Sound Advice Week 21: Using computer and turntable with sound system, Apple iMac computers and digital video

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich
Week 21, 2007

Q: I’m interested in getting my computer and my turntable (I have a Pro-ject Debut III) to use the same speakers in my sound system. Of course I don’t need it to be simultaneous but I’d like to not have to fuss with cords if its possible. Any help would be appreciated. I’d like to add that your website was of immeasurable help in narrowing down my search for a good turntable.

-Will Damon, Seattle, WA

A: Thank you for the complements. The Pro-ject Debut III is an excellent entry-level turntable, as you have discovered already. The computer and the record player will use different inputs on your receiver, so they can both be connected simultaneously. Just select the appropriate input to listen to either the turntable or computer.

There are several ways to connect your computer to your sound system. If you are mainly playing music from your iTunes library, Apple’s Airport Express will allow you to stream music wirelessly from your computer to your sound system. It also can create a wireless network or allow you to wirelessly share a printer between several computers.   It works with both PCs and Macs and is priced at only $99.   You can see it at www.apple.com.

You could also use the Terk LeapFrog. I’ve discussed the LeapFrog in the column in the past- it is a wireless transmitter that will allow you to send signals from, for instance, a cable box in the living room to a TV in a garage. Just use the audio connections of the LeapFrog at both the receiver and the computer. You will need a miniplug to RCA adapter cable to connect the computer to the LeapFrog. The LeapFrog is marketed by Audiovox, at www.audiovox.com.

Finally, you can use the miniplug to RCA adapter to connect the computer to the sound system. This may not be of interest to you, but readers who have a sound system in close proiximity to the computer may not mind the wires.

Q: My wife and I are about ready to purchase a new PC. You seem to recommend the iMac and that appears to be how we will be choosing to go. We’d be moving from Windows 98.
 
We also own a Digital 8 video camera. We have not used this video camera to any extent except to shoot video and watch on our TV. Will we be able to transfer past/stored (and future) home video’s onto the iMac with ease? Will we be able to edit etc. on the iMac? Or, is it time to purchase a new video camera also?
 
Thanks,
 
-Robert Koleno, Mars, PA

A: Home movie editing is what Apple does best. I am fairly system-agnostic and I use and enjoy both Windows computers and Macs. If I could only have one computer, however, it would be a Mac because I am so fond of the video editing capabilities of iMovie and iDVD. They are very intuitive and simple to use, and the finished results look polished and first class.

Your digital camcorder will connect easily to the computer using a FireWire connection anddownload the tapes into Apple’s iMovie software. After they have been transferred, you can edit to your heart’s content, then send the finished production to iDVD for DVD authoring. Just be sure to get an iMac with the DVD-burning SuperDrive, not the Combo drive.

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