Best voice recognition / dictation software for mac - quick fix

Need a quick answer. Went from tornadoes to firestorms now in the SF bay area and that’s another story but I’ve rigged some power from my vehicle to a conference room and need to catch up on some work. I have been at times using Mac translate, built into the OS and it has been so so. But it’s to fussy for any real productivity and that’s what I need in a hurry now that I’ve lost a day with no power.

BTW, Californians are hopeless. None of them even have a flashlight or any thought about backup. I brought two headlights and a handheld but did not consider my bringing my generator which I left running on a 5 day fuel supply in Dallas.

I had thought about springing for the Dragon product for mac but see that it’s been discontinued exactly one year ago. Insane. It gets best reviews. I’m not going to run a PC on my mac right now. Need a quick fix.

Ideas on a voice translate for the mac? I would want it do type directly into any field on any document on any app.



there is an old fashion technique called typing that has been known to work in emergency situations. :rofl:


I have used the Dragon dictation software extensively for years. It works great. However your success is better when you use a better microphone. Cheaper microphones lead to errors etc. The more expensive dragon software packages work better because they have more vocabulary included. However it’s easy for you to teach it new vocabulary. But it takes time. I’m not sure if it would be faster typing your response to the individual fields in your form. But it will work. The longer your input the more efficient dragon becomes.

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PS. Dragon works better with more memory and faster processor’s. And the sound card that you have is also important. Some sound cards don’t work as well as others. I think sound blaster cards do pretty well.

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I’ve used DNS for years, like 15. Newer versions are getting really good. The key is “training” it. I use it for writing. Technical words you have to add, especially homonyms(edit: Correctly and more precise it is a Homophone). My favorite was a story that had “Knight” and “Night”. Was used a lot, but taught it the difference by pronouncing one Kay-night.

Dictating grammar takes some getting used to. I did like using at work, I just dictated with out punctuation and basically had a massive paragraph to work with. But much more detailed notes that taking by hand and then having to redo.

I bought a really good Sony stereo digital recorder that had the file format that was compatible with DNS. It also has 4 separate “folders” which made keeping personal vs work items apart. It was small and fit into shirt pocket so I could dictate while driving and was voice activated (Note: do not have radio or music on). Had a cradle for when I got home, it plugged in to recharge and USB connected to computer.


While it isn’t supported anymore, you can still buy it on eBay.

Only two available.

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I bought my last copy of DNS off eBay a year ago, it was the prior released version and at a good discount.

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Thank you all for the input. Looks like DNS may be the answer. BTW, I am writing a long piece that will approach 50K words and want to settle in to something I can work with. I do enjoy just typing sometime and I’m reasonably fast but sometime I want to be able to dictate.

Photo - does DNS take an audio file as input as well? That would be cool. I have a couple of compact digital recorders as well as a single channel Tascam DR-10L recorder that has the best sound I have ever heard from a lav mic.

So I guess this issue of mac version being discontinued (or not ) is not an issue.

Thanks again. I may spring for the ebay item :slight_smile:

Ebay version states . . .

Mac OS 10.14 Mojave NOT supported

So I’m out of luck. So is this just an old version or perhaps the end of the line for this product?

DNS, at least the versions I’ve had, which has been 3 over 15 years, require certain file formats. So if you will be using a recorder, make sure it is a listed model on Google and see if it works.

Using a mic isn’t an issue as it is transcribing as you speak. I can barely walk and chew gum, if I’m using a mic I don’t watch the screen or I find I’m too caught up in reading and mentally editing as I go. Which as resulted in some interesting comments being recorded.

Overall, I like DNS, but you must train it for high accuracy, and to get the most out of it you must learn to think and speak grammar and punctuation. e.g.:

Coming in the front door, Bill had to juggle his RFID badge and the boxes. “Damn, in wrong hand.” he mumbled.

Would be something like this dictated: new para, coming in the front door comma bill had to juggle his R F I D badge and the boxes in his hands period quote damn comma in wrong hand period quote

If you use RFID a lot, teach it that word pronounced R-Fid is RFID otherwise you might get are f eye d or ID. It’s getting better at knowing grammar, for example in early versions you hand to say open quote close quote. Now it just starts where last one was. It also now knows a new paragraph starts with a capital. It may not know if Bill if a name or something you pay, so may not capitalize. Takes some getting use to. Getting much better at logic like knowing red light is not read light.

When you type your hands automatically do the grammar.

When you get really good you can do formatting like bullets, indenting, italics, bold, underline, etc.

Thanks. Yes, I am frequently amused at some of the creative translations I get although none of them come to mind at the moment.

Or when working with others who are commenting while you are dictating - you get some interesting results.

Mac dictation types the text in bursts with delays, then another burst, delay, and so on. Then you wonder if it’s gone to sleep or not. Sometimes it does and you realize it just missed the last 30 seconds of your dictation. As you noted, this can be distracting. Sometimes I have to just close my eyes and open them from time to time to see if it’s capturing or it will scramble my brain while talking, much like talking and listening to headphone audio of your voice with about a 200 msec delay - hard to do.

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