View Full Version : ibook + imic or powerbook?

May 9, 2004, 01:25 PM
My stepdad, a former windows 98 user is totally excited about getting an ibook. he wants to get a 14inch model with a superdrive, because he does not want to pay 2500 for a 15'' albook.

He wants to plug his guitar into the ibook to use in garage band. problem is, there isnt a line-in port on the ibook. (there is on the imac, why not the ibook???)

I would like to hear from people who have used the imic and the people who have used a direct line in, and how their performance is. A loss of quality? is there no detectable difference? He can get a 14'' ibook with a superdrive, 60gb HD, bluetooth, and a bigger screen for $200 less than a 12'' powerbook similarly equipped. Will the imic work well enough to warrent the ibook? or should he shell out for a powerbook?

May 9, 2004, 08:30 PM
The iMic should work fine, people have done numerous tests with USB audio and despite having many skeptics USB has proven to be pretty good at handling audio, so the iMic should be fine for you! Just make sure you get the right connections from the guitar to the iMic or whatever audio input device you use.

May 9, 2004, 11:25 PM
what connection would i need besides the guitar cable-mini plug?

EDIT: did you mean this cable?


May 9, 2004, 11:28 PM
Just the iMic and the mini jack from guitar.

May 9, 2004, 11:30 PM
heh beat me to post. Thanks for the tips

May 10, 2004, 08:35 AM
Go for the powerbook. In my personal experience, you don't want to sacrifice any power that you don't have to. Also, my friend has an iBook (14", last revision), and while we didn't try the iMic, we got some other USB sound device at the apple store (I believe from Griffin) and it gets errors after using anything on the line in for more than a few seconds. We couldn't get anything accomplished. It very nearly kept me from getting my own. However, I am the proud new owner of a 12" powebook (even though it's spent more time in California having the latch repaired than with me making sweet sweet music), and I have not had one problem with Garageband. I've done up to 8 guitar tracks, and it was still working. That's with the 256 of installed ram, but I could definitely stand an upgrade. If he has the money, go for the powerbook, hands down. It's one less thing you have to plug in, and you're going to get more power and longevity.

May 10, 2004, 11:11 AM
we didn't try the iMic, we got some other USB sound device at the apple store (I believe from Griffin) and it gets errors after using anything on the line in for more than a few seconds.

griffin makes the imic.


May 10, 2004, 11:57 AM
Oh then you just made the decision right there. If that's what my friend got, it didn't work. We tried it with the lines out of various PA's, computer mic's, real mics with various adapters, and guitars. We were not successful with anything. However, with my powerbook I have yet to have one problem (with regards to garageband anyway). Get the powerbook.

edit: I did just look at that link, and that is what he got. So there you have it, confirmation of an iBook with the same product that did not work at all for what you'd want to use it for, and confirmation of a working powerbook for exactly what you want to do.

May 10, 2004, 08:25 PM
was it a g3 based ibook with usb 1.1? the one he wants has usb 2.0, would that make a difference?

May 10, 2004, 10:52 PM
It was the last revision iBook that he got in december. 14", 1ghz processor, and 384 of ram. So by all means it should have had no problem with garageband. The iMic is usb1 anyway, so usb2 is moot. It's very possible that the problem in the equation was the iMic itself, so you could get something else. However, by the time you drop the change on a nice m-audio product, or something to the like, you're swimming in powerbook prices anyway. Finally, if he's still more concerned about the size I think you'll find a lot of people around that would prefer the 12" to the 14". You honestly don't really notice the difference once you get going, and my friend is jealous of the increased portability of my 12" powerbook anyway. If you really need the work space you can still span with another monitor anyway. He will be happy with the 12", and there is a definite possibility of regretting getting the iBook. The only thing I covet on their end of the court is the crazy ruggedness of the iBooks, they have that going for them.

May 11, 2004, 02:53 AM
My stepdad, a former 98 users....

WOW!! So your stepdad reincarnated for the 99th time or are we talking multiple personalities here?

Aaaaaaw, just kiddin'! :D

May 11, 2004, 02:56 AM
I've said it before and I'll say it again, go for the PowerBook. It's a better value, its more durable (sp?), and it will last longer (in terms of how long it will take before it becomes obsolete). Also, the screen resolution of the 14" is horrid, I've been told. You're better off with a 12" PowerBook G4, or if you must, a 12" iBook BTO. :)

May 11, 2004, 11:40 AM
my stepdad, a former 98 users,

Aaaaaaw, just kiddin'! :D

fixed just for you ecche! :rolleyes:

May 11, 2004, 11:43 AM
thanks for all the responces guys! i talked to him about it last night, and upon realizing that his fully loaded 14'' ibook with AE, BT, superdrive, imic, and m-audio keyboard comes within $50 of a similarly equipped 12'' powerbook, he's leaning toward the PB. plus he just got a new bike that's blue and silver, so the PB will match!

thanks for all your help.

May 11, 2004, 12:15 PM
I've got the iMic & I use it on an iBook & it works w/ Garageband... it did take some preference setting changes but it works... I would still say go w/ the PB though... Reason being is that this set-up tends to give me a weird delay... Hard to explain- but screws me up nonetheless... You only pick it up when you're playing , not listening to someone else play- & it's like a split second... That's how the iMic works on my system, your step dads may be different though...