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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Looking for easy to use customizable voice control software

    I've recently started hooking my laptop up to a TV to watch DVD's and such but I can't watch (and listen*) to media while sitting next to the laptop which makes control very difficult so, I thought I'd try voice recognition.

    I've tried the built in software to a point but it has a lot of features I don't want, a major non-feature that gets in the way (it's either listening or not, I'd like to say "computer", "command" instead of having to say "Start Listening", "Press this", "Press That", ect). I also just learned about a bug or something that's making it impossible for me to download the necessary macro program because it requires the MS validation tool but when you download the tool and run it it says the tool is outdated (even when using IE).

    I've also looked into something called shoot but it's extremely outdated and has only decent documentation (I could figure it out but I was looking for a quick fix not a multi-week project).

    So, in short I'm looking for speech recognition software that's fully customizable, easy enough to set up, and free (I don't think it's worth paying money for as I only want it for a very specific application).

    *For clarification I have a very long RGB connector but only a standard size Phono (3.4mm) cord so I can watch and listen from the couch with headphones (laptop speakers don't cut it) but I can't share. This also requires me to have a very long cable crossing the living room which is a dangerous thing during the day.

    Below are the commands I was hoping to use (preceded by something like "computer"):
    Start VLC
    "C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe"
    Down
    Keyboard Down
    Up
    Keyboard Up
    Right
    Keyboard Right
    Left
    Keyboard Left
    Enter
    Keyboard Enter
    Play
    Space
    Pause
    Space
    Stop
    S
    Full Screen
    Alt+Enter (?-not sure off hand))
    Start DVD
    Ctrl+D Tab * 6
    Down
    Enter
    Close
    Ctrl+Q
    Hibernate
    Hibernate the Computer
    Current Machine:HP Compaq 6910p with 4GB RAM, Core2Duo @ 2.20 GHz, Mobile Intel 965 Express Chipset Family, Avast free, Malwarebyte's free, TP-Link wireless card (as the built in card has nothing but problems with empty solutions): The card identifies as "Atheros AR922X Wireless Network Adapter". [Not the best machine but it does internet, docs, and vids, and some games (PvZ, Spore)]

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  3. #2
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    There is no such thing as good, easy to set up voice recognition software, let alone free. Voice recognition is very difficult, it takes humans years to learn properly, although dogs can learn simple commands in a year.
    I'd get a wireless mouse.

    cheers, Paul

  4. #3
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    I have seen in use and helped setup Dragon Naturally Speaking software.

    It is very good, but needs a lot of training and a fair degree of customisation to do more than enter text strings. It also requires use of a headset boom mic to prevent extraneous noise issues. Starting at £149 for the premium version, it is far from being free.

    A cheap wireless mouse as suggested by Paul isn't free, but it is 50 times cheaper than Dragon.

    Additionally, there are some add-on tools then enhance the built in voice recognition tools in Windows 7. Take a look at this Wikipedia Article, in particular think about VoiceAttack in the addons section. I doubt any will be easier, cheaper or more accurate than a wireless mouse, but if you don't mind playing around they may be useful.
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

  5. #4
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    I have used Dragon for years and it is now, almost flawless, but as indicated above, the start out is rough and the more you use the it better it gets. BUT, you MUST use a headset type mic to keep your voice as clear and clean from other sounds as possible and that ties you to the machine, something that make me hate using it. I am using it now for this post...

  6. #5
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    I know there are free ones out there but I can see none being easy to use. I wish I could find something based on the same API as the built in one (or perhaps even using the same learned data) but fully customizable. Even if it boiled down to saying a command and using something like AutoIt to process. Perhaps for now I'll just stick to getting off my butt between episodes.
    Current Machine:HP Compaq 6910p with 4GB RAM, Core2Duo @ 2.20 GHz, Mobile Intel 965 Express Chipset Family, Avast free, Malwarebyte's free, TP-Link wireless card (as the built in card has nothing but problems with empty solutions): The card identifies as "Atheros AR922X Wireless Network Adapter". [Not the best machine but it does internet, docs, and vids, and some games (PvZ, Spore)]

  7. #6
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    You may wish to have a look at using Microsoft's built-in speech recognition (SAPI) with Autohotkey to create a custom interface for what you need. It's free.

    In my experience the Autohotkey forum is usually more helpful than the AutoIt forum(... but your mileage may vary).

    Hope this helps...

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