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82 of 84 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Lone Ranger rides again!
Like many others before me, I bought this unit to digitize some old audio cassettes. (In my case, old radio shows from 1930-1950.) I initially tried this with a cassette player and the analog audio input on my Mac but the results were disappointing; there was a tremendous amount of humming in the finished audio. My friends at Tekserve recommended this device instead...
Published on December 19, 2006 by Steven A. Godun

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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Please be careful
It should go without saying that the iMic is not a professional recording device. It might also go without saying that it is just fine for the purposes for which it is intended: recording from vinyl or other similar mic or line level to your computer. I bought mine because my MacMini doesn't have an audio in (what was Apple thinking?!). Generally speaking, it does its...
Published on April 12, 2006 by EdM.


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82 of 84 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Lone Ranger rides again!, December 19, 2006
This review is from: Griffin Technology iMic USB Audio Device (Personal Computers)
Like many others before me, I bought this unit to digitize some old audio cassettes. (In my case, old radio shows from 1930-1950.) I initially tried this with a cassette player and the analog audio input on my Mac but the results were disappointing; there was a tremendous amount of humming in the finished audio. My friends at Tekserve recommended this device instead.

Installation is just a matter of plugging it into the USB port; the Mac required no drivers and saw the device as another audio device. QuickTime Player, GarageBand, iMovie, the Sound preference panel and Griffin's own "Final Vinyl" application immediately recognized the device.

I connected my tape player to the iMic, launched Griffin's "Final Vinyl" application, and got to work. The results were stunning, like night and day when compared to the analog recording I'd previously made. There was absolutely no hum to be heard. I experimented with other audio cassettes and detected no hum, static, or other problem that could be attributed to the iMic device.

The device has two standard mini stereo ports (audio in and out), and a switch on the side to change between line input and microphone input (this is important -- if the switch is in the wrong place you will be disappointed with the results). It also includes a mini-to-RCA adapter cable which I thought was a nice addition. The USB cable is rather short (about one foot long) and is hardwired to the unit so don't break it.

As was previously pointed out, the "Final Vinyl" software needs work and is inarguably the weakest part of this package. (Truthfully, if Griffin DIDN'T bundle "Final Vinyl" with the iMic I would have given this a five-star rating.) It is a COMPLETELY bare-bones application. I get the strong impression that "Final Vinyl" started life as a quick hack that a programmer wrote up in a couple of hours so that they could test the iMic device, but someone in Griffin's Marketing department saw it and decided to make it part of the package. It is not very intuitive (highlighting a segment of audio and hitting the DELETE key does nothing, forcing you to go into a menu to select DELETE which also has no keyboard shortcut), offers almost nothing in terms of audio editing capabilities, is surprisingly slow, and it crashes quite a bit. (Although I think Griffin knows this; when you relaunch the app after it crashed, it remembers the audio you had previously recorded and offers you the option of using that data or starting from scratch.) Fortunately the app doesn't crash (*knock on wood*) when importing audio; the crashing seems to happen when you're trying to open or save a file AND do something else with another application at the same time.

The only other thing about this unit that bugs me is its awkward design. It's about the size of a silver dollar and perhaps 3/8" thick. The short cable means you can't keep it plugged into the back of your machine and be able to easily access it, particularly if your machine is on the floor (like mine is). The rounded shape of the unit means you can't set it on edge and tuck it into an otherwise unused bit of space, and you can't easily attach it to your computer (i.e., with a zip-tie). I have mine plugged into the front USB port on my computer with the cable looped over the handle but it's an awkward placement at best, and I have to move the cable over whenever I want to open the CD drawer. It's not REALLY horrible since I'll likely rarely use the iMic once these tapes have been digitized, but I think Griffin could have done a little more to make this unit a little more elegant.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars iMic makes great music., January 9, 2007
By 
Terry Lyle "Yodeler" (Jamestown, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Griffin Technology iMic USB Audio Device (Personal Computers)
I have a large collection of yodeling songs (yes...yodeling) on LP's and wanted a way to record them onto my computer and transfer them to disk and to my iPod. I searched around the internet but most applications require you to connect your turntable to your stereo (or other amplifier) and then to your computer. Since my stereo and my computer are in separate parts of my house, I didn't really want to relocate either of them. Other solutions were far too advanced (read expensive) for my purposes. I stumbled on the iMic and it sounded like just the thing.

According to the Griffin website "iMic allows you to connect virtually any microphone or sound input device to your iBook, PowerBook, PowerMac or other Mac or PC systems with a USB port. iMic supports both mic and line level inputs via a selectable switch, as well as a variable level output for connecting speakers or headphones" All you do is connect your turntable directly to your computer. It works perfectly! Combined with the free recording software Final Vinyl it make recording your LP's a breeze.

RC adapter cables are included. iMic is compatible with both Mac and PC but Finyl Vinyl works only on Mac's. You can use other recording software for PC's.

