MacSpeech Dictate 1.5 and Dictate Medical Available
MacSpeech have released a major paid upgrade for Dictate users to MacSpeech Dictate 1.5, as well as a new product Dictate Medical which has an extensive specialised vocabulary for those using MacSpeech Dictate in medical and health-related fields.
What's new in [msd] 1.5? Lots of things, including:
- Faster and more accurate speech recognition - this version of Dictate is based on the same recognition engine used in Dragon NaturallySpeaking version 10, where previous versions used the engine from NaturallySpeaking version 9. The difference is most obvious on slower machines but even on my Mac Pro the difference is noticeable.
- More dialects of English are supported which also increases accuracy for many people. The full list of supported dialects is now:
- US Spelling
- American - Inland Northern
- American - Southern
- American - Teens
- Southeast Asian
- UK Spelling
- Southeast Asian
I'm hoping that the spelling and accent type will be unlinked in future versions - your accent is generally formed by where you're brought up, whereas spelling depends on where you currently live. There are plenty of Americans living in England, for example, and they aren't currently supported by the spelling options.
- US Spelling
- A vocabulary editor has finally been added. This means that you can add, delete, and train words for a profile's vocabulary, as well as customise a word's behaviour such as setting capitalisation for words, word spacing, and pronunciation.
- There's a "Save Profile" menu option so users have the ability to save the current profile before quitting Dictate. For those who have problems with Dictate quitting unexpectedly on occasion, this is very helpful. I have been periodically saving my profile even though I don't have problems with Dictate crashing - it's reassuring to know my corrections won't be lost if something happens!
- Available Commands Window has been reorganised. The commands are now grouped into smaller logical groups to make finding a command easier. As this window is essentially one's "on-the-go help", seeing the available commands with less scrolling is a great assistance. Some command names have also been changed to make them more logical, although not all of the inconsistencies have been ironed out yet.
There are other smaller changes too, and there's been a maintenance upgrade to version 1.5.1 to fix some bugs in the meantime. There's a full set of release notes available for those who are interested in the changes.
MacSpeech Dictate Medical runs from the same code but has a much wider vocabulary suitable for dictation in medical disciplines. Here's a list of the wide range of disciplines covered:
- Allergy and Immunology
- Emergency Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism
- Family Medicine
- Fetal Medicine
- General Medical
- Geriatric Medicine
- Infectious Disease
- Internal Medicine
- Medical Education & Writing
- Neonatal & Perinatal Medicine
- Nuclear Medicine
- Obstetrics & Gynecology
- Pain Medicine
- Pediatrics, Pediatric Cardiology, Pediatric Dentistry, Pediatric Gastroenterology
- Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (US Only)
- Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry
- Pulmonary Disease
- Radiology, Radiation Therapy, Vascular & Interventional Radiology
- Sleep Lab
- Speech & Language Pathology (US Only)
- Surgery, Cardiac Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery, Hand Surgery, Neurosurgery, Oral & Facial Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Vascular Surgery
MacSpeech Dictate Medical also supports standard profiles for dictation of general work not related to medicine.
MacSpeech Dictate 1.5 retails for US$199 including a high quality noise-concelling microphone. Upgrades from MacSpeech Dictate 1.3 and below are US$54.95.
MacSpeech Dictate Medical currently retails for US$595 including a high quality noise-cancelling microphone. MacSpeech Dictate 1.5 customers can crossgrade for US$345, and customers with previous MacSpeech Dictate for US$395.
- Ricky Buchanan