Apple Asteroid?

AppleInsider claims to have knowledge of a new audio interface for GarageBand users in the coming months. An audio 'breakout box' of sorts, Asteroid will include two XLR/ TRS audio input connectors, two RCA analog output jacks, and a standard headphone jack. The device reportedly will draw power through a single FireWire 400 port and include a phantom on/off power switch. Developed by portions of the crew originally responsible for Emagic and recently spun into Apple's iPod division, the device is expected to be debuted during the MWSF show in January 2005, along with a revision to the iLife suite of applications, including a new version of GarageBand.

Asteroid will require Mac OS X v10.2.8 or later, iLife 04 or later, and a computer with a built-in FireWire port. A forthcoming revision to the Mac OS X Sound Preference Pane will reportedly allow Asteroid to interface with Apple's Soundtrack, Logic, DVD Player, and other third party applications. Meanwhile, revised FireWire Audio sound drivers have already appeared in early versions of the company's Mac OS X 10.3.7 Update.

The device will retail for approximately $129 - $149 and will aggressively target similar products such as M-Aduio's Mobile Pre and Edirol's UA-5 USB Digital Audio Capture device. But even at $149, Asteroid will represent one of the lowest priced FireWire breakout boxes on the market, selling for $250 less than M-Audio's more sophisticated FireWire 410 audio interface.