MacSpeech has announced Preview Release 2 of its forthcoming iListen software.

iListen was developed with Philips Speech Processing, using the company’s FreeSpeech 2000 speech engine.

Chuck Rogers, chief evangelist for MacSpeech, said of iListen: "It’s ability to stay in the background, and to allow the user to dictate into virtually any Macintosh application, will set a new standard for the industry."

Conversion iListen uses a technology, called TalkAnywhere, which converts spoken words into typewritten text and characters.

The second preview release allows users to read more training stories to increase recognition accuracy, and includes the ability to issue voice commands.

Registered users of Preview Release 1 will be emailed instructions on how to download a free update to Preview Release 2. The first preview is also available free from MacSpeech, though a $9.95 shipping charge is applicable. New users will also receive instructions for downloading the preview release. Registered preview users will receive a discount on the final version, which is expected to cost $129.