If it aint broke, don’t fix it, right? But what about trying to tweak it just a bit?
I enjoy the functionality of using the Dragon NaturallySpeaking app on my Smartphone to dictate work to my computer. The downside to the setup, however, is that I have to hold the phone in order to dictate. Prior to using the app, I used the Platronics blue tooth headset which freed up both hands so I could do “important things” like fold clothes, wash dishes or scrub floors while dictating my work.
There are pros and cons to both setups. The NaturallySpeaking app is by far the most accurate in transcribing my dictation, but the blue tooth headset allows me to multi-task. In an attempt to enjoy the best of both worlds I purchased a blue tooth headset (more like an earphone) to work with my Smartphone. The one I purchased was the Mpow FreeGo wirelessheadset from Amazon.
A Little about the Mpow Headset
It works perfectly well. My phone conversations are crystal clear. When listening to music or the occasional TED talk, the headset performs perfectly. The headset works as promised. The manufacturer never promised the Mpow would accurately and efficiently work with Dragon NaturallySpeaking, and it doesn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, the Naturally Speaking software hears what I’m saying when I use the headset, but it does not hear it accurately. There are way too many corrections required when editing the work. Sometimes, I have to phonetically read what the software transcribed in order to figure out what I originally said. Having two available hands for multitasking isn’t worth the price of extensive editing.
Back to Square One
I love the accuracy of the NaturallySpeaking app, and the freedom of the computer’s blue tooth headset. I guess I’ll have to pick and choose my battles. The computer’s blue tooth headset doesn’t give me the range that the app does, nor does it give me the accuracy, but it does allow me to use both hands to mulit-task.
The other downside to the app is that I’ve got to dictate in real time. In other words, the laptop/computer must be on and in listen mode. It has to receive and transcribe my dictation as I speak. With the app I cannot dictate to a digital recorder and allow the software to transcribe my work later. I’m not a fan of having Dragon NaturallySpeaking constantly running on my system. Doing so renders the number pad on my keyboard useless. The folks at Dragon set up their own number pad hotkeys. I find that pretty annoying because I always have an Excel spreadsheet open and in use. Guess it’s time to follow the instructions in this article for resetting the hot keys to free up my number pad again.
NaturallySpeaking Dictation Work Around
My solution to the situation is to use a combination of several dictation methods. When I really need to multitask, I’ll work within range of my computer and use the computer’s blue tooth headset. When I’m out and about, I’ll use the digital recording app and save the dictation for later transcription. When I’m home and don’t need to multitask or, really want accurate transcription, I’ll use the Smartphone app.
Who knows, maybe one day I’ll discover the solution that will combine the best of all worlds. Or, maybe one of my readers can give me a heads up on how to solve this not so earth shattering situation.