Speech-to-Text Software Test Take 2

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When I had thumb surgery in 2008, I invested in voice recognition software to try to get work done. I spent most of the time fighting and correcting the Dragon Naturally Speaking.

The one good thing that came out of the maddening experience was this funny speech-to-text software post.

Despite having little hope in software to help me while I recover from arm surgery, I figure it wouldn’t hurt to try the software that came with Windows 7. At least, I wasn’t throwing money away as I did with Dragon Naturally Speaking. Folks said that speech recognition apps had improved in the last few years.

Well, not in my case.

I completed the training tutorial and had a few shouting matches. My husband must’ve thought I went bonkers when he heard me yelling at the laptop.

I spoke slowly and put on my best speech forward. The crossed out text is what the software thinks I said. What I actually said appears in [brackets]. Here are the sound files of my dictating this letter: [original .wma] [converted .mp3]. Do I really sound like that?

Dear Voice Recognition Software, [During world recognition that when]
Next three [Let’s see] how you do. Are you any better than one can not to write [Dragon Naturally] Speaking brown to the than eight [from 2008]? What are you dress adding [Or are you just as] temperamental?

Oon Caplan on my mother [I’m having ulnar nerve] (Aside: would you believe my maiden name is Kaplan?) decompression star Julie on [surgery] on my right arm on Tuesday, in king, to do a one to [December 18, 2012]. I don’t know how number that were the people were [long it’ll be before] I can type halfway do badly the end of period. [decently with two hands].

Nonetheless, I’m away from [grateful] that I have horrendous and a burned rest am a newcomer accident [two hands and a voice even though it’s not the clearest one]. Thank you for less than 10 listening.

This [Best],

Navarro [Meryl]

I spent another 10 minutes trying to spell my name. “R” gave me the biggest fit. I knew it was my weakest letter, so I tried telling it “R and in rabbit. R as in read” It interpreted that as a, i, and y. Seriously — Navarro? Meryl? Na-va-ro? Meh-ril? Do they sound anything alike?

“Two” from “two hands” changed the paragraph heading to header 2: big, bold, light blue. It was a 10-minute battle of wills trying to fix the paragraph formatting and telling the app I wanted to write “two.”

I’ll be getting an upgraded smartphone soon with voice recognition capabilities. Wanna bet that Siri and I won’t get along?

What’s your experience with voice recognition software?

4 thoughts on “Speech-to-Text Software Test Take 2”

  1. Meryl,
    I understand your frustration! Two years ago I spent $200 on Dragon and I abandoned it a long time ago. I tried once using the speech recognition on my android phone and gave up as well. Avil

  2. I had some success with Dragon, but I have only used the free version and it was maybe at 80%, but I was able to fill in the blanks. My husband has no luck with Siri, and I have a girlfriend who loves it – so who knows! There have been so many other improvements – speech-to-text should hopefully improve soon

  3. I don’t know who I have to thank for it, but I use the free speech-to-text software that came with my Windows computer. It’s under Accessories/Ease of Access (or maybe Communications – I accidentally moved it at one point). Called Voice Recognition. It works okay. The hard part is getting used to it.

  4. Avil, Krysty and Lori, thanks for sharing your experiences. Siri does a better job than Windows 7 — but not much better. I’ve said my name and my son’s name (Zachary) many times and Siri got it right once or twice.


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