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Author Topic: Dictation programmes  (Read 3027 times)

Offline ABERS

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Dictation programmes
« on: November 27, 2009, 05:01:35 PM »
I'm thinking of buying my wife a lap top for Christmas and I have been looking for some sort of software that allows the spoken word to be translated as text into Word. Has anyone used such a programme and if so is it a workable proposition?

I would ber much obliged for any information.

Cheers...Alan.



Offline Alfonso_Frisk

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Re: Dictation programmes
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2009, 05:54:05 PM »
Not used such software but came across this one whilst browsing Misco
http://www.misco.co.uk/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=393076&CatId=0

another but very expensive
http://www.misco.co.uk/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=330239&CatId=0

there is a couple more over there a lot cheaper. Have a browse

RR
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« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 10:52:00 PM by Alfonso_Frisk »
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Offline Oldboy

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Re: Dictation programmes
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2009, 05:57:13 PM »
There are some products out there but it takes a time to get use to your voice. They also manage less that 90% once they have gotten use to your accent. Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 Standard is about the best around. You also have it built-in to WindowsXP and Vista but it isn't very good so Dragon at about £70 is your best bet. I have posted a link to a review from Computer Shopper.  ;D

http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/reviews/230265/nuance-dragon-naturallyspeaking-10-standard.html?searchString=Dragon

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Re: Dictation programmes
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2009, 06:59:16 PM »
Alan,

will have to have a look but i believe there is an option within Windows that does this.
It suffers a name change with every version but it is in the Control Panel and basically covers all aspects of disability.

Essentially i think it is a text to voice feature for all software - including web pages where they have been coded to standard (legal requirements).
Just had a quick check in a manual and it still exists in Vista- haven't seen Windows 7 yet so can't comment!

Offline ABERS

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Re: Dictation programmes
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2009, 10:08:45 PM »
Cheers folks., you've given me a good starting point.

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Re: Dictation programmes
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2009, 10:38:29 PM »
sorry Alan - i'm getting my wires crossed.
My solution was for cnverting text to speech.

For speech to text - Dragon tends to be one of the more oft recommended.
They all involve teaching the computer to recognise the 'appointed' voice and involve lots of reading out phrases over and over until the program has created a database that matches sounds to words.

Last i had to deal with this sort of thing, it was still considered theholy grail of software development.

Offline happypaddler

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Re: Dictation programmes
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2009, 11:10:57 PM »
Hi Alan,

I am an academic and I have loads of reports, research, and other literature to write, process et al. I am also dyslexic and have M.E. Both of these combine in my need to find useful short cuts to completing everything I need to do, without expelling too much energy. One of these short cuts is to use computer dictation software. I have knowledge of PC and Mac software. On the PC I have tried Dragon http://shop.nuance.co.uk/DRHM/servlet/ControllerServlet?Action=DisplayProductDetailsPage&SiteID=nuanceeu&Locale=en_GB&productID=109252300&Currency=GBP and IBM's http://www.nuance.com/viavoice/simplydictation/ software - Dragon is much better than IBM - but both are far behind MacSpeech Dictate http://www.macspeech.co.uk/.

I know that access centres - the government approved places who assess the needs of students and employed people, in need of help technologically wise, to complete their studies / do their job (these technologies are provided by the government under the Disabled Students Allowance and Access To Work scheme) - will only suggest Dragon and MacSpeech.

I do not hide the fact I use apple computers. All other OS arguments aside, I would be completely lost without MacSpeech (I'm not using it now - so there maybe mistakes in this reply). Both MacSpeech and, I understand, the new Dragon (the version I have used an old one and did not do this) will allow you to sit with a microphone on and speak commands that will control your computer i.e. tell it to open the web browser, and navigate to a certain web site. This is really useful once you are use to the more traditional uses. When I used Dragon it took an age to train - I had to sit and read a book out loud until it ... eventually... understood my voice (with all these software's you talk slightly differently to how we speak to each other). Even once it claimed to have got it, there were many many mistakes. MacSpeech on the other hand took 20 mins and then I was able to start using it. If it makes a mistake, it always suggests around 10 alternatives it thinks you may have said - if it has got it wrong, all you do is to look at the alternative list and say "Use 3" and it will substitute its mistake for the 3rd suggestion. By doing this it is further learning your voice. I do not know about Dragon, but MacSpeech allows up to 4 users - so my wife can use it, alongside - when he is old enough - my son. The user experience of MacSpeech is fantastic, very easy to pick up, clutter free and works in all of my software - be that Microsoft Office, Apple iWork, all web browsers etc... I am not sure how friendly Dragon is in this respect. You can also get MacSpeech to read back what you have written if you want - not sure about Dragon.

