Speech recognition software - anyone used it?

Montero

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This is actually a query on behalf of a friend who is thinking of using speech recognition software for note taking and the like in support of their writing. (Friend is developing tendonitis, needs to reduce their typing hours.) I had a play with a version of Dragon back in 2006, did the initial training, but I found the teaching phase rather long and tedious (and didn't have a compelling reason for using it, like tendonitis) so gave up. Have said this to friend, but also said I could try asking around for other people's experiences. Hope that is alright.

So is anyone using any voice recognition software for writing?
If yes, which sort (and version) please.

How long did it take you to train it?

How useful do you find it?

I've anecdotally heard awful warnings on wearing out your vocal cords when turning to voice recognition software - can anyone comment on that? (And on re-reading this in preview could feel an awful joke coming on. :) )
 
I've tried several before, but always found they had a hard time understanding me, even when I did go through the voice training phase. Often it thought I said something else to what I did, so I'd end up having to correct many words afterwards which just wasted time.

If it worked right - which it doesn't - then I'd imagine it could be very useful. But I think you'll get many, many typos. It depends on whether the person can talk faster than they can type as to whether it would be useful or not.

I suppose as to the wearing out your voice, it's like any talking. Unless you keep yourself hydrated it's going to dry and stretch your vocal cords. You can't talk for long periods of time without it doing something, but I'd say any real harm wouldn't come unless you were using it all day long.
 
I've only had experience really with Siri and other voice recognition software on macs. It works...sort of. I found it would often not recognize a few words so I'd have to go back and make corrections. i think if someone had a need for it, like your friend, they could probably become better at it over time, but it would be like learning a whole new skill.
 
I've used Dragon Naturally Speaking for a while now and really haven't had too much trouble with it. Yeah, there's a few spots where you'll have to go back and fix some words up, but as long as you talk normal, which is the key to having it work correctly, and not try to talk to slow or robot like, it actually works really well. I love it. I find it helped me out a lot just for the fact that I wasn't stuck at my computer, (I have a wireless headset I wander around the house with) which I think was contributing to me not writing as much as I wanted cause I would always get distracted or just tired of staring at the screen.

And since we're on the subject of voice recognition software, I typed this post using Dragon and haven't fixed anything.
 
Thanks all.

Grimorian - when you say typed this post using the headset - is it that you spoke it into a Dragon document then copied and pasted with the mouse into this thread?
 
I use Dragon Dictation on my iphone. You have to speak slowly and clearly, and it still makes mistakes, plus no punctuation, but I've found it can free my mind a little more when I don't have to consider the mechanics of typing.
 
When Dragon is running anything that I have the cursor on that can be typed into, it types into, whether it's notepad or a reply box. So I just clicked reply and started talking.

@SciFrac, I don't know how Dragon Dictation works on the iphone, but I know on the PC I have to say what punctuation I want, where I want it. I would have to say "period" after a sentence is finished, "comma" where I wanted a comma, etc... And I talk normally, no slow talking required. Actually talking slower and more pronounced makes it mess up words a lot more.
 
I think for me to use it, it would have to be very good at telling "uhhhmmmm" from "errrrrrr" from "aauhhhhhhhh" etc.
 
Speech recognition is built into Windows 7. I have used it on my computer and it works well. You NEED to have a quality microphone for it to work well. The training takes forty-five minutes,(to train your computer.)

For a free program, it works damned well. I can't use it, simply because my writing comes from a different place than my speech. I have more time to think about what I write, and that works for me.

There are many links on "Youtube." I would suggest your friend try the free program first.
 
When Dragon is running anything that I have the cursor on that can be typed into, it types into, whether it's notepad or a reply box. So I just clicked reply and started talking.

@SciFrac, I don't know how Dragon Dictation works on the iphone, but I know on the PC I have to say what punctuation I want, where I want it. I would have to say "period" after a sentence is finished, "comma" where I wanted a comma, etc... And I talk normally, no slow talking required. Actually talking slower and more pronounced makes it mess up words a lot more.

What if you actually wanted to say the word comma or period?
 
Grim- I'm probably doing it wrong, and I have an iphone 3, so maybe the mic tech is better now. Didn't know about the period and comma stuff. Never tried! Lol. Thanks for the tip, will experiment next time.
 
@Warren - If you say "spell mode on" it will turn on spell mode which will spell out anything you say next, for example period, comma, etc... Then turn it off with "Spell mode off" and continue on your way as normal.
 
@Warren - If you say "spell mode on" it will turn on spell mode which will spell out anything you say next, for example period, comma, etc... Then turn it off with "Spell mode off" and continue on your way as normal.

Does still seem like more effort than just typing. But I suppose if you have a reason why you can't type then it's the next best choice.
 
I've been using dragonspeak and it works. Mostly. The problem is that I don't have the patience to fine tune it, so I have to do a lot of editing. It works pretty well after the initial training, but are some phrases and words that it consistently gets wrong, always the wrong homonym, I can set my watch to it.

As for easier to type, there are few worse tortures for me than to type. I've wept, literally and loudly at having to type. Dragonspeak is a semi useful those terms, but I really need to make some money to hire a transcriptionist. I cannot stand typos!!!!
 
I've been using the Google voice recognition on my Android phone for making notes while out and about and then have to edit substantially. It seems to render "you IDIOT" quite reliably.
 
This morning I finally spoke to Siri, who denied being a robot and then was silent after my second question “who invented the skip?”
This is a question often asked. It was my uncle who invented the Skip, upon learning that my parents had named me Ellis. He refused that name and announced he would call me Skip.

You may update Siri, if you wish.
 
making notes while out and about

That's the time I would like to use it as well.
I've tried dictating into my phone using the google keyboard, while out walking. It's often quite good, but can screw up royally when it feels like, and is very hit and miss about adding punctuation.
If there was a good alternative, whether free or just fairly cheap, i'd be very interested, but if they're all gonna make big mistakes quite often, I'm not interested.
 

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