Author Topic: Voice Recognition Software  (Read 3348 times)

Offline gub2000

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Voice Recognition Software
« on: January 26, 2006, 12:29:21 PM »

Have any of you tried voice recognition software?

I prefer to write my first draft in long hand (no delete key) But transcribing that to my PC is a pain. I'm thinking of getting Dragon Naturally Speaking. A nice feature is you can record on a dictation machine then download the voice file to your computer. Then the Dragon software converts the file to text. I also thought it may be a good way to "write" during my commute to work.


Moderator's Note - I've moved this from the Writers' Software thread, as I felt speech recognition programs aren't really writing software. Also, it's a very interesting topic in its own right! - Nick
« Last Edit: January 26, 2006, 12:45:20 PM by Nick »
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Offline Nick

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Re: Voice Recognition Software
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2006, 12:50:40 PM »
I'd hate to put you off, but I tried Dragon Naturally Speaking a few years ago, and got nowhere with it. Even though I went through all the 'training' you are meant to do, the software was hardly able to get two words in a row correct. It was so slow and frustrating that I soon gave up with it. Obviously the software may have improved since then, but if I were you I'd be very sceptical about the claims made by the software companies.

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Re: Voice Recognition Software
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2006, 01:17:18 PM »
I use IBM Viavoice Pro, and I love it. I have a disability that causes me severe problems at times, and this kind of software was great for me. However, it's personal choice and it's not all good software. Shop around, try a few demo's, and then decide.


Offline orchid15

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Re: Voice Recognition Software
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2006, 01:31:27 PM »
because of severe carpal tunnel syndrome, i have Dragon 8.0.  I also tried Viavoice.  I have several observations.

It isn't as easy to dictate a story as you think.  You say a lot of extra words.  But with work you  can train yourself to dictate better formed paragraphs.

It is a very complex program and you need a fairly powerful machine with at least 500 mb of Ram.  My processor chip is 800 mghz, and the program goes very slow.  I am upgradiing to a faster computer, and I expect the program will work better.

I find it is about 70 percent accurate when I dictate, and it really does improve in accuracy if you take the time to work with it.  For writing, I find it frustrating because when it has to choose between two words that sound similar, it always chooses the technical one.  So in my very rural story, when I have the hero open the mill gate, the program writes that he opened Bill Gates.  And if he is trying to get work, I fins the program writes he is trying to network.

And once it gets something in it's little electronic brain, it stays there.  My daughter is named Jayleen, and the program always writes her name as Jay Lane-- no matter how much training I do.  So I finally gave up,and I do a find and replace at the end of a session.

It isn't a perfect solution, but for someone with carpal tunnel, it makes writing possible.

If you are a good typist, you might try a dictaphone and just typing the results yourself.  It might be faster than composing, and you would gain that driving time.  Correcting the errors in Dragon are time consuming.

Windows XP has a lite version of dragoin installed in the handicapped accessability options.(maybe that is in plus)  Working with that would give you an idea of how the program will work.

The XP lite worked similar to viavoice for me.  Dragon is easier to work with and makes fewer errors, but cost more also.

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Offline prophetcharlesb

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Re: Voice Recognition Software
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2006, 02:18:11 PM »
I considered voice recognition word processing software, but decided on another route. I use one of those little hand held digital recorders. Actually I have two of them, but anyway, I keep at least one next to my bed and/or with me in my pocket at all times, even when Im sitting around the house. At the end of the day I upload from my digital recorder(s) my thoughts into my computer. When I have time, I listen to it. I then put down the words I feel in my writing software. To me its better than note pads and pencils and voice recognition software.

P.S. I do use note pads and pencils but very very little. My recorders have rewind and repeat, these features are a must.
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Re: Voice Recognition Software
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2006, 01:55:26 PM »
My husband is a software engineer, and was absolutely positive that vr software would make my writing so much easier. I have tried a number of voice recognition programs. While the theory is great, I haven't found a program that actually does the job.  I thought it was because, as a fantasy author, I use so many words of my own creation; however, I tried using it for a very straight foreword conference presentation and it wasn't much better. I agree with orchid15, the intitial story, from brain to voice recognition software, does not flow smoothly enough for the vr to do an adequate job. 

Perhaps a tape recorder would be useful for your first draft.  You will still have the transcription process, but I have found listening to the story as I type it is a wonderful way to discover weaknesses, particularly in dialogue.  It also allows you to 'take notes' wherever you may be. ;) Good luck with your vr software search.

Offline lledod

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Re: Voice Recognition Software
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2006, 04:34:05 AM »

If you use Microsoft Word XP, I am not sure about other versions, you will find VRS is already available without having to buy a third party program. On my system it is labeled Speech under the Tools drop-down menu. You will then get a bar appear on the top right of your screen offering microphone on/off, dictation, commands etc. If "Speech" is not available in your tools menu explore the help file index using speech or voice as the keywords and you will get instructions on how to set it up. BUT you have to be very patient because it takes a long time for the system to become anywhere near accurate.

Good luck


Offline gub2000

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Re: Voice Recognition Software
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2006, 12:28:53 PM »

I looked at the VR sofeware that comes with XP but that wouldn't help me "write" while I drive to work.

I was poking around on the Dragon web site. They did mention that results were better if you at your PC when you are speaking. This has 2 benefits. 1 You can fix mistakes on the fly and 2 You instanly see the mistake so you learn how to command the software faster.

I think I'll start out with a recording device to capture my thoughts then move to VR software. Thanks for everyone's feedback.

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