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Dragon for Mac Forums and Discussion » Dragon Dictate » Troubleshooting

Need to Vent!!!

(31 posts)
  1. cedar
    Member

    I am exhausted with trying to learn this software and do everything just so, just perfectly, just freaking Type A exactly, or unexpected caca keeps happening. I have been using for *years*, since iListen days!!! Every time I read some tip that's supposed to make it the greatest freaking thing in the world with God-perfect accuracy, and then give it an honest try ... well why go on. I wonder if the company will even let this through. I wouldn't know where to begin being specific so don't even ask right now. The least this software could do is eject a lollipop. There needs to be a forum section for vents.

    :-(((((, Imustbeanidiot

    Posted 4 years ago #
  2. cedar
    Member

    Okay, I've had a good night sleep now and have a clearer head. But honestly, the number of hours I have poured into this software hoping someday it will be smooth more or less as ice … I still continue to have more problems than I think I should. I do believe the voice recognition is getting better for me since starting a new profile recently using a different voice template. So I am encouraged by that. Most of my problems have to do with commands not executing properly. For example, whenever I catch a selection or a document, and then–without ever having touched the mouse or keyboard–ask it to go and find some words or insert after such and such, it will go somewhere other than what I have asked for. I e, while giving that as a valid command and another. So I stopped using that command and started using the recommended one only to have the system not respond at al

    I give up after seeing what it is doing now what is with in having changed my text above, deleting a major section and now shoving the letter D. after every phrase I picked a d

    Posted 4 years ago #
  3. pdbecht
    Member

    I just dictated 77 words. MacSpeech Dictate misunderstood five words. Correcting them took half an hour. I just lost three sentences trying to correct a word that dictate placed in my paragraph. The program types words that I have not spoken when it feels like it.

    I see lots of discord at the forums. People go through for five microphones. They install and reinstall. They create numerous profiles. They are upset because of the so-called Golden rule.

    I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 (soon-to-be 11) on my Dell and move my dictation to my Mac by way of public folders. My two computers are networked. Other people are using Parallels. We are all finding our workarounds. This is shameful.
    Nuance should be ashamed. They should not have their name on such an inferior product as MacSpeech Dictate. I could've dictated this in five minutes and edited it in 30 seconds on Dragon NaturallySpeaking. This is taking for ever on MacSpeech Dictate. I am a writer with no use of my left hand. I need reliable speech recognition software. I love Mac but may have to go to the dark side by necessity. Editing Dictate is painful and it never leans anything.
    pdbecht

    Posted 4 years ago #
  4. Yakker
    Member

    For what it's worth, my experience with MSD is very different. Yes, it can be temperamental at times — briefly — and it's not always easy to train, though it usually is, but overall it's very satisfying for me to use. And I use only one profile. I would hate to have to do without MSD.

    I find myself wondering often when I read comments like pdbecht's what the difference in our experience can be attributed to. I sympathize with such comments and occasionally breathe a sigh of relief that I haven't encountered the same difficulties.

    Just wanted to get on the record my sympathy for people facing these problems AND my expression of satisfaction with my own experience with MSD. I hope that one of these days there will be some useful way of accounting for the great differences in user experience!

    Ray

    Posted 4 years ago #
  5. jayg
    Member

    Although results, or lack of results, are acknowledged (especially because everyone here is "Troubleshooting"), it's very helpful if you can provide details about the exact steps you tried that did not (or did) work. For example:

    In the application iChat, I dictated "Italian restaurants".

    It recognized "Italian astronauts".

    I said "Select The Word "astronauts". Then I typed in "restaurants".

    After that Dictate started adding extra characters and misplacing words.

    This is purely an example, but describing the steps would help identify issues. (In this case using "Select The Word" instead of "Train The Word" will edit the text, but actually make the recognition of "restaurant" worse. And typing will throw Dictate off track of what's been dictated.)

    I realize that if Dictate isn't working for you, then posting more details about what you tried is difficult. However, if you can provide this type of step-by-step summary, it's easier for others in these Forums to identify issues and recommend a change in the steps to success.

    Thanks for your consideration of this info and recommendation.

    -Jay G.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  6. jayg
    Member

    Although results, or lack of results, are acknowledged (especially because everyone here is "Troubleshooting"), it's very helpful if you can provide details about the exact steps you tried that did not (or did) work. For example:

    In the application iChat, I dictated "Italian restaurants".

    It recognized "Italian astronauts".

    I said "Select The Word "astronauts". Then I typed in "restaurants".

    After that Dictate started adding extra characters and misplacing words.

