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$168.99 $78.99 list($199.99)
1. ScanSoft Dragon NaturallySpeaking
$84.99 $68.95 list($109.99)
2. ScanSoft Dragon Naturally Speaking
$979.99 list($1,095.00)
3. ScanSoft Dragon NaturallySpeaking
$124.99 list($149.99)
4. iListen with Headset/Microphone
$512.99 list($595.00)
5. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Professional
$170.99 list($199.99)
6. ScanSoft Dragon NaturallySpeaking
$80.74 list($99.99)
7. iListen
$16.85 list($199.99)
8. Dragon Naturally Speaking 7 Preferred
$161.49 list($189.99)
9. IBM ViaVoice Pro USB Edition
$66.49 $59.99 list($79.99)
10. IBM VIAVOICE Advanced 10.0
$40.84 $23.40 list($49.99)
11. IBM VIAVOICE Standard v.10
$69.00 list($99.99)
12. Dragon Naturally Speaking 7 Standard
$42.74 list($49.99)
13. IBM VIAVOICE Simply Dictation
$31.42 list($34.95)
14. Microsoft Voice Command for Pocket
$109.24 list($129.99)
15. IBM VIAVOICE for Mac OS X USB
$33.24 $12.00 list($39.99)
16. Talk It Type It
list($59.99)
17. Dragon Naturally Speaking Essentials
$69.99 list()
18. ViaVoice Advanced Edition 10.0
$19.99 $12.00 list($39.99)
19. iSpeak - Text to Audio/MP3
$19.99 list($109.00)
20. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 5.0 Standard

1. ScanSoft Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Preferred
by Scansoft
list price: $199.99
our price: $168.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0003009IK
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Scansoft
Sales Rank: 17
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred 8 ... Read more

Features

  • Works with Corel WordPerfect and virtually all Windows-based applications
  • Speech recognition software for dictating, editing, and controlling applications
  • Listen to incoming e-mail read aloud; search the Web by speaking URLs and links
  • Use dictation shortcuts to insert text or bitmaps with a single voice command
  • Dictate directly into a PC or any Scansoft-approved handheld digital recorder

Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars the rest of us should buy speed-reading software
I am considering buying this software, but the reason I'm writing here is I couldn't help noticing the very large average size of the reviews for this product.
Since most of the reviewers are writers, my advice is to spend some serious time on editing and cutting about 2/3 of the material.
The rest of us should invest in spread-reading skills because it really works.

5-0 out of 5 stars AWESOME!
I don't usually write reviews. Fact of the matter is, with the exception of Photoshop, which I am a confirmed devotee of, I don't get too excited about software. I have to admit though that this particular version of DNS has really knocked my socks off!

Being semi-disabled, typing is a real problem for me. I have actually had trouble getting a job because most companies will not let me use voice typing software even though I type about twice as fast with it as I do on my own.

Frankly, it's been a pain in the tush! Getting a voice typing program that actually works consistently and has good recognition results has not been an easy thing. This is the first version of this program that I have tried that really works and I have been using the program on and off since version 5!

Version 8 has been actually been accurate enough that I can use it for everything from e-mail to doing my job. From what I can tell it gets about 99% of what I am saying, and that is pretty decent compared to the same application say five years ago! It's not perfect, but it does allow me to do my job,and go about my daily activities computer-wise, without too much pain being involved.

(shrug)

What can I say?

I just can't do anything on my computer without it these days!

It works almost flawlessly in every single program I have tried it in, and that includes my non-standard e-mail program, online in chat boxes, and even in difficult areas like this.

I can't wait to see what they will come up with in the next version. With the exception of the fact that this version never seems to capitalize the first word of a sentence, which drives me crazy, this is about as good as I ever thought voice-recognition could get! I am learning to get around the few small quirks, and I must admit, otherwise, this program has really been a godsend for me.

I have read reviews of professional voice type programs that cost five times as much and they don't seem to indicate any more satisfaction in terms of results than I am getting with DNS8. Yeah, it was a bear doing all the training, but I found that the little bit of effort had a considerable effect on my ability to accurately voice type.

I am pretty pleased thus far!

Nice job ScanSoft! You folks are doing a fine job, and I am very happy to say so. You have really made it a lot easier for me to deal with having an annoying disability, and I really do appreciate that! Every little bit helps, and I find that DNS8 takes a huge load off my damaged body in terms of wear and tear and stress.

I am much obliged, and please DO keep up the good work!

Yes, every word of this review was definitely typed in DNS8. It took me all of 10 minutes, and I hardly had to correct a thing besides! If, ya'll think I am working for the company, you couldn't be more wrong here! Nope, not a corporate stooge, singing the praises of a company product just to get your attention, I am a real-life user, who just happens to find this particular program about as useful as it gets!

If you are looking for good voice-recognition, look no further! This is about as good as it gets unless you are willing to spend a whole heck of a lot more money, and waste about 10 times the time trying to get it to work!

Believe me when I tell you I have tried them all, and this is the only voice type program that even comes close to allowing me to get the job done!

Yeah, I guess this is a glowing review, but darn it, ScanSoft has earned it with this one! I must have waited at least a decade to be able to do this with any amount of real accuracy. To finally be able to write, to do my job, every day, effectively and with minimal effort, using a headset? To be able to type again without killing my neck and back?

Well, it's pretty darned cool...

:)

Morrighan

5-0 out of 5 stars 1st class excellent and easy voice recognition.
*NEEDS A HEADSET*
To be honest perfect voice recognition comes at about $1000. ScanSoft Dragon NaturallySpeaking is the best semi-pro voice recognition package to use because of its speed of learning and accuracy. I find myself recommending this more over expensive pro packages. Let me list the reasons why.

1. It is quicker to load than the pro packages.
2. It has enough functions to understand most of the things I say. If you want it to understand legal or medical terms then get the add-ons for this.
3. It is easy to use.
4. The learning curve is not steep.
5. The package is smaller in hard drive size than pro packages.
6. It can do the vast majority of things that a pro package can do.

Pro packages even have a steeper learning curve but they are more accurate, this getting sometimes 100% for minutes on end, however how this depends on the type of work you are doing. I would recommend this just on the basis that you can get it working right out the box by just learning the basic interface, simply turn on and speak, but you will spend maybe a few hours the first day training it, and a few hours every week for the next month, but the more you use it the better it will be, in just over a month it should be almost perfect. Expect some degree of hand editing your speech to text, software can do text to speech also, but computer voice simulation, not what you trained, go pro if that is what you need.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very satisfied, works great.
I am writing this review using the Dragon naturally speaking 8 preferred software.I just started using it and I'm very happy.

I use a Compaq Presario x1000 laptop, Windows XP, 500 MB RAM, and an Andrea 750 microphone.Oh, and I do use Microsoft Office small business edition 2003.Because of prior reviews of Dragon software, I did some research before buying this product.(The first thing I did was throw out my old IBM ViaVoice disk.It's useless and per my research, not worth upgrading.)

Scansoft is also worthless for tech support or advice.

I contacted eMicrophones, their web site is eMicrophones.com, and got some great advice.They advised a minimum 500 MB RAM and a better microphone, the Andrea ANC-750.They also advised a USB soundcard as the sound card in most laptops is not shielded and noisy.I'm glad I took their advice.My laptop smokes, even using the voice software.No compatability problems at all.No crashes or slowdowns (and I do have XP SP2 installed).

I hope this helps you all.Kurt

5-0 out of 5 stars Returning Customer
I've use voice recognition software for the last five years or so, with the first 3 to 3 1/2 years using Dragon and the last year and a half or so using Microsoft Office's bundled software.This version has brought me back into the Dragon fold.The accuracy is simply amazing, and it really is near perfect.Definitely worth the investment. ... Read more


2. ScanSoft Dragon Naturally Speaking 8 Standard
by Scansoft
list price: $109.99
our price: $84.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00030096W
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Scansoft
Sales Rank: 76
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 is the most accurate speech recognition product ScanSoft has ever developed - delivering up to 99% accuracy! No other product delivers this combination of accuracy, power and ease-of-use - finally making speech recognition something every member of the family can use! No more "hunt and peck" typing - with Dragon NaturallySpeaking you will experience the fun and simplicity of using your voice to turn speech into text at up to 160 words per minute. Create e-mail, instant messages and surf the web - simply by speaking!

