1. Alex W
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    Alex W Contributing Member

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    Now, don't hate me TOO much....

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Alex W, Jul 16, 2011.

    Right, i'm looking into the possibility of buying some of the software that allows you to talk into the speakers of your pc/laptop etc, and writes down your speech.

    I've watched a few reviews of such devices and I know they're not foolproof, but i'm a writer by trade and will soon be starting up my own business revolving entirely around written commentary and opinionated articles, (Sports journalist, comes with the territory! lol), and I will have enough time stuck writing then without writing my book too.

    Now, I know some writers really dislike them but I don't intend to be constantly huddled over my laptop even in my free time, i'll have enough of it already. Don't get me wrong, I intend to write most of my book, but i'm very good at letting things flow from my head in a constant stream of info, i'm somewhat talented at writing in sync, as it were. Not bragging there, it's just true.

    So! I was wondering if anyone had any kind of experience of such software and had any advice on which to look at getting, and also which not to bother with. Any help is much appreciated.

    Cheers chaps! :cool:
     
  2. e(g)
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    e(g) Member

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    I don't think I could use one of those for writing. For me, it's the actual writing that seems to make me think of what I need to write. But of course I type pretty fast.

    What is writing "in sync?"
     
  3. Alex W
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    Alex W Contributing Member

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    I like writing normally of course, I mean I do it for a living, I like to write comedic poems/stories and of course i'm trying to write this book, and I do alot of writing on football forums.

    But I just don't want to be stuck at my laptop constantly, I want to be able to go away from it and walk around, letting the ideas flow from my head and go from there.

    And writing in sync I should have explained, I pulled that phrase from out of nowhere lol. I have a knack for the ideas in my head flowing very easily, I can talk them through aloud for a long time, if I could capture that down in writing I suspect I could get half a chapter down without even tripping up. A little editing and i'd have alot of time saved, just seems like a good idea :)
     
  4. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know some people on this site use speech recognition software, or whatever it's called. I don't use it myself though, so I don't know how well it works.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I use one. It's inappropriate to endorse products here, so i won't name names.

    On the plus side:
    You can enter large amounts of text faster than you can type. Well, faster than I can type anyway.

    You can dictate into a pocket-sized digital recorder wherever you are, and import it into your document later.

    With a wireless headset, you can get up and walk around while you are writing.

    The downside:

    There's a learning curve, both for you and the software. You need to speak punctuation as well as words. But the software is surprisingly good at picking out the right homophone from context, especially as it learns your personal writing patterns.

    Sometimes the software becomes sstubbornly dense about a word or phrase.

    You will have to make corrections. Some you can make in voice mode, others you will want to do with the mouse and keyboard for simplicity. However, the ones you make in voice mode will be remembered.

    You'll have better luck in a quiet room, so if you like music or background noise while writing, you may have to keep the volume down.

    A headset can be burdensome after a while. Wired headsets are even worse, you're tethered to the laptop and the wires always get in the way.
     
  6. Alex W
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    Alex W Contributing Member

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    Advising on better software because its worked for you isn't endorsing for evil gain, so please do! If the software you use is decent then let me know the name, i'll search it out :)

    Don't worry, i've used the software before, I know about the learning curve with the software, how it hears you say certain things. You do tend to have to adopt a certain speech style, but that wouldn't be a problem. And the editing is fine, i've seen shows on these things before and know that in every couple of sentences it might get the odd word wrong.

    Thanks for the reply by the way. Whatever system you use, would you recommend it? If so, what is the name of the system?
     
  7. Venusian31
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    Venusian31 Member

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    If you have windows 7, It already has speech recognition software you can use for dictation. Just do a google search for Windows 7 speech recognition and you'll find plenty of resources for getting it set up. I haven't tried it myself but I know a few people who say it does a pretty good job.

    There's also another one that's supposed to be really good. Do a search for voice recognition software on Amazon and it will come up. It's named after a fire breathing fantasy creature. ;) I actually tried this one on a friends computer YEARS ago, think windows 95 era, and it wasn't too bad but I didn't quite like it enough to buy it myself. I've heard it's greatly improved since then, so you might want to try that one if the Windows 7 one isn't an option or doesn't work well for you.

    Now that you have planted the idea in my head again, I think I'm going to give the windows 7 one a try. I like writing by hand, but there are times when I wish I could keep writing but my hands are tired and sore. Speech recognition would be really helpful. It might also help during those times when my ideas are coming fast and my typing just can't keep up. I can speak the words and get them down quickly and clear up any errors later.

    **Speech recognition might also be helpful for people with serious spelling issues. Just speak the words and the computer will spell them the right way for you, for most words anyway. Punctuation you still have to figure out on your own.
     
  8. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    I, too, in the past, have used speech recognition software. I no longer use it as I seem to be intimidated by the sound of my own voice. It is a distraction to my thought processes. It was wonderful when I was laid up in bed with a crushed knee socket and, later, following a severe shoulder injury, though, both of which took me away from my desktop. Yeh, I play hard.

    As Cogito said, there is definitely a learning curve for user and system. Initially, you may find it is extremely slow-witted (I encountered many incorrect words and misspellings) and you do need to get into the habit of actually speaking punctuation. [Quote Michael comma please listen to me period quote paragraph] After awhile, that becomes second nature. Eventually, I found my program and I had reached a comfortable, symbionic relationship. It spelled correctly most of the time Either I didn't speak clearly or using foreign words occasionally confused the program. My system was also known to ask me to spell an unfamiliar word - mostly things like phonetic Russian or Arabic or something like that. I still found a few errors in later proofreading but that is a likelihood with one's own manual typing as well.

    Also, as Cog also previously mentioned, I found the ability to dictate and later Xfer to the system to be a great advantage.

    There are many ... many programs on the market. Hope you find the one that's right for you. Good luck.
     

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