Mac Attack!

Hello, I'm a PC, and I was never a Mac. This was my mantra the last few years. I got tired of hearing all the Mac fanboys and fangirls mentioning about how great their Cupertino-based dream machines were, when all I saw was how insanely expensive they were compared to a decent PC.

Who could forget my reaction to the MacBook Air? I couldn't understand why someone would pay upwards of $3,000 for a notebook with a slow processor speed, miniscule hard drive (especially an overpriced SSD,) no built in CD/DVD drive, no Ethernet port, and subpar Intel integrated graphics processor, all because it can fit in a manila envelope?

It didn't make sense to me to get that when I had a decent Windows based (albeit Vista) laptop that was more powerful, had all the bells and whistles I asked for, and cost only $1,200. It was everything that I was looking for in a computer.

But then came a new project for me to work on: podcasting.

When I started doing GamerGeeks, it was simple. Both Kelly and I recorded our material via Skype, on her computer. From there she edited the material, added the intro theme, a few music bumpers between segments, and voila, a new episode in the can ready for broadcast.

But there was one episode in particular that took a little more effort than what we usually go through: my trashing of Wii Music. Since it was done as a "tribute" to the Angry Video Game Nerd, it had more involvement in the recording and editing process.

For starters, I had to record all the material myself. Without the proper sound setup at the time, I jerry rigged my Guitar Hero USB microphone, taped it onto my Rock Band drumsticks, and taped them onto my Guitar Hero drum kit. It wasn't a good substitute for a mic stand, but aside for it falling off during the show (which can be easily heard,) it worked rather well.

The same couldn't have been said for the program I used, Audacity for Windows Vista. Most of the time when I tried to record segments, it crashed mid-recording. The fact that I was able to record three full segments at the end was shocking, but it was a pain to have other sessions almost done, and then have it crash on Vista.

It wasn't easy for my co-host to edit it as well. In fact after she was done, she mentioned it was as hard for her to edit the segment as it was for me to play the darn game (if you can even call Wii Music a game.) With knowing that I decided that if we were going to review any more horrid games for future shows, I'd take care of doing all the recording and editing myself.

But with the troubles I had with Audacity crashing on me, I didn't want to go back down that road, and slowly but surely another option came to my mind"

I considered going Mac.

It wasn't until I met up with Kelly last month and I saw GarageBand in action that I was convinced that I should get a Mac for all my podcast recordings. It took me a while to make a decision (mostly because I was waiting for the IRS to finally send my tax return) but when it came I made my purchase, a brand now 2GB Mac Mini with a 320GB hard drive.

While I was not able to record a full show, or even a segment, I did give GarageBand a try, and while it was much easier to record than on Audacity (no crashes helps out a lot,) I still have one major issue to overcome. Why can I only use one audio input to record? My ideal set is I want to record both my USB headset, the same one I use for GamerGeeks and the GiN Lounge, and the line input which is connected directly to my 360 or PS3.

Unfortunately, unless I'm missing something, GarageBand will only let me use one at a time. The only other option I see as a possibility is to run an external mixer into my Mac but I'm trying not to spend too much of my hard earned money to get this working. I already spent a lot on the Mac.

Hopefully soon an answer can come my way.

Currently Playing: Killzone 2 (PS3)

Waiting For: Wanted: Weapons of Fate (360,) Resident Evil 5 (360, should be playing by the time this is posted, unless Gamestop messes up the preorder again.)

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