MacSpeech, who have been slanging a respectable iListen product to Mac users since the days of OS9, have canned their software in favor of a licensing deal with Nuance Technologies – which brings the most advanced consumer speech recognition engine, Dragon Natually Speaking, to the Mac Platform. 

BTW- We have a great idea for the old iListen engine: Open Source it!  CMU Sphinx is getting old.

According to ITWire:

For users of iListen, MacSpeech is offering reductions on the retail price ($US199) of the new product, MacSpeech Dictate when it goes on sale on 15 February. Any registered user will be able to buy the new product for $US99, those who have bought iListen in 2008, for $US29.

The most recent version of iListen, 1.8, was released only on 30 November 2007 at an upgrade cost of $US39.95 and according to the few comments posted on VersionTracker,   was a significant improvement on earlier versions. So there may well be a few customers now regretting forking out $US40 for that upgrade because that purchase gives them no additional discount on the new product.

MacSpeech claims that MacSpeech Dictate is a great improvement on iListen. "Now for the first time, Mac users can begin dictating straight into their applications with very little time spent training the software to recognise their voice." It claims that training MacSpeech Dictate up to a 99 percent accuracy level,generally takes less than five minutes and that the product "performs at the highest accuracy level on the market today…Using the new MacSpeech Dictate, user-spoken commands are recognised separately from dictation, liberating the user from the need to tell the software to change modes, simplifying the experience."

The product is not targeted only at those who for whatever reason find keyboard use difficult. MacSpeech Dictate is "designed to simply make computer input easier for anyone. Whether composing email, writing a report or even a novel, MacSpeech Dictate makes the computing experience more comfortable," the company claims.

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