MacSpeech has released the penultimate beta version of iListen, its speech-recognition program.

Chuck Rogers, MacSpeech chief evangelist, said: "In addition to allowing the user to dictate into virtually any Macintosh application, this release is more stable, improves accuracy, and adds the ability to spell uncommon words or names.”

The preview version is being released as both a full installer and an updater, with the full installer available for download from the MacSpeech Web site.

Rogers said: "We wanted as many people as possible to take advantage of the Preview Release in preparation for the shipping version."

iListen has been developed in partnership with Philips Speech Processing, using that company's FreeSpeech 2000 speech engine. It makes use TalkAnywhere, which converts spoken words into text.

The final application will be released when testing is complete. iListen is expected to cost $169, no UK price has been announced yet.