11 Replies Latest reply: Jun 29, 2013 5:46 PM by Peper Pascual
skywalkerlover Level 1 (0 points)

Okay, so here's the deal:


While messing around with my new iMac, I stumbled upon a system preferences called "Dictation & Speech".

Now, curious to what this was, I turned it on, and suddenly my computer was talking to me, warning me when I was going to close something, or when Skype needed my attention.


Seeing as I am a huge Iron Man fangirl I instantly related the program to Tony Stark's Jarvis system.

This made me want to further look into the "Dictation & Speech".


Now I looked up a few youtube vids, and forms, and noticed that on previous macs there was a setting that was called "Speech", which allowed you to type in a word (which your computer would listen for), speak the word along with a question, or a statement, and not only would the computer respond it would also do what it was asked of it.


Now this was better than "Dictation & Speech", for me being a fangirl, I was going to make the 'call word' "Jarvis", and say something like, "Jarvis, what time is it?" just so I could feel like Tony Stark for a brief moment.


Now this is where the problem came in; there is no such thing as just "Speech" on my computer (iMac), for where it was on other macs, it was replaced by "Dictation & Speech".


This made me very sad.


I tried searching for "Speech", or any other voice recognition software on my mac (that would allow me to speak to my mac and ask it things, like "Speech") but I can't find anything?


My question is; Is there a voice recognition software like "Speech" on the new iMacs?

If not, is there a application in the Apple Store, or online, that will work on my iMac and provide the same speakable feature I want?


Remember, I am looking for a software that will work something like this: http://youtu.be/wUglmoKGyP0


Thanks for taking the time to read my long winded question of sad fandomness, and I hope that I shall get an answer to my question soon!


~ Sky

iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • skywalkerlover Level 1 (0 points)

    I actually, finally, figured it out, though now I have another problem -- even though I typed in "Jarvis" as it's 'call word', the speech system doesn't stay turned on (like in the guys video that I linked above).

    It requires me to press Esc, but I don't want to have to press anything in order to make it work.


    My New Question is: How do I get the Mic to stay on without pressing Esc?


    ~ Sky

  • David M Brewer Level 6 (9,365 points)

    Sorry miss-read you question.

  • jsmnkcmo Level 1 (5 points)

    Dear skywalkerlover,




    According to article HT5449 the maximum time to render speech-to-text currently gets maxed out at 30 seconds.


    For continuous recogniction, you may need to look for an additional speach-to-text software/application.  I would check the specs on the software before buying.


    Also, this How To link may be beneficial if you are new, or just need a refresher, on the awesome features of OS X. (Yes, I am a huge fan.)


    Best Regards,



  • skywalkerlover Level 1 (0 points)

    Okay....I did that, but nothing happened.

    My mic is still off, and still requires me to click Esc to use.

    I assumed so.

  • skywalkerlover Level 1 (0 points)

    Dear JSMNKCMO,


    Really? I didn't know that.

    Well, thank you for the advice.

    Unfortunatly I don't really have the money to buy anything like Dragon, but I shall keep it in mind.

    And thanks for the How To vid!


    ~ Sky

  • jsmnkcmo Level 1 (5 points)



    I almost forgot...


    You do have to press a key combination, but you can change it if needed...please see the breadcrumb/thread below:


          > System Preferences > Dictation & Speech


    For the Dictation tab:


         Shortcut > Select the list/dropdown > Select Custom


    For the Text to Speech tab:


         Check mark "Speak selected text when the key is pressed" > Change Key


    I hope this helps too!


    Best Regards,



  • jsmnkcmo Level 1 (5 points)



    You are most welcome!


    I understand on the dragon software.  To rich for my blood, but one day...SIRI evolves, takes over the world, destroys the Terminators, and brings world peace.  <joking with a smile>




    It must be past my bedtime!


    Best Regards,



  • skywalkerlover Level 1 (0 points)

    Haha, well thanks for the info, it helped a lot.


    Though I think my computer hates me -- it isn't recognizing my voice at all now.


    I keep saying the commands clearly and it just isn't working (and it was working an hour ago).


    The voice bar moves when I speek, but it is no longer recognizing what I say.


    I tired all the commands it asked me to read, but now it isn't working at all.


    I swear, technology hates me...

  • jsmnkcmo Level 1 (5 points)



    Are you still having trouble with the Speech-to-Text (STT)?


    Since SIRI came out on iOS devices, I mainly use it in lieu of that on my iMac.  With the current OS X 10.8.4 and when ever the "new" STT rolled out, I was hopeful it would be a vast improvement over the previous version, but marginal at best.


    A few years back, I worked for a Big Box retailer and got a pretty sweet deal on Dragon for Windows, and it worked well enough...especially if you have a paper to write, I found it useful to rattle off a rough draft; however, I still feel the price is a bit much for what it does.


    I think Apple could blow STT out of the park for iMacs and MacBooks if they could integrate a SIRI like interface that could out preform most STT programs out there...


    That being said, the integrated text-to-speech (TTS) is awesome! You can easily convert text documents into iTunes tracks or just highlight and with a tap on the keyboard have your text read aloud!  One of my favorite built-in features that works really well!


    Best Regards,



  • jsmnkcmo Level 1 (5 points)

    Oh,,went on a diatribe and forgot to make a suggestion....it usually works better with a headset w/ a microphone.  You can also go to system preferences and try adjusting your microphone settings and reduce as much background noise as possible...this can be hit or miss with the internal mic.

  • Peper Pascual Level 1 (0 points)

    I also figure this out, it's on the accesiility, 2nd icon next to speech icon. Now, can you guys help me? I am having trouble with the calibration,  it seems that the mac captures my voice and all the other sounds around me but for so may trials, I hardly can make it. It came to the point that I shouted, and yes it was recognized, but of course I can not do it always like that. I want to speak to my mac on my normal voice or my moderate and calm voice. Any technic or propoer way to do this very smoothly without me taking some 50+ times trying a single item? your help will be gladly appreciated!