Dragon Dictate for Mac review
After having some problems with getting the upgrade from Nuance the makers of DragonDictate, this evening I was able to download the 2 GB of DragonDictate application. First of all, I made a backup copy of the installation file. I was also able to register the software with DragonDictate without any problems. So then I could start using the software to dictate an article. Pleased to see that the new version recognised the voice profile that were created in the previous version. This saved me from having to retrain DragonDictate to my voice and my accent. If you have seen my YouTube videos or have listened to my podcasts you will have noticed that I have an accent from the centre of England. It is not a very strong Birmingham accent, but is probably enough to confuse untrained dictation software. Nothing wrong with being a Brummie, in fact I think it is ‘Bostin’.
First impressions of DragonDictate version 3
Dragon Textmate Problem – One of the first things I wanted to do was to try dictating into Textmate or Writeroom. This is because in the previous version, I always had to dictate into the DragonDictate supplied windows. If I tried to dictate into any other application, after about 2 to 5 minutes the dictation would stop working properly. Usually what would happen is that individual letters of words would not make it to the text, even though DragonDictate had actually recognised my voice properly. The only other application I could dictate into was the journalling application called Day One. Having upgraded to Mountain Lion even dictation into Day One didn’t work right.
So how did we get on with dictating into Textmate? I had only dictated only few sentences and the same problem that I had with version 2.5, reared its ugly head once more. Shortly after making a start, I saw that there was a couple of words missing the letter ‘i’, then the whole application crashed. I had to do a force quit of the Dragon Dictate application. As you might expect, I thought this was a very inauspicious start. No crashes since I started on this article
DragonDictate 3 In use
When you are dictating into Dragon Dictate, you will see a recognition window and in there, you will see a list of alternatives. So in your document you’ll see the sentence that DragonDictate thinks is closest to what you said. Then there will be between two and nine alternatives to choose from. In this new version of DragonDictate, there is also an explanation of how to use this recognition window. Not only that, but when I used a number, I was offered the opportunity to set a smart rule. DragonDictate said that I could have all numbers or I could have the numbers as a words. I thought that was quite impressive really. Also in this recognition window in the top right hand corner there is a button with a little picture of an ear. When I click on this button, it plays back the audio of your latest sentence. It is also clever enough to turn off the microphone during this playback, so that it doesn’t try to record itself.
Related commands in the recognition window
In the lower part of the recognition window there is an area for Related Commands. If you don’t see your choice you can give the command “Spell That” or you can edit the first option with the command “Say That”. I still have to work out exactly how this functions, but it seems that it is giving better options to get DragonDictate to give you the text that you actually said.
There are occasions when there is a word that I say, and I might say it over and over and DragonDictate is unable to work out exactly what that word is. With the previous version I would then go into spelling mode and use the international verbose alphabet to spell the word out. So I would use Echo, Alpha, Romeo in order to spell out the word ‘ear’. Now I can do that in the recognition window without having to specifically change to spelling mode. That is a good improvement and I like it.
DragonDictate is much more usable in version 3
First of all, it is good that no longer I have to be bothered by a message to say that it doesn’t work well with Mountain Lion. DragonDictate is top quality software with a price to match that and the upgrade was not much cheaper than what was paid for the software initially. Mind you, I did get the initial software package cheaper by buying it from the Amazon US site. Even so, I expect to see some functional improvements in version 3, to feel I have got my money’s worth. So far what I have found is that there are improvements to the way that it works, that are certainly worth having. It is easier for you to get the words into your computer document. Obviously this will improve your overall dictation speed. I reckon that using Dragon Dictate is three times faster that ordinary typing. The only time I consider typing this much text now is late at night and I can’t make too much noise in the room next to my wife sleeping in the bedroom.
Mac20Q Verdict on Dragon Dictate 3
At this stage of having dictated approximately 800 words into DragonDictate I can say that overall I am pleased with it so far. To be sure that I can give the definitive word on DragonDictate version 3, I will need about a week of daily use before giving my verdict. I do have the impression that the dictation engine does work a little bit faster in getting the speech converted into text. Not only that, but it may actually also be slightly more accurate generally.
Why do you need Dragon Dictate on your Mountain Lion Mac?
There is the speech to text functionality on Mountain Lion that is handy to say the least. You just hit Fn twice and talk, but you only can speak short amounts before it is sent off over the internet to come back quickly as text. You can usually do a couple of sentences at a time and often that is enough. Dragon Dictate on the other hand does not require an internet connection to work. You can work more fluidly and so it is much better for the longer pieces of work. Being able to do corrections with Dragon Dictate is vital in terms of usage and helps you keep the fingers off the keyboard for longer. I wonder does Dragon work with Scrivener?