With MacSpeech you get a decent mic & headset - the software is designed to work properly with the mic's they choose to supply - this is not the case with Dragon (it certainly was not when I had it - things may have changed), as such I feel it is more accurate and responsive. It also learns words - I use a lot of foreign names and legal terms. It learns these fairly quickly. I also know that the licence for MacSpeech allows you to put it on both a desktop and laptop - so its on both of my macs. My advice would be look at both of these routes. For my money I would pay the extra and get a mac and MacSpeech. In this type of software you really do get what you pay for.

Tim
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 11:46:11 PM by happypaddler »

Offline anglefire

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Re: Dictation programmes
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2009, 07:54:40 AM »
I had a look at the MacSpeech site - I see that they have 4 flavours - with specialist additions which is quite a nice idea. Presumably you could train the basic one to do the medical and legal one to a degree - but would take some time.

Does look good, and has some good options for microphones including a bluetooth one. Very nice!
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Offline ABERS

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Re: Dictation programmes
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2009, 08:25:00 AM »
Tim,
Thanks for taking the time to put together such detailed advice, it is very much appreciated.
Cheers....Alan

Offline Eileen

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Re: Dictation programmes
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2009, 10:51:09 AM »
Alan,

not much of detail to add to the comments above, but I do know a few people at work who use Dragon and find it very helpful. It takes a few days to get used to it but seems to work very well.


Eileen

Offline happypaddler

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Re: Dictation programmes
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2009, 10:16:47 PM »
I had a look at the MacSpeech site - I see that they have 4 flavours - with specialist additions which is quite a nice idea. Presumably you could train the basic one to do the medical and legal one to a degree - but would take some time.

Does look good, and has some good options for microphones including a bluetooth one. Very nice!

Very true. I currently have the latest version of the non-specific version as when I got my first copy they only did one flavour. My area is law and it has learned most of my legal phrases, words et al. If your using it on more than one computer, you just save your profile from the machine you have used most recently to a memory stick and replace the profile on the other computer when you go to use it - that way all new words it has learned, alongside its greater understanding of your voice - is up to date and remains so.

Tim,
Thanks for taking the time to put together such detailed advice, it is very much appreciated.
Cheers....Alan

No problem - this is a software / hardware where if you make the wrong choice you will be put off for life and waste some money - as previously said - make sure you do your homework and be prepared to pay for what you get.

Offline ABERS

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Re: Dictation programmes
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2009, 07:41:19 AM »
Just to put this to bed, I finally bought the basic Dragon package and have loaded it on to my wife's new laptop, and whilst it sometimes inserts strange words, she is totally delighted with it. Mind you she is a modern day Mrs Malaprop, especially where new fangled things are concerned!

 Anyway she is now able to write emails to all and sundry in a fraction of the time it would take her using a keyboard and opened up a whole new world to her. It has also benefitted me in as much whilst she is now talking to the computer rather than me, I don't have to keep saying "yes dear" whilst I'm reading the paper!

Thanks once again for all your help.

Alan

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Re: Dictation programmes
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2009, 09:18:57 AM »
Alan, glad to hear that a single piece of software has brought so much joy to your house and your marriage  ;D

Offline oRGie

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Re: Dictation programmes
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2009, 02:13:03 PM »
It has also benefitted me in as much whilst she is now talking to the computer rather than me, I don't have to keep saying "yes dear" whilst I'm reading the paper!

Classic  :2funny: :2funny: :2funny:

Offline happypaddler

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Re: Dictation programmes
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2010, 11:43:09 AM »
Ah, I'm now back on the internet at home (not just the 3G phone network) after moving house!

Anywho - glad you are both happy with your choice and that a new unforeseen dynamic to the purchase has become evident.

 

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