Speech recognition on Apple Macintosh computers took a huge leap forward recently with the release of OS 10.8 Mountain Lion. A new feature called Dictation allows rather an easy and surprisingly accurate speech to text translation in nearly any Mac application.
After enabling Dictation in System Preferences, any OSX application or Mac web browser page which allows text input can let you say what you want to write instead of typing it. Merely tapping the function key twice turns on dictation mode. Say what you need to, then tap the function key again to stop recording. Unlike other speech recognition programs on the Mac platform, Apple Dictation performs its translation services at Apple Computer, transmitting your recorded speech data to their servers translation.Within seconds the results are sent back to your Macintosh. As such, in order to use dictation services you must have a live Internet connection.
You don't even have to train the software to recognize your particular voice patterns. All other dictation apps like Dragon Dictate Mac, MacSpeech, or IBM's Via-Voice require a training session or two to recognize your particular voice and speaking patterns. Apple Dictation seems to 'Just Work' the first time anyone uses it without having to train it first.
I'm having a lot of fun using Apple Dictation services to write documents, compost blog posts and do Mac internet marketing tasks using the amazing speech recognition software now built into OSX 10.8.
Not all Mac's have a built-in mic. And even if it does, for an optimal Apple speech recognition experience, you may want to visit mac-microphones.com and explore some of the USB microphones and headsets for Mac which can help improve dictation accuracy and minimize interference from background noise.
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