I try an iPad-based dictation tool.
Note: This blog post was dictated into my iPad. Although I’d originally hoped to display the text in two columns to show unedited and edited text (as referred to in the post), I later decided to use
INS tags to show actual text edits required — places where Dragon Dictation actually got it wrong. I did not correct my failure to dictate punctuation or my poor use of words, since those are my errors and not the software’s. A few additional comments are included in square brackets in the text.
I am trying something different today. I’m writing a blog post by dictating into my iPad.
I’m using a program called
Capps dragon caps dictation. I downloaded it for free on my iPad not long after I bought the iPad. I’ve tried it a few times, and was very pleased with the results. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to using dictation software and simply saying what you want to say.
These first two paragraph are good example. On the left you see my dictated version. On the right you see my edited version. Notice the changes I needed to make. It’s really not bad, but not exactly perfect.
The main problem with using dictation software
. See you have to dictate everything you want to type. That means you have to dictate your punctuation, capitalization, quotes, and any other information that you want to put in your text other than the exact words.
You also need to speak clearly directly into a microphone. On the iPad that’s not exactly convenient since the microphone is at the top of the iPad. Right now my iPad is standing up on my table with the microphone close to my mouth so that so that Dragon dictation can understand what I’m saying. Of course if you have an external microphone it will work with that as well.
You also need to be careful about what you say. Any mistakes you make will be transcribed. This makes dictation a useful tool for getting out
of first draft, but not forgetting final text. You’ll still have to go through the document and make changes to it as necessary to correct errors and rephrase sentences.
As I dictate this today, I see that I’m quickly getting the hang of it. Although it’s not natural for me to do this, I don’t think it will be difficult to learn. What amazes me the most, is the way the software can recognize exactly what I’m saying. I haven’t edited any of this text other than what you
sought the top of this post. [Not true; read note at top of post.] Get as you can see dragon dictation has managed to understand almost everything that I’ve said. This absolutely amazes me. What I don’t understand, however, is how many people reported that dragon dictation could not understand them. The overall reviews in the iTunes store for the app are very low. I can only assume that these people are not speaking slowly and clearly so that the software can understand .
What I do find a little bothersome about this software is that it needs an Internet connection to work. As I speak it evidently records what I say and then when I’m done it sends it to the Dragon dictation website
words translated and returned to me. This isthe best solution if you don’t have an Internet connection all the time. But given the price of the software, which was free, I really can’t complain.
Another thing I find a little bit bothersome is the fact that it evidently has a buffer. I can’t just go on talking for a long period of time and expect the software to be able to translate. Instead it automatically cuts me off gets the translation
in puts in the software sometimes while I’m still talking. [Boy, that previous sentence could sure benefit from some commas.] This means that I need to stop at the end of every long paragraph let it translate and then start again.
It’s interesting to me also how the software does not recognize
upon as a place to put a comma or period it’s also interesting to me that it probably just inserted those two forms of punctuation instead of the words that I just set. Let’s see. That’s funny it’s got the words as I said them and didn’t put in punctuation. I guess it does take a little bit of time to get used to this. [This whole paragraph is a good example of experimenting. Believe it or not, Dragon dictation made only one error; the other errors were mine.]
As a writer, it’s a dream to be able to say what you want to say and have it automatically typed for you. But the reality is
and so sweet. In reality, I can type a lot faster than I can do this dictation. I can also make a lot fewer mistakes. And I can edit as I go along.
Still, I think the thing that bothers me the most, is that I have to stop at the end of every long paragraph to let Dragon dictation catch up. I don’t type like this. I don’t think like this. I tend to type thing [I corrected myself here but DD didn't know that.]
right write a lot more a lot more fluidly. I also don’t think about the comments that I need to put in my documents.
Overall what do I think of this? I think it has its uses, but I can’t see using it as a normal writing tool. I’ll keep experimenting with it, but I’m not sure whether will ever be something I use daily.
If you have an iPad or
my phone I recommend giving this a try. You might like it. And if you like it a lot. You might want to buy the regular software that they self your computer. They have a Windows version and a Mac version.