I was just reading over at Family Matters, who in the great spirit of the blogosphere was nice enough to quote arstechnica.com, who reported from MacWorld that Apple is picking up the licensing engine for Dragon Naturally Speaking, throwing out iListen and pushing in Dragon Naturally Speaking into MacSpeech in a product called Dictate (in beta).

I came out of the fortune 500 corporate finance world powered by PC’s and the Mac was always some obscure piece of equipment that under funded*(or over funded depending on your perspective) art schools tended to use to get work done.  Over the last 2-3 years, that inbred corporate perspective has been changed as I started to do a great deal more work with graphics, video, audio and web design.

One of the things keeping me on the fence from making a final conversion or at least making an addition to my computer collection in the form of an Apple iBook or an Apple Air (odd name in that I want a computer with substance as opposed to a box filled with . . . .) is the absence of 2 tools.  One is a better version of MindManager for the Mac and the other is a great speech recognition program, preferably Dragon Naturally Speaking.

Here’s the quote from the articles I mentioned above:

ars technica reports from MacWorld:

As Nate noted on his staff journal this week, MacSpeech has now licensed the technology behind Dragon Naturally Speaking for its new product, MacSpeech Dictate (iListen is no more). MacSpeech claims that, with Nuance’s speech processing engine, Dictate is more accurate than iListen ever could be. We hit up the MacSpeech booth on the Macworld Expo floor to find out more about the software.

First off, Dictate is not shipping yet (contrary to conflicting reports on the Web). The software is still in beta, and we weren’t allowed to play with it directly—instead, we had to watch a demo. With Dictate, “training” the software to your voice only takes ten minutes, the company claims, which will then bring the software up to 95 percent accuracy. From there, it learns based on your speech. Like Dragon (read Nate’s review for more detail), there are a number of commands you can use to correct errors if they crop up, in addition to commands that can be used to open, close, switch, and otherwise control various Mac applications. If more than one person uses your Mac and wants to use Dictate, you can set up different profiles for each person’s voice—in addition to plain ol’ American English, Dictate is capable of understanding a number of accents, including (as our demo showed us) Australian English. [Read entire article.]

My wallet won’t be happy ($199 – includes headset) but my carpal tunnel can’t wait for the release. Stay tuned, I’ll be talking about this a lot more.

Family Matters » » MacSpeech Announces Dictate


*  My wife graduated from a great art school called the Savannah College of Art and Design.  I do believe that art schools can teach very useful knowledge, skills and abilities that society needs for many purposes. 

** On a complete side note if you want to find a great weekend getaway I highly endorse Savannah.  Break out your beach stuff, and pack up your travel gear and check out Savannah.  I highly recommend it in April when the flowers and trees are blooming and the beach is hot but not too hot.