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How Do I Choose The Best Voice Recognition Software?

Computer programs have the ability to transcribe spoken words to written text.
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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 18 December 2014
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The best voice recognition software for you depends on your specific needs, your patience and your ability. By providing a hands-free way of typing, this tool is great for people on the go, users with disabilities and those who do not know how to type. There are several types of software, and knowing your options will help you find the appropriate program for your situation. Knowing the three major divisions of speech recognition software is the first step in finding the best one for you.

Voice recognition software operates using a microphone instead of a keyboard to input words on a screen. This tool is used for tasks such as writing letters and email, creating spreadsheets and using search engines. The program recognizes the words that the user speaks and instantly translates them to the screen, functioning somewhat like a digital stenographer. There are many types of programs offering this service, each with different capabilities, so finding the best voice recognition software is a matter of your needs and personal preference.

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You first must determine if you are comfortable using static or adaptive types of software. A static system learns each individual vocabulary word by itself and can take a great deal of time, but it results in a fully customized collection of words and functionality. Adaptive speech recognition software adapts to the speaker's voice and will get faster at recognizing unknown words as you and the program become more familiar with each other. This is by far the most popular type of software, and one of the best voice recognition software products is the Dragon NaturallySpeaking program.

Another area to consider when looking for the best voice recognition software is whether you prefer speaker-dependent or speaker-independent software. Speaker-dependent software is not very popular because it requires the program to learn your individual speech patterns and takes several hours of use before it can compose long letters. Speaker-independent software can be used by anyone and adapts quickly to any accent or speech pattern. A popular brand of independent software is Micro IntroVoice.

The final aspect to consider as you decide the best voice recognition software for you is whether you are comfortable with discrete or continuous speech recognition. A discrete software package requires a pause between each word, or it will run the words together. These often are less expensive but can prove frustrating to users. Continuous software, such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking, does not require pauses and automatically separates words. For those looking for the easiest program, a continuous speech, independent, adaptive program is the best voice recognition software.

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