    This is purely an example, but describing the steps would help identify issues. (In this case using "Select The Word" instead of "Train The Word" will edit the text, but not improve recognition of the word "restaurant". And typing will throw Dictate off track of what's been dictated.)

    I realize that if Dictate isn't working for you, then posting more details about what you tried is difficult. However, if you can provide this type of step-by-step summary, it's easier for others in these Forums to identify issues and recommend a change in the steps to success.

    Thanks for your consideration of this info and recommendation.

    -Jay G.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  7. profhero
    Member

    On September 22, 2010, I purchased Dragon Dictate as an update to MSD. After trying DD on two Macs, Intel MacBook and iMac both running OS 10.6.4, I have had no success making this software perform. After a few minutes, or immediately upon opening, I get an error message that DD has encountered an internal error. It then quits.Buyer beware on this software!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  8. MojoRizen
    Member

    I tried to use DD to write this post, but gave up after 25 minutes because trying to fix the errors just created MORE errors...blowing aways whole lines, adding whatever-the-heck text DD feels like, opening the Apple menu, and notoriously inaccurate transcription.

    MSD wasn't too bad...at least you could get the job done. This toy will stand in your way of getting the job done. This company made a mediocre application WORSE...and is charging the customer base to be beta testers.

    They should just make this open source and give out refunds...a community development team will at least fix it.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  9. Donkeyoatay
    Member

    I only upgraded to 2.0 because it was confirmed by DD sales that the upgrade offer of $49.99 expired on the 30th of Sept. I see it is still on offer! I would not have spent more money on this beta application had I been told the truth. I would have preferred to have waited until all the problems have been resolved.

    What really bugs me is that Nuance must be spending a small fortune constantly advertising Dragon Naturally Speaking on British TV, while it appears that they do not have enough staff working on trying to offer the Mac community a workable product. My e-mails to the DD technical support and sales go unanswered. Sarah who runs the sales side once told me that she is the only person working in that department.

    My biggest problem with 2.0 is that many of my once recognized commands are not recognized. To try and edit something becomes a complete nightmare as DD has a mind of it's own. I attempted to make a new profile but unfortunately no longer am able to select English for Spelling and Accent. With this new version only US is available. Maybe this is causing me problems! Hopefully I will get an answer from tech support soon on this issue.

    In the meanwhile I am back using v 1.5.9 as I am trying to write a novel and being in my 70's can do without all this hassle.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  10. MojoRizen
    Member

    Below is a passage I tried to write using DD:

    Today is day for of trying to figure out right in this new upgrade to MacSpeech Dictate. It seems that the only way to use this is, at least on the Mac, to use the: (A) the onboard microphone so must to avoid the at picking up too much external noise from a headset and (B) using “sleep mode” very often to eliminate potential hassle of of extraneous noise. However, editing still seems to be a major problem.

    However, speaking of editing, the “purge documents” command seems to be a potential answer. It seems like using this command after…

    Okay, here's a perfect example of how editing is really poor. The next words after the word “after” above were supposed to be the two simple words “several edits”. However, Dragon speech dictate misinterpreted that as several other gibberish words. Fair enough.problem is when you use the “select” command (as adjusted <that was supposed to say "it just did"> with these past few words) it often goes off to other places within the documents that are <un>related to what you just spoke. That's where the fun begins.

    In an effort to try and get back to where you were, the application often inserts other extraneous words, cheese <deletes> several words in its path and generally makes a mess <of> document. Aresponse to this is to immediately close the document–incidentally the application just spoke the word “often” for no apparent reason in the middle of that sentence–reopen the document hoping you didn't save any changes, immediately put yourself in sleep mode, wake up, then command mode, -deal withthe extra line of text i just insert...undo the line of text it just inserted in above paragraph...undo the misinterpreted undo comand...wait for it to complete speaking text youdidn't ask it to speak..then
    give up and type the thing out yourself.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  11. Wisely_Foolish
    Member

    yeah dragon dictate is still a poo of a program. I wrote a whole big paragraph somewhere else about my little tips and work arounds but from what I can gather of the work arounds for this program is:

    1. keep moving forward, don't correct too much. if you need to correct you can either speak in small snippets of phrases (that way, the program doesn't have to handle large amounts of words and go utterly bananas) or go through with the keyboard after dictation and correct manually

    2. after saying purge document, I always say "cache document" and start anew. So correct what you need to do first, then cache the document and start brand new again. Annoying since when it starts new, it doesn't create a space and will capitalise. So that's why I say start new as in new paragraph and new sentence.

    see if that helps

    Posted 4 years ago #
  12. MojoRizen
    Member

    You're spot on wisely_foolish <typing now>. Actually, what I never got to in the above rambling, was the "cache document" command actually includes the purge step. So, you're right on about the use of cache.

