iListen 1.0 Perks Up Its Ears -- MacSpeech has released iListen 1.0, its long-awaited Mac speech recognition program. iListen features continuous speech recognition and dictation, enabling your Mac to recognize and enter into a document words you speak into a microphone. (For an overview of continuous speech recognition, and a review of iListen's main competition, see Matt Neuburg's "Talk Is Cheap - ViaVoice Enhanced Edition" in TidBITS-544.) iListen enables you to create text macros that type long sections of text when triggered by short voice commands, and it can use speech profiles for individual people on the same Mac using Mac OS 9's Multiple Users feature. iListen requires a PowerPC G3- or G4-based computer running Mac OS 9 or later with 128 MB of RAM. The software is available for $99 from the MacSpeech Web site; two recommended microphone/headset combinations are also available for $53 and $57. MacSpeech also offers a $30 rebate for owners of IBM's ViaVoice. [JLC]
Open Files with Finder's App Switcher
Say you're in the Finder looking at a file and you want to open it with an application that's already running but which doesn't own that particular document. How? Switch to that app and choose File > Open? Too many steps. Choose Open With from the file's contextual menu? Takes too long, and the app might not be listed. Drag the file to the Dock and drop it onto the app's icon? The icon might be hard to find; worse, you might miss.
In Leopard there's a new solution: use the Command-Tab switcher. Yes, the Command-Tab switcher accepts drag-and-drop! The gesture required is a bit tricky. Start dragging the file in the Finder: move the file, but don't let up on the mouse button. With your other hand, press Command-Tab to summon the switcher, and don't let up on the Command key. Drag the file onto the application's icon in the switcher and let go of the mouse. (Now you can let go of the Command key too.) Extra tip: If you switch to the app beforehand, its icon in the Command-Tab switcher will be easy to find; it will be first (or second).
- Talk Is Cheap - ViaVoice Enhanced Edition (21 Aug 00)