Dragon Naturally Speaking Premium Reviewed

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I remember a few years ago using voice recognition software such as IBM TypePad and I believe I tried Naturally Speaking too. These programs just did not work they way you wanted, they were expensive and the results were almost always horrific. Watching the voice-recognition software industry for some time and now writing for a lot of different blogs and review sites including this site damngoodreviews.com, I decided to give something like this a try. Nuance who produces this Dragon Naturally Speaking has been around for a while with a very reputable name and I’ve seen the software in many stores and have read some great reviews, so I figured I would give it a shot.

There are a couple different versions of the software and depending on what you need to do you can get whichever one is best suited for you. They offer a few different versions like the home edition, premium edition and DragonDictate which is for the Mac. They also offer a mobile version, medical, legal versions and the professional version. Today I’m reviewing the premium version which retails in stores for about $199 and comes with a free noise-canceling headset. You can also use approved Bluetooth headsets or a handheld pocket recorder and download the audio and transcribe it with the software. This feature is really great and I bought a little pocket recorder for my car and travel – then all I do is plug it in and will dictate and translate everything — what and awesome feature.

The biggest reason I wanted to review the software is due to writing a lot of blog posts, reviews, text for SEO and more and thought this would be a great tool for completing these tasks quickly and efficiently. After evaluating the software, for about three weeks, I can truly say that the Premium Edition of Dragon Naturally Speaking is absolutely amazing and as Nuance claims, it is about 99% accurate right out-of-the-box.

When you get started with Dragon Naturally Speaking you install the software as normal and then proceed through the registration process. Then it gives you a few options for different speeches to read. Nuance does this so the software can learn how you speak, how you enunciate which will develop the speech recognition around that information. Based on the available speeches, I decided to go with the speech and it took about 10 minutes to successfully complete the read through. After finishing the required reading I was able to go right into the Dragon software and open the DragonPad which is almost like their version of Wordpad and I started recording. I started talking just like I normally would and to see how accurate it was and again the results were absolutely amazing.

Now one of the biggest things that you might run into using software like this is that you do have to get use to speaking in a manner that actually makes sense when you read it. For some reason the way you talk and write are not always the same… as you will find out the first few times you record yourself. Until you get really good I recommend going back over and reviewing your changes to the text because sometimes it won’t make sense – at all. Another awesome feature, which I mentioned before, is that you can use handheld pocket recorders and then transcribe the audio. So I went on eBay for about $12 I got this imported little pocket FM recorder and MP3 player and it plugs into the USB port. Now I can drive and I pretty much make a blog post just by recording ideas and recording right to that drive. Then when I get to work or home all you have to do is pop it into the computer and then tell Dragon to read that file and transcribe it. This is just great for someone on the go with constant thoughts and ideas always coming into your head.

Features also allow you to control pretty much every Windows application by voice as one of things Nuance really promotes. This is a really cool feature, however I did find it a little odd navigating the computer with a headset and feel that until you really get used to it, then it’s almost quicker to just use the traditional mouse. Now if you’re not looking to control all different types of software on your Windows machine then really you can just go ahead and get the Home edition which is the basic edition and of course you can dictate the documents, write e-mails and still surf the web using your voice and there’s nothing that you need to really install besides that. For about $75 or so the home edition would be a great deal and as a blogger this software can really help someone that needs to capture quick thoughts and save time. The Premium edition will also allow you to control software like iTunes, Skype, Windows live messenger and Yahoo! Messenger, which is cool, but then again like I said, I found it a little easier to still do it using my keyboard and mouse.

When it comes to writing blog posts, sending e-mails or just basic writing this software is the way to go and I wish that when I was in school I had software like this — that would work as they said they would. It would have be a much easier time writing some papers and the great thing about this software is that it constantly learns the way you speak and also learns new words too – the more you use it the better it gets. You can also personalize Dragon with a custom word lists which is great if you’re doing a certain kind of work where you need to say certain words or phrases that might not be built in to the base system.

In closing, I really think that Nuance has hit a home run with Dragon Naturally Speaking 11 Premium. This software is absolutely amazing and if you really want save time and be more productive then this program can really help to get the job done – with a little bit of practice of course. I can’t tell you how much easier it is to write blogs and now with the mp3 recorder for my car I can quickly record my thoughts, write somewhat instant blogs and more and then easily transcribe it and get it online!

I will definitely recommend Nuance’s Dragon Naturally Speaking products to friends, family and without a doubt Dragon Naturally Speaking gets One Damn Good review.

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