Can Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 be Used to Transcribe a Professor’s Lecture?

image This is the question I recently received from a viewer on YouTube.  Can Dragon transcribe a Professor’s lecture using a pocket recorder device?

The answer is maybe, if you jump through a few hoops, but the software does not make the claim that it can do this.

Here’s my more in depth answer explaining the maybe a bit more….

This version of the program is only intended for a single voice.   With version 10, you might be able to have some level of success if you setup a profile exclusively for your teacher/professor.  You would have to record the lecture, then go through and make corrections in the program to help train dragon to recognize that voice, train it to recognize that voice through your voice recorder, and train it to recognize the voice from what ever distance you are sitting at.  (the better the sound the better the transcription, so if you sit in a different location, if people talk a lot or make noise, or if your instructors voice changes (uses a microphone/speaker system one day and not the next) you might run into complications. 

All in all this program isn’t intended for this purpose yet, but if you want to get your geek on and see how to make it work, I think there is potential there.  Expect to play with it quite a bit,  . . .  (might be more fun than taking notes and studying  ;)  )

So this would be one of those situations where if you try to make this tool work in this environment, you may waste some time and money, but if you find a way to be successful, you could save a lot of time!


Response So Far...


  1. Duygu says

    I wanna try this program for recording my prof.s voice and then turning it to a text. How should train it to recognize my profs voice? Is there any options where i can submit the lecture as a text and as a mp3 file so that it combines both informations?

  2. says

    Do you have the Preferred version or a mobile version? and if yes, do you already know how to import the files from your recorder into your computer?

    Or possibly are you taking a laptop to class and letting it record directly into MindManager?

    (sorry for the questions with a question answer, but depending on how you approach it the possibilities are different.)
    .-= Brett Bumeter´s last blog ..Can’t Drag Widget into Sidebar 2 on Artisteer Designed Theme? =-.

  3. Duygu says

    i have the preferred version. i know how to import files and usually i use the recorded voice. no prob. and thanks for helping!

  4. frank burns says

    You can run the general training (reading the text) just be playing the prerecorded message, and it will work. The general training is just listening to speech patterns, not actually making correlations with the written text.

  5. says

    Its not made to record someone else’s voice. I wouldn’t recommend buying it just for this purpose, but it might be possible. If you want to spend the money to run an experiment, it could be interesting, but if you are on a budget, I’d let someone else field it.

  6. says

    So the main challenge you face then is getting the highest quality of audio recorded by your player.

    A noise cancellation microphone will help in this case, preferably one on a cord that you can get as close to the professor as possible both in terms of distance and height.

    Depending on your recorder and whether it has the capability or not, you may need to experiment with either recording quality settings and or input volume.

    I use a Sony and I’ve found recording in .mp3 format, I get the best results with 32kbs or 48kbs. If I go any higher, it gets much worse. Lower isn’t much better.

    You can test this by recording your own voice on your recorder and running the resulting files through Dragon to figure out what works best.

    When you start recording, try to record 3 – 10 seconds of silence first. When DNS does its transcription, it seems to help if it doesn’t have to ‘work’ right away. It needs a few seconds of pause at the beginning of the recording.

    Also, when you record do not set your recorder to automatically stop recording when the sound decreases or speech stop. Leave it on constant recording.

    If your professor stops speaking for a while, do a manual stop or pause, but if you un pause make sure there are a few (3 – 10) seconds of silence again.

    If you have soft copy notes of your professor’s book, study guide, papers, presentations etc. make sure you load them into a text form in your computer and then run the vocabulary optimizer.

    This will help a bit for DNS to pick up words in context and possibly words that relate directly to the topic your professor teaches.

    after you run the text conversion, go back and correct the text using dragon. Don’t re-speak the words, but DO correct spelling or incorrect words.

    This won’t perfect dragon’s ability to get your professors words right all the time (usually an audio pick up issue more than anything) but for those few words it spells incorrectly or gets out of context, possible due to an atypical topic, this can help.

    From a study perspective, DON’T RELY EXCLUSIVELY ON DRAGON!

    Take notes yourself, so that you can compare the results against each other. Listen to the recordings too.

    In general, that will likely help you learn just a bit more through repetition and familiarity.

    This whole process can be worth the effort, just to have a searchable (think google desktop) index of all of your notes. Those notes may not be perfect, but they can help you get going in the right direction.
    .-= Brett Bumeter´s last blog ..First Look at Blogger Template Software-Free Trial! =-.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>