No input jack on new iMAC

My 7-year old iMAC had an input jack that was great for inputting tape or turntable audio to Audacity. The new iMAC has no such jack. Is there a way to input to Audacity other that by mic?

The mic works fine for recording singing but its not so good not for tape recordings etc.


There was a version of iMac that could switch one connection between Stereo In and Stereo Out. I think it said so in:

Apple > System Preferences > Hardware > Sound. From here I get fuzzy since I don’t have one of those, but there was a selector where you could pick the direction.

The very newest Macs do not have the Stereo Line-In.

We recommend the Behringer UCA202.


the red print asked for more inf:

I am on OS 10.8.2 and Audacity 2.0.3 installed from the dmg

I tried using the output jack as an input jack and neither Audacity or GRge Band could see it (a tape recorder plugged is as I had done it on the old iMac using the input jack).


This is expected. There is no stereo line-in ( iMac - Technical Specifications - Apple ).


You have to make a stereo Line-In and the best, cheapest way to do that is that Behringer unit.


Thanks for the Behringer suggestion.

I purchased the Behringer UCA202 USB Audio Interface and have it working as an input from my tape recorder to my new iMac (I use RCA to RCA cables from the recorder to the UCA202). I had some frustration when the computer did not seem to find the audio input. After some fussing I got it to work and made these notes to myself:

UAC 202 Audio Tips

The box can be used to record from a tape to Audacity (or Garage Band).

One report on the web indicated that leaving the UCA202 plugged in could cause startup problems (I’ve not seen this yet)

Getting the computer to see the audio input can be tricky.

To set the iMAC to recognize the USB audio input to transfer music from a tape recorder (and then on to iTunes or a CD)
from finder: com-shift U (utilities) > Audio MIDI setup > USB Audio CODEC 2 in (the lower one) Note: the channel controls are greyed out but that doe snot seem to matter)
Audacity Pref > Recording device > USB Audio CODEC (2 (stereo)

or Garage Band pref > Audio MIDI > USB Audio CODEC (it shows 0 detected but when the project is opened, the input source should show stereo 1/2 USB Audio CODEC )

I hope that is useful to those having problems.

Or a much less complicated way to do it:

Plug the adapter in. Give the machine a second to think about it.

Launch Audacity > Use the input drop-downs next to the microphone symbol, select “USB Audio Codec” and “Stereo.”

Audacity only checks for USB devices once at startup. You can force it to do it later with Transport > Rescan, but it’s just as easy to restart Audacity.

You can do that with the output connection as well. The UCA202 is fully bi-directional.

The UCA202 is also one of the certified devices that will allow you to do perfect overdubbing/Sound-On-Sound.


:smiley: I have the same problem with my new Retina MacBook Pro circa 2013. However, the one 1/8 jack is both an audio in AND audio output STEREO in BOTH cases and works great both on iPhones and My Mac. I find the best way to input BOTH line level and/or Guitar/Mic level inputs is via the i-Rig device made for iPhone recording

BOTH line level and/or Guitar/Mic level

The unit doesn’t say anything about Microphone level. Line Level and Guitar signals are close cousins of each other (the guitar is mono), but microphones are generally mono and very, very low level. You can’t swap those easily.

iRig does make a Mic-Pre, but all these devices are designed to plug into an iPhone, iPad or other portable device. They’re not universal interfaces like USB. That splits off the billions of Windows laptop users.


I immediately regretted purchase of the new iMac when I discovered the absence of an audio input. Previously, I found the quickest, and still satisfactory, solution for recording sound from my computer was a patchcord linking the audio input to the headphones jack on the back of my iMac. I’m wondering if there’s any interface that would permit a similar quick and handy way of capturing computer audio.

I do appreciate the Behringer suggestion. I had tried Griffin iMic and a Logitech in and out interface, and both failed to record acceptable sound from any source. The Behringer (any one of the 3 similar units) solved the problem of inputting and recording sound from a turntable, cassette deck, etc. So it takes the place of the Audio In jack–but it doesn’t replace “both” the audio in and out jacks, at least not in a way that permits recording computer sounds with a simple patch cord.

Previously I had tried recording computer sound with the program included with Roxio Toast. It worked less than 50% of the time, so I’m not encouraged by the programs that purport to get the job done. If anyone has found an interface that permits recording computer sound with a patch between “in” and “out,” I’d appreciate very much hearing what it is.


With the Behringer UCA 202 you can link the (line level) outputs to the (line level) inputs. The headphone socket is still available so you can plug headphone in to listen to what is being recorded.

The software solution is Soundflower. Have a look at this page:

– Bill

For Mac self-recording, you can use the SoundFlower software.

You don’t need the mechanical patch cords. And yes, the UCA-202 counts as both Stereo Line-In and Stereo Line-Out. It can take the place of the older compatible Mac connections, and it has its own headphone connection.

The Mac usually adds the UCA202 to the list of audio connections in Apple > System Preferences > Sound. It may not say that. It may say “USB Audo Device” which will be clear unless you have multiple audio devices.