MacSpeech is reducing the price of iListen by US$40 for a limited time. The application normally sells for $139 without a headset but is available now, directly from the company’s Web site for $99.
“It has been one year since we released our first sneak preview of this exciting technology,” said MacSpeech President Andrew Taylor. “We wanted to celebrate by rolling back our prices to the same as our introductory offer.”
iListen, MacSpeech’s speech recognition software, has “TalkAnywhere” technology, which lets you dictate into virtually any Mac application. It translates speech to typed text and characters anywhere you would normally type. iListen is speaker dependent, meaning you have to spend some time “training” iListen to the unique cadence and timbre of your voice. However, it can handle multiple users, each with their own speech files. iListen was developed in cooperation with Philips Speech Processing, a specialist in speech recognition, natural dialogue and language understanding technologies.
Everyone who purchases iListen at the anniversary price will also receive a free upgrade to version 1.1, which is in final beta testing. To use iListen, you’ll need one of the following systems: Power Mac G3 or G4 (Beige, Blue & White, or Graphite), PowerBook G3/G4 (but not the PB G3/250, the first one released), Cube or iMac. Your Mac can’t be using a processor upgrade card (except for ZIF upgrades) and must be running Mac OS 9.0 or 9.0.4. You also must have at least 128MB of physical RAM and a high quality headset.
What of Mac OS 9.1 and Mac OS X? While many users are using iListen on Mac OS 9.1 with no reported problems, some users with Mac OS 9.1 are experiencing intermittent problems when using iListen, according to the folks at MacSpeech. For this reason, they recommend Mac OS 9.0.4 until the issues with 9.1 are resolved (a free update will be available as soon as possible).
A Mac OS X version is in the works. However, for the time being, iListen doesn’t work on Mac OS X or within Mac OS X’s Classic Environment.