Happy talk?

I’ve always had very little luck with speech recognition systems. I don’t think my voice is that strange, but I’ve spent too much time on the phone trying to book flights and getting “I’m sorry I didn’t understand that. Please say yes or no” repeatedly as I try everything to make the blasted machine understand one simple word. Ah well.

Still, people tell me that Dragon NaturallySpeaking on Windows is getting really quite usable now, but there hasn’t been an equivalent package for the Mac. Until now, apparently.

MacSpeech Dictate (formerly iListen) has been rewritten to use the Dragon recognition engine, which is generally said to be the best on the market.

It’s not too cheap at $200 (though the price does include a microphone), and there’s no try-before-you-buy option, but if you want or need this, it might well be worth it.

The reviews on Amazon seem to suggest that people love it or hate it – if it works, the recognition quality is exceedingly good – some say even better than the Windows product – but if you want complex features, unusual vocabularies, or customer support from the company, it sounds as if it might be worth waiting. More here.

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