I write a lot. Recently, two of my prolific author friends (Greg and Curtis) decided to try voice dictation to help accelerate their writing process. I’ve been trying it, too, using the Microsoft Speech Recognition engine bundled with Windows 7 to write my Network Computing columns. But Microsoft’s engine isn’t that great, and I’m a full-time Mac user.
I’ve been wanting to pick up a copy of Dragon Dictate for Mac for a while, but it’s an expensive proposition at $199 (list price). Amazon has been marking it down to $149 regularly, but even that’s fairly expensive. As a paid writer I can justify the cost as a business expense. But as a bargain hunter, I hoped that some day Amazon would drop the price further.
[exp]That day is today, February 23 2011. Today only, Amazon has listed Dragon Dictate 2.0 for Mac for just $129[/exp], the lowest price I’ve ever seen for the full package with (wired) microphone.
This is the latest version of the product formerly known as MacSpeech. The formerly PC-only Dragon engine was grafted into the Mac application for better recognition. Although reviews are mixed, I have high hopes for the package and feel it’s worth the money at this price. My copy is in the mail (and fast, thanks to Amazon Prime!) I’ll let you all know what I think once I’ve had a chance to test it out!
I found that the headset that comes with the software doesn’t work very well. It’s a cheap and nasty Plantronics 110M and does a poor job of rendering your voice to the Dictate engine. I got much better results with a slightly more expensive headset.