newbie! help (Mac for music creation)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sebjenner, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. sebjenner macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2006
    Hello there! ok, let me give you lvoely people the lowdown.
    im from the uk, im a student and im rubbish with computers.
    I would really like to get a mac laptop for when i start uni, however i need to bare in mind im going to be doing a lot of music creation etc on it. Using few large programs like live 5 etc. so what RAM and hard drive should i get. i have about 30gb of music/cds easy by the way. oh and its on a creative zen...that going to be a problem with mac?
    now im also pretty poor. but i reckon i could stretch to an ibook. however... they are getting replaced by a crazy intel new one yes? so i should wait... hmm
    so im after some advice of what to buy and when. how much i'll need and...if anyone has anything they want to sell me! or any idea of decent refurbished apple places id be very grateful.
    thanks a lot
  2. Gadgetron macrumors newbie


    Feb 22, 2006
    you might want to take a look at this powerbook that is on the apple sale site.
    its a very decent laptop.
    See here

    Now if you want to go with a ibook check this one out

    You are correct the ibooks will most likely go to the intel processors next month. I can only spec on how much storage they will have.
    For what it is worth, i had a brand new Macbook Pro for 72hours until it crashed and died. Thankfully i was able to bring it back. I have since purchased a 15" powerPC Powerbook from apple (refurb).
    The new intel Macbooks are good, but your not going to notice anything major until the universal .bins start showing up.
    Right now everyone is geeking out on:

    1. being the first on the block with a Macbook (this was me)
    2. booting up faster than a powerbook user.

    since you are doing music work the mac apps that come in ilife might help you becasue they are universal.
    All in all stability is not there in the MBP's.

    Your Zen will work on the mac, but itunes will not (please someone correct me if i am wrong) the zen will most likely show up as a USB storage device.
    I am a big ipod fan, mainly becasue of how well they intergrate with OS X.

    the biggest problem your going to have is math when it comes to the hard drive space.
    if you buy a mac with lets say a 60ig HDD you will in reality have the following storage:

    origional "60" gigs
    OS X (you can streamline the OS install) 13gig
    down to 47gig now
    YOUR music 30gigs
    you will be left with around 17gigs of free space.
  3. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    for your mp3 player see this thread

    basically there are two options for your Mp3 player, xnjb (i have tried it and it works well) and an iTunes plugin

    you can get xnjb from

    You probably want 1GB RAM + for intel (which I would probably recommend)

    Also as a student in the UK you get a huge discount with Apple. Check out and you get about 12-15% off your purchase.

    Live 5 seems to be available for the Mac and will be Intel Mac compatable in March for $50 (£25), send them an email to see if you can transfer the software to the Mac.

    If you are poor i'd probably wait until April if you can, Intel will be a more future proof purchase.
  4. sebjenner thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2006
    thnk you so much! this has been really helpful.
    i am going to wait until april ,a dn hopefully save enough to buy a really top end ibook (or whatever they are called then). that creative zen business looks very handy so shall try that then too.
    thank you so much matt
  5. adamcz macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2003
    What do you mean by music creation? If you're going to be recording digital audio with pro-tools or digital performer, you absolutely need a top of the line machine. An ibook will not cut it. On the other hand, if you're just going to be composing with Finale or Sibelius, any Mac will do great (including ibook and mac mini).
  6. sebjenner thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2006
    well i doubt i will have the money for pro tools in a long while, plus i use a digital 12 track mostly. i just want something lke ableton i imagine. however i dont know what i will be doing in a couple years. especially as im studying music at uni.
    but yeh, sibelius and ableton most likely. its all my wallet can afford to be honest.
  7. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    Mac's also come with Garageband which you may like...

    On a budget I'd get the the iBook as Logic Pro (Apple's most expensive Music offering, should run fine on an Intel iBook though won't obviously be as quick as a fast PowerMac. (they meet the recommended specs for it so you shouls be fine)
  8. mewsicpstr macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2006
    iBook limitations

    All past and current iBooks are limited in their capabilities for audio because they have no audio line in--only an audio line out/headphone jack. However, you can purchase a 3rd party USB audio input device for under $50 but I'm not sure how compatible it is with music programs like Finale, Sibelius, ProTools, etc. The past and current PowerBooks (including the new MacBook Pro--I got mine yesterday!), have digital audio inputs and outputs--a big plus for anyone working with high end audio programs.
  9. Ari_0 macrumors regular

    Jul 4, 2004

    Buy mine! buy mine! LOL
    PM me if you like

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