(Note: iMic and Final Vinyl work great for those who simply want to record to their computer. You can do some fine tuning, but you will want a higher level of technology if you also want to "clean" the sound of your old recordings.)
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Please be careful, April 12, 2006
By 
EdM. (Franklin, MA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Griffin Technology iMic USB Audio Device (Personal Computers)
It should go without saying that the iMic is not a professional recording device. It might also go without saying that it is just fine for the purposes for which it is intended: recording from vinyl or other similar mic or line level to your computer. I bought mine because my MacMini doesn't have an audio in (what was Apple thinking?!). Generally speaking, it does its job of getting sound into the computer, and is fairly transparent while doing so, acting much like a piece of built-in equipment would.

What should not go without saying, though, is that there is no ASIO driver for the iMic. So, it is incompatible with any recording software that requires an ASIO driver, particularly Steinberg's Cubase. As far as I have been able to find out, neither Steinberg nor Griffin have any plans to do anything about this. Note that Griffin does produce an ASIO driver which only works under Mac OS9, and there is a third party driver which will make it work, but it costs more than the iMic itself.

For the price, you can't beat the iMic. In fact, it's the lowest priced external audio interface I was able to find. And there are precious few bits of gear that fill the void between its price point and the $100 mark. Just be aware of its limitations before buying. I ended up spending another $180 on a more apropriate piece of equipment, and now my iMic is lying on my office floor.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value gets it the extra two stars, January 9, 2010
By 
Neil Walker (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
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If you want to move your precious vinyls into your Mac or iPod, this item does the job quickly and inexpensively.

Given that audiophile external DACs for your computer may be in the two to three thousand dollar range, this little gizmo does a lot for the money for about one percent of an external Dac's price.

I have been using it with my MacBook Pro 5,1. The audio gear attached to the iMic is a good turntable (Ariston RD90), an Audiomat phono pre-amp, and a Benz Micro wood-bodied L2 cartridge. The connecting cables are high-end Cardas (cartridge to pre-amp) and high-end JPS (pre-amp to iMic).

Best lesson I learned is that the supplied software, Finyl Vinyl, works fine, but is glitchy and occasionally crashes when you set out to save the tracks individually. It also does zero noise reduction wizardry. Finally, it is not terribly accurate in doing auto-mark to divide your file into separate tracks. Always double-check track separation using the slider that stretches the on-screen soundwave graphic.

To avoid the crash and the loss of the recording, my solution was as follows. After marking off each track, save each track separately. Do not just click on "Save as" in the drop down menu (that is where the crash sometiems occurs). Instead, make a right click while your cursor (a vertical line with an inverted triangle at the top) is in the space for that track. You will see a small box saying "Save track as______" Enter the track name and then press return. The program will then saves the individual track with your file name already in place for transferring to your media player.

Best quality I have found so far is recording at 44.1 kHz, 32 bit. Since the resulting files are large, you convert them later to Apple Lossless or another lossless format inside your media player.

Quality of sound? Since I am using relatively expensive audio gear, it seemed strange to use a little device like the iMic -- I was afraid that it was going to act like a box of kleenex in the middle of the data stream. But, instead, what I got was high quality digital tracks that I can make into CDs, play through my computer into my amplifier, and transfer to my iPod Touch. Definition, clarity, transient response and musicality remain good with the iMic.

I have not tried out the recent turntable and cartridge combos that are selling for about $200. No system of digitization will ever achieve the magic of a direct listening to your vinyl. However, the iMic taught me that no matter the cost of the system, it is the music to which I listen. The iMic accomplished what I had hoped for: minimum interference with the analog signal provided.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding sound on my iBook!, January 23, 2006
By 
This review is from: Griffin Technology iMic USB Audio Device (Personal Computers)
I bought the second-generation Griffin iMic (iMic2) this weekend in order to be able to record onto my Apple iBook G4 (which has no input jack) from a professional sound board, and also use it for playback. The sound from this device compared to the internal iBook audio out port is much cleaner, much crisper, and the recording was very clear with almost no noise. Gets along without a problem when connected to a USB hub. Very compact, easily fits in my laptop bag.

