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MacSpeech Dictate

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MacSpeech Dictate is a speech recognition program written for Mac OS X by MacSpeech. The software was released in March 2008 after being showcased at the Macworld Conference & Expo in 2008 and won the Best Of Show 2008 award. It was written using the highly successful and very accurate Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech recognition engine from Nuance Communications.

Version Release Date Changes[1]
1.0 March 2008 Initial Release
1.0.1 April 2008 Minor bug fixes, improved documentation, easier license key handling, enhanced AppleScript support including the ability to create commands.
1.2 October 2008 Major update, with spelling mode, phrase training, interface enhancements.
1.2.1 November 2008 Maintenance Release.
1.3 February 2009 Major update, with outside document editing, interface enhancements.
1.5 May 2009 Major release, with vocabulary editing, MS Word integration, accuracy enhancements.
1.5.1 May 2009 Maintenance Release.
1.5.2 June 2009 Maintenance Release.
1.5.5 October 2009 Maintenance Release, with improved Snow Leopard support.

A review/comparison to NaturallySpeaking for Windows

Reviewing MacSpeech Dictate in the New York Times, David Pogue concludes with some warnings.

So Dictate 1.0 is attractive, simple and Mac-like. It is not, however, as good as NaturallySpeaking 9.0 for Windows ($200). It lacks features like audio playback of what you said, a simple “add word” command, legal and medical versions, and non-English language kits.
It also lacks voice correction.
When NatSpeak makes an error, you just say “Correct ‘ax a moron’ ” (or whatever it typed); and choose from a list of alternate transcriptions. The program not only corrects the error in your document, but also learns from its mistake. Over time, the accuracy edges ever closer to 100 percent.
In Dictate 1.0, however, you have to fix transcription errors by hand. The company intends to add voice correction in a 1.1 update; in the meantime, though, your accuracy won’t improve.
The late beta version I tested has some bugs. The company intends to get these fixed by the 1.0 version’s mid-February release.[2]


  1. Press Releases. MacSpeech. Accessed January 19, 2009.
  2. New Tools to Bolster Mac’s World. New York Times. Published: January 24, 2008.

External links