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Standard is an easy-to-use product that gives you everything you need to get started, including a free high-quality headset microphone with noise canceling technology.

Features:

  • Works With All Your Favorite Applications!Dictate, edit and control applications all by voice with programs like Microsoft® Word, Microsoft® Internet Explorer®, America Online®, and Corel® WordPerfect®.
  • Faster Than Typing!Most people speak faster than 160 words per minute, but type less fewer than 40 words a minute. That means you can create e-mails about three times faster using Dragon NaturallySpeaking!
  • More Accurate Than Ever Before!With a 25% increase in accuracy, Dragon NaturallySpeaking® 8 is up to 99% accurate and frequently more accurate than typing. Dragon NaturallySpeaking never makes a spelling mistake, and it actually gets smarter the more you use it!
  • Easy To Use!Simply install the Dragon NaturallySpeaking CD, and in just a few minutes, you'll be dictating letters, e-mails and surfing the web by voice!
... Read more

Features

  • Free high-quality headset microphone with noise canceling technology included
  • Speech recognition software for dictating, editing, and controlling applications
  • Surf the Web and access information by speaking URLs and links
  • Teach software to recognize your voice in as few as 5 minutes
  • Nothing But Speech technology eliminates "ums" and "ahs" from dictation

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow!
DNS version 8 is leaps and bounds better than earlier versions.I'm now achieving 98% accuracy - even the small words are properly recognized.Just be aware that you need a horse of a PC (1 GB RAM, a powerful processor, and a very good sound card) plus a good microphone (Sennheiser is best).

4-0 out of 5 stars Needs some adjustment - but definitely on the right track
I like this hardware/software program and believe it will improve with use.

The first problem I encountered is that the headphone has two plugs at the end of the wire.An Orange colored plug and a red one.After much trial and error I found that the orange and red plugs do not work when plugged into their respective orange and red sockets in the back of the computer.

I decided that based on reading the material with ScanSoft Dragon 8 that my computer must require the battery that is identified in the instructions which must be purchased separately.Being stubborn and having grown up in the computer age from its beginning, I decided to plug the orange plug into the green colored socket in the back of the computer, and the red plug into the orange socket.Works great now!!This may not be the same problem for everyone - I have a new Sony VAIO Computer and maybe the sockets are just colored differently on this computer.

My second major problem was getting the program to understand me the same every time.We go along fine, and then suddenly it no longer understands what I am saying.

Another problem in my opinion is registration - I registered the program.It apparently did not take.After a reminder that I only had so long to properly register the program, I searched and finally found registration and reregistered the program.Today I received a third notice that I must register the program.The best I can figure is that I did not give enough optional information about my preferences (I gave virtually none) and I did not opt into receiving other solicitations.I would like for this please register notice to go away.

Be ready to devote some time to the learning curve on this program.This virtually requires learning a new language.

I am a proficient typist and learning to think with my brain and mouth instead of my brain and fingers while at the computer is difficult for me.

Despite the problems, I am glad I purchased the program and I'm looking forward to a new adventure.

1-0 out of 5 stars Doesn't support digital voice recorder
Wish I had known this software only does voice and does not support a digital voice recorder.I would have purchased the preferred edition.

1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing - low accuracy, voice strain.
Using version 7 has been very disappointing, though there is a lot of potential. It makes a lot of stupid mistakes, writing things that make no grammatical sense. Surely it would not be difficult to include simple grammatical rules so it can eliminate certain possibilities and have a better chance of correct interpretation. I have to make so many corrections, and the "select" function is so unreliable for me that using Dragon is usually much slower than typing.

Tech support is nonexistent.

Now they want us to pay money for version 8. After spending money on the poor quality, buggy product (v7), I'm not sure that I trust this company.

Tips: The included headset was not very good. I got better results using my own (cheap) headset, and would probably do better buying a good one.

I can get better results by speaking very clearly and slowly (as if talking to an imbecile) but I very quickly strain my voice. They say to speak normally and clearly without straining, but this just doesn't work - so be careful. Look on the Internet for a guide to avoiding voice strain.

Unfortunately there are no serious alternatives that the moment, so for me it's a choice between voice strain and sore fingers and wrists.

Note: I am using the Australian edition. The US edition may be better (although the Australian edition should be less of a challenge, as there is much less variation in Australian accents than in American accents). I speak very clearly, and when I'm using this program I try to speak like a newsreader.

Good luck!

1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
When paying as much as I did for this product, I would have expected a little better. Training the program turned into a constant battle for me, and I never could get it to work well enough to be faster than typing. Then I began having unexplained system problems. Internet Explorer began working poorly, and I became unable to download any updates for WindowsXP. I finally noticed my firewall alert going off, and checked my security log. There were several entries from the manufacturer of this program, some of which had accessed and changed executable programs in my system. (My firewall includes a back trace, so I can tell where any attack originates from.) After I restored my system to a point before NaturallySpeaking 8 was installed, my system problems have vanished. I can't believe ScanSoft would put out a program like this, and I will avoid them in the future. ... Read more


3. ScanSoft Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical
by Scansoft
list price: $1,095.00
our price: $979.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0006I5EYI
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Scansoft
Sales Rank: 1022
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Scansoft Dragon Naturally Speaking 8.0 Medical.Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical truly delivers on the promise of speech recognition in healthcare. Never has a release of Dragon NaturallySpeaking been as accurate - Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical is 25% more accurate than the previous release, and delivers up to 99% accuracy! Now healthcare professionals can truly eliminate the high cost and long turnaround time associated with manual transcription of patient notes. The result is lower costs and better patient care.Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical will fit right into your enterprise IT infrastructure. The new Roaming User feature lets you access your unique #34user profile#34 from any workstation in your organization's network, so you can #34roam#34 your hospital, clinic or practice and always have access to the power of Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical also comes with a complete library of 14 medical specialty vocabularies, as well as the tools to further customize vocabularies for a specific practice. Finally, Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical will work with just about any Electronic Medical Record (EMR) application. ... Read more

Features

  • Create simple commands that will automate complex, multi-step tasks and use templates to speed up clinical documentation. Just say a single word or phrase and let your computer do the rest.
  • With a 25% increase in accuracy, Dragon NaturallySpeaking® 8 Medical is up to 99% accurate-just as accurate as many manual transcriptionists.
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical comes with specialty vocabularies for Radiology, Cardiology, Surgery, General Medical, Family Practice, ObGyn, Neurology, Pathology, Orthopedic, Emergency, Mental Health, Oncology, Pediatrics and Gastroenterology.
  • You can even access your unique Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical "profile" from any PC on your organization's local area network.
  • Be productive on-the-go! Import recordings from any ScanSoft-certified handheld device for automatic transcription and have a third party editor quickly and easily make corrections.

4. iListen with Headset/Microphone
by MacSpeech, Inc.
list price: $149.99
our price: $124.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000C6EOQ
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: MacSpeech, Inc.
Sales Rank: 627
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

iListen 1.6.3 with Headset/Microphone ... Read more

Features

  • Easy to install, train and use
  • Speech recognition software
  • Dictation in normal tone of voice and at a normal pace
  • Dictate, format and edit directly in any application
  • Correct and Update your Voice Model in almost any Application

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Takes time, but it works
Just to prove the product works, I am dictating with version 1.6.6 right now.It is about 90 percent accurate for me. I have few complaints except the documentation, and the long list of things you can say often goes back to the beginning when you're further down the list. All in all though, I am happy with the product and I have saved a lot of hand use. It is virtually the only program of its kind for the Mac - you can dictate into any program in which you can type. You might want to consider buying the version without the microphone and purchasing the higher end microphone MacSpeech offers. You cannot go very fast, and you have to say things exactly like it requires, but if you have rsi like I do, it sure helps.

4-0 out of 5 stars works for me!
I do some pretty arcane dictation with lots of technical vocabulary, and have found the system up to my demands. I have worked at training the system, and it keeps on improving. I do find some of the interfaces a bit awkward to work with compared to the system I use with my PC (Naturally Speaking Standard Edition), but then, I've worked with that system somewhat longer. If the recognition of iListen improves with use as well as Naturally Speaking has, I will change my rating to 5 stars.

