Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Nuances of complexity

You know companies which makes everything complex? Well, Nuance is one of them. It's the publisher, at least in Europe, of Dragon Dictate for Mac.

I have paid for this now at least five times over the years (including for Windows earlier), and it still works like crap for me.
The reason I upgraded today is I was called on the phone and asked if I was happy with the product. I said no, and perhaps it was my Danish accent. Well, she exuberantly told me that many accents were now supported, included Danish.

I looked it up and did manage to find a web page where Danish was listed (albeit as "Denmark"), amongst many other languages. It was not clear if it supported the language or the accent, or both. But I took a chance.

After a long buggy ride, I managed to pay (I paid ten bucks more, because the special offer email the lady sent me demanded a bank transfer(!), which even went to a company I never heard of.)
And I tried to install. Well, what do you know. Doesn't work unless you have Lion, OS X 10.7. This was not clear anywhen during the procedure, of course.

Well, I installed it on my iMac, which does have Mountain Lion.
And setting it up, there were only half a dozen dialects, all English, no other languages.
I looked through all menus and settings, no languages mentioned anywhere.
And even after training I still get lots of errors in everything I dictate, on average two mistakes per sentence, effectively nullifying any gain you get.

So I try to find Nuance's support. Big surprise: first you have to try to find the answer yourself. Then you have to log in to contact them!
And then the login they gave me didn't work. I reset it, and it still doesn't work.

I'll just have to write off this one too as money wasted, because I'm becoming convinced that 1) I have to pay extra to be able to dictate in Danish (which I don't want to do anyway), and 2) it does not support English with Danish accent, despite what the lady said.


ttl said...

I would ask for my money back. They clearly mislead you. Or, come to think, perhaps they insisted on wire transfer as the method of payment specifically so that you wouldn't be able to initiate a chargeback.

Siri's voice recog is Nuance's technology. So that's an easy way to test whether it understands you.

Why not just use the Mac builtin speech recognition? Why do they even sell a separate app anymore?

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I have to upgrade to Lion/mountain lion to get mac dication. And I'm waiting until I have to, to do that because it'll force me away from some of my favorite apps.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a scam to me Eolake?
Not paid to Nuance, wrong claims?

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yes, I had a vague feeling about that.
But I anyway think it's unlikely. She had all my data including what version of the software I had, and that would be very unusual.

The claim would not be that unusual for a sales person who doesn't know everything, but is willing to make a claim to make a sale.