Dictating numbers on iPhone/iPod

iOS and iPadOS

Hi! Whenever I'm using dictation, how can I get my iPhone/iPod to enter numbers as digits rather than words? i.e. I say "two" and it enters the word two rather than the number 2. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.



Submitted by Nicholas on Monday, March 13, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

To dictate numbers in iOS, say the word "numeral" first for each individual number.
Example, numeral 2, numeral 3, etc.
Hope this helps.

Submitted by Debbie on Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Sorry this is a very late response (been stuck in hospital). Just wanted to say a big thank you to Nicholas who answered my question on 13 March. It works, I'm eternaly grateful!!

Submitted by Debbie on Tuesday, May 2, 2017

I'm still struggling to upload audio books I have on CD and get them to sync with my iPod. Infuriatingly they show up in my apple account on my PC but just won't sync to my iPod. Has anyone discovered either a sure fire way of getting this done or know of a 3rd party app that would help? (I'm forever hopeful that somewhere there is a app or program designed to smooth over all the niggly bits that I've been told have to be done to do the uploading and make the entire action smooth as silk!) or is Apple just making this as difficult as possible because they want to get me to purchase their books rather than reuse my own audio?

Submitted by Jeff on Tuesday, May 2, 2017

What format are the audiobooks on the CD? Are they audio or mp3 CD's? If audio CD's, you'll have to rip them to mp3 first. Once you have mp3 files, I recommend the Voice Dream Reader app. You can zip the book's files into a zip archive and transfer it directly to Voice Dream Reader through one of the cloud services such as Dropbox. Leave the files zipped up. Voice Dream Reader will play the files from within the zip archive and treat the archive as a single book.

Submitted by Debbie on Tuesday, May 2, 2017

In reply to by Jeff

Hi Jeff. What you talk about sounds ideal for the 2,000 odd CDs I have to import. I'm going to sound a bit of a dunce now. What's the best way of ripping the CDs and turning them into MP3 format? The way I've been doing previous books is to rip them into iTunes, link the tracks and number the CDs but that hasn't given me the results I wanted. Can I convert the audio CDs to MP3 without using iTunes? I'd really appreciate some step by step idiots guide on this and how to zip them into 1 file, if you wouldn't mind helping me out? Another question, do you know if the app is user friendly with JAWS screen reader ? This sounds like it could be my perfect solution - I knew there must be something out there somewhere! Thank you.

Submitted by Debbie on Tuesday, May 2, 2017

In reply to by Jeff

In rapid follow up to my last post with lots of questions, how to rip an audio CD to MP3 and create a zip file after ripping about 10 CDs is still a step by step request please, but asking if the app is compatible with JAWS is irrelevant as it'll be on my iPhone - I must be getting tired!

Submitted by Jeff on Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Actually, the JAWS question isn't irrelavent because you'll have to rip the CD's on your Windows computer where the CD drive resides.

I avoid iTunes like the plague, but I think you can tell iTunes to rip the CD into mp3 files rather than m4a files or whatever the Apple format is. Also, as long as the files are unprotected, I think Voice Dream Reader can play the Apple files as well.

There are also many other CD ripping tools available for Windows, some are free. I think Windows Media Player can Rip CD's, although I'm not sure about this. I use a program called CDEX which is accessible with JAWS. Since your computer came with a CD drive, it probably came with some CD ripping software and even that might be accessible.

If you use iTunes, you just need to locate your iTunes library on your hard drive and find the files it created. Move all the files for a given book into a folder then right-click (press the applications key) and arrow down to Sendto, right arrow on that and arrow down to Compressed file. That will zip up the folder which you can then copy into Dropbox or some other cloud storage to copy to your phone.

If you've already ripped a book to your computer through iTunes, try finding those files on your hard drive and zip them up as a test. Again, I think they will play on Voice Dream Reader.

Good luck.

Submitted by Nicholas on Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hello Dee,
You are very welcome! I'm glad it helped. And I hope your hospital stay was beneficial. Thank you for letting me know. :-)
You may have already discovered this, but you can dictate more than single numbers. Example: dictate "numeral two thousand three hundred and twenty-four," and you receive "2324."
Hoping you're mending quickly after your stay!
Best wishes, Nicholas.

Submitted by Debbie on Wednesday, May 3, 2017

In reply to by Nicholas

Hi Nicholas. I would have probably worked out the multiple number dictation eventually, but thanks for giving me the extra tip. Prior to you telling me what to do, I'd been religiously deleting the words and re-entering the digits and after your reply, I started to do single digit dictation so the number 12 came out as numeral 1 numeral 2 etc. However, armed with your new piece of info, I'll be saving myself even more time! My stay in hospital was a very unexpected thing but its nice to be back home and I'm getting back to normal - whatever that may be!! Once again, many thanks for your help. Best wishes. Dee

Hi Jeff. Thank you so much for all the tips and tricks. Like you, I'd ideally like to avoid using iTunes at all as it gets very frustrating and annoying to work out what the heck its doing! Years ago my JAWS supplier suggested a program called "Blind Tunes" to use with iTunes but I heard from the program writer the other month and even he has given up trying to configure his Blind Tunes program to work with iTunes, which told me volumes on how flipping difficult the web site must be for Blind users and it wasn't just me being totally a dim wit!! I have managed more by fluke rather than well mannered judgement to rip audio CDs into Windows media player converting them to MP3 but got stuck after that. I'll give your tips & info a try, with the starting point of trying to track down where the heck my previously ripped audio books floating around in iTunes are sitting on my PC! Your info all sounds pretty straight forward and I'm looking forward to giving it a try. If I get really stuck would you mind if I gave you another shout? Many thanks for all the help so far. Best wishes. Dee

