Using the Transcribe Feature in DragonDictate

Dictate or Transcribe with Dragon Dictate

There is a use case scenario that I can see where using the transcription feature in DragonDictate will be extremely useful. I know that it is possible on some iPhones to do dictation, it is one of the Siri features . In fact on my iPhone I have the dictation application from Dragon, that I could use for some limited dictating of my words. The problem with both of these solutions is that you have to be connected to the Internet to be able to use them. Also, you can only dictate around about 30 seconds of audio, let the application send that off to the server for it to be converted into text and then be sent back to you. So while the service is useful for short pieces of text, it is not really the best way forward for a longer article.

A recording app and DragonDictate on the Mac

Using the same style of talking for dictation as you would in the DragonDictate Mac application , you can create an audio file where you dictate your article and save it for later conversion of the speech into text. The microphone on the iPhone is sufficient to record a decent quality audio and you also have a choice of applications that you could use. I have used the application Recorder Pro and I have also used Voice Memos. I am sure that there are plenty of other audio recording applications that will also do the job perfectly.

Dragondictate transcription

When using the Recorder Pro application you can send that file off to Dropbox. With the application Voice Memos you have to send the recorded file by email to get it into your Mac. Whichever way that you get your file onto your desktop computer, the next thing to do is to get it ready for conversion into text. With Recorder Pro you will need to convert the file into a format that is able to be opened by DragonDictate. I used Amadeus Pro to convert the .CAF into a .AIFF audio format file.

Getting DragonDictate ready for transcribing audio files

The first time that you use this service in DragonDictate, you will need to configure the profile that you are using, so that the application can do a good job for you. It is quite quick and simple to do this configuration and you only have to make sure that you record at least 20 seconds of audio to use for the configuration. You don’t need to do this every time you want to do some transcribing of audio files, just the first time in a DragonDictate profile.

When you have got the application ready you can then open up the audio file by going to the Tools Menu and choosing Transcription. The process is fairly quick and you will be soon done, just depending on the size of the audio file. Obviously it is going to make some mistakes along the way, same as when you are using the application directly. The difference is that when you do the corrections, you do them all at the end of the dictation rather than with each separate spoken part.

The pros and cons of using DragonDictate transcription

The pro-side of the equation is that you can create a lot of text quickly using your iPhone without having to use the tiny iPhone keyboard. You will be able to ‘write’ a 1000 word article using the iPhone in the most efficient way possible. It is not going to help you if you want to do something with that text actually with the iPhone, but it is most certainly viable as part of a two stage process.

On the con side of the equation, I find that if DragonDictate has not transcribed my words accurately so that I don’t get the meaning of a sentence, sometimes I will not remember what it was the sentence was supposed to say. What I would need to do is to delete the sentence completely and leave it out or create a brand new one. To a certain extent, it doesn’t really matter because when I am editing my dictated work, I always read through to make sure that it makes sense. This reading out loud part of editing is absolutely vital whether using dictation or not.

A thumbs up from Mac 20 Questions for DragonDictate transcription

I do spend quite a lot of time at my desk in front of my computer at home. There are occasions though when I am out of the house and I have the need to do some writing and I know that I will certainly be using this DragonDictate transcription. It is most certainly, a very useful addition to the capabilities of the application in version 3.5. I would recommend that if you have got DragonDictate on your Mac that you give transcription a try. I am very pleased that I tried it and it gets a hearty thumbs up from the Mac20Q website.

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