The dictation in Mountain Lion on my iMac does not record many of the words I speak.

I cannot get it to make a paragraph, either on my desktop, nor my MacBook Pro.

Why does dictation on my MacBook Pro records my words fine but not on my iMac?


If it's different between two machines, the most likely issue is the microphone. Are you using the built in Mic on the iMac? If so, try an external one. Also take into account any noise sources around your iMac such as fans, air conditioners, etc.

The other possibility is that you're just getting bad luck with the dictation service. Because it's dependent on Apple's servers, the results can be spotty if load happens to be very high. But if it's happening at different times of the day, chances are it's a microphone issue.

  • Thanks, that might be it. We did try an external microphone with the same bad dictation, so maybe I'll call the problem the servers. We don't really have much noise either. It is frustrating as we upgraded to Lion for the dictation – Kit Jul 29 '12 at 19:43

Dictation in Mountain Lion requires an active internet connection because OS X contacts Apple servers in the background (the same as Siri uses probably). Is the internet connection on the troublesome Mac up and running?

  • It is a good connection, I am using the same connection on my mac book pro with no problems – Kit Jul 29 '12 at 19:34
  • Hmmm. Since dictation like this is very new to Mac OS X, my best guess is maybe your mic is the issue on the iMac. Have you had any problems like this in the past on the iMac when recording audio? – user13595 Jul 29 '12 at 19:37
  • Perhaps, but we did try an external mic with no luck either. Have not tried any recording until now. Thanks for responding – Kit Jul 29 '12 at 19:44
  • Yup np :) Well, if you can use it on your Macbook there's clearly an issue with the iMac. At this point I really suggest taking into an Apple Store and having them take a look at that mic and maybe the external input. Because if it's working fine on your Macbook it can't be their servers. Another possibility is the dictation software isn't working like it should on the iMac. Awhile back when I upgraded to 10.7 the wireless software was shot and I had to re install the OS. I upgraded over the internet via wireless. Did you download Mountain Lion over the internet/wireless or with a USB stick? – user13595 Jul 29 '12 at 19:55

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