Even though I’m pretty happy with my Griffin iMic, I’ll admit that one of these Firewire audio interface boxes looks pretty sweet. Assuming the levels could be worked out right and pre-amps are no longer necessary, this would be able to take two XLR inputs from actual microphones, getting rid of the need for mixers for most people.
Ah, by following the links to the Apple Insider article I see that these boxes can be chained together, include circuits to prevent clipping and mate up with a software gain control on the Mac. This could conceivably be a pretty sweet device for podcasting. If it doesn’t have that horrible delay that all the USB audio sources do, I’m buying one.