Dictation Software

I’m considering using MacSpeech Dictate for blogging. However I can’t decide yet whether using dictation software is more liberating or more constricting in the writing process. So far I feel I have a limited vocabulary, and the dates it and the dictation software can’t pick up on my implicit punctuation. However the software is otherwise quite fast, and generally highly accurate.

The next thing that I would like to see, is MacSpeech Dictate implemented on the iPhone. A dictation application on the iPhone would be really awesome. However, I wonder about the accuracy of the built-in microphone. Although I imagine a Bluetooth headset, along with noise reduction technology, could be a solution.

Lyrics for Last.fm

Ever since I installed MobileScrobbler on my iPhone, I’ve been using Last.fm a lot … like almost every day, and for hours at a time. Here’s my profile. Last.fm “scrobbles” (keeps track of what you listen to, and uploads that info) your music, and my iPhone automatically does this when I listen to anything in the iPod feature, and so does my Mac when I listen to anything in iTunes. Why do I want to do this? For posterity, as you might imagine, but Last.fm also provides music recommendations in the form of a personalized radio station. And the personalized radio station is what I really love. I mean, you press play, and you’ve got all sorts of new stuff to listen to, and the percentage of it that I like is much higher than listening to anything else. And it’s more interactive, because I can teach the system my preferences by pressing either the “Love” or “Ban” buttons.

Anyway, MobileScrobbler lets me read lyrics while I listen to songs… Which I LOVE doing. That Mac version however, does -not- do this. I was able however, to find a Greasemonkey script that adds lyrics to the song page on Last.fm, and therefore enables a workaround. (Greasemonkey is a FireFox plugin that I use daily… it let’s you add things to, and modify websites. People make scripts to make all sorts of websites do all sorts of cool things. Check out http://userscripts.org for examples).

My workaround is this: Listen in the Last.fm app. When I want to read lyrics for the current song, just click the link in the app to open up the song page at last.fm. The greasemonkey script shows the lyrics right there for me. Works.

Oh, and then I can also comment on the song right there too, another feature I’d like to see added to the Last.fm Mac client.

One Week With A Nokia N95

I’ve been using a Nokia N95 8GB (N95-2) for the past week. And I just took the SIM card out and put it back in my iPhone. Here’s why:

  1. The user interface feels outdated after getting used to the iPhone. It feels more like Windows than Mac if you know what I mean.
  2. It doesn’t have a full keyboard… only the normal 1-9 number keys. I didn’t know how much I would miss this.
  3. This version doesn’t actually have 3G data speeds, like I had thought. So, it’s still really slow on EDGE.

However, there were some things I really liked about the N95:

  1. The camera is really great. It has a macro mode which is great for snapping notes or text. It will also record pretty high quality video. There’s also a second camera on the front, so you can video chat… or record yourself.
  2. Qik. Broadcasting live video from Qik was fun. I hope I can do that on the iPhone soon. (you can see what I broadcasted at http://qik.com/rex)
  3. I finally found an application that lets me broadcast my GPS location to a website. Eventually I want to have a log of everywhere I go, created automatically, and of course private. (but that I could create scripts to send me notifications related to where I am, etc..)
  4. The wealth of available applications. This was my first experience with the Symbian mobile OS, and there’s a ton of stuff for S60 phones. Good looking 3D games, and other goodies.
  5. Also bluetooth syncing. I want my iPhone to do that. I don’t like having to plug my iPhone in all the time.

The 3G iPhone rumors abound, and predict all sorts of things. Like the launch date is mid-June supposedly. And that the 3G iPhone may support video recording, and even include a secondary camera, for video conferencing. Also maybe even GPS. Now, I don’t know how much of that is true, but you can just see for youself over at MacRumors. Anyway, I guess I’ll just suffer with my first-gen iPhone until this summer, when I’ll either get a 3G iPhone or a Google Android phone… or both. =D

Seeking Better Mobile Solution

So, I love my iPhone. There are some things that it can’t do that I really really want.

  1. 3G Data Speeds… EDGE is too damn slow.
  2. Video Broadcasting … no app exists, and it would be too slow anyway.
  3. GPS. Location-based notifications among other things, also broadcasting my location. Also, tracking my whereabouts for posterity.
  4. Ability to act as WiFi hotspot. I want to share that 3G speed to my laptop… or to yours, wherever we go.

These things -might- get updated this summer with the next iPhone, but I doubt we’ll see video broadcasting or real GPS. And frankly, I don’t really want to buy another iPhone. And I also don’t want to wait that long.

So I’m thinking about getting a Nokia N95, or something comparable. There are applications to do all of the aforementioned things. And, I could still use my iPhone to browse the web over the WiFi connection the Nokia creates. One cool thing is that I can just pop the SIM card out of my iPhone and into the Nokia, keeping the same phone number… and my unlimited data plan from AT&T includes 3G already so it won’t cost me any more per month.

The only thing is, I don’t know if it will work the way I want, or if I’ll be happy with the phone itself. Know of a better solution?