Submitted by Debbie on Wednesday, May 3, 2017

In reply to by Debbie

Hi Jeff (or anyone else who wants to add their bit), I've been checking out Dropbox which I've heard a lot about from friends, but whilst I'm sure its great and easy to use, it seems geared up for business customers and will cost me £10 a month. Before I sign up to that, I just wondered what you Jeff, use? Or what anyone else uses for air storage. If I could get a decent service for free that would be fantastic but I am willing to pay, I just want to make sure that before I commit myself, whatever I choose I can be sure that it works with JAWS. There's nothing more annoying than a web site or program that won't talk to you! Thanking you in advance for any feedback. (I'm beginning to think this technological age left me behind at Windows 7 and before iPhones were the must have accessory!!!) Dee

Submitted by Jeff on Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Actually, you can get a free Dropbox account. If you use the following referral link, I think we'll both get some extra free space.


Also, if you have a google account (a gmail address) you can get some free google drive space as well.

And sure, I'll be glad to answer any questions I can.

Submitted by Debbie on Friday, May 12, 2017

Hi Jeff
I desperately need some guidance as I'm getting well and truly stuck! I downloaded Dropbox using the link you provided and now have a link to Dropbox sitting on my desktop. However, when I enter on it I get the option of .Dropbox or a PDF doc on how to use the program. I did read the PDF and am sure (well pretty sure) that the program has installed properly on my PC. If I enter on .Dropbox, I'm then given the option to either open or save the file. whichever one I choose, it doesn't do anything except repeat itself and I end up with Dropbox 2, Dropbox 3 etc. I've tried uploading files from within the Dropbox web site which all seemed pretty logical, but when I had selected my file and entered on open, nothing happened. Since I don't have a clue what the desktop link is trying to access, I then tried a simple copy & paste via Internet Explorer, but that doesn't work either. Can you think what I am doing wrong? or could you tell me how you operate Dropbox to upload files?
Also, I might as well ask these questions too, although I haven't yet reached this stage! On the mobile app, do I have to select the file I want Voice Dream Reader to use or do I select it via Voice Dream Reader directly which has (I'm assuming) connected with Dropbox without my intervention? I haven't looked at either apps on my phone yet - as you can probably tell!In summary, an idiots step by step tutorial is probably what I need! Any hints or tips gratefully received as I'm well and truly stuck at the mo. Many thanks. Dee

Submitted by Jeff on Friday, May 12, 2017

Ok, here's how Dropbox works. Dropbox creates a folder on your computer (or within the app). I think this folder is created in your Documents folder on your PC, but this location can be changed. Since I've done this myself, I cannot recall where the default location is. However, the shortcut on your desktop opens this folder in File Explorer (formerly Windows Explorer). Any files you place in this folder are automatically copied to the cloud (on the Dropbox servers). In other words, you treat this folder just like you would any other folder on your computer: You can copy files into it, delete files from it, rename files, create subfolders, etc.

Since the files in the Dropbox folder are copied to the cloud, they also show up on any other devices/computers logged into the same Dropbox account. For computers, the files are automatically downloaded onto the other computers, but since mobile devices (such as your iPhone) generally have limited storage, Dropbox does not automatically download the files onto your device. Instead, it just shows you a list of the files contained in your Dropbox. In the Dropbox app on your device, you can "favorite" a file and any favorited file will be automatically downloaded to your device. Otherwise, double-tapping a file from within the Dropbox app will download that file, and if it's a file type that Dropbox can open, it will open it.

However, if you're planning to open/use the file in another app, such as Voice Dream Reader, you don't use the Dropbox app directly at all. Instead, you open the app (e.g., Voice Dream Reader) and navigate to the file you want to open on Dropbox. It's not necessary to favorite or download the file first. When you double-tap the file you want to open in Voice Dream Reader, it will be downloaded and copied to the Voice Dream Reader app.

So, for instance, if you have a zip archive of mp3 files on your computer, you move or copy that zip file into your Dropbox folder on your computer. Give it time to upload to the cloud, then open Voice Dream Reader on your phone. Double-tap the Add button. You'll be presented with the various options where you can open files. Dropbox is one of these options. (You may have to initially configure this in the Voice Dream Reader app.) Locate the zip archive and double-tap it. Voice Dream Reader will download the file. You can then play the audiobook or whatever is in the zip archive. As I said before, leave the audiobook zipped up. Voice Dream Reader will play it directly from the zip archive and treat it as a single file, even if there are multiple parts.

By the way, this same procedure can be used with any other app that supports Dropbox, and there are quite a few such apps. You can actually use this method for transferring BARD books from your computer to the BARD app on your phone, but it's quicker and more efficient to transfer them directly in that case. I just mention this to illustrate my point. You could transfer photos into a photos app, videos into a video player, etc. If you use a password manager like Keepass, you can locate the Keepass database file in your Dropbox. then access it from your computer or your iPhone. Keepass is accessible on Windows and I like Keepass Touch on my iPhone because it supports finger print access. It also keeps the database up-to-date and synchronized through Dropbox.

Hope this helps.

Submitted by Debbie on Sunday, May 14, 2017

In reply to by Jeff

Hi Jeff. Thank you very much for your time & patience in explaining how Dropbox and others work. I'm a bit of a stubborn so & so and hate being beaten by anything! I've played around with Dropbox & Dream Reader and think I'm getting to understand how it all works. By the way, after faffing around with Windows Media Player to rip the CDs and failing miserably, I downloaded your recommendation of CDex and oh what a joy it has been! So simple to use and JAWS compatible - great! Thank you ever so much for all your help. Dee

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