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Audio Dictation

Audio Dictation

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We still get by on dictaphones and a very able secretary who plays them back on a Phillips transcriber.  However it's very old technology and we will need to replace a couple of dictaphones shortly.  I'm thinking of biting the bullet and going a bit more digital, but it seems a bit of an opaque market to get ones head around and maybe I should be looking at speech recog software instead.

Does anyone have any suggestions of good products to look at for small offices (sub-10 people)?  Or any products we shouldn't touch with a bargepole?

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By Cloudcounter
22nd Feb 2012 13:03

Dragon

Have a look at Dragon Naturally Speaking.  I've never tried it, but a couple of reviews have been positive.

It seems to be about £100 for a copy, so not vastly expensive to try out

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By mrme89
22nd Feb 2012 13:50

Depending on what your use is

Depending on what your use is .... there is a Dragon iphone app which is free you can then send yourself the script via email.

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By wclose
22nd Feb 2012 14:11

audio--- what about predictive text keyboard/software

 

Widening the subject from Audio and transcription...

 

Swiftkey-on smartphones

I have researched in vain for software that can be used on a desktop pc that is as good as Swiftkey - which I use on my Smartphone.

It would almost pay to have a tablet pc- and ping the Swiftkey typed outcome to my inbox!

 

DRAGON

I believe an issue with Dragon is the need to dictate in a quiet environment- phones ringing/ and interuptions may be a drawback in a busy or open office.

 

Surely there must be some accountants who have used Dragon , and can comment on its virtues.

 

 

 

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Replying to justsotax:
Me!
By nigelburge
01st Mar 2012 12:09

Dragon

wclose wrote:

DRAGON

I believe an issue with Dragon is the need to dictate in a quiet environment- phones ringing/ and interuptions may be a drawback in a busy or open office.

Surely there must be some accountants who have used Dragon , and can comment on its virtues.

 

I have been using Dragon for years and years. The latest version is excellent for use in a noisy environment. If you get a Sennheiser ME3 Microphone and a Buddy 6G USB soundcard, you will probably get over 98% accuracy even in a noisy office. 

I do!!

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Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
22nd Feb 2012 19:34

If it works just upgrade it

Hi - Having used both digital dictation as well as voice recognition (Dragon) I have to say that for convenience, as well as long documents, I'd always go for the old dictation & typing route.

It's not cheap but using a digital dictaphone, with my colleague (what's a secretary?) using a traditional foot pedal (with a USB lead & software) still works really well.  I can dictate notes, letters, emails etc etc wherever I am and can email or copy the files onto the network for her to open in the sofware.

Whilst the Dragon software could actually listen to & transcribe digital tapes I produced away from my pc, and I'm sure it's come on since I used it 5 years ago, I still found I had to do too much correction, whereas my colleague is able to translate my garble far easier as she listens to my voice, from my car, train etc etc.

I have always had Philips but there are more around, the supplier I have always used is NDEVA they have a huge stock and their sales staff were very helpful.  Look at the digital recorders and most will have a related transcrber.  Be careful to avoid plain recorders, ie ones that can't be edited as you go along, these tend to be far cheaper.

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Adrian Pearson
By Adrian Pearson
29th Feb 2012 11:13

For the more adventurous

Take a look at https://www.quicktate.com/. A solution for the technology and human side of the equation all in one service. I haven't tried it, but if I did, would use the Evernote integration.

Adrian
Topaccountants

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By pauljohnston
01st Mar 2012 12:24

Olympus

We have had olympus 4100 system for 5 years.,now upgraded.  Definitely better than our old Phillips and tapes.

If you want a secretary only sometimes I would recommend www.outsec.co.uk.  I dictate, upload and the document comes back in word.  In english rather than the garbage that I dictate

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By elansea
01st Mar 2012 13:07

Dragon

I have used Dragon for almost a year now. It's acceptable, but not good. It requires absolute silence; it saves my profile as it changes with increased dictation, but never seems to find an opportunity to upload it to the main database. It has a real problem with UK addresses and has never learned the difference between "2, two, too and to" no matter how many contextual tries I have made.

Support is good at stating the obvious, but little real help.

Having said all that I still use it daily, helping it along with my keyboard when it simply won't do as it's told, but considering it's been around so long, I expect more.

At least it doesn't answer back, make constant cups of coffee and discuss last night'sTV with the other computers in the office! It's not very good looking either so it's 50:50 on the human replacement angle.

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Replying to fawltybasil2575:
Me!
By nigelburge
01st Mar 2012 13:27

More on Dragon

elansea wrote:

I have used Dragon for almost a year now. It's acceptable, but not good. It requires absolute silence; it saves my profile as it changes with increased dictation, but never seems to find an opportunity to upload it to the main database. It has a real problem with UK addresses and has never learned the difference between "2, two, too and to" no matter how many contextual tries I have made.

 

One of the reasons people find Dragon difficult to work with is that for the best use, it does require a good microphone and sound card.

The microphone supplied "in the box" is ok to get you started but not really any good for daily use. Try a good sound cancelling microphone and usb soundcard and you will be amazed at the difference. These are not cheap but turn an OK product into a superlative one.

See http://www.knowbrainer.com/PubForum/index.cfm?page=viewForumCategory&cat... for lots of excellent advice from world experts.

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By khosker
01st Mar 2012 16:52

dictation

Big Hand digital dictation  - used extensively in the legal profession. A big advantage of this system over tapes is that it's very easy top search through sections of dictation in order to  priortitise, or allow access by different secretaries if a pool is used. It also has good reporting facilities.

Voice recognition is certainly improving though.

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By Steve Kesby
01st Mar 2012 17:03

I bought the latest version of Dragon recently

I tried it at home, using the headset supplied, and with the TV on and I was getting 100% accurate results.  Maybe I've got particularly good diction.

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