EBooks and other books which are offered through Kindle or iBooks remove the hassle of publishing physical copies and also allow readers to quickly access great content wherever they are.The next step in this progression is to remove the actual need to actually read the book yourself and have your system auto-read it aloud to you.
Most of you might know that offering a text-to-speech option in electronic devices is not anything new, even in the digital book world. Amazon has offered this feature to its Kindle users for quite a long time, but not everyone owns a Kindle device to read their digital media. This feature is now also present for all those literature-lovers who are using iBooks on their iOS device or Mac running Mavericks. This is not actually an official feature, but you can make iBooks read aloud to you by configuring and using Voice Over support with the Accessibility options on your device. This actually works, but it does bring with it a myriad of additional issues.
The great news that Apple announced during the launch of OS X Mavericks was that iBooks would be offered in the new OS. This meant that we book-lovers wouldn’t have to use to an iOS device to use Voice Over to get a book read aloud to us. If you’re on a Mac, it’s now very easy to have the system read the book out aloud with minimal fuss. To see exactly how easy it is to get up and running with this kind of functionality, why not open up iBooks and try it for yourself?
Here’s how to get iBooks read your books aloud to you:
- Launch the iBooks app
- Open the book which you want to be read-aloud to you
- Point the cursor on the screen to denote exactly where you want the system to start reading the book
- Select the “Edit” menu from the iBooks Menu
- Select “Speech” from the fourth segment and select “Start Speaking”
Having your Mac read a book out loud is a great and handy little feature of iBooks, but it does come with a few disadvantages. Currently at this stage, Mavericks isn’t capable of turning pages so it does need a little user interaction. It will also keep reading until it is explicitly told to stop, so you should be aware of that.