What is the difference between Dragon and Rev.com?

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This spring, at a convention for online business owners we had to practice explaining to our neighbors what we ‘do’, how our business serves our clients.

So I explain to the lady next to me that I help PC users to be more productive by teaching them how to use speech recognition software for dictation and voice commands. That people can generally enter their texts 3x faster by dictating than by typing and that people with health issues like carpal tunnel syndrome can also operate their computer with voice commands.

“So how is this different from Rev.com?”, she asks. Great question. One that never occurred to me, as to my brain the two are two utterly different things. But considering that both type out dictated text, the question actually makes sense.

If you are wondering what Rev is, let me explain. It is a transcription and subtitling service. It works like this: you upload an audio or video file and within a few hours (or sometimes even minutes) you receive a transcription or a file with subtitles/captions for your video.

Payment is per minute and the pricing is pretty cheap, in my opinion. I am no affiliate or connected to them at all, by the way 😀

I’ve used their services for captioning videos. As my videos usually are only a few minutes long, I get my subtitles for a few dollar per video. I gladly pay that, because I haven’t yet seen a free service that I didn’t have to do a tonne of editing on to correct the mistakes. And that is a hassle.

Anyway, back to the difference between Rev.com and Dragon speech recognition.

Rev.com provides transcriptions which you can download when it is ready. It is not dependent on whether you have an iPad or a Mac or a Windows PC

Dragon speech recognition software is used on your Windows PC. At any point in time, when you want to dictate, you can turn on the microphone. The result appears on your screen instantly. You can edit your text by voice or by hand.

Dragon is, in fact, a replacement for your keyboard. Just like you can type text in any application, when and where you want, so you can use Dragon to dictate when and where you want. And like a keyboard won’t automatically add commas and such, you need to dictate your punctuation marks.

There is no need to wait for any of your dictated text to be returned to you. If you want to change something, you can do so immediately. You’re in full control.

Does Dragon do transcription of recorded audio files?

Absolutely, you can dictate into your smartphone or a dedicated recorder and Dragon can then transcribe your recording. It will do so very accurately, if you dictated carefully and there wasn’t too much background noise.

But Rev.com is much more flexible on the transcription front: it is brilliant at transcribing video files and audio files that have less than perfect sound quality. The audio can also be spoken by any speaker, or multiple speakers. You don’t have to dictate the punctuation.

Dragon isn’t good in those circumstances. It needs audio of good quality and, being frank, I must admit that it sucks at transcribing interviews.

Speech commands

Dragon doesn’t only do dictation. It also offers speech commands to control your computer.

Many speech commands are very practical, but it takes a lot of patience if you want to control your entire computer by voice.

Dragon’s Professional versions also allow you to add custom speech commands, which has huge productivity benefits.

So Dragon doesn’t only offer an alternative to the keyboard, but also an alternative to the mouse by means of speech commands.

All in all, it is safe to say that the Dragon is an entirely different beast from Rev.com. Both have strengths and weaknesses, but if you want to dictate your texts on the go and/or if you also want to avoid using the mouse too much, then Dragon is the way to go.

Overview of differences between Dragon speech recognition and Rev.

✅ Your dictation appears immediately on your screen❌ Wait for your audio/video file to be transcribed
✅ Dictate directly into practically any application❌ Copy and paste the delivered text to where you need it
✅ Edit your texts while you are working on them❌ You send in an audio/video file and make any changes afterwards.
✅ Make changes to your text by voice❌ Make your edits manually
✅ Use your voice for command and control of your PC❌ Rev doesn't add any voice control to your PC
✅ Buy once, dictate as much as you want❌ Pay every time you submit an audio file.
✅ Very good recognition✅ Very good quality transcription
✅ ❌ Only for Windows PCs (not necessarily a disadvantage)✅ Platform independent
❌ Can only transcribe 'dictation'. Not good at lectures or interviews.✅ Very good for transcription of lectures and interviews. WIll even indicate differen spe
❌ Cannot generate a captions/subtitling file✅ Will return a captions file that you can use with your video.

If you want to see Dragon in action for dictation and commands, check out the video below.


Janneke den Draak

Janneke den Draak

Hi, I'm Janneke and I'm your go-to person for Dragon and Apple speech recognition software help.

When I got severe repetitive strain injury issues over 20 years ago, I didn't want to give up using the computer. So I learned all about controlling the PC with speech recognition and dictating my documents and emails.

I've now been a speech recognition software trainer and consultant for almost two decades, teaching over 2000 people handsfree productivity!

My online courses for Apple Voice Control and Dragon offer self-paced learning and I also love running my membership for Dragon users. For those in need of an intensive training or custom speech command creation, I am available for one-on-one calls.

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