Overall, oustanding product.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for digitizing LPs and tapes!, October 14, 2006
By 
where4art (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Griffin Technology iMic USB Audio Device (Personal Computers)
I got an iMic2 because I wanted to convert musics from my LPs and tapes to AAC/MP3 files, and my Mac Mini doesn't have an Audio-In port. It works great! It comes with adapter cables for RCA plugs, so no other equipment is needed to connect my turntable and cassette deck directly to my computer. I was a little worried that the built-in pre-amp wouldn't boost the turntable signal enough, but even that isn't a problem; the only adjustments I need to make when using the turntable as a source are to set the iMic2's input switch to "Mic" and crank my computer's audio input level all the way up. The software that comes with it, Final Vinyl (*for Macs only*), also works really well. I originally planned to use Roxio Spin Doctor to do my recording, but it freezes frequently for no apparent reason -- so that was a waste of money; I just use Final Vinyl instead. It's really simple to use, and the special EQ setting for LPs mimics the EQ circuit provided by a stereo amplifier's turntable input jack (without that, the turntable signal has a "tinny" sound -- but since that setting alone creates a kind of muffled effect, I like to add a second EQ setting on top of that, to boost the treble). I save the Final Vinyl AIFF files to my hard drive then import them into iTunes and convert them to AAC files there. They sound GREAT. What a nice surprise that my computer can do all this, with very satisfactory results, with just this little device and Griffin's free software.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LP recordings - a snap, January 15, 2007
By 
J. Decarli (Indian River, MI) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Griffin Technology iMic USB Audio Device (Personal Computers)
Having long waited for an easy way to covert all my old LP records to digital and transfer them to CD's - the iMic was the answer. I just plugged it in to a USB port on my iMac. Downloaded the new version of Final Vinyl software and after a little experimenting to find the settings that worked best started recording. The only thing that I had to rig up - was the ground wire from the turn table needed to be attached to one of the metal grounding parts of the MAC I was using. Griffin suggests you buy their "Grounding Wire Connector Kit" - that isn't necessary if you just connect the wire to your computer by touching it to any metal part/outside of a USB plug....etc.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Buy the Imic, October 22, 2008
I bought this unit for the simple reason that my new laptop does not have a line jack. I bought the laptop to do mobile recording of live music from a mixing board. (Vista apparently doesn't support recording in stereo from a mixer for those interested. Have to go mono.) Anyway, Hp customer service recommended the Imic here at Amazon as a solution to the line in out problem. Hp technical support was available, helpful and nice. However when the Imic arrived there was an annoying buzz in the recording and even in Itunes. Several calls to the Griffin techs, who by the way were also excellent, especially since they didn't sell me the unit, resulted in my purchasing a Radio Shack Ground Loop Isolator. The Imic and ground loop isolator fixed the problem. My guess is if you are planning to record from a mixer with a laptop and no line jack, you might as well plan on an Imic and ground loop isolator. There are several brands here at Amazon that might work but I wanted to get this thing working and Radio Shack is right down the street from me. Long story short, I don't know or care about recording from tape or vinyl but if you want to record live sound, learn from my struggles. The solution wasn't that hard or that expensive, it just took too much down time and too many tech calls to make it happen. I still rate the product 5 stars because it did do what I needed and Griffin tech support was really first rate.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works Great for Importing Vinyl LPs, If You Have a Turntable and an Old Stereo Receiver, March 26, 2007
By 
Daniel Miller (Superior, CO USA) - See all my reviews
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I have successfully used this product to digitize a number of vinyl LP's and am quite pleased with the results. I connected the iMic to the "tape out" jacks on my old stereo receiver (which fortunately still has the "phono" inputs for connecting a turntable) and to a USB port on my G5 iMac. The Final Vinyl software packaged with this product worked fine, although the documentation could be better. The software includes a number of equalization settings if you wish to modify the original sound, however if your vinyl LPs are badly scratched, you'll need to use some other software besides Final Vinyl to filter out the noise. For vinyl LP albums in reasonably good shape, the iMic/Final Vinyl combination works very nicely. Note: This happy ending only occurred after considerable frustration caused by my attempt to directly connect the iMic to my G5 iMac using a separate "Griffin Turntable Connection Cable with Grounding". The results from this setup were not satisfactory in any way--very weak signal, and lots of background noise. The signal coming directly out of the turntable is not strong enough to make satisfactory recordings without an amplifier in the setup. Connecting the iMic to my old stereo receiver fixed these issues. A separate phonograph turntable preamplifier would probably also give good results if you don't have an old receiver or amp with the phono inputs.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must have for any PC Audiophile, May 6, 2007
By 
HomerKSA "Homer KSA" (Riyadh, Dubai, Fredericksburg!) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Griffin Technology iMic USB Audio Device (Personal Computers)
my introduction to such a device came after only listening to the raw audio from my Mac mini. I have high end studio speakers connected to the Mac but i always heard a strange high pitch sound int eh background. Leo Laporte always recommended such a device on shows like TWIT and the Tech Guy. It made sense to me that all the guzzling hard dives and DVD drives spinning inside machines (i also have an old custom PC Machine) could interfere with your sound card. The analog audio jacks really don't have much output or inputs if your careful about your sound. In this day and age of Dolby, THX, podcasting, extreme gaming, and sound editing one should definitely have a device like this. It ends up processing the audio signal digitally outside your computer which lowers the undesired hissing or high pitch noise. Honestly my computer speakers sometime outdo my home theater system. This is definitely,a must have for any audiophile.
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Griffin Technology iMic USB Audio Device
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