1-0 out of 5 stars Be glad I didn't enter this with iListen
I purchased iListen about three years ago. I found that it might have been useful for verbal commands to control computer functions, but it was useless for dictation. I upgraded to version 1.2.1, patiently went through at least three, new "training" sessions, and still was unable to create useable text via verbal input. When iListen kept sending me e-mail solicitations, I offered to upgrade if they could demonstrate that they had improved accuracy. They replied, "Because there are so many variables, and everyone has a different definition of what is acceptable results, all sales of iListen software are final."

My definition of acceptable dictation was that accuracy wassufficient to permit replication upon proof reading. I would accept errors, but not so different from what I had said that I could not reconstruct my text from its translation. It never even came close. Perhaps my voice is incompatible with iListen, and maybe it will translate your speech accurately. In either case, remember, all sales are final. ... Read more


5. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Professional Upgrade from Preferred Versions 6-8
by Scansoft
list price: $595.00
our price: $512.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0006I5EXY
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Scansoft
Sales Rank: 4183
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Scansoft Dragon Naturally Speaking 8.0 Professional Upgrade from Preferred .Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Professional will save you and your organization money because it enables everyone to create documents up to four times faster than typing and protects against repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome that increase insurance premiums and temporary labor costs. It's simple: you and your employees can use Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Professional to create documents and e-mails, write reports and fill out forms, without having to type at all. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Professional is fully integrated in the Microsoft Office applications you use: Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint. In fact, it works with just about any Windows application ... Read more

Features

  • Install and manage Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Professional from a central network location. You can even access your unique Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Professional "profile" from any PC on your organization's local area network.
  • With a 25% increase in accuracy, Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 is up to 99% accurate and frequently more accurate than typing.
  • That means you can create documents and e-mails about three times faster with Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Professional.
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Professional will help protect people in your organization from repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome - injuries that can cost tens of thousands of dollars in insurance premiums and temporary labor costs.
  • Simply install the Dragon NaturallySpeaking CD, and in just a few minutes, you'll be creating documents, e-mails and filling out forms by voice! We even include a free noise-canceling microphone.

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great program perfect for the disabled - enjoy handsfree
If you're reading this. You are interested in buying Dragon NaturallySpeaking version eight if you are. I highly recommend it! I had versions of Dragon software, dating back to 1995. Let me tell you the software was clunky back then, being a quadriplegic, I used it to type and move the mouse. But as soon as I got a touchpad mouse. I dropped Dragon altogether. Step forward almost 10 years, I decided that I needed to send longer e-mails than two sentences (because that's all I could type, it gets tiring using only one hand and one knuckle on that hand). So I took the plunge drop the cash on Dragon, and after three days am totally satisfied.

I added up and running and dictating in less than 20 minutes. The accuracy is amazing I'm actually typing this by voice. Since I can use a touchpad, I do not use the Dragon NaturallySpeaking for mouse commands. But for dictating it is perfect and quick!!!

I'm using it with a 2 GHz processor, and it is fine. Getting it set up was a little quirky with my Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS. I'm actually using it with a tabletop condenser microphone, not the heads that they came with it (which I found to be quite uncomfortable). Since I'm unable to get the headset on my head, but a tabletop mike is working perfect.

So I recommend this product anyone who has a disability that makes typing difficult. Anybody who doesn't want to learn to type (though I think he would be lazy, just suck it up and learn). The software is leaps and bounds above previous versions go for it! Enjoy! ... Read more


6. ScanSoft Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical Upgrade from Versions 6/7
by Scansoft
list price: $199.99
our price: $170.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0006IJH82
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Scansoft
Sales Rank: 704
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Scansoft Dragon Naturally Speaking 8.0 Medical Upgrade from Medical .Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical truly delivers on the promise of speech recognition in healthcare. Never has a release of Dragon NaturallySpeaking been as accurate - Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical is 25% more accurate than the previous release, and delivers up to 99% accuracy! Now healthcare professionals can truly eliminate the high cost and long turnaround time associated with manual transcription of patient notes. The result is lower costs and better patient care.Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical will fit right into your enterprise IT infrastructure. The new Roaming User feature lets you access your unique #34user profile#34 from any workstation in your organization's network, so you can #34roam#34 your hospital, clinic or practice and always have access to the power of Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical also comes with a complete library of 14 medical specialty vocabularies, as well as the tools to further customize vocabularies for a specific practice. Finally, Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical will work with just about any Electronic Medical Record (EMR) application. ... Read more

Features

  • Create simple commands that will automate complex, multi-step tasks and use templates to speed up clinical documentation. Just say a single word or phrase and let your computer do the rest.
  • With a 25% increase in accuracy, Dragon NaturallySpeaking® 8 Medical is up to 99% accurate-just as accurate as many manual transcriptionists.
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical comes with specialty vocabularies for Radiology, Cardiology, Surgery, General Medical, Family Practice, ObGyn, Neurology, Pathology, Orthopedic, Emergency, Mental Health, Oncology, Pediatrics and Gastroenterology.
  • You can even access your unique Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical "profile" from any PC on your organization's local area network.
  • Be productive on-the-go! Import recordings from any ScanSoft-certified handheld device for automatic transcription and have a third party editor quickly and easily make corrections.

7. iListen
by MacSpeech, Inc.
list price: $99.99
our price: $80.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000C6EOL
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: MacSpeech, Inc.
Sales Rank: 380
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Offers multiple profiles and is Internet ready and AppleScript compatible
  • Dictate, transcribe, edit, format, and speech navigate within any application
  • Transcription can generate text from WAV and AIFF audio files
  • Easily correct, update, and teach iListen new words and phrases
  • Extensive vocabulary of more than 330,000 words

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars iListen review for the Alaska Apple Users' Group

When the time came to write this review, I unfortunately came down with a case of laryngitis and therefore found the review quite a bit more challenging! I then worked on trying to get the program to deal with my hoarse voice... but iListen came through pretty well, and I wrote this review with very little use of the keyboard.

IListen is, quite simply, a powerful, comprehensive voice recognition and command system for the Macintosh. It uses a system of recognizing sounds and putting them into context to create words or commands on your Mac (horrific oversimplification). I have played around with systems like this in the past, and I'll admit that I have been less than impressed with the results. The voice recognition system that comes with OS 9 and 10 certainly didn't hold up to hard use (and doesn't have a dictation mode, anyway) and my interest in a robust system is more than a passing interest, in that my work requires me to dictate large quantities of text at very high rate of speed. Accuracy and ability to easily correct my errors are also paramount to me, and so it was with great interest that I loaded up iListen and set about trying to use it for simple home applications.

Set up of the program was very easy, and with a little bit of messing around with system preferences I got the program fully working. There is a somewhat lengthy initial period of training the program to recognize your voice, which consists of reading chunks of text into this system so that it can learn your particular style of speech. Interestingly enough, the program is also capable of assimilating text documents you have already made to try and learn your style of writing.The more time and effort you put into the training period (both initially and along the way, any time you like), the better the program does with your speech.


IListen has several modes of function, including a dictation mode, a spelling mode, and a command mode. There is a great deal of customizability to the system, and you can certainly add extra words, your own macros, and your own phonetics. The program is engineered to recognize natural, full-speed speech:no awkward pauses or exaggerations - you just talk, fast as you like, in your normal speaking style.You can use iListen to dictate documents in virtually any program, and you can even just use the program to command your Mac in a hands-free manner. There is quite a bit of learning involved in getting all of the available commands down, but the program is surprisingly flexible, and I'm confident that with frequent use it will continue to just get better and better at its job.

Ideally, I would love to challenge this program by taking it to my office, seeing an entire schedule of patients, and then dictating all my encounters for that day into the program at my regular full-bore speed, just to see how well it handles my mumbling, my medical jargon, and my particular and at times unconventional syntax. Unfortunately, there are some privacy laws that are going to get in the way of that experiment, but in the future I certainly could see myself getting a hand-held Dictaphone and plugging it into a computer at the end of the day, correcting my dictations, and then printing them so that they can go back into the chart that day! (And for quite a bit less than the cost of transcription, the fees for which are sizable.)


