Sound Buys Product Review by Don Lindich
Griffin’s iMic accessory works with both PC and Mac computers and adds analog sound inputs, a microphone input, and an audio outout via a USB port. It’s the answer many have been looking for as they look to make CDs of their vinyl record collection, transfer cassette tapes to their iPod, or simply archive their music on their computer or an external hard drive. As many have unwittingly discovered, most computers don’t come with analog sound inputs built-in, and adding an internal card can be inconvenient. With simple USB connectivity, at $39.99 retail the iMic is easy as well as inexpensive.
My Windows XP and Mac OS 10.4.9 computers recognized the iMic instantly upon connection. A detachable miniplug cable with two female RCA connectors is provided for connecting an audio output from a CD player, DVD player, cassette deck, or any other device with RCA analog audio outputs. If you are using a turntable (as many are apt to do with the iMic) you should use the receiver tape loop or a phono preamp.
An audio recording and editing application is required to best make use of the iMic. It ships with FinylVinyl, an original Griffin application for recording and enhancing audio, specifically vinyl records. It is for Macs only. Windows users are directed to download Audacity, a free application found online at audacity.soundforge.net.
I used the iMic to record from vinyl records and cassette tapes and found sound quality to be very good, if not up to the level of professional input devices. It should satisfy the vast majority of home users, the exact audience it is targeted for, and hence earns an easy recommendation. My biggest gripe is the Final Vinyl software isn’t available for Windows users, as I preferred it to Audacity.
If you’ve been wanting to bring your vinyl record collection on to your iPod, the iMic will make it easy. See it at www.griffintechnology.com.