Driving While Transcribing with Dragon Naturally Speaking 9

I attempted an experiment on Sunday.  I wanted to see if I could drive and write with Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 at the same time. 

Safety was my primary goal, so I utilized a hands free microphone, similar to one that I have for my cell phone.  I strapped my laptop down to a table top attached to the passenger’s seat and powered my laptop with a DC converter.

Here’s a video of the mobile transcription experiment as well as some of the results:

Here’s what I initially wrote as I got started

I am getting ready to take off in my van. I have Dragon Naturally Speaking preferred 9 running on my laptop which is strapped down to a table top attached to my passenger seat.

I’m backing out of my driveway right now looking backwards what you were going to be very careful.

I kind of look at this like I’m dictating what I’m doing to get warmed up before I start writing a few e-mails.

Alright I’m headed down the road, I just turn off my wireless on my laptop. I figure there’s no reason to confuse my computer while it attempts to transmit to a WiFi router that’s not there. I’m going over a set of railroad tracks right now(note that didn?t get transcribed correctly so I had to edit it 😉 ) I was curious to see how a shaken up computer tends to work with Dragon Naturally Speaking, and all in all it didn?t do bad.

So I’m heading to a client’s house to help them establish three things:

  1. An e-commerce website including a business front contact information policies such as privacy policy returns and warranty policy and more
  2. A shopping cart
  3. And a professional business blog which they will use to provide tutorials for the products that they sell (they offer a wholesale storefront for remodelers and in addition to everything else they’re going to show visitors how to install some of the products they sell, make repairs or even maintain DIY equipment and tools.)

So I loaded up my car with all the essentials, my laptop, my projector, a TV tray to put any of those things on if I need extra space.

As I am driving on the road, I realize that I forgot a couple things like a blank CD or blank DVD, I plan on recording a few videos of the tutorial that I’m going to create for them and I want to give them the DVD at the end of it so that they can go back and watch lessons over again if they need a reminder on any of the things I will be training them on as we establish their site. This will also establish a good record of what they did and why they did it in case they need to make a change in the future.

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Response So Far...


  1. dukey says

    Thanks for taking the time to show us this. I wondered if DNS/mVoice/Treo would work OK together and you have shown it’s indeed workable. I intened to combine DNS with my Treo 680 and mVoice 5.5.2. It’s a bit obscure from the mVoice documentation what the optimal setting of mVoice is for DNS. The “tips” section says set mVoice for 16,000Hz but mVoice can go higher than that. There’s some debate about the speed of the SD card – if you are recording directly to the card. But you’ve show it can be made to work. The newer Treos come with their own recording software and the next thing to do is to look into that aspect of the solution.

  2. says

    Thanks for the comments.

    Dukey you remind me of two things.

    First I’ve found that the transcription actually works better at a lower frequency like 16,000Hz. When I have tried to make it out, it didn’t work at all.

    However, I had not yet thought about using one of my SD cards with a faster record rate. I typically keep my fast SD cards in my camera and run a couple of my spares through my Treo. However, it would make a lot of sense to try out a faster flash card in the treo for use with Mvoice and Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 preferred.

    I’ll probably do a separate comparison or write up with a few different SD cards and see what happens.

  3. Dukey says

    I learned something from Audacity Audio – the makers of high-end recording software for the medical profession.


    They provide a free SD card tester for the Palm devices and I have used it to get benchmarks on various SD cards. It provides mixed results on my Treo 680, but then I’m learning that Treos can be very finicky devices. I may bite the bullet and reinstall everything to see if that cleans it up.


    Their SD card education page is interesting.

    Audacity Audio seems to be very serious about SD card speeds for transcribing, but then their software may not be a well-written as mVoice.


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