After some initial growing pains, I must say that I have been impressed with the results this program can produce. Even with a fairly rudimentary training period, the accuracy of the program is reasonably good, even now as I sit here and dictate this review, recovering from laryngitis.

Overall, I found the program to be quite flexible and customizable, and greatly capable of learning from its mistakes. Its initial recognition rate is quite good, and the percentage improves with more time and effort put into training the program. And mentally, the "widget factor" is quite substantial, but in all seriousness the implications of programs like this are potentially important in fields that involve dictation and voice commands. Obviously people who can't use their hands and fingers have had use for programs like this for quite some time, and those possibilities are exciting as well.

Initially, I thought I had found the program to be buggy in getting correction mode going properly, but found that I simply had not set the System preferences properly (as the instructions had stated), and after setting the universal access preferences properly, I had no further significant problems in using this program. I tested the program on a high end G5 Macintosh with plenty of physical RAM, and I found performance to be excellent; I'm not sure how iListen would fare on a slower system, but I've seen user reports on the net that indicate that its performance is satisfactory on G3 PowerBooks.

Although I have not used any competing products (e.g., Via Voice), I rate this program highly and would recommend that anyone with an interest in putting voice recognition to work for them give iListen a try.One caveat, though: iListen requires a quality microphone (preferably a headset) to function optimally; I bought a Telex H-851 microphone use for this review, and I've found its performance to be very good with iListen.The MacSpeech website lists compatible microphone hardware, and as of the time of this review, the iSight is not among the compatible devices listed (I think its microphone is not directional enough to work well with iListen). ... Read more


8. Dragon Naturally Speaking 7 Preferred
by Scansoft
list price: $199.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008A6CF
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Scansoft
Sales Rank: 661
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Scansoft Dragon Naturally Speaking 7.0 Preferred.Unleash the power of Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred - advance to a higher level of productivity! Speak, and your words appear in memos, letters, reports, and e-mail. Dragon NaturallySpeaking learns your voice in minutes and works with virtually all Windows-based applications. Special commands for Microsoft Word, Corel WordPerfect, and Microsoft Outlook make it a snap to manage your e-mail and documents. This full-featured speech recognition solution lets you create dictation shortcuts to automate routine paragraphs, customize the vocabulary with terms you use, and replay what you said for easy proofreading. Use it on your PC or with any ScanSoft-certified hand-held recorder (sold separately). ... Read more

Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars The software works as advertised
I recently purchased Naturally Speaking 7.0 preferred to use in digitizing our family's genealogy histories, and received the program last night.After playing around with the program last night and this morning, I can report that it works surprisingly well; I had high hopes for this software, and they have all been met.After completing the online tutorials, the software was very efficient in understanding my voice.When it didn't pick up a word (it wouldn't understand me when I said "approximately" or my wife when she said "wow"), I used the add vocabulary function and "trained" the program to understand the new word.I found that the program instantly recognized what I had just added.

It runs well on my Windows XP (AMD 3ghz, 1 gig memory), and I haven't noticed any difference in quality when working in the dragonpad or word (which has been mentioned by some reviewers).The playback function (it will play back a recording of your voice from anywhere in a document you just entered) is very useful in identifying and correcting translation mistakes (wish Preferred version allowed me to save the digital file - only in Pro).I am using a Plantronics Audio90 headset, and am happy with the results (the A90 mic is very good, the earphones fairly comfortable; after an hour's use, I didn't experience any discomfort).The select, mark-up, and cursor moving functions are very intuitive, and I can foresee that, with a little practice and time getting to know the software, it will become second-nature to dictate.Both my wife and I set up user files, and there was no problem moving between each of those.

While I haven't used the program for very long, I'm very impressed, and I'm not easily impressed re: technology.I highly recommend v 7.0 preferred (and, incidentally, can't imagine why anyone would need v.8).

4-0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected
I am writing this review by using the actual product itself.I will not correct any mistakes it makes.As you can see, my accuracy level is fairly high, and I am very satisfied with the progress I have made so far.This is only my second day using the product, and already I have used it to send numerous e-mail, Word files, Excel files, and reviews such as this one.I can't tell you how exciting it is to see the spoken word appear as if by magic on the screen without having to touch the keyboard at all.This product is amazing!I will recommend it to all my friends and family without hesitation.I'm pretty confident that over the next few days as it recognises my voice more and more, I will overtake my typing speed and my whole desktop computing experience will become a hands-free zone.This this product will revolutionise the way we were, and I'm fairly sure that in the next three to five years voice recognition software will become far more mainstream and it is today.

My wild tip for getting the best out of this product is to make sure that you have a decent microphone and that you have positioned it correctly, in my case I have found that about 1 in. away from my mouth is just about right.Also, please do not skip the training section, if you spend a couple of hours diligently doing White says, then the payoff will be significant in the future.

So this is the end of my review.I have not use my hands once.There are a couple of mistakes, but I think the accuracy rate is up to about 95% in this review.Pretty amazing when you consider that I have only had the product for two days!My congratulations to all those involved with this product, and I cannot wait for future upgrades.Thank you one and all.

5-0 out of 5 stars NY Times Video of how Dragon Works
DNS 8 is awesome!See the video

[...]

4-0 out of 5 stars Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred Version 8 Might do it!
I read all the horror stories about Dragon Naturally Speaking version 7, and was reluctant to purchase the product.I also read reviews about IBM ViaVoice, and was reluctant to purchase that one as well.I subsequently decided to get Dragon Naturally Speaking version 7 based purely on features available.However, my local retailer was out of the product and informed me that version 8 was soon to be released.
I bit the bullet last night and purchased Naturally Speaking Preferred version 8, and hoped that I would not have the same problems that many of the previous reviewers had with version 7.
I opened the package, put in the CD-ROM and proceeded with the install wizard.My first attempt was a relative disaster, giving an error number 1335, explaining that there was a cab file that could not be found because: either there was a network error; or an error reading from the CD-ROM; or that there was actually a problem with the package from the vendor.I searched the CD-ROM and could not find the cab file that had been mentioned in the error message. So, I tried the installation one more time.This time it worked.My next step was to plug in the microphone and headset that came with the package.I went through the initial training of the microphone and setting sound levels, and got an indication that while the levels were not very good, they were understandable.
My next trials and tribulations occurred when I was actually trying to train the program for my voice.This is when my computer started freezing and I had to keep on rebooting the computer.And then I had a brainstorm!I decided to plug the microphone into the back of the computer rather than to the microphone jack on the front of my computer.Ever since I did that, the program has been working wonderfully!
The program is doing a fairly decent job of recognizing my voice after only 30 minutes of training.I did take the time to go through the 14 slide tutorial, and that may have given the program more opportunity to recognize my speech patterns.I have used it in Word Dragon Pad with success.I have had several problems with Internet Explorer since installing the program.I cannot confirm that these problems are because of Naturally Speaking since these problems were beginning after I installed service pack 2.
I will caution you to either put your microphone to sleep or to turn it off when the telephone rings.I forgot to do this and had a very interesting insertion in the file I was working on at the time.Nothing like humor to lighten your day!
I'm using voice recognition to create this review.Because I am new at this, I did correct errors made in voice-recognition.It was easy to do while I was dictating.Doing so gave me practice in learning how this program works, and in the voice commands available for correcting.
I'm running Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred version 8 on a Dell XPS (Pentium 4, 3Ghz, one gig of RAM), using Windows XP home for my operating system.I had previously installed Service Pack two.For now I'm using the microphone that came with the package and do not think I am experiencing adverse results.
When I initially had the installation problems, I did visit ScanSoft web site's technical support.As previous reviewers have noted, there is zilch for technical support.Fortunately, by plugging the microphone into the rear of the computer, I no longer have the computer-freeze problem; so I am not in a position where I need technical support.Let's hope I never actually DO need tech support.
With my limited one day's experience, I will give this product 4 stars, and will return at a later date to give an update on his review.
If you are considering this product, I do say go cautiously, and heed the previous reviews which have been rated as useful by most readers of the reviews.They all have good and bad things to say about the product, and help with the overall decision-making process.
But, maybe this Version 8 has fixed some of the major bugs.Keeping my fingers crossed (and hopefully my tongue NOT tied!).

