It’s a wonderful Tuesday afternoon. The grass is singing. The birds are green. The sun is sunning. I’m dictating to my computer. Simply wonderful.
I’ve been experimenting with this dictation tool on my computer for about 3 hours now, and I have to say, that is not as difficult as I first thought it would have been. Of course, the computer has to learn to understand what I say, but as the learning curve is fairly even it is not as difficult as one would have assumed. I’ve been dictating to my computer all morning. It is actually a lot simpler and faster than typing. What I would love though, is for the computer to be able to detect what punctuation I want to use instead of me having to say “PERIOD” in order for it to actually interpret that I want to end the sentence. Not that there’s anything wrong with this, it would simply make my dictation process a whole lot simpler.
As far as I know Windows’ speech recognition only works with Microsoft word, WordPad, and Notepad. I tried it with my Celtx, but it did not work. That’s a shame though because I have loved to be able to speak my scripts into being since I normally speak them to myself anyway. I have not tried it with Write or Die yet, but I do hope that it works. I must say though, that this is a whole lot easier than typing. I’m also finding out that speaking in an almost singsong voice makes it easier for the speech recognition to understand what I’m saying. So I’m almost using a conversational lilt to my voice what slightly exaggerated from the way I normally talk. Have you ever listen to an infomercial? I sound very much so like those people. I am having so much fun just talking to myself right now; this should be illegal!
I know Windows 7 and 8 both come with speech recognition already installed, but if you have an earlier version you may be able to find it on the windows website. For Mac users, various message boards claim that the Dragon Dictation app is the best app out there for speech to text dictation. Personally, I did not take the time to train the Dragon Dictation app on my iPod touch, even though it’s still there. The one time I did use it, I found that many of the words were recognized quite easily what it was some of the simpler words that got confused.
I cannot begin to tell you how long it would have taken me to write a 500 word blog post, but I have to say this is the shortest that I think a blog post has ever taken me to write. Plus, my hands of free to do odd things! I find myself making all sorts of weird hand gestures that are completely unnecessary to me talking to my computer but the more hand gestures I make, the more exaggerated and modulated my voice seems to be, which means it easier for the microphone to figure out what I’m saying. Personally I think this is great, as long as I can do this at home. I can’t see myself doing all these weird movements out in public so for the time being, I’ll be writing right here at home.
If you are going to use a speech recognition or speech to text program, you should remember to practice. The computer has to practice listening to your voice, learning the way you form your words and understanding what they mean just as you have to practice speaking in a way that the computer can understand you. It sounds both simple and difficult, and I guarantee you it is exactly that.
Have you ever tried speech recognition or speech to text program? Do you know of any programs other than the two I mentioned? Drop us a note! We love to hear from you!