The iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad aren't just about listening to music, they can also be powerful tools in creating it. If you've got any musicians, or aspiring musicians, on your holiday shopping list, they probably already have one of those devices. Why not combine their love of music and technology by giving them one of these gifts for guitarists, pianists, and singers?
Important note: Many of these devices connect to the iPhone or iPad's Dock Connector port. The latest models--iPhone 5, 5th gen. iPod touch, and iPad 4--all use a new interface, the Lightning port. If the musician you're buying for has one of these devices, you'll probably need to add a $30 Lightning-to-Dock Connector adapter to make sure these accessories will be compatible.
5. iRig Mic
The singers (and podcasters, public speakers, and interviewers) that you know will appreciate the iRig. It's a microphone and app combination that plugs into the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad's headphone jack and lets them create high-quality, professional recordings. The mic works with most apps that accept audio input, according to manufacturer IK Multimedia. Expect to spend around $60 on this.
If the musician you're buying for already has a mic they love and want to connect to their iOS device, check out IK's $40 iRig PRE Microphone Interface (Buy Direct from Apple).
6. MIDI Connectors
If the musician in your life prefers a keyboard, chances are they may have MIDI-compatible instruments--and they may want to connect them to their iPhone or iPad. If that's the case, check out these connectors from iRig and Line 6. Both devices connect to iPhones or iPads using the old-style Dock Connector (so your musician may need a Lightning adapter if they have a new device) and let music played on MIDI instruments be recorded in compatible apps. Expect to spend around $70.
With music being so digital these days, aren't DJs behind the times using traditional analog records? That's something the Numark iDJ live aims to fix. This iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad-compatible DJ station not only lets you mix music on your device, it also offers two turntable-style devices to provide, in Numark's words, "natural scratch feel." Like the Griffin DJ cable, the iDJ works well with the djay app, but it also adds traditional buttons, faders, and other controls to fine-tune your sound. A split cable allow DJs to listen to their cues or the music they're playing. The iDJ runs around $100.
If the DJ you're buying for needs a more portable, but no less functional, option, check out the $100 IK Multimedia iRig MIX DJ Mixer (compare prices). This box lets DJs connect various devices, including an iPhone or iPad, to create the perfect mix.
9. Home Karaoke Kits
Know an aspiring singer, or has the whole family been inspired by American Idol, X Factor, or The Voice and wants to join in the fun? These home karaoke packages will put them center stage. Soulo's Digital Wireless Mic + Karaoke App comes with a wireless mic that streams lyrics to your iPad or iPhone and lets you sing along (only 10 songs are included, but you can sing along with songs from your iTunes library or download songs from the free Soulo app). First Act's Disney Spotlight Digital Wireless Mic + Karaoke App works very much the same way, except that it comes pre-loaded with Disney songs and is aimed at younger singers. Both offer some neat bonuses, like pitch enhancement to keep your singing in tune and the ability to record video of your performance (then you can use the iPad to upload that video to the web or YouTube). Expect to spend around $100.
Buy Direct from Apple: