As always, your questions and suggestions are welcome. Questions for next week should be left in the comments. When asking a question please include which machine you're running and which version of Mac OS X (we'll assume you're running Leopard on an Intel Mac if you don't specify). And now, on to the questions!
I just bought a new guitar and I'm thinking about using it to record some of my songs with my new iMac. Any recommendations for a good method of connecting a guitar so I can record?
Fortunately, you're in luck, in that the Mac is made for people trying to do just what you want to do. There are several options to accomplish this and it really just depends on how good you want the audio to sound and what your budget is. To get the best possible quality, you're going to need a few items.
First, you're going to need some recording software. Fortunately, that's already on your iMac as you can use Apple's GarageBand for all your entry-level recording needs. Second, you'll need some sort of digital audio interface that connects your guitar's output to a USB or Firewire interface on your iMac. Some good ones to take a look at include the M-Audio MobilePre, the M-Audio Firewire Solo or the Line 6 Tone Port series. Then, all you need to do is plug your guitar into the converter and the converter into your Mac and you're good to go. Of course, you'll want to be sure and update the driver to the latest version and read the manual to get the most out of your converter.
If you're not as concerned about audio quality, you can also use a converter cable, such as the Monster iStudio Link, to connect your guitar directly to the mic input on your iMac. That will allow you to record directly into your Mac but won't give you the best possible audio quality or level of customization you could get from a digital converter.