Speech Recognition Software: Is It An Option?

I’ve noticed a trend with a couple of bloggers and e-book writers: they’re using speech recognition software to speed up their production. One or two are also making recordings, hiring transcriptionists and getting a written draft back that way.

The initial draft that you can get back from either a transcriptionist or from speech recognition software isn’t going to be great. Especially if you use a lot of jargon, either method requires at least one thorough round of editing. Another issue is the cost — for the more reliable speech recognition software products, we’re talking price tags of a couple hundred dollars. Transcriptionists generally work for an hourly rate and it’s a simple fact that if you have a couple hours of recordings to transcribe, the price is going to be fairly hefty.

I can see using either of these methods for a written product like an e-book — something that you expect to continue selling many copies of and recouping the costs of production with less work. But for articles and blog posts, I don’t see it as so much of a feasible option. I think quality is one of the biggest issues — many writers are so used to typing or handwriting their work that it seems like switching to a new method may decrease quality even as it increases quantity?

What do you think? Do you talk faster than you type? Or are you going to stick to your keyboard?

3 Comments

  1. Clare K. R. Miller   •  

    Wow, that would never work for me. I think I may type faster than I talk, and I am definitely much less eloquent when I talk than when I type. The only way I can see a voice recorder helping in my writing would be to carry it around and “jot” down ideas that way, but even thinking about that I prefer a notebook and pen. My thoughts just don’t come out well when I talk.

  2. Chris   •  

    Hi Thursday,

    I recently purchased one of these products. I had some installation issues so I re-tasked using this tool for a later date. I plan to use it for shorter blog posts and communications for my day job while I design. I think from a productivity stand point I may see an advantage. The option of someone transcribing audio may be another option. You made some great points about the pros and cons of this tool. After setup, I’ll be sure to provide feedback if you would find it useful.

    Thanks,

    Chris

  3. LShep   •  

    I’ve used Dragon with some success. The past year or two have really been good for that software. The older years were pretty useless. The technology has come along enough to really make it useful if you have writers’ cramp.

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