1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Any working journalists use the software Dragon Naturally Speaking?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Tom_Brinkman01, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. It takes forever transcribing interviews, and I was wondering if investing in Dragon Naturally Speaking is worth it; also, what version works best and can this program accurately differentiate between the interviewer and the subject's voices? I need some advice from someone who actually uses it in the field. Feel free to bore me with all the details -- it's a huge investment on my meager reporter's salary.
  2. Overrated

    Overrated Guest

    There's such a thing that transcribes interviews? And here I am using my pen like a sucker. [/homersimpson]

    This is the greatest invention since that black box that drives big rigs for the truckers.
  3. Overrated

    Overrated Guest

    Listen, Tom, is it? I wasn't being sarcastic. I've been using a digital recorder since before COCKDIAN was born. I use a pen to transcribe the interview from my $120 Olympus recorder. Is that okay by you?
  4. murray

    murray New Member

    Tom, you need to understand that the software doesn't automatically transcribe everything that the recorder picks up. You have to train the thing, and you do that by getting the speaker to read selected passages. I think there are four or five that are included in the software. They're relatively short (a long paragraph, if I recall) and you read them, and supposedly the tape recorder learns your speech patterns.

    The output is not perfect, but my experience was that it was good enough as long as you carefully edited it.

    The problem, of course, is you'd have to get the people you're quoting to read one of the passages for you. Can you imagine asking a head coach, or handing a laminated paragraph to some player, who can't read anyway, and asking him to read it aloud in his normal voice? Ain't gonna happen.

    The only feasible way for a working journalist to use it, I think, is to record your interviews on another recorder, a cheaper one.  Then listen to the cheap recorder and repeat the quotes, word by word, into the digital recorder. Then you can use Dragon Naturally Speaking to transcribe your voice. It's still quicker than transcribing, in the long run, but be aware of the awkward extra step.
  5. espnguy

    espnguy Member

    That's a great idea, Murray. I never thought of that. I think I'm going to try it and see what happens.
  6. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    I bought a version of this program about six years ago, and it was terrible. I'd say, "I took a smelly shit," and it would write "I toke a small ye spit."

    I wouldn't mess around. Transcribing is the only way to be sure. Consider it a necessary evil.
  7. certiorari

    certiorari New Member

    You'll end up "training" the Dragon for hours, only to get the most hilarious mad-lib drivel in real world use.
    Best to try it yourself before deleting it in an irate fit of disgust.
  8. PEteacher

    PEteacher Member

    the thing is, you don't need to to transcribe perfectly. You just need to be able to make out what was said, and pull select parts and retype the quotes in your story. If you can make out what was said, then the program might be worth it. Methinks, anyway.

    How much would such a program cost?
  9. I have the Dragon software, though it is several years old.
    It sucks!
    I tried to "train it" for several hours. It never ever worked as good they showed on the commercials. Too many mistakes in transcribing to the text.

    Big pain in the ass.
  10. patchs

    patchs Active Member

    The company that makes a digital recorder that can be plugged into a laptop's USB port and instantly transcribe quotes will make a ton of money.
    It would be the greatest invention since the printing press.
  11. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    What about sliced bread and just plain misquoting someone?
  12. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    I've seen these, but I believe they used the Dragon technology, which just doesn't work.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page