PC user wants to ad Mac to stack, but...

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Ra!, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. Ra! macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2005
    Ok. This new Mac Mini looks pretty cool. I currently own a Windows PC and I want to get an iPod mini and the mac mini together, using the mac for storage of photos, dowloading and storage of mp3s, and general fun stuff like Garage Band and web surfing (since my PC seems to inhale every virus and spyware known to man), and just use my PC for my graphic design work and photo editing (I already have Illustrator and Photoshop on my Windows PC). I'm a freelance Graphic Designer and I work at a newspaper as a photo tech, so as much as I would love to have a Power Mac dual G5, I just don't have the funds to spend on that at this time. I would just rather ride the Windows setup until the wheels fall off, so I need to free up some space for the work I do.

    One of the many questions I have, is that I am hearing that there is no audio in on the mac mini. That sucks because one of the main reasons I want it is for playing my guitar and using my microphone for Garage Band. What can I do to get around this? Can I link the mac mini to my PC and record through it (I doubt it) or is there another way. I did hear that you can use a webcam with an audio in that plugs into a usb.

    I'm confused as to why Apple would not include an audio in knowing how popular Garage Band is. Please help.

    BTW, if I had spyware and or viruses on my Windows PC, would it be unsafe to let the Mac and Windows PCs talk to eachother? :confused:

  2. Diatribe macrumors 601


    Jan 8, 2004
    Back in the motherland
    Let me see if I can answer a couple of your questions.

    It won't matter if you network your mac and your pc. Nothing will happen.

    Apple didn't include a line in because they do not want to sacrifice sales of the other products. The ibook for example also has no line in.

    Doesn't Adobe have a switch program where you can trade in your pc software and get the mac app for free? I thought they did.

    It doesn't necessarily need to be a Powermac, why don't you consider an iMac? It would have everything you need, even the line in if I am not mistaken. The thing is that once you start you'll want to do as much as possible with your mac.
    I am always for only having one computer if I don't need two. I had a PC for 3 months after my first iBook purchase last year too, but after that time I realized that I had used it twice, so I sold it.
    Depends on your finances but if you can I'd get the iMac if you want a line in.
  3. Ra! thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2005
    yeah... I'm thinking about that too, and the more I crunch numbers as far as upgrading to the 80G drive, adding airport, and any peripherals (I might as well get the apple keyboard to get two more USBs, which means getting the mouse too) the closer I get to the price of the iMac.

    But of course if I get the iMac, I'm going to have to upgrade everything on that, get the 20", bluetooth, airport express, more RAM ... ahhhhhhhh.... way too many options, I'm going to bed. :mad:

  4. redAPPLE macrumors 68030


    May 7, 2002
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    ever considered checking out eBay re: a G4 iMac or something?
  5. Diatribe macrumors 601


    Jan 8, 2004
    Back in the motherland
    I am sorry, I know, the more options the worse it is to make a decision. All I can say is that as nice as the new mac mini is, a lot of people will be upgrading after a short time of getting it. I am just trying to save you from that and the 20" iMac is a mighty fine computer.
    It's all up to you but the $499 only look that low first sight. If you really want a decent computer for something besides surfing the web and listening to music it is the iMac.
    If you have any more questions feel free to post them.

    Edit: A refurbished iMac might also be an option.
  6. mcmav37 macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2004
    Ann Arbor, MI
    First of all, people will jump all over you for posting the same (or even similar) question in multiple threads. Just FYI.

    See my response in your other thread about other options for audio in with the Mac mini (or any Mac for that matter).
  7. garybUK Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
  8. Diatribe macrumors 601


    Jan 8, 2004
    Back in the motherland
    Just saw that. Posting the same thing in two threads is a big no no around here. If you want to receive helpful information in the future it'd be better to not do that again. ;) People (me not particularly excluded) are just touchy about that. :D
  9. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    I've fixed up your link for you:


    All I did was strip out the session ID in your Apple Store link, which (if present) causes the link to time out after a while.

    The fixed link doesn't work either...no M-Audio Fast Track that I see. Maybe the page you linked to changes?
  10. nargot macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2004
  11. TigerPRO macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2003
    Adobe does have a trade in option for all their software. When I transfered my Adobe products, I just had to call them up, and they sent me Mac versions of everything. The only stipulation is that you must sign an agreement to destroy the Windows program CDs. Over all, it was a really nice service. They even sent me all new manuals, and I wasn't changed a cent; not even for shipping. I highly recomend the process.

    Your observation was also one of my first ones about the Mac mini; the lack of a line in port. But it's not a problem like most people would assume. Even on an iMac the line in port is almost useless for recording audio. Since it's a line in and not a "mic" port, you CAN NOT use a microphone with it anyway. In fact, you can't really use anything with it unless the signal is preamplified by some other device. By far, the most popular way to use sound input for GarageBand is usually some kind of external Firewire or USB audio interface unit. Additionally, one of the drawback to using a line in port with an amplifyer is that the sound quality is less than good.

    The point really is, you don't need a line in port on the Mac mini, and you really aren't missing anything. I don't think it was an atempt by Apple to separate it from it's other higherend products. They just left it out because it wasn't that important for such a small, entry level computer.
  12. blueknight macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2004
    audio interfaces

    Hi ra!

    the mac mini is very very stripped down to get it in such a small box for such a cheap price - normally you pay for small like in iPod mini for example. Hence no audio-in. It has to be said that there is a strong rumor that Apple are making their own audio interface to plug this feature gap. Have no specific information for you on that though. What I use is a Tascam USB interface that gives me 2 guitar/mic and midi inputs - its very nice and better than any line-in recording solution. Not too pricey either and I got it brand new on eBay. Worth looking around for these.

    The Griffin option already mentioned is probably the cheapest for audio... for midi you can get a midi controller keyboard for not much such as the evolution series... Apple always have a few on their website but you can normally get cheaper elsewhere.

    happy hunting
  13. James L macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004
    M-Audio Fast track is a great, low cost solution.

    1/4" and XLR input, the ability to switch between line and instrument level signals, monitoring and headphone sends, etc. Is it the best solution out there... no. Is it the best for the price...I think so.

    Here is the link for it from M-Audio's website:


    Note that this is the Canadian page, so the price is in our dollars. I picked up a Fast Track from OWC's booth at Mac World last month for $89 US.



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