    I've added a studio microphone to this set-up and learned a few things:
    (I'm not suggesting folks go out and buy an expensive mic like I talk about below, but I thought I'd share the lessons learned from the exercise):

    1. Added a studio Sure microphone to a new profile - yes, the app balked saying it was unsupported but I clicked through anyway
    2. I ran the mic through a small mixing board, where I turned down all the highs (tone quality: highs = 0, mid-range = 3, low end = 5)
    3. used a 1/4 - 1/8" adapter to plug into the iMac line-in plug

    Lessons:

    1. Once you have a microphone that you can clip off/control the high tonal range & fine tune the gain, you can alleviate some of the extraneous noise, thus reducing some of the words that seem to appear for no reason in dictation mode. Crappy mics produce "tinny" sound that translates into background noise and thus bogus words. Lesson: better maximize the quality of sound input the mic generates - the app is not capable of doing so.

    2. The two points Wisely_foolish noted above are spot on: save all your corrections for the end. After two corrections I would issue a "cache document" command to realign the documents contents with the internal data (sound data, etc). If you must do any by hand , I'd cache immediately after.

    Also, save all edits until you're done with your session. After you're done dictating, go back to make corrections. I issued a "save this document" after each figuring each edit would be my last before the app crashed. Having said this, it seems, for now at least, this app is only good for long dictation where the assumption is that you will only make one pass at dictating and hope the app is 80% or better with accuracy. Once you start editing, the first time you start running into problems editing (i.e. inaccurate replacements, lines disappearing, etc) stop, save the doc and resume editing by hand. You will lose more time fighting with the app than you would have editing by hand and thus have negated the benefit of using the app in the first place.

    3. Use "sleep mode" often. The more I put myself in sleep mode, the less chance of background noise producing garbage text.

    4. Refrain from issuing commands in dictation mode. I had more success with the "command mode" <issue command> "dictation mode" use case"

    Golden rule: Only use this app if you're going to do long dictation and you go into it with the assumption that the app will only help you with the initial "thought dump". This is the only spot in the workflow where you will realize a benefit. if you rely on the app to perform edits, the time you will lose will negate any benefit you realized on the front end. Using the app to dictate short passages will only cost you more time than if you typed it out initially.

    As for using the app to "boss the computer around" I wouldn't trust it. I can only imagine the nightmare scenarios possible when DD decides to interject it's own thoughts into a email I'm sending.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  13. RiderAlberta
    Member

    Oh boy... this is all bad news. I'm a former television guy, so I know how to speak. And I've spent two hours trying to get DD to type out three measly paragraphs. It keeps adding a “B” or “D” after each sentence. I also find that the program wants to jump around the page. It also starts to slow down when I'm speaking in the document, even one as non-intensive as the Mail program; it'll.... oh, it just crashed while I was speaking this.

    Typing now. The program will take up to 7-8 seconds to type a sentence, even after only having spoken a few sentences. The Show Recognition Window command only works when it wants too.

    Well, I've "beta-tested" for other companies before when they should never have released their software. I think it's time to look into a refund... the first paragraph of this post took several minutes to get right.

    Too bad!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  14. Yakker
    Member

    Wisely_foolish and MojoRizen:

    Thank you both for your comments, and especially your comments about the uses of Cache and Purge. It seems to me that being willing to make liberal use of those commands makes a very large difference in my ability to use DragonDictate effectively. It also allows me to make much more efficient use of several word processing programs that I have tended to avoid because of their tendency to interfere with my dictation.

    Dictating to this forum has been something of a problem in the past for reasons not entirely clear to me. But using Purge and Cache has led to my feeling quite satisfied with the results of this effort. (I must confess that “cache” has been a bit difficult to dictate since Dragon keeps wanting to type “cash.” But Dragon is gradually learning.)

    By the way, this post has been dictated, though I did have to use the keyboard a couple times to help Dragon type that word “cache” correctly.)

    Again, thank you for your very useful posts.

    Ray

    Posted 4 years ago #
  15. BenevolentDictator
    Member

    Hello Yakker,

    You could try saying "kaish" rather than "kash" -- this works on my copy, albeit it's localized for UK use with an Australian accent. That said, I doubt that this second pronunciation (which is standard throughout the English-speaking world) would be unique to the UK/Australian version.

    I hope this helps.

    Cheers!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  16. Yakker
    Member

    BenevolentDictator,

    Thank you for the suggestion. I'm afraid that trying to say “kaish” doesn't work. Instead it just offers me several one-syllable choices that have a long “a” sound, along with “cash” and “cache.” (Maybe it just doesn't want to recognize that those of us who speak good ol' American are capable of that much variation in our speech patterns.)

