Nuance 4 Dragon Dictate Mac
Nuance 4 Dragon Dictate Mac Editor's Review
While Mac users resort to using third party apps for image editing or video editing needs, they are not bothered much about voice dictation software. This has also got to do with the fact that latest versions of OS X including Mountain Lion bundle in adequate voice recognition software. However, if you want to use your iMac or MacBook pro for dictation needs, there are few options. You may try Nuance’s Dragon Dictate for Mac. It comes with enough features and a near accurate speech to text conversion engine.
Dragon Dictate for Mac needs a fairly powerful Mac system to run. The minimum system requirements are OS X 10.8.3 and later editions, 4 GB RAM. It will gobble up 3 GB of disk space upon installation. The nice thing is that Nuance packs in a good quality noise cancelling microphone with headset along with the software. The app is 64 bit only. It is not a cheap app at all but comes with plenty of bells and whistles to justify the steep price tag.
As is the case with majority of voice recognition software, you need to train Dragon Dictate for Mac after the installation is complete. The training is not exactly tedious and the results are definitely worth the time and labor. The app has a pleasant UI and learning the workflow should not be hard even for first time users.
Most of the times, you will not have much problems in making the software recognize your sentences and it will convert the speech into text with good level of accuracy. There is hardly any need to change your default accent or speak slower than usual when you use this app. On Macs with suitable hardware words appear on screen as soon as you stop speaking.
However, you need to keep in mind the inherent drawbacks of voice recognition and speech synthesis app when you use Dragon Dictate for Mac. Dictating a 4000 word article will not be as quick compared to the usual typing method. You have to think of formatting like caps lock, comma and punctuation marks etc. Inserting these while you speak may hinder the free flow of thought and letting it out to an extent. However, the app is really handy for composing short messages, text snippets and emails in a jiffy.
As a matter of fact, the accuracy of Dragon Dictate for Mac will depend on the accent you use and set. The app comes with a good range of predefined accents such as Australian, Indian and American etc.
Apart from taking notes as you speak, you can also use the app to control applications in your Mac with voice commands. For example, you can control functions of inbuilt Mac features and services like Finder, Safari and Mail. The app also lets you define voice command for many acts you want. You may open folders, launch browser or exit an app using voice command. Over time, you may get addicted to using voice commands for performing numerous OS X tasks.
The USP of Dragon Dictate for Mac is possibly the capacity to transcribe from numerous audio formats including WAV and mp3. While this can seem exciting, the accuracy is not always satisfying. A lot depends on quality of the audio recording. You may have to correct some errors manually. Besides, the transcription is eventually a large blob of text with no punctuation marks inserted.
Dragon Dictate for Mac lets you control some tasks in Gmail as long as you use either Safari or Firefox. It lacks plug-in support for Chrome as of now. People with disabilities will find such voice based commands and spoken mouse control really useful.
For all its advantages, Dragon Dictate for Mac has a serious drawback that may irk some users. It picks up background noise quite easily. As it is, you may not always find the surrounding to be whisper quiet, both in home and workplace. Of course, there is a mute mode for the mic but you cannot simply avoid dealing with unwanted noise getting caught when you use the app. This happens more if you use the built-in mic of MacBook.
In the end, there are a few solid reasons for using Dragon Dictate for Mac over OS X’s inbuilt voice recognition app, which, incidentally is also developed by Nuance. Dragon offers you full text control which means you can edit text you have already spoken without manual intervention. The app is not limited to speech synthesis and dictation. You can control a lot of OS activities and web browsing tasks simply by speaking through this software. The transcription feature, while not a replacement for manual typing, eases the painstaking task to an extent.
• Good speech recognition engine.
• Bundled noise cancelation headset-mic.
• Audio transcription.
• Handy web browser extensions for Gmail.
• Transcription not always accurate.
• App picks up background noise.
• No browser plug-in for Chrome.
Dragon Dictate for Mac is an interesting and feature packed utility that goes beyond conventional voice recognition application. It requires a powerful system to run smoothly. The speech recognition engine is top notch and eases the task of speech to text conversion largely. The bundled noise cancellation microphone is handy. The app offers you the ability to control numerous web browser operations and OS X tasks with voice. These features will be lapped up by people with disabilities and general users alike. The transcription feature is interesting but it is not perfect. The quality of recording is pivotal here and you will need to deal with transcribed text without punctuation. Another major downer of this app is the tendency to pick up background noise.
Nuance 4 Dragon Dictate Mac Publisher's Description
The all-new Dragon for Mac delivers fast speech recognition that’s 15% more accurate than ever, along with versatile transcription and mobility features, to drive individual productivity at work.
Free download from Shareware Connection - The all-new Dragon for Mac delivers fast speech recognition that’s 15% more accurate than ever, along with versatile transcription and mobility features, to drive individual productivity at work.
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