[MV] MacSpeech Dictate and FileVault, cross-grading and medical vocabulary

Chuck Rogers chuck.rogers at macspeech.com
Thu Feb 14 13:13:39 PST 2008


Thanks for your interest in our products!

I do not believe MacSpeech Dictate will have the same issues as  
iListen in regards to FileVault, but I haven't tried myself - I avoid  
FileVault like the plague after having lost all my data not once, but  
twice. I can tell you this: using FileVault not only puts all your  
data at extreme risk of being irretrievably lost, but it also robs  
your computer of valuable processor cycles that could be used for  
better accuracy. If you absolutely must have your data encrypted,  
consider using an encrypted disk image instead, which is also much  
easier to back up and uses exactly the same encryption mechanism as  
FileVault except it does not ruin your Home folder.

As to whether or not you want to train iListen, that would be entirely  
up to you. MacSpeech Dictate takes about 5 minutes to set up and  
train. Most people need to spend at least 15 minutes training iListen  
to get reasonable results. The training is not transferable, since the  
two products use two different engines.

We have not announced a time frame for releasing the Medical  
vocabulary, other than to say later this year. Professional  
vocabularies are independent of your profile, so yes, you should be  
able to install the medical vocabulary without having to create a new  
profile. Since we have not begun work on the professional vocabularies  
yet, I can't say for sure, however. We do not have an anticipated cost  
for any of the professional vocabularies at this time.

We have never limited the use of the built-in microphone. You can use  
it with iListen, if you want. We do not provide technical support if  
you are using the internal mic and the reason for asking for support  
is because you aren't satisfied with the accuracy you are getting. We  
do not anticipate that policy to change with MacSpeech Dictate,  
although you will get better accuracy with the built-in mic over  

Best Regards,

Chuck Rogers, Chief Evangelist
MacSpeech, Inc.

On Feb 14, 2008, at 2:12 PM, Robert Marks wrote:

> Hi Chuck,
> 	I just bought iListen 1.8 (planning to cross-grade to MacSpeech  
> Dictate), installed it and was unable to create a profile - (I got  
> "CreateUser() failed!" and had to search the MacSpeech website to  
> find out why ... it is because I have FileVault enabled. Is the same  
> limitation going to apply to Dictate? I presently use ViaVoice and  
> it has no such limitation. I even run with encrypted virtual memory.  
> I store my ViaVoice user profile in a Shared directory so it doesn't  
> have to be encrypted and decrypted by FileVault. I sincerely hope  
> that Dictate will function with FileVault. Security is an  
> increasingly important issue for those of us who use laptops.  
> Password protection on a Mac is worthless if the laptop is stolen as  
> one can simply reset the password using an OS X installer disk.  
> Having to log out of a FileVault protected account to dictate is a  
> bloody nuisance. I'd rather run DNS under Parallels if it comes to  
> that.
> 	A few other questions (my apologies if you might have answered any  
> of these previously; I did try to go through the last 25 posts or so  
> before asking them).
> 	1. Is time training iListen 1.8 worthwhile if one plans to cross- 
> grade to Dictate (e.g. is the vocabulary created by user training   
> transferrable?)
> 	2. I understand you are planning on releasing a medical vocabulary  
> in about six months. Will it be possible to install this onto an  
> existing profile, or will the user have to start from scratch after  
> installing this vocabulary (? To use Dictate as a medical  
> subspecialist, I will have to train it on thousands of words unique  
> to my subspecialty - I doubt they will all be in the medical  
> vocabulary). What will it cost? (I bought IBM's Medical Vocabulary  
> directly from IBM for $265 CDN).
> 	This is not a question, but a suggestion. I found out that ViaVoice  
> does astonishingly well using the internal microphone on my MacBook  
> Pro with "Use ambient noise reduction" checked in Sound input  
> preferences. (You might wonder why I need to switch dictation  
> programs - unfortunately only basic direct dictation works in  
> ViaVoice on an MBP under Leopard and it is not very stable). Given  
> the touted accuracy of MacSpeech Dictate after minimal training, I  
> hope that using the internal microphone will not be precluded.
> 	Many thanks in advance for your assistance.
> - Bob

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