    ;-])

    Oh well, it was certainly worth a shot.

    Ray

    Posted 4 years ago #
  17. BenevolentDictator
    Member

    Hmm, sorry to hear that, Ray.

    I've had Macspeech Dictate since version 1.3 but have only put it to limited use when I needed to write material where a good conversational flow was needed. Then it's particularly useful, as most of my writing is scientific and managerial, and is too "locked down" for informal writing. So I did not correct in MSD (because I found Edit => Pick too unreliable) but instead corrected it in Word (of which I'm an advanced user, so that doesn't take much time). The main reason I took that approach was that I found word training to be cumbersome and not worth the time to do. I expected it would catch up with Naturally Speaking, especially when Nuance bought out MacSpeech.

    I mention this to show that I am as yet by no means expert, albeit I always observe the Golden Rule! But here's my next idea: do you pause slightly before giving commands like "comma" and "cache document", and use a slightly different tone? (I drop my voice a little - and did so when I did the initial training of the software, as I seem to recall was suggested.)

    Now, all *I* need to find out is how to get the confounded application to recognise "Press the key combo Command a" -- which did not work in MSD either!

    Cheers,

    Clive

    Posted 4 years ago #
  18. MojoRizen
    Member

    Hi Yakker/Ray,

    For whatever it's worth, what I've found with the "cache" situation is that using the phrase "cache this document" is the variant that works best. However, there are a couple things to consider:

    (1) If you're issuing the command from dictation mode, DD has to decide whether what was said is a command or literal text to be transcribed. It does that by judging the amount of pause between the words. Thus, if I pause a tad to long in between each word (IE when I'm getting frustrated with the app :)) it types out "cache this document". If I say it sort of "clumped together" it picks it up as a command.

    (2) To cut down on the chances of misinterpretation, I issue a "command mode" then "cache this document"..then "go to end", then "save this document" all in command mode. In command mode, the app is only listening for half the possibilities, so to speak, because it's only listening for valid commands and not syntax you might be dictating.

    Also something to consider: BenevolentDictator mentioned MS Word above - once upon a time (NT days), users could download the Microsoft speech recognition toolkit free (I think now it comes built in). I'd say it's just as good (and probably now even better) than this DD (several years ago i developed several speech apps using that tool kit and have to say it was pretty sharp!)

    Good luck and I hope this helps!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  19. MojoRizen
    Member

    oops, sorry...it's "cache document" (not cache this document)

    Posted 4 years ago #
  20. MojoRizen
    Member

    just as a follow-up, I did a lot of venting above about the previous version of Dragon speech dictate. Well, now it is time to give credit where credit is due. They just released the newest update to Dragon speech and I must say, out of the gate, and this thing is working pretty darn well. I'm dictating this post now, and only once did Dragon speech try to insert a bogus character.

    I would strongly urge folks who were unhappy with the first version to download the update. It is very good–or at least it brings the product back up to the level that MacSpeech Dictate was at, which I thought was pretty good.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  21. nik
    Member

    I have just installed Dragon Dictate 2.0 and I am dictating this now. I have to say that this new version is certainly faster. Command recognition is almost instantaneous now.

    Well done to the Dragon Dictate team. Keep up the good work.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  22. dwspokane
    Member

    Okay, I'm scared enough to wait another year. My time is too valuable and I'm already losing hair at a rate I'm uncomfortable with.

    I check in every 6 months or so, thinking I will take another stab at Dictate. I got my hopes up with the recent name change, but the complaints look as bad as ever. I can't do this to myself again, not right now, after having spent 50 hours or more over the past 3 years, trying to get the damn thing to work. headsets, bluetooth, new reg numbers, unanswered tech support, BLEAH.

    Someday, SOMEONE will have some software for the Mac that will do this for us. It may or may not be MacSpeech, but technology rolls on, in line with increasing Mac popularity.

    I have other fish to fry. See you in 6 to 12 months, hope for some better news by then.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  23. Cdownunder
    Member

    cedar

    I only found your post 4 months after you "vented".

    I just want to say the quality of experience you write about was just my experience with the older iListen for years until Dictate 1.5 came out. I persisted for years ....

    Reading several posts today on several forums, I get the impression that while DD2 will "convert" a Dictate 1.5 Voice Profile, it seems that doing this may create instabilities. It seems the more stable path with DD2 is to start a new profile from scratch.

    Though I hesitate to suggest this re your time unless you get feedback confirming this from others, and perhaps once there is a more stable DD 2.x release. Certainly seems there are problems with 2.01 release in several respects.