4-0 out of 5 stars I think they've got it!
I've used DNS since v.4 and this is the only one that met the expectation when I first began using the product.Also it's much easier in this product to correct and add new words.

I was so excited about how well it works that I bought a Sony ICD-BM1 digital recorder.It should arrive today!This recorder supposedly takes dication and via USB translates the text into text via DNS.DNS rates this product 5 Dragons.It's not an inexpensive product; but hey, if it works it will save so much time!I'll do another review on using DNS with it after I've used it. ... Read more


9. IBM ViaVoice Pro USB Edition
by Scansoft
list price: $189.99
our price: $161.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000A58IX
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Scansoft
Sales Rank: 2744
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

IBM ViaVoice Pro USB Edition is the flagship offering of the ViaVoice for Windows, Release 10 product line. It represents the merger of high-productivity software with advanced microphone technology. Pro USB Edition offers great dictation versatility; dictate, edit, and correct text in SpeakPad, the resident speech-enabled word processor, or in Word, Excel, and other applications within the Microsoft Office product suites, including Office XP, or directly into a variety of other PC applications. Pro USB supports Windows XP Professional and Home, Windows 98SE, Me and 2000 operating systems.

Pro USB Edition expands the usefulness of the powerful Navigation Macro Center found in earlier generations of IBM ViaVoice for Windows. With Pro USB, users can create macros that will run across multiple applications. In addition, users can now control the speed at which their macros run.

Pro USB Edition supports the use of select digital handheld recorders.

Pro USB Edition is the IBM desktop voice recognition product that features IBM ViaVoice Documents -- Microsoft Word-based customized templates for letters, reports, faxes, and e-mails -- and VoiceMarks, which can read the name of a customized navigation macro to the user as an audio confirmation that the macro is being run correctly.

Features

  • Noise-cancelling USB headset microphone included
  • IBM ViaVoice Documents and Voice Marks
  • Digital handheld recorder support
  • Portable navigation macros
... Read more

Features

  • Powerful dictation software that works with most Microsoft applications
  • Create macros that run across multiple applications; you control their speed
  • Supports the use of select digital handheld recorders
  • Works with IBM ViaVoice and VoiceMarks
  • Noise-canceling USB headset microphone included

Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Software ok, support, terrible
If I were going to rate the software alone, it would be a four. However, you had better not have any problems with it, as the support is non-existent.When I reluctantly agreed to pay for support and asked for help, they never got back to me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
I see on this site that most people did not like this product. Well, I did. At first it was a dissapointment, but after I did lots of voice testing and corrections, it was great. No hands are needed and it is relitivley fast. Great Buy.

1-0 out of 5 stars Crashes, crashes, crashes - DO NOT BUY
Installed ViaVoice 10 in Windows XP Pro...

And sometimes it opens and sometimes it doesn't. Mainly doesn't.

Then I find this...via Google..

Problem:

After launching Dragon or ViaVoice and clicking a link in one of the menus, the system locks up or freezes. Other symptoms include Dragon NaturallySpeaking's Select-and-Say or ViaVoice's dictation and commands fail in Microsoft Office XP applications, such as Word and Microsoft Outlook.

Cause:

Microsoft Office XP's "Alternate User Input" installs a background process called CTFMON.exe which can interfere with Dragon or ViaVoice. The following information was taken from the Microsoft website:

"...Ctfmon.exe monitors the active windows and provides text input service support for speech recognition, handwriting recognition, keyboard, translation, and other alternative user input technologies...."

And you can get NO, repeat, NO, help from ScanSoft.

DO NOT BUY!

2-0 out of 5 stars do not buy it if you have mcafee internet security soft ware
IBM viavoice usbpro has major conflict issues with mcafee internet securitysuite(6.)Ibm redirects you to scansoft that has a lousy support which is charged to your credit card after the first free query;their online knowledge database is sparse and the tech personell seem to be reading their answers from algorhythms with background knowledge barely above the average customer's; Mcafee has a more extensive online database but no free tech support phone calls; problems of conflict between the softwares were related to TCP/IP port (viavoice apparently works through an open port) and to speech engine conflicts;none could resolve these issues;such issues in my opinion can only be resolved by interdisciplinary programmers;short of this the choice is one software verses the other

2-0 out of 5 stars Terrible Support - Many Installation Problems
An earlier ViaVoice installation 3 years ago went fine and the product was pretty useful and accurate enough for my purposes.

ViaVoice version 10 however has been a nightmare.I still have not been able to install it on a Win2K-SP4 computer.I am a fairly advanced computer programmer/systems person with 20+ years of experience.

Support is virtually non-existent from Scansoft.My 30 days of free support from IBM where I purchased the product has not been honored.All support has to come from Scansoft.

Great features, if you can access them.I am seriously thinking of demanding my money back.Washington State has some very consumer friendly laws regarding "Fitness for Purpose", one more reason I am grateful to live in the Northwest. ... Read more


10. IBM VIAVOICE Advanced 10.0
by Scansoft
list price: $79.99
our price: $66.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000A58IW
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Scansoft
Sales Rank: 1332
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

IBM ViaVoice Advanced Edition Release 10 is a feature-rich voice recognition product designed for experienced PC users. ... Read more

Features

  • Feature-rich voice recognition product for experienced PC users
  • Surf the Web with voice activated linkage; create e-mails
  • Transcription support for digital handheld recorders
  • Portable navigation macros; dictate into many PC applications
  • Noise-canceling headset microphone included

Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Continuous speech recognition needs a VERY fast CPU and RAM
Those that say this software is "unstable" do not take into consideration the VERY high cpu usage needed to perform continuous speech recognition (as ooposed to "discrete" speech dictation used in IBM VoiceType, which was possible on a Pentium 1 233 Mhz, and required users to pause between words).

In short: get a gigabyte of ram, specially if you're using WinXP. If you run Win2000 with 512MB ram, try to add an extra 256mb stick.

And your cpu should be at the very least a 2Ghz Pentium 4, or higher, despite what the box claims. With these requirements in mind, the software works as advertised in my experience.

2-0 out of 5 stars Good recognition, but very unstable program
This is my first experience with dictation software, so I don't have anything to compare it to.All I can do is offer observations on how this one has worked for me.

Training this software takes quite a long time; a few hours if you want to get maximum performance.I actually wouldn't mind so much, except that you need to retrain it every time you buy a new microphone or work in an environment with a different sound level.For me, this has meant having to train the software several times.Reading the provided material so the software can sample your voice is actually kind of fun, but after you've done it a few times (reading the same passages to train for different microphones or environments), it is exceptionally tedious.I wish they had provided a larger selection of reading material.

The headphones which come with the software are adequate, but I heard you can get better recognition with a higher quality set.(I upgraded to a Plantronics Audio 90, which is better, but not one I'd recommend.)

My biggest complaint about the software is that it consumes a tremendous amount of system resources on your computer.I can not be running any other programs at the same time, or it crashes.I am using a computer with a 1.40 GHz Centrino processor with 512MB of RAM.Even when I am running only IBM ViaVoice and MS Word, I clearly run into performance issues.After a while my computer starts to bog down and I have to restart it.My computer's specs are way above what IBM recommends, so that *shouldn't* have been an issue.If a beefier computer would solve my problems, I think IBM should specify "minimal" and "optimal" system requirements.I don't mind if a program is a system hog if the developer is willing to *admit* it and tell me what I need.

More complaints:ViaVoice types with unusual quirks which it seems would have been easy for IBM to have prevented.For example, it often fails to capitalize the first word in a sentence, especially when dictating in chat software.When you dictate for a passage to be in quotation marks, it leaves a space between the quotation marks and the words inside the quote.For some words, it seems impossible to get the software to recognize that you are dictating a word, and not issuing a command.

