March 22, 2013, 12:25 PM — Want to convert a text-only ebook you get from iTunes into an audiobook? There are two ways you can do this on the iPad or iPhone.
Macworld details a little-known trick where you can use Siri's text-to-speech to have her read text to you. You'll need to head to the Accessibility section under the General settings and turn a few settings on: "Speak Selection" and "Highlight Words." After changing those settings, when you're in the iBook, go to the aA icon and switch to Scroll. This lets you tap to select text and hold your finger down to select the text, then finally tap Speak in the menu and have your selection read aloud.
An even better and lesser known trick, however, is to use iOS's "VoiceOver" setting, MacWorld reader timostler points out.
Go to the Accessibility settings and turn on VoiceOver. Then in your iBook, all you need to do is tap the first line of the book and swipe down with two fingers to have the whole book read to you.
One thing to note is VoiceOver changes how you interact with your iPad/iPhone. You have to double-tap to select buttons or open apps, for example.
Here's TUAW's video of Siri reading Moby Dick:
As you can see above, Siri and the voice over aren't exactly the most fluid and natural of readers. This might be best for non-fiction works. Still, it can be useful when you're driving or otherwise are too occupied to swipe through a book.
Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.