Well does the dictation feature in Mac OS X mountain line work?

Better-than-expected, in fact. I’m dictating this entire thing with dictation and Mac OS X mountain line.Compared to the various versions of Dragon dictate that I’ve used, it seems to work pretty well. I greatly accuracy about on par with Nuance naturally speaking 11.On the other hand, user interface leave something to be desired. In particular, I can’t just dictate continuously. I have to keep pressing the function key for each sentence I want to dictate and then click done.That’s probably because the recognition doesn’t happen directly on my own computer.Instead, it sent to Apple for recognition on Apple servers.

No I understand why Apple would want to do this on an iPhone, which has very limited CPU power ram battery life and so forth. However, he doesn’t seem quite right on a relatively high powered MacBook or MacBook Pro, we should have more than enough horsepower to do speech recognition locally.This also raises some very significant privacy issues. Frankly, I don’t think I trust Apple to properly maintain the privacy of the data. It would not be nice to see what their data retention policy on the uploaded content is.

Finally, there’s basically no editing possible. This is not a real hands-free solution. It might be adequate for injuring a first draft of the story or blog post or email or what have you but it’s not suitable for creating the finished product, as I think you can see from this unedited text in this very slow

I guess I’m still looking for a really solid speech recognition product that has good accuracy, a good user interface, and works reliably in various applications.Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 for Windows is probably the closest to that it exists, but it’s never worked reliably, doesn’t work well in many applications such as Firefox, and it’s hard to recommend for anybody who is not completely crippled and completely unable to type. I can see using this occasionally with my RSI is flaring up and I have a large quantity of text to enter, but sadly it doesn’t replace the keyboard.

One Response to “Well does the dictation feature in Mac OS X mountain line work?”

  1. John Cowan Says:

    It is, indeed, pretty good at injuring your first drafts.

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