Writing an article with Mountain Lion’s dictation

dictation - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

Everything that you are about to read has been dictated to my Mac Mini. I have, however, edited where necessary. If the dictation software recognize [recognized] the word incorrectly, I have put the correct wording [word in] brackets right next to the misinterpreted, struck through word. I’ve also had to manually put in the paragraph breaks when [where] necessary, as well.

As much as I love writing articles, my hands do get tired from time to time. I’ve looked into dictation software before, but none of it is cheap. And if I’ve ever found a cheap dictation software and tried it, it wasn’t good, so I forgot it’s [I’ve forgotten its] name.

Apple is trying to combat the issue of expensive and generally unreliable speech recognition software with dictation on Mountain line [Lion]. For $20 to [you] get dictation technology that’s very similar to the technology that is on iOS. I’ve never had a huge problem with dictation on my iPad, so I thought I’d give the version of dictation on the online [Mountain Lion] a chance.

For the most part, it is a pretty accurate piece of software. There [are] obviously if you [a few] misinterpretations, but that’s to be expected; plus, this is just my experience. Depending on how fast or slow you speak, dictation could work better or worse for you. You’ll just have to try it on your own.

I think something that is more interesting than dictation in [and of] itself isn’t used [is its use] cases. As a journalist, I think having a relatively accurate piece of speech recognition software on hand is an invaluable tool. Just imagine going to an interview with your Mac and having your Mac pick up all the necessary words. It won’t pick up most punctuation on its own (i.e., without you saying the punctuation mark), but appropriate periods and commas can be added in before publication.

In all, the dictation software in Mountain Lion works very well. Wanted [$20] dollars would be a great price for just dictation – but you also get a brand-new operating system that works incredibly well.

Do you plan on using dictation in your daily routine Solarz assembly [or is it simply a] gimmick at this point?

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Calob Horton

Calob Horton is an associate editor at Pocketables. He loves all technology, no matter which company it comes from. This unbiased view of the tech world allows him to choose the products that best fit his personal needs and tastes: a Microsoft Surface Pro, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and a third-gen iPad.Google+ | Twitter | More posts by Calob | Subscribe to Calob's posts

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8 thoughts on “Writing an article with Mountain Lion’s dictation

  • I enjoyed the use of Diction in the article. As far as the software, I’m sure with future delta updates Apple will provide the latest tweaks to the interface.

  • Avatar of William Devereux

    I have to agree with Josiah. This is a fantastic idea for an article. It really shows you how good (or poor) the voice recognition is in everyday use.

  • Windows has had voice control and dictation built in since Vista.

    I never used it, but I heard its pretty good. Has anyone tried it yet?

  • I’ve played with windows speech recognition a bit now. It’s actually pretty good.

    I typed this comment with it. If you have windows, I suggest you give it a try. It’s reasonably accurate. It hasn’t made a mistake yet, though I’m trying to speak really clearly. Integration with non Microsoft apps leaves a lot to be desired though . Punctuation is also [a gnawing][annoying].

    Only one mistake, pretty damn good.

  • Avatar of Andrew Davis

    Just a comment about the paragraph breaks… you can, in the course of your dictation, say “period new line” and it will do just that. You can also say “period new paragraph” and it will do that as well. You just have to get into the habit of interspersing your punctuation and line breaks and/or periods into the flow of your dictation. And it will pick up most punctuation if you pause and say it. If you have a moment try dictating this doing a pause where you see :

    “Jack and Jill went up the hill comma to get a pail of water period Jack fell down and Jill called him a single quote complete and total dork single quote period new paragraph Jack said double quote yes I am double quote period”

    Remember… you’re dictating, not talking. There is a difference. :)

    • Avatar of Calob Horton

      I didn’t know about the ‘new line’ thing. I did say comma, semi-colon, period, etc. Thanks for the information! :)

  • You don’t need to say “Period new line/paragrah”

    All you have to say is “New Line” or “New Paragrah.”

    Quotation marks work in a similar fashion. Example: “Begin Quote,” “End Quote.” I haven’t tried using “Quotation” or “Quotation Mark” yet (I will try this when I’m at home tonight)

    I’m still messing around with it to see how it holds up against Microsoft’s and Nuance’s Speech Recognition. I’m also still playing around with formatting commands to see what works and am quite pleased that it looks like I won’t ever have to install Mac Dictate again.

    So far, it feels polished and like a pretty strong contender. The only drawback I’ve found in the short time I had to play with it last night was that I have to use the keyboard or mouse to control it. I may discover otherwise the more I play with it.

  • Avatar of Jackson

    Does the Mountain Lion Dictation Software learn as it goes like Dragon for Windows? Is it easily correctable?


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