Speech Recognition Software

Discussion in 'Writer's Lounge' started by Ellie Jane, 9 Aug 2017.

  1. Ellie Jane

    Ellie Jane Member

    My mum creates poetry, but has terrible arthritis so it's hard for her to write. Her current method for getting her thoughts down is to dictate things to my dad. She speaks faster than he can write and he asks questions mid-verse which she hates. My mum's birthday is coming up and us kids were going to get her a copy of Dragon Naturally Speaking. It's speech recognition software that should help her. I see on the sidebar here that speech to text can create a few problems. Can anyone tell me if it works okay for creative writing rather than posting on a forum? We don't want to give her a poor birthday gift.
  2. tirial

    tirial Member

    I use it, in my case because of an eye problem. I've used ViaVoice which I don't recommend, as I have an admin cleaning my posts up before they go live (thank you!). To make sure you get a good one, check if it handles accents. Ones which don't learn accents are useless.

    I've heard some very good things about DragonSpeak or Naturally Speaking, what ever they call it now. However whatever text to speech you use, you are going to need someone to read through and cleanup afterwards as they are never 100%. If you can get one for a trial 30 days, that lets her try it out and see if she likes it. If it works out, that would be a great presence though.

    The only thing to add is get a good microphone. The clearer the voice record the more accurate it will be.
  3. Ellie Jane

    Ellie Jane Member

    Thank you for the advice, tirial. It makes sense that a good microphone can help. They sure make the commercials appealing for this type of software. All the user does is speak into the microphone and it's typed up verbatim. Silly me, I believed it until I noticed the sidebar comment here. I like your tip about going for a 30 day trial. I'll do that and see how she gets on. Thanks!
  4. Demi

    Demi New Member

    Tirial, is right, you should definitely try a trial version of whatever you get her first, or at least a system that you can get a full refund for if you guys aren't fund of it. You should be able to look up reviews for the system online and that should help also.
    Ellie Jane likes this.
  5. Ellie Jane

    Ellie Jane Member

    I hear you about checking the reviews, but the problem is that they're all over the place in ranking and many of the complaints have nothing to do with the actual software. It's about price or the fact that it isn't compatible with their operating system. It's also hard to determine what version of the software is being discussed. I get better information by asking real world users what they think about the products or services. The "accent" issue that tirial brought up is a darn good point and something that other reviews failed to consider. If the software was cheaper, and it wasn't meant to be a gift, I'd cross my fingers and hope for the best.

    I found one of the free trial versions of Dragon Naturally Speaking. It looks a bit complicated, but I bet she could do alright. We also thought about buying mum a tape recorder that she could speak into then pay someone on Fivver to transcribe her poems. But even though she's talented, she's shy about someone else reading or hearing her poems.

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