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General Usage Tips

Interrupt the Prompts

You can interrupt most of the prompts. If you know what a prompt is for, you can immediately start speaking or pressing digits. This is called barge-in.

Use Mute when in a Noisy Setting

If you're posting to a blog via cellphone while at a soccer match, in a pub, on an active airplane runway, or in some other noisy location, mute your phone when you aren't speaking. For some of the prompts, you can configure the grammar files to accept DTMF tones (i.e., the sounds made when you press keypad buttons). I've yet to meet a phone that mutes the tones that are issued when you press buttons on the keypad. Sometimes the speech detection engine will get confused if it picks up crowd noise, a passing train, or your drunken buddy at the bar, but I didn't want to set the threshold so high that you always have to yell into your phone to get it to recognize you. I hate it when people do that.

Use Phone Keypad When Possible

I recommend using the keypad on your phone when the options are limited, because it's faster, easier, more reliable, and it works with the phone muted. Speech recognition is most beneficial when you have longer or more complicated potential inputs. You can configure the grammar files to support DTMF (keypad digit) shortcuts for blog names and for user names.

Blog Name Variants

PhoneBlogger uses the grammar information in BlogNames.gsl to recognize the name of a blog. You can enter several aliases or phonetic pronunciations to map to a single blog. For example, in the following GSL grammar entry:

[dtmf-2 (fishstick blog) (fishstick)] {<blogName "Fishstick Blog">}

the name of the blog is "Fishstick Blog". The spelling of this name must match exactly the spelling of your blog in your weblog tool. The grammar entry allows you to indicate the use of "Fishstick Blog" by either saying "Fishstick Blog" or "Fishstick". At least with Nuance grammar files on TellMe, the words in square brackets must be in lowercase.


While relatively speaker independent, the speech recognition engine used by TellMe appears to be primarily tuned for American accents.

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