Written by Michael Woodman
While speech-to-text programs such as Dragon are certainly powerful (and sometimes available via a DSA or Access to Work application), many learners may not have an opportunity to use these tools due to their cost. Dictation.io is a website that offers a free, web browser based alternative. You don't need to train the program to adjust to your voice - just dictate directly into the browser and then save the text as an offline file.
- Completely free - simply browse to the website using the Chrome browser, and dictate using either a headset or even your computer's built-in microphone
- Simple interface - no training required.
- Has voice commands for adding new paragraphs and adding punctuation. Supports numerous languages.
- Save your text into a simple text file, or, if you have installed the Chrome App, export into a variety of cloud based services, such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
- Command recognition can be a bit variable. We tried Dictation.io in a number of browsers, on a number of different computers. Depending on the individual setup, the software would sometimes consistently fail to recognise commands like "full stop".
This is definitely a piece of software to watch as it evolves; it will no doubt improve with time, and it already offers a robust, fast way of emptying your thoughts onto the page without having to worry about the keyboard.(Mac users might also want to investigate the built in speech to text tool)