IBM's ViaVoice is considerably cheaper than the competition.Unfortunately, I have no idea if the higher price of the competing product (Dragon) is justified by being a higher-quality product.ViaVoice is probably adequate for most casual dictating needs.If you've never used dictation software before, it's really impressive the way it can usually understand what you're saying.The more you use it, the better it gets at recognizing what you are saying, and the better you will get at enunciating in a way it can understand.After a few months of casual usage, I would say my software is hitting 90 to 95% accuracy (higher under ideal conditions with simple words).

The bottom line is, for the price, this is pretty good software (though I sure do wish it was more stable).If you use dictation a lot and know that the competing products are better quality, they would be worth the price.But for a casual user, this software is fine. ... Read more


11. IBM VIAVOICE Standard v.10
by ScanSoft
list price: $49.99
our price: $40.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000A58IV
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: ScanSoft
Sales Rank: 1483
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

IBM ViaVoice Standard Edition is a voice recognition product that includes essential dictation and command and control features. ... Read more

Features

  • Includes noise-canceling headset microphone
  • Voice recognition with essential dictation, command, and control features
  • Use IBM ViaVoice SpeakPad to dictate letters, reports, memos, or faxes
  • Easily transfer SpeakPad documents to other text-based applications
  • 300,000 vocabulary and backup English dictionary words

Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars ViaVoice - very disappointing
You don't get your money's worth with ViaVoice.At first, it seemed to work fine.Contrary to what the program is supposed to do, the more I used it, the worse it got."Training" the software is extremely time consuming.However, I did this in hopes of improving its performance.Unfortunately, after spending all the time doing that, it was actually worse, not better.It has finally gotten so bad I cannot use the application at all.As I am dictating, it throws in random words which can't possibly have anything to do with what I am saying, some of them foreign.Dictate, "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country," and you are likely to get "Avarice now is the Bois time for all good men to Gwendolyn."Help is impossible to find, and if you go to the IBM or ScanSoft site, you have to pay for it.Do not buy this software.

1-0 out of 5 stars This is a waste of time, effort, and money.
I bought this product to use with Microsoft Word.I can not dictate anything!What a huge disappointment.Too bad I could not rate it 0 stars.Don't even consider this product, it is fruitless to even try to get it to work at all.

4-0 out of 5 stars Getting Pretty Good
I thought that voice recognition software had finally reached the point where I would buy it.Based on my research IBM seemed to be the best.The Standard version really is all you need for dictation of reports, articles, letters, etc.Email will require a more advanced version.

It actually works quite well.The key is to spend time at the beginning to train it to your voice and to correct each error.Now its not going to be like Star Wars (Scotty: "A keyboard, how quaint.") but it works and has greatly reduced my Carpal Tunnel wrist pain.

Not quite 5 stars, I am a tough critic, but worth the money and I am using it daily in my work. ... Read more


12. Dragon Naturally Speaking 7 Standard
by Scansoft
list price: $99.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008A6CE
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Scansoft
Sales Rank: 1975
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Scansoft Dragon Naturally Speaking 7.0 Standard.Say goodbye to your keyboard and create documents as fast as you speak. Dragon NaturallySpeaking Standard learns your voice in just minutes. It works with your favorite Windows-based applications and includes special commands for Microsoft Word and Corel WordPerfect. Write letters and messages even send e-mail just by talking! Itâs easy to revise and format documents, and to correct your work as you go. Use your voice to surf the Net and navigate Web pages.Launch programs and tell them what to do. Best of all, the whole family can use it: it works for ages 9 and up (US ENGLISH ONLY!) and allows multiple users. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

3-0 out of 5 stars getting much better, but still plenty of glitches
I've already reviewed this product, about a month ago, but since then the accuracy has improved dramatically, as it has learnt to recognise my speech. I often speak sentence after sentence with hardly a correction. Most of my gripes still apply though.And it seems to have good and bad days -- probably affected by microphone position among other things.

I use it less select half the time, to avoid voice strain.But when I have a lot of typing to do it's a great relief for my hands, and quite good speed.

One annoying thing, which I didn't mention before, is when it repeatedly makes the same mistake when trying to correct a word.For example I said " hi Sandra" which it rendered as "bystander".When I selected this it did not offer the correct option so I spoke again and this time got "high Sandro". I selected Sandro, and said Sandra (as Sandra was not on the list of options), and the program typed Sandro, or centre, again and again until I used the spelling tool."Hi" also took a few attempts. My point is 1: the list of options often neglects obvious ones, and 2: if I've already rejected Sandro and centre for this occurrence of this word, the program should be able to remember that and not just repeat those mistakes.

(for reference, I'm using the Australian module.)

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
It often writes absolute nonsense -- a decent grammar check of the kind that Microsoft Word has had for years would eliminate about half of that, and it pathetic that Dragon has not included this already. (Example: with a grammar check, it would have detected that "it pathetic" is not something I likely to say, and would have tried a different option like "it's". See? there it is again, "I likely".)

And if I say "select that" to bring up the correction menu (which often doesn't work, but anyway...) and wanted to choose item number four, I say "choose four"... but instead of putting in the fourth option, it types "choose for" or "choose four" or "shoes for".

These are minor example.Examples.Often the mistakes a much more dramatic.Are much more dramatic.

Love got a lot of effort... try again: although I go to a lot of effort to try and train the program, the accuracy is still very disappointed.(Disappointing!) It's generally much slower than typing because I spent so much time going back to correct mistakes.

And the Dragon Pad editor is not very good - can't do multiple undos (ie go back before the last edit).

Conclusion: Not good enough! Get it together, Dragon!

I'll give it two stars though because it believed it has ["at least it has"...i gave up and typed this]a module for non-US accent.Accent.Accent.Accent.Accent.Accent.Then.Damn. Accents.

I still use the program about half the time that I work catered computer... workout for...workout for... work at the computer, because it does relieve the strain on my hands and wrists. But not all the time because data does give me voice strain. I'm sure the voice strain would be much less if I could just dictate without constantly having to go back and give edit commands (or give the same command 6 times before giving up).

By the way some tips to prevent voice strain are found at: (...)

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm pleased...
I have been using this software about a month. The improvement in accuracy has been nothing short of amazing. Yes, like other reviewers who have had good results, I spent the time and patience it took to train the system. I'm just a little annoyed that ScanSoft has recently dropped the price of its Preferred version, and not offered those of use with the Standard version an opportunity to upgrade at a reasonable price. But, as I build the recognition vocabulary, and since I don't work with Microsoft Office apps (I use Text Pad to review the spelling and spacing of the dictated materials), I'm not sure that the higher-priced version would have been that much more useful, given my work habits.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Boon for Carpal Tunnel Sufferers
I'm a direct response copywriter, which means that I often have to key in great quantities of text.Unfortunately, I am also a sufferer of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Although I've only had this program for a few days, I find it has taken a lot of the stress out of inputting copy.

As another user suggested, it seems best to dictate the words, and use your mouse or keyboard for formatting.

The program works very well with e-mail and word processing.But as an added bonus, it seems to give you control over most functions of any Windows program!

For example, when your desktop is on the screen, you say "open Microsoft Word," and the program opens.Whoah, beam me up, Scotty! I would imagine that this program could be very useful to people with injuries or disabilities, not to mention "lending a hand" when your hands are full.

The program does make some recognition errors, but then I do suffer a bit from marble-mouth myself.Fortunately, it's easy to correct mistakes by selecting the words in error, and then saying the correct word or selecting one of the choices the program presents you.

Surprisingly, the program invites you to speak at your normal speed.Not to slow down as some earlier dictation programs forced you to do.There are also some passages they give you to read into the supplied headset microphone to improve the accuracy of the recognition.

They say it takes about two weeks to optimize the program for your speaking pattern.I find the other challenge is simply getting used to dictation; as a touch typist and self-employed individual, I'm not accustomed to dictating documents to a secretary!

The only reason I'm not giving this program five stars is because of the developer's stingy user support, as reported by other users here.When are manufacturers going to learn that it is imperative to provide a toll-free number for customers to call with product problems, and that customers should NOT be charged for the privilege either?

Still, until another developer creates a product as good as this, NaturallySpeaking is probably the only game in town.

