What is the value of becoming a repeat customer of Dragon NaturallySpeaking?

I have been using Dragon NaturallySpeaking often on throughout the years since version 3. Back in 2011 I decided to upgrade to version 11 from version 10. With version 9 and 10 I used Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred. Nuance change the names for preferred to premium with the advent of version 11. I wasn’t terribly interested in paying $200 again for the improved version so I decided to scale back and test out the home version of Dragon Naturally Speaking. For a new customer that cost $99 at the time, and it was offered to me for $49 as a repeat customer. $99 was the best price I could find the time even though it retailed for more than that and the prices were all over the place from one retailer to the next.

I’ve been using the home version now for close to seven months. I am dictating this blog article using the home version and I’m typing with in Windows live writer. So far I have not had to make a single correction, not counting the brief whim, when I attempted to sing a Police song karaoke style to see if Dragon Naturally Speaking could translate my singing into text. Unfortunately, I did not know the lyrics as well as I thought I did, and I completely botch the singing and Dragon doesn’t stand a chance.

Getting a little more serious, I have been underwhelmed by the utility of Dragon NaturallySpeaking home edition. It does seem to be as accurate as the preferred versions that I’ve used in the past. I have no issue with the accuracy nor the speed. That is all up to par and if you are looking to save money with Dragon NaturallySpeaking, it could be a good option. However when it comes to training and correcting Dragon Naturally Speaking, I find the home version to be lacking. It does not provide you with the playback of your voice recorded as you were dictating. You cannot listen to what you said, and then correct the text on the screen and improve Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Instead the home version reads the text as it appears on the screen originally, sometimes full of errors, and you have to then simply attempt to remember what exactly it is that you said. Sometimes this is easy, and sometimes if you’ve been dictating for several minutes it is impossible.

In addition it is not possible to use an MP3 recorder, to transcribe WAV or MP3 files into text. That is not something that I do on a regular basis, but there are times when it is extremely useful. On a related note, is the technology that may have a short shelflife now that Nuance is released several very good iPhone apps that help you dictate and translate speech into text on the go on a mobile basis. These are excellent for very short memos, but not practical at all for longer styles are forms of writing, such as dictating a novel which I am attempting to do.

So today I decided to purchase the premium version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Nuance did not provide me with an upgrade option, and all of the upgrade options I saw online were extremely expensive than at full retail price. Essentially I’d have to pay about $150 to upgrade Dragon NaturallySpeaking which didn’t seem practical, since I could buy a full version on Amazon for less than that.

In addition I received an e-mail from Nuance, offering me a discounted version of Dragon Naturally Speaking is a repeat customer. This has nothing to do with the fact that I regularly write about Dragon  (imho Nuance does not seem to be that savvy ). This was simply a offer with a specific end date such that I could buy Dragon NaturallySpeaking for $99. I checked the best prices on Amazon, and a currently sell Dragon NaturallySpeaking through an alternate seller it’s not direct from Amazon for $124.99. Through Amazon I could get free shipping and Amazon does not charge sales tax, yet.

Dragon Dictate 2.0 is the Mac equivalent of Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium and currently sells for $139.99 on Amazon about $15 more than Dragon NaturallySpeaking and does sell direct from Amazon at the moment.

I decided to buy the software from Nuance director $99. Nuance does charge sales tax and does charge for shipping, so my actual price total up to $117.36. That is $7.63 approximately less than what it would’ve cost purchased the same software from Amazon. If you consider that even when you purchase something from Amazon you’re still obligated to pay sales tax, this would increase the amount of savings to $15.05.

What is a great price for Dragon NaturallySpeaking?

It is never easy finding the best price for Dragon NaturallySpeaking online. It is even more difficult find a good price for Dragon NaturallySpeaking in a retail store such as Best Buy or Office Depot. The prices vary all over the place, they go up and down with various sales promotions that appear to be initiated by Nuance at times and by the seller at other times when they’re setting Dragon NaturallySpeaking up as a loss leader. This means that for your average consumer that is simply buying Dragon NaturallySpeaking for the first time, they will never really know to getting a good price on the software. More specifically, they will never know if they got a great price on the software. Instead the software always seems to sell and a range. When a new release comes out the premium version sells for around $200 and a good price range is typically $25-$50 less than that retail price. 3 to 6 months after the new version comes out, the average price for a good price on the product is about $125 which is a $75 discount off of the retail price. I’ve seen the software sell for as low as $75 as a loss leader and as much as $175 elsewhere. As you can see I purchased it for $99 so I didn’t get the absolute best deal that I’ve ever witnessed, but I probably beat the average by $25 before tax and shipping.

If you’re looking to buy Dragon NaturallySpeaking and you can find a product for $125 or less consider yourself lucky you’ve gotten a good deal. If you pay a little more, I wouldn’t sweat it all that much especially if you need the product soon. If you can wait a month or two and watch the prices on Amazon or other retailers, you may save a few bucks.