Attach a USB Microphone or Keyboard to Your iPad 2

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Up until earlier, I wasn’t all that interested in the iPad Camera Connection Kit. However, I learned that one of the attachments can be used to hook up musical instruments and microphones to your device. Now that is seriously cool.

The Kit includes two connectors, each with a different interface:

  • The Camera Connector features a USB interface. Just plug it into the dock connector port on your iPad, then attach your digital camera or iPhone using a USB cable (not included). iPhone 3G is not supported.
  • Use the SD Card Reader to import photos and videos directly from your camera’s SD card. Connect it to your iPad, then insert your digital camera’s SD card into the slot.

However, it has other uses, as I discovered today! With the camera kit, you can plug many USB headsets right into the USB port of the iPad. Certain USB keyboards apparently work, as well. I’ve read reports that some keyboards will give you an error message on-screen stating that the device will not work with your iPad. However, once you dismiss the message the keyboard works perfectly fine.

You can, of course, pull photos off of your cameras and devices using this connector kit. Don’t forget that it’s also simple to import photos from your iPhone and iPod touch. This saves you the hassle of having to sync through iTunes.

As I said early on, I’m using the kit to attach my favorite mics. The built-in microphone on the iPad 2 isn’t all that great. However, I can use either my AT2020 microphone or my Yeti Blue mic with my iPad now. These happen to be my two favorite devices to use when trying to record high-quality audio, and I’m happy both will easily plug into my iPad 2 using this adapter.

Just after I finished recording this video, Oscar emailed to let me know that you can also plug a M-Audio Keystation Midi Piano into the port, as well. It works perfectly, even for babies.

I am happy that I have these options, but I’m sad that Apple makes it so difficult. Why do there have to be so many attachments? Why can’t Apple simply create one attachment that will do everything? Better yet, build these features and functions right into the devices we all love so much.