Apple's new GarageBand, included with the iLife bundle, gives Panther-users the ability to create, edit, mix, and burn their own recordings or their synthesized creations. I was skeptical when I first heard about it, fearing that it would be geared towards heavy-duty DJ's or audio engineers. I expected to be overwhelmed by foriegn terminology, or be hindered by a hard-to-understand interface. When I started the program for the first time, however, I found none of that. Instead, I was greeted by a sleek, but to the point interface, with a (literaly) hardwood finish. Within 2 minutes of playing around with the menus, I was able to get a pretty good grasp on the way things worked. So it looked cool, and the interface was nice, but I was ready to create some music. So I added the first track, and started recording. After laying down the track I listened to it again, and was amazed at how good it sounded. I was using the built in mic of my iBook G4, and it simply sounded wonderful! After playing it back, I decided to add some effects. This is when I learned that not only does the interface look cool, it is very easy to use. Fading in and out was a matter of point and click. Finally, I wanted to mix it. I expected this to be the most difficult part, as I had no previous experience. However, after listening, common sense should tell you basicaly how to do it. Is the guitar not standing out enough over the bass? Move it some to the left speaker. Drums overpowering all the other instruments? Turn them down some. There are, on the other hand, some things that I didn't like too much. The syntesized instruments open up endless possibilites. That is, if you have a MIDI compatible keyboard. The keyboard built into the progam is point and click, and, even with a regular mouse, I still found getting the right notes out highly frustrating. Also, I recomend you have some pretty good headphones. Otherwise, the computer will record itself playing, which gives the tone a low quality sound. While I wouldn't recomend this software for professionals, this is a great start for beginers or if you just want to mess around and have fun.