2-0 out of 5 stars See for yourself!
Okay, how did you people get this thing to be in the least bit accurate? I am now typing this review in dragon pad to see how it fares.I just finished transcribing to interviews, and got the most ridiculous results. Oddly enough, this is coming-out far more accurate, then, the interviews granted it is making grammar mistakes.But that's to be expected.It seemed that he can't keep up with me when I talked very fast see, like that.I speak very clearly and actually have been a public speaker.So I know that it's not that I mumble, or I'm not articulating enough.I think that if all one wanted to do with this was to tie thousand e-mails and perhaps right out letters were speech is that might be fine.But using it to transcribe quickly has been a nightmare.I and purposely not going back and correcting any of this.So you can see what it really looks like tie thousand should have been typed in some.Type in some.Off yes, if I speak like a robot sometimes it works, but not always.Off yes, should have been to ah I give up.See what I mean?

Let us try some nursery rhymes, Thomas Moffett sat on her topic heating or credited way.Oh, God, that was perfect.The tell Mace Moffett sat on her toughest eating her currents and way.One more try late told Mace Moffett sat on her tough it eating her curtains and way.

(If you couldn't tell, that was Dragon's version of Little Miss Muffett.Just stepping in here to type, because I can't get it to even come vaguely close.)

But in case you think that's not fair, let's try the back of my Sausalito cookies bad: topical key in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds for a fresh from the oven taste.Cannot purchase of baggies opener toward.Try again.Cannot purchase of baggies opener toward.Not even close.Do not purchase if bag is open or toward.Torn to.Torn!Yes, that's it.

This is the first program of it's kind that I've tried so I can't recommend anything better at this point.But I am very frustrated, and serious -- -- no, I said to your yes...No, I said, furious -- -- that I can't even get any technical support without paying for it, even when it deals with glitch is.They have found and documented such as the conflict with Visual Studio.It is an embarrassment that this company has such a little respect for its customers. ... Read more


13. IBM VIAVOICE Simply Dictation Mac OS X
by Scansoft
list price: $49.99
our price: $42.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000A58JR
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Scansoft
Sales Rank: 1289
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Scansoft IBM ViaVoice Simply Dictation for MAC OS X .Exceptional dictation accuracy and the Mac OS X #34aqua#34 look-and-feel can make IBM ViaVoice Simply Dictation for Mac OS X Edition an exciting introduction to continuous speech recognition on Macintosh computers. Simply Dictation Edition can be an enjoyable alternative to the mouse and keyboard for creating letters, stories, reports, memos and email. ... Read more

Features

  • Great for creating letters, stories, reports, memos, and email
  • Use your voice to dictate, edit, and correct text
  • 160,000 word vocabulary; G4 processors optimization
  • Audio edit documents with Text-to-Speech feature
  • Easily transfer documents into other text-based programs

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars This App rocks
i think this is the best via voice. i had the old one it did not work i had to pronounce hard words that i dont know. over all the new one rocks

5-0 out of 5 stars An outstanding product!
I'm not typing this review.It is being dictated directly into the space using theibm ViaVoice simply dictation for Mac OS X.(the failure to capitalize is due to my lack of familiarity with the software, not the software itself)
As you can see, this is pretty easy to use! In fact I juststarted using it at about 30 minutes ago.It took about an hour to train the system to my voice and set it up.I've had many years of experience in dictating to tape recorders and to live people, so my technique may be more consistent with what the dictation software expects than yours.All in all this seems to be a very useful tool particularly for people who dictate versions of the same letter on a daily basis.The software allows you to train it to words that are specific to your work and also to capture "Macro phrases" that might include entire paragraphs of text.
I would highly recommend this software to anyone who has had experience in dictating for transcription.This is not for everyone as some attention to articulation and phrasing is necessary in any dictation, computer or human.If your willing to speak clearly and distinctly to your friendly computer this software will enable you to do exactly what I've done: to transcribe a paragraph without having to touch a key. ... Read more


14. Microsoft Voice Command for Pocket PC & Pocket PC Phone Edition
by Microsoft
list price: $34.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001XU8E4
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 2217
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

VOICE COMMAND WIN CE EN CD ... Read more

Features

  • Hands-free use of a mobile device; convenient and efficient
  • Transforms Pocket PCs into virtual personal assistants
  • Voice-controlled phone, contact lookup, media player, and more
  • State-of-the-art speech technology; no voice training required
  • Conversational style that asks questions if more information is needed

15. IBM VIAVOICE for Mac OS X USB
by Scansoft
list price: $129.99
our price: $109.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000A58IY
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Scansoft
Sales Rank: 1270
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Scansoft IBM ViaVoice for MAC OS X Edition .IBM ViaVoice for Mac OS X brings natural, continuous speech voice dictation to Apple's highly anticipated Mac OS X. Optimized to work with this cutting-edge UNIX-based operating system, IBM ViaVoice for Mac OS X brings a new level of accuracy and ease of use to voice recognition on the Apple Macintosh computer platform. All aspects of Mac OS X, including the new Command Center and re-designed Voice Center, use the Aqua OS X look and feel. Mac OS X Edition is also optimized for use with G4 and multiprocessors. Support is also available for specialized vocabularies such as legal and medical. Users can dictate, correct, edit, and format text with their natural voice in the IBM ViaVoice speech-enabled word processor, SpeakPad. They can also take advantage of the new DSR technology, which enables direct dictation into text-fields of Mac applications, with correction and editing in SpeakPad. Mac OS X Edition also provides voice command and control of the Internet, so users can move back and forth between Web sites. An enhanced Speech Recognition Engine takes advantage of Mac OS X audio features and provides for faster enrollment than previous IBM ViaVoice for Mac products. ... Read more

Features

  • Brings natural, continuous speech voice dictation to Mac OS X
  • OS X/Aqua human interface look and feel
  • Dictate, correct, edit, and format by voice text within SpeakPad
  • Create customized voice commands in favorite Mac applications
  • Noise-canceling USB headset microphone included

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstandng product
I receive my ViaVoice software last night one day after I ordered it.Amazon told me it would get here in seven to nine business days, but it came the next day.Hats off to Amazon for quick delivery. Thirty minutes after I opened the box, I was dictating on my Macintosh using ViaVoice.I took the time to go through two of the training lessons, and the more I read to ViaVoice the better it got at recognizing my words.Now, after only a few hours of working with ViaVoice, my dictations are almost one hundred% error free.I wholeheartedly recommend ViaVoice to anybody who is looking for a dictation package for the Macintosh which is price effective and easy to use.By the way, this entire review was dictated to ViaVoice.I left in the few errors and that it made so that you could see how effective is.

1-0 out of 5 stars Save your money!
I purchased ViaVoice for Mac Enhanced version and immediately had problems with it. Foolishly I upgraded to ViaVoice for Mac OS X, release 3, and thought the problems would be over. I was wrong. This software has very poor overall performance. It slows, hangs and freezes at the drop of a hat. There is no rhythme or reason to the freezes. I've tried stoping and restarting, reloading, various combinations, and it never seems to work properly. Being a Mac Addict since 1986 I think I know a thing or two about this system. It's not a user issue, it's a software issue!

1-0 out of 5 stars Wrong Product for panther
I can't get the microphone to even record.I think this version is incompatible with Panther, orI may have a faulty product.I am a very experienced Mac user and actually read manuals and web sites for support.It's possible that the correct product is actually IBM ViaVoice for Mac X USB, v. 3.It's a $30 upgrade from this version. Neither Scansoft nor Amazon makes this clear from looking at this page!

To give this product a fair review, it needs to be repesented correctly on this site as not being the latest version for Mac.

If I am wrong about this, I will correct it in a further review very soon.

1-0 out of 5 stars Has never worked well in OS X
Due to a spinal cord injury, my hands do not work. Obviously, typing is difficult, especially extended word processing. I use my computer 8-10 hours/day for work, email, etc., and frequently need to type more than a few lines. So, Viavoice seems to be the obvious choice for me. I have owned viavoice and each upgrade since the first version. Despite updates, this program has never worked well on OS X. On a few occasions I have gotten it to operate briefly, but usually it crashes, fails to open, does not respond, or dissappoints me in some other way.

Training the program is a long process, and the fact that I cannot use it now is ridiculous. I consider myself a mac expert, and use many programs. I have never been more frustrated with a program than I am with this one. Support is poor, and updaters are few-and don't help.

