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Chapter 7. Hardware Annoyances > GENERAL HARDWARE ANNOYANCES

GENERAL HARDWARE ANNOYANCES

BRING THE HEADPHONE PORT TO THE FRONT

The Annoyance:

I like to listen to tunes when I'm at my Mac. Often I do so with a pair of headphones, but with the audio ports at the back of the Mac, it's a big production to plug and unplug the headphones. I have to move the Mac to where I can reach (and see) the audio port, which means moving the lamp, phone, and my collection of Star Trek snow globes. Is there any way to avoid doing the desktop shuffle just to plug in a set of headphones?

The Fix:

Today's Power Mac G5's have a front-facing headphone jack, but many Macs have audio ports at or near the rear. One solution is to add your own up-front headphone port via a 1/8-inch headphone extension cable. However, a USB-to-audio interface gives you options that may surprise you in their usefulness. You can spend more than the cost of the Mac itself on audio interfaces; however, $40 buys you Griffin's iMic USB audio converter (http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/imic), shown in Figure 7-1. Plug the 2.5-inch iMic into any USB port and plug your headphones into the iMic, which you can keep in front of your Mac. The cable is 18 inches long, so you can plug it into a USB port at the back of your Mac, or coil the cable and plug it into your keyboard's USB port.


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