    Hope this helps,

    Cdownunder.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  24. grace
    Member

    This is really depressing. I hoped this program would work for me and assumed my problems so far were attributable to me being a beginner. Probably not then.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  25. Blather
    Member

    Grace, depressing is right! I'm glad that my MacBook Pro is running OS 10.6.6 and Windows 7. Rather than upgrade my MacSpeech (which I bought in '09 but never used) to Dragon Dictate, I'm jumping the fence and will purchase Dragon Naturally Speaking 11 about which, in other fora, there is almost universal acclaim. While before today I had Windows 7 on this machine only to run a particular application, it appears that the nightmares with DD this forum bemoans have earned Nuance a customer on the PC side of their business. I don't say this with any joy, however, and find the ongoing market-driven preference for PC application development aggravating. I'm as Mac-biased as they come, but if, in the case of voice-recognition software, the price of Mac loyalty is the waste of time that you all describe, I'll go to the "dark side" and hope to rejoin you Mac loyalists when there's parity between the voice recognition Dragons. Thanks for your insights and observations regarding the state of the art of VR for Mac. I'd have bought McSpeech upgrade to DD long ago had the Nuance web sight worked those several times over the past months I'd gone onto it and I'd completed my transactions. This is the first, and perhaps last, praise you'll see for Nuance's unresponsive web site.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  26. JDalgliesh
    Member

    Wow, this does make depressing reading. After struggling with MacSpeech and then Dragon for Mac for months, I thought I'd "do the right thing" and visit the forum. Figured it must just be me, and everyone else had it working fine.

    Apparently not.

    I have an injury which is recovering slowly, but healing will stall if I do too much keyboarding. My introduction to voice recognition software was Dragon Naturally Speaking on my work PC, and once we spent some time training each other - me and the software - we got on fantastically. However, I left the job and wanted to get the best I could for my home Mac. Bought MacSpeech expecting at least the same quality of user experience.

    Lordy lord.

    Recognition is erratic - some days good, some days frustratingly bad. Punctuation is especially fraught (annoying for me when I'm writing dialogue). Going back and "fixing it later" as suggested is out of the question - I need it to work right the first time (aside from the fact that this injury makes keyboard editing painful and difficult, why should I have to waste my time repeating something that Dragon Naturally Speaking would have got right first time??)

    And on the subject of editing - this is a major part of my output on the Mac, and here DD is particularly hopeless. I especially loathe the "golden rule". Again, in Naturally Speaking the ability to mix keyboard and voice seamlessly means I can use the mouse to click to wherever I need to edit and speak the changes straight away. Moving around a document in DD using my voice is unreliable and time-consuming. And caching a document any longer than four pages takes long enough for me to make a cup of tea - not a solution if I'm expected to do it frequently.

    As a final layer of frustration, I'm writing fiction which frequently means adding new names and words for imaginary characters and locations, etc. But I can only add one word to the vocabulary editor in a session. Any more than that, and DD freezes, requiring a force quit. I've dutifully spent time going through the troubleshooting cheat sheet, and everything is set up as it should be. I've trained and trained and trained, and I've deleted profiles and started from scratch at least twice.

    Dragon Naturally Speaking on the PC was brilliant for editing - I could mix keyboard and voice effortlessly, and that made editing at least bearable, if not exactly a breeze.

    Yes, the obvious solution is to bite the bullet and fork out another few hundred bucks so I can load Windows 7 onto the Mac, get Naturally Speaking and shut the heck up. Would it surprise anyone to learn I feel ripped off by this situation???

    Oh, and BTW - in the interests of accuracy and clear expression, I chose to type this comment rather than dictate it. I have a permanent signature at the end of my emails which apologises for any errors caused by Dragon, just in case. You get the picture.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  27. abledoc
    Member

    @JD
    You clearly have a corruption.
    If you followed the Troubleshooting guide did you also do a complete reinstall?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  28. JDalgliesh
    Member

    Thanks abledoc, I will try a complete reinstall again and see if that helps - have had these problems with both the original macspeech dictate and the new dragon dictate, so figured it was just how the software operates rather than a corruption.

    Sigh :-)

    Posted 3 years ago #
  29. cfant
    Member

    Nearly every time I need to correct--which is often--I have to say "pick two." Why is it that "two" knows what the hell I'm saying, but the first try is inevitably wrong??

    Anybody else have this problem?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  30. robertgarven
    Member

    I have heard that DD crashed Time machine is that true if so that is a real problem for me can any of you tell me if you run Time Machine and have had it fail?

    Thanks

    Posted 3 years ago #

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