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MacSpeech, Inc.
Industry Speech recognition and voice dictation software
Successor Nuance Communications, Inc.
Founded March 7, 1997
Headquarters Salem, New Hampshire
  • iListen
  • MacSpeech Dictate
  • MacSpeech Scribe

MacSpeech, Inc. was a New Hampshire-based technology company that produced software-based speech recognition and voice dictation solutions for the Apple ecosystem. The company's products included iListen, MacSpeech Dictate, MacSpeech Dictate Medical, MacSpeech Dictate Legal, MacSpeech Dictate International, and MacSpeech Scribe. On February 12, 2010, Nuance Communications, Inc. acquired MacSpeech.[1]


The first commercial voice dictation product for Mac OS X was IBM's ViaVoice, but ScanSoft, the company that had exclusive global distribution rights to ViaVoice, merged with Nuance and stopped developing ViaVoice for Macintosh. (The first dictation software for Mac OS 9 was Articulate System's PowerSecretary.)[2] Seeing a continued need for a Mac-based speech-to-text solution, MacSpeech was founded in 1996 by Andrew Taylor, a former employee of Articulate Systems[3] experienced with software-based speech recognition technologies.

MacSpeech iListen
MacSpeech iListen MacSpeech's wildly popular speech recognition software product first released in 2000.


MacSpeech's first product, iListen, was developed in partnership with Philips Speech Processing using its "FreeSpeech 2000" speech engine. First released in 2000, by 2006 iListen was the only third-party software product that allowed voice-to-text input on the newer MacIntosh models requiring OSX. Its competitors at the time were Apple's own speech recognition software (built into Mac OS X); Dragon Naturally Speaking for PC by Nuance, running under a Windows virtualization software solution such as Parallels Desktop for Mac or VMware Fusion; and the discontinued program ViaVoice by Nuance/IBM.

MacSpeech Dictate product line
MacSpeech Dictate replaced iListen in 2008

MacSpeech Dictate[edit]

In January 2008, iListen was discontinued, and replaced by "MacSpeech Dictate" (released February 15, 2008). The firm abandoned the Philips speech engine in favor of the speech-recognition engine Nuance used in its Dragon NaturallySpeaking product for PC. MacSpeech Dictate was a winner of the MacWorld 2008 Best of Show award.[4] In 2009, the firm released several editions of its products for the MacIntosh, including MacSpeech Dictate Medical, MacSpeech Dictate Legal and MacSpeech Dictate International.

MacSpeech Scribe
MacSpeech Scribe

MacSpeech Scribe[edit]

MacSpeech Scribe is speech recognition software for Mac OS X designed specifically for transcription of recorded voice dictation. It runs on Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. The software transcribes dictation recorded by an individual speaker. Typically the speaker will have recorded their dictation using a digital recording device such as a handheld digital recorder, mobile smartphone (e.g. iPhone), or desktop or laptop computer with a suitable microphone. The program supports the audio file formats aif, .aiff, .wav, .mp4, .m4a, and .m4v.

Acquisition by Nuance[edit]

On February 12, 2010, MacSpeech, Inc. was acquired by Nuance Communications, Inc., and MacSpeech's products were incorporated into Nuance's Dragon NaturalSpeaking product line.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Nuance Acquires MacSpeech, Extending Dragon NaturallySpeaking Family to the Mac". Retrieved 2017-02-04. 
  2. ^ "TidBITS Apple Ups the AMTE". Retrieved 16 July 2016. 
  3. ^ "MacSpeech - MacSpeech People". 2008-11-13. Archived from the original on 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2017-02-04. 
  4. ^ "Macworld Expo Best of Show award winners". Retrieved 16 July 2016. 

External links[edit]