Save your money and more importantly your time-don't buy this program.. ... Read more


16. Talk It Type It
by PC Treasures
list price: $39.99
our price: $33.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001Y7I9G
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: PC Treasures
Sales Rank: 2308
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Features

  • Dictate directly into any Windows application; types up to 150 words a minute
  • Built-in, 60,000-word vocabulary and the ability to easily add new words
  • Avoid or compensate for repetitive-motion injuries
  • Makes online chats and Instant Messages even easier
  • Great for letters, homework, reports, and more

17. Dragon Naturally Speaking Essentials 7.0
by Scansoft
list price: $59.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008A6CD
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Scansoft
Sales Rank: 2810
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thanks to IBM Viavoice my expectations were low!
Seriously, this product is 1000% better then IBM Viavoice.I coul not even dictate in word with that nightmare of a program.

With this program I did the minimal training, and it works great!It actually does what it claims it can do (unlike IBM Viavoice).

5-0 out of 5 stars Just what you need with no frills.
The 'Essentials' version of Dragon Naturally Speaking 7 (DNS) has the core features but none of the extras.There is really no point in getting the 'standard version' over this as the standard version only has four extra features that you probably would not use much, if at all, anyway.

What matters here is that the speech recognition engine in DNS is excellent and quick to set up and use, and the core speech recognition engine is the same for all the DNS 7 variants.The time you put in through use to train it is time well spent, and you can speak at a normal pace with very high quality results.OK, if you try to use it in a noisy environment you will get problems, but use a bit of common sense and patience and you get great results.

If you want to use DNS with a dictation machine then you have to go for the 'Preferred or Professional' versions, likewise if you want to have your words read back to you (text to speech)But if you just want to do the basics such as dictating letters, essays, memos, or email, then DNS Essentials has all you need.

If you are spending your own money and don't really need the advanced features then go for DNS Essentials, if it is someone else's money, or you really need the extra advanced features then get the preferred or professional.Of course it helps to have a fast PC with more memory than the minimum specifications too! ... Read more


18. ViaVoice Advanced Edition 10.0
by IBM

our price: $69.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00006IIT1
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: IBM
Sales Rank: 1460
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

A powerful productivity tool, ViaVoice for Windows Advanced Edition 10 combines powerful dictation features with the natural ease of using vocal commands to control your PC. The advanced edition now supports selected digital handheld recorders, and comes with a stereo headset microphone with inline volume and mute controls. A new speech engine provides exceptional accuracy.

ViaVoice for Windows Advanced Edition comes complete with improved, adjustable background noise adaptation, which leads to superior dictation and command accuracy. Starting with over 300,000 words in its vocabulary and backup dictionary, ViaVoice for Windows Advanced Edition lets you add customized names, acronyms, addresses, terms, and more.

ViaVoice for Windows Advanced Edition works with a vast number of programs. Dictate, edit, format, and correct in ViaVoice's own SpeakPad, Microsoft Office XP and 2000, Outlook, Internet Explorer, AOL, Netscape Messenger, and other e-mail applications. You can also dictate directly and use customized voice commands in many other popular PC applications. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Breathes the fire that Dragon lacks...
For ease of use and set-up, IBM wins hands down. Dragon is a bit more cumbersome for a non-techie type of person. For doctoral student applications, IBM wins hands down. IBM's word training tool is really great to customize your main dictionary area. Dragon doesn't seem to have the same flexibility. I only wish it would have better connection capabilities with handheld digital recorders. Dollar for dollar, IBM can't be beat.

UPDATE 12/15/04: Combine this with the Olympus DS-330 and you are mobile! Love it love it! Olympus finally perfected the translation connection between WAV and Via Voice. Fabulous. ... Read more


19. iSpeak - Text to Audio/MP3
by Fonix
list price: $39.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00009ZLJH
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Fonix
Sales Rank: 4461
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Give your text a voice with iSpeak! With Fonix iSpeak 3.0, your PC can read your text fields aloud. Easy to install and operate, Fonix iSpeak lets you listen to emails, Web sites, lengthy documents, articles, or any other text in clear, natural-sounding audio. ... Read more

Features

  • Automatically reads text copied to the clipboard or directly from Microsoft Word
  • Award-winning AT&T natural voices
  • Drag and Speak technology; new text-to-speech voice technology
  • Intuitive MP3 exporting capabilities; listening to MP3 files is now easier and more productive
  • Listen to your email directly from AOL 7.0, Microsoft Outlook 2000, and Outlook Express 6.

Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars Very Disapointing
This program is very frustrating and support is even worse. First of all it's huge. It takes around a gigabite of hard drive space to install. The program opens with the default voice (Mike) who sounds robot like and choppy. When trying to choose an optional voice, the program crashes every time. Then it will not open again till I reboot my computer. The manual is one 8 x10 sheet of paper. My Tech Support emails have been completely ignored, and no human phone contact is possible. The troubleshooting website was just as useless. There are better choices.
I have tried a few demo downloads from other Text to Voice programs that all worked very well. I'm sorry I didn't choose one of them vs iSpeak.

1-0 out of 5 stars buggy
I bought this used so I didn't loose too much. But after discovering it's bugs and spending time to train the speech to say ms-dos and not Missisippi duce, it all came down to trying another software. I've tried this one Windows Me and XP both would same issue with the software staying minimized on the task bar. I was unable restore to maximized position on the screen. Buyer beware.

1-0 out of 5 stars Nobody home at this company
Voice is ok.But control tags to insert pauses in text don't work, even when you follow the documentation's simple recommendations.Nobody at the company is monitoring or responding to their website support email.Not hooked on Fonix here. ... Read more


20. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 5.0 Standard Edition
by Broderbund
list price: $109.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004W3GQ
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Broderbund
Sales Rank: 3862
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

Create messages and letters by voice using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 5.0 Standard, which is designed for home computer users and their families. Make corrections faster and easier with the new, convenient Quick Correct Box. Learn with a hands-on tutorial that leads you through basic dictation techniques. Version 5 features improved accuracy from a company already recognized for its accuracy. Find new ways to surf the Web with new features and commands to enhance your Web browser. Dictate into popular e-mail programs with voice commands. Use Dragon NaturallySpeaking commands with your favorite programs. Add terminology quickly with the new Add Words from Document feature. Get started promptly--all machines that meet the minimum system requirements of the software now learn your voice in under five minutes. Never forget a command again with helpful onscreen reminders and the "top 10 commands" sticker for your keyboard or monitor. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars Dragon Point and Speakvers. 3.52
Can't get it to work- does mike not work?NO HELP from Dr agon Co. Who owns it now?

5-0 out of 5 stars I use this to type around 40 pages per day
Dragon seems to be an undiscovered tool.It allows me to dictate consultation notes and business letters in copious quantities without the expense of a typist or what would surely turn into a carpal tunnel syndrome.It's faster than using a typist as the turnaround time is instant.

It's not perfect.I frequently have to use the mouse and the keyboard for absolute accuracy, but it beats typing by far.You can train unusual words in no time.It's only 99 dollars and worth a shot.You have to have a computer of greater than 750 mH with at least 128 RAM.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great program but needs top of the line computer
Dragon NaturallySpeaking software is, in my opinion, the best speech recognition software on the market (and you pay for the fact).It is highly accurate, especially if you speak clearly, and is easy to train.Even corrections and navigation are easy to do entirely via voice commands.If you do a lot of writing,even if you're a fast typist, it will save you time and definitely wrist discomfort.There are drawbacks, however.It needs a fast processor and lots of RAM.I have a Pentium II 366 with 128 RAM and it's all it can do to handle the program.I got the standard version hoping to use it in different applications, but I really can't because then too much of the RAM is used and it's too slow and makes more mistakes and sometimes locks up the computer.I end up just dictating in the included notepad and then cutting and pasting.This is fine, but I should have gotten the basic version for that instead of spending the money on the standard version.If you have the latest and greatest computer then you may be all right.Another problem is that the included microphone picks up every background noise, so you must use it in an absolutely quiet environment.

5-0 out of 5 stars 99% accuracy! The best!
This is the best speech recognition program ever.Must have. ... Read more


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