank you all. I need to be able to type more to reply properly, so for now, thanks. BG x

Katrin said...

I looked into it a while back, and for the programs I need it to support I would have had to buy the $900+ version as the lower ones don't support Outlook (just outlook express) or any of the other programs I use often other than MS Word. Didn't seem like it would be worth it just to use in MS Word and I got really frustrated with Outlook Express a number of years back and refuse to go back to it. Also Dragon requires a LOT of RAM and memory space and an updated speaker/microphone and some other media card, which of course they don't tell you, in order to run well enough without slowing your computer down to turtle speeds. So it will probably in the long run cost you more than just the price of the software. BUT everyone I have talked to says that Dragon does make the best voice recognition software so if you're going to do it at all, go the Dragon route. For me now, $900 is more than typing in pain, therefore pain will continue.

Good luck!

Vi said...

I haven't a clue hon, but Hunk probably will, since he's a computer freak. I'll ask him when he's next online. He'll even know the cheapest place to buy it from, I'm sure.

frog ponds rock... said...

oh darlin,
you might as well have just told me that you are about to fly to Mars.. and needed my advice on Martian terminology .. :)

sorry hun..

cheers kim.. oops...xoxoxox

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Maddy: TY. Sorry to hear it didn't work for the boys. Fortunately my diction is clear, no slurring these days and I have an overall British accent but no strong regional one.

Fi: Hello, and thank you. Like you I've not been convinced of the need for either wireless microphone or the 'preferred' version, but I do have concerns my laptop will not be able to cope. Ho hum.
You picked well there, a GP married to your ortho surgeon! Cynical as I am I bet the NHS makes them put all the letters in the official system lol BG

Northerner: I see if I ever make it as a writer not only will I have to credit you for advice, but also get you to do my tax returns;)
I checked out that link, OMG how fast have they develpped that technology?! Its amazing. Hope life is being kind to you X

Anonymous: Hello. Thank you, that's an option I hadn't even considered!

Katrin: OMG, $900. The one I'm considering is like $80-90. Wow. I'm like you, pretty much decided it'll have to be Dragon if I do get it, but from all the advice I suspect I'd need a much more powerful laptop/pc to run it. Back to the drawing board for now. Thank you. BG

Vi:Cheers my love. I don't know if you've ever used it, but ebuyer usually comes up the cheapest for most computer related stuff (it didn't for this one though!) It's worth looking for any wine related laptop crisis though! BG x

Kim: Thank you anyway! x

Vi said...

I purchased my comp through ebuyer, who hunk recommended. Just spoke to him, he also says windows vista is the best.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Vi: Aw, thank you so much mate, I really appreciate that. Back to the drawing board now though methinks to find out about Vista! x