If you have already upgraded your system to Windows Vista, then you’re in possession of a valuable freelance writing tool. As you know, I recently purchased a new laptop equipped with Windows Vista. While I’m proving not to be a huge fan of Windows Vista, I must admit that I think I’m smitten with their speech recognition software.
My Existing Voice Recognition Software
Many moons ago I tried deluxe Dragon Deluxe NaturallySpeaking. My friend allowed me to try his software (version 4) and I was not impressed. Honestly, I thought the technology was a waste of time. I have to reiterate, that was quite some time ago.
I was reintroduced to Dragon Deluxe NaturallySpeaking about a year ago with version 9 (as of this writing, they’re up to version 10). I was very impressed with the evolution of the software and decided to give it a shot. After all, playing with the typing speed test on their site was the clincher. If you want to test your typing speed against speaking speed, give it a try by using the Nuance demo.
Since then, they have made a lot of changes and currently they’re selling software version number 10.
Creating a Relationship with Voice Recognition Software
I spent quite a bit of time training the software to understand my speech patterns. I’ve posted about this before, so I won’t reinvent the wheel here.
Just about the time I got the software just the way I wanted it, I changed operating systems. Along with Windows Vista came a host of software compatibility problems. As with so many of my software programs, NaturallySpeaking 9 didn’t like Vista, so I had to upgrade to NaturallySpeaking 9.5 in order to use it with Vista.
Windows Vista Speech Recognition
At the time I upgraded the NaturallySpeaking software I didn’t realize that my computer was equipped with Windows Vista speech recognition software. I happened upon it as a result of roaming around the Internet.
Since it was already on my computer, I figured might as well try it out. After configuring the microphone to work properly and eventually having to purchase a USB microphone headset, I found the speech recognition software to be easy to use and remarkably accurate. I say remarkably accurate because with much less training than I had to do with the NaturallySpeaking software, I was able to dictate with about 90% accuracy. The accuracy rate improves the more I train and use the product.
Anyone who has worked with voice recognition software knows that it takes a bit of training, correction and repeated use to get the software to respond as you want it. It takes patience, but it’s worth it in the long run. I’m still playing around with the software, but here’s my initial comparison between the two software programs:
|Cost||I spent about $150 for the software||Comes with Operating System|
|Training||I found it required extensive training||Quick up front training|
|Audio Files||Transcribes audio files to text||Does not transcribe audio files|
|Software Compatibility||Requires upgrade to run with Windows Vista. Not Mac compatible. Mac users must purchase MacSpeech Dictate||Windows Product|
|Computer Commands||I tried operating the computer hands free with NaturallySpeaking and was unable to do it.||Can conceivably operate the computer via voice only. Takes a little training, but the software is responsive to commands like “Open Microsoft Word, scroll up, Close Program” and more.
(*It does not work with Framemaker 6.0)
The goal with Windows-based speech recognition program is to eventually be able to operate a computer by voice only. This is a wonderful feature. I often take it for granted that I am able to move my hands turn on a computer and type when I need to. Some people are not that fortunate.
Mixing It Up
Since I have both software programs, I feel that I have the best of both worlds. I can use Windows Vista to control my computer and dictate and Deluxe NaturallySpeaking when I have audio files to transcribe.