We review the popular Mac dictation app, Macspeech Dictate. Find out what we think to this package. [review spoken with Macspeech]

The general concept of MacSpeech dictate, is to turn spoken words into text, much like you would do if you had somebody taking notes on what you are saying. Included for the price of Mac speech dictate you get to installation CDs, obviously your manuals and Mac speech’s very own headset.

Before we start the review is worth noting that I’m using the actual software to write this review. I’ve also decided not to correct the software so that you can get a realistic idea of how well it works. I have to say initially I was rather sceptical so let’s see how Macspeech works.

macspeechpackage

Here is everything included in the package. The whole lot looks amazing, very professional indeed.

Features

  • MacSpeech Dictate includes a certified, noise-cancelling microphone headset.
  • MacSpeech Dictate will astonish you with its accuracy. You simply talk and leave the recognition to MacSpeech Dictate. MacSpeech Dictate recognizes and understands 13 English language variations, nine with U.S. spelling and four with U.K. spelling.
  • MacSpeech Dictate provides astounding accuracy and productivity. With just minutes of training, you’ll be using MacSpeech Dictate’s superior capabilities.
  • Instead of using your mouse to select menu commands or your keyboard to type shortcuts, just speak a command. MacSpeech Dictate executes it for you. What’s more, MacSpeech Dictate understands key commands. With the ‘Press The Key’ and ‘Press The Key Combo’ commands, you can enter specific keys and even keyboard modifiers like Command, Option, Shift, and Control. That makes you more productive and MacSpeech Dictate more intuitive. What could be better?
  • MacSpeech Dictate works great with most text documents, even those it didn’t create. MacSpeech Dictate can read a document’s contents, or a portion of it, that you can then navigate and edit.
  • Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, QuarkXPress, and more. And MacSpeech Dictate works great with Apple’s applications as well, including iChat, Mail, iPhoto, and Keynote, among others.
  • You don’t need a keyboard or mouse to move around in your documents. MacSpeech Dictate lets you move your cursor forwards, backwards, and much more with just your voice. It helps make editing your documents a breeze.
  • MacSpeech Dictate’s spelling mode lets you easily spell words, names, and acronyms with either natural language or the International Radio Alphabet. You have complete control over every aspect of your speech recognition input.
  • MacSpeech Dictate includes everything you need to be instantly productive as soon as you start using it, including a high quality headset microphone.
  • Mac users expect only the best from the applications they use on their Macs. MacSpeech Dictate was built from the ground up to ensure the ultimate experience on Mac OS X.
  • And ofcourse, Macspeech have brilliant online support

Phew! Thats a serious amount of features.

The headset

The headset is of reasonable quality. When used in conjunction with the software it works very well. It’s comfortable to use for extended periods and will adjust to suit most heads.

Our testing environment

Where using the software on an iMac 2.4 GHz with 4 GB of RAM. It’s fast and can keep up with the spoken word. with a little practice it becomes as easy as typing and probably with more practice a lot faster. Our testing environment is quite noisy, with some building work going on in the background and several people chattering away. This is a fairly realistic test of the software, because it’s difficult to get an absolute silent environment.

The speaker

Our test speaker for the software is from Yorkshire, in the UK. Yorkshire speakers are renowned for being difficult to understand-even other English speakers find it difficult to follow a true Yorkshire person. However, the software did a fantastic job of keeping up with our reviewer despite the background noises, and the speakers accent.

The software allows for the setup of profiles and this is highly important to get accurate dictation. When setting up your profile, you simply choose which dialect you are (in this case British) and your preferred spelling which was set to UK. You then run through reading several stories, in which the app calibrates itself to your particular voice. These profiles can be loaded out and interchanged, for example if you shared the software in an office space.

Vocal shortcuts

Mac speech makes use of several vocal shortcuts i.e. you speak the word and it deletes, creates a paragraph amongst other functions. These are really handy and save a lot of time. Try take the time to learn the most common shortcuts because you will get the absolute most out of the software when you do.

mspeech2

The headset and USB converter incase you have no Audio / Mic jacks

Final thoughts

I am very, very impressed with this software. I highly recommend it. As I was writing this review (or speaking it) there was a large concrete saw in operation in the background. Couple that with my accent and you get an idea of just how accurate and versatile this software is. The software is $200, however if you do any amount of writing or dictation you’ll soon see the benefits. Personally, I am using this software to write a book. It makes writing for extended periods a cinch. It is much easier to speak than type I can asure you.
The software is ideally suited to those who may be unable to type, as well as those who wish to speed up typing. It also means you can take a break from typing and negate the effects of doing so for extended periods. After writing this article and my hands very little which is a welcome break. As you can see, there are a few little spelling mistakes and such, but nothing I feel would’nt be picked out when proof-reading and then spell checking your work as you normally should.

Overall this software is supremely impresive, works very well and is great value for money. I think everyone who owns a Mac and at some point needs to tpye long passages would benfit from this package, which is very pleasing to say the least. The packaging looks amazing, everything has been thought about.

You can find out more about MacSpeech Dictate over at Macspeech.com/dictate