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Voice recognition and dictation  

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jforbush
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October 24, 2018 11:28 EST AM  

not exactly the news I was hoping to hear:


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Dave Hamilton
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October 24, 2018 4:57 EST PM  

Ugh... that sucks. But... perhaps with dictation built into the OS there's not enough of a market for it?


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jforbush
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October 24, 2018 5:48 EST PM  

Not entirely sure. The product has been less than stable for the past several iterations. 

Unfortunately, I’ve not had as much success with the built in dictation as I had hoped  

 


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Graham McKay
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October 24, 2018 6:20 EST PM  

Are there any viable 3rd party alternatives?


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jforbush
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October 24, 2018 8:18 EST PM  

@kiwigraham Not that I am aware of...well, besides Parallels/VMware + DNS

And to think I was contemplating the add on of Dragon Anywhere for iOs at the ridiculous price of $14.99/month!


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Dave Hamilton
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October 25, 2018 8:42 EST AM  

To be fair (or, well, at least aware of the past), speech recognition/dictation on the Mac has always been fraught with problems. I remember when Nuance had just done a major update to MacSpeech only to have it be completely non-functional with a new version of Mac OS X. Took them almost a year to retool and release something compatible. It's always an uphill battle doing this stuff, so it doesn't surprise me to see the last company out there throw in the towel.

And, if memory and whispers serve me, I seem to recall that MacSpeech's components were in both Dragon's stuff and Apple's now, so... maybe Dragon realized they were playing a game trying to compete with "free".


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jforbush
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October 25, 2018 1:36 EST PM  

Yeah, I remember that history as well having lived through the various trials and tribulations of MacSpeech and Dictate.  Still a bummer.


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MMuto
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November 5, 2018 9:01 EST AM  

I'm a writer, and I've loved dictating my stories instead of typing. The average person types 40-50 wpm. While I typically type faster than that, I can dictate 150-180 words per minute. 

I need a solution. Here's what I've got:

1. I'm still on Dragon 5 and using Mojave. It seems to work better than it did with High Sierra. There are quirks, but it's still better than typing. 

2. Use Siri. Until Dragon breaks, that's not going to write my next novel. 

3. Make use of an old laptop. It won't run anything past El Capitan. Keep a copy of Dragon on it,  download an old copy of Scrivener,  and use that to write. When I'm done, move the project to my iMac. Since the laptop is slower than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter in an Alaskan winter, I'm not tempted by the internet. The issue here is that Scrivener 3 won't run on El Cap, and the new version converts projects to work with v3. Once converted, you can't convert back. Sigh.

4. Spend $15 a month to use dictation for the i0S. This isn't optimal since I use Scrivener and not just Nuance's app. It'd be cheaper to purchase a voice recorder and find a way to transcribe the text. This is still not optimal since I'm still a very visual person with my words. Currently, I pace and walk around my office as I dictate while the words appear on my 27-inch iMac.

5. Buy Parallels and install Dragon. The problem is that Scrivener's Window version isn't as full-featured as the Mac version. Not sure if there's a hack around using Parallels and Dragon, yet having it transcribed into the Mac version of Scrivener on split screen. It's before coffee, so noodling this out hurts my head. I'll look into it after I'm fully caffeinated. Even so, this solution would cost $80 for Parallels and $300 for Dragon Professional (I need customization). Given Nuance's history of support and quirkiness, I'm reluctant to go down this route until I've exhausted every other means possible. 

I do wish that Dragon would just go ahead and release 6 for free since it's essentially dead to them. Download and use at your own risk sort of thing. A token shove-off and go-away sort of thing to their often slighted Mac customers 🙂

As I said, I'm a writer - without disabilities. Can you imagine what people who have disabilities are doing? They can't all afford to dump their Mac and buy a PC. There are other professions like medical dictation where this is now a serious issue. 

If dictation is better on a PC, Apple is going to lose some market share. I'd like to think that Cook and company are looking into dictation as part of the whole user experience and step up Siri's dictation and AI capabilities. 

On the horizon: While I have no experience with it, I read that Microsoft is working on a solution for 365 users.  https://dictate.ms

 

 


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