Tazti review: ready voice commands, “lite”

IMPORTANT: The following is currently not a handsfree command program. You need a way to move the mouse cursor and send keystrokes.

Tazti (pronounced “tasty”) is a voice command program best used by those who need something for light use, or a very specific use such as gaming. Tazti contains ready-made commands for things like Internet favorites and bookmark browsing as well as programs such as iTunes. There is also a set of commands for World of Warcraft, among other categories. You can also create a limited number of commands (75), and there’s simple dictation (more on that later, however).

The program uses Microsoft’s recognition engine. You cannot have Dragon operational at the same time, nor Windows Speech Recognition. When you start the program, you do a very brief enunciation training, e.g. “this papaya tastes perfect.” You also have more detailed training options. The program screen itself is very simple and straightforward: a tabbed list of commands. There are quite a few. The phrasing is generally “Go <specific commands tab>,” if necessary, then “Go <command>.”

I found Tazti’s program command recognition to be accurate usually. Rather than a results box, it displays a speech balloon in the bottom corner of your screen saying “I heard <whatever you said>”. If Tazti didn’t hear me, there was no speech balloon. (You also have the option of turning the balloon off and/or disabling commands.)

However, I had horrible trouble with any dictation commands, such as “Go jot a note tab” or even “start dictation.” In fact, I had enough trouble that after about 15 or 20 repetitions, it just wasn’t worth even trying to test that. The “jot” command is difficult possibly because of its construction: short words you generally have to pause between in order to enunciate, which can make them too choppy. Blending them together poses some confusion as well, particularly if you drop the T or blunt it into a D, as I do depending on the word. Mindful of this possibility, I varied the way I pronounced the command. Still no luck. And I can’t understand at all why the “start dictation” command didn’t work; it’s just as straightforward as the other commands, which worked fine for me. The only other thing I can figure is it’s somehow prevented from operating that set if you’ve done less than 3 trainings, but I doubt it. I did 1, not having strength for more under a time constraint. So I can’t tell you how any of the dictation commands worked out or how accurate the dictation was. Your luck, of course, might be better.

This program seems mainly for those who want to use their voice as a shortcut or temporary tool, not a necessity. As such, it might be very good especially for gamers; there aren’t many immediately vocally accessible games, and decent voice commands for games are complicated to write. But for someone with little use of xyr hand(s), its use is complicated by the fact that there is no immediate way to move the mouse or send keystrokes. (The API Help section does say that their Gaming-style commands can send keys, but it’s not readily apparent and Gaming disables the other features.) I can use a trackball and dwell clicking or switches to an extent, but when I use my voice, I use ONLY my voice. My input is either/or; I depend on my voice until I need to rest it or otherwise can’t use it, then I use the trackball and the on-screen keyboard. I can’t use both simultaneously without difficulty. I’m not sure why. If you don’t have this problem, then go to.

The developers do say that they’re working on a mouse control feature, but they warned that it could be a while. If you already use Windows Speech Recognition or Dragon NaturallySpeaking and need to customize your commands in the meantime, there’s always Vocola. Version 2 is for Dragon, and version 3 is for WSR.

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