Dictating to Scrivener - voice recognition software

Does anyone here use voice recognition software? I’m trying to find quicker ways of writing and wondered whether dictating to the mac would be efficent. I’m not sure how accurate these are now - they used to be pretty bad - but it would seem like a good way to get a draft down quickly, as I tend to rewrite everything as I write, which is a pain in terms of making progress.


I’ve used iListen from MacSpeech for transcription work, letters, emails, and posting to my Live Journal, and attempted to use it for writing. Although accuracy is much greater that it was in the past (95% or better is pretty easily accomplished with iListen, but that would still be ~12-13 words wrong per page for a standard 250 word manuscript page. Even at 98% accuracy, which is possible with good training, you’d be at 5 mistakes per page.), for my personal process, it just doesn’t work well, especially for longer pieces. Unless you habitually talk to yourself while writing, it will feel strange. You need a place with minimal background noise (or at least the type of steady, low background noise that a noise reducing mic can easily identify and filter out), so going to the coffeehouse or park to get some writing done doesn’t work too well. It will also attempt to make sense of random “ums”, “ahs”, coughs, and throat-clearing, so the after dictation clean-up can be a fair amount of work, requiring a higher level of proofing that you might be used to doing on first passes.

That being said, iListen in Scrivener works just fine, and if your writing process lends itself to that type of dictation, it would certainly be worth a try.

Thanks for that. Can you set the spelling to UK for iListen?

Yes, iListen has a UK version. http://www.macspeech.com/ is the place to get information.

I use Dragon Naturally Speaking running in Parallels - parallels.com/en/products/desktop/

However, since I’m now running Leopard, I’m considering using Boot Camp just to run DNS.



Hi Tripper and all,

there was a thread on notetaking that had a discussion on Dragon NaturallySpeaking vs. iListen:

literatureandlatte.com/forum … 06&start=3

I was a strong proponent for iListen, which is a great program for the Mac, but I have since tried Dragon Naturally Speaking (DNS) and have to say I was extremely impressed with the level of accuracy right out of the box and especially with the ability to edit a document by voice. I still use iListen on the Mac, but I have borrowed a Windows laptop that I use just to dictate longer texts. I use DarkRoom in full screen mode, so I don’t have to look at the ugly interface all the time. :wink:

At first I thought I have to get an Intel Mac to be able to run DNS on my machine, but the setup with a separate Windows box is actually preferable since it gives me two screens (and two separate CPUs) to work from. I put the documents in the “Shared” folder on the windows machine, which makes them directly accessible on my Mac and I can drag the .txt documents it creates right into Scrivener.