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I have a 2012 MacBook Pro 13" and I need to record audio from Spotify playing on my phone into an audio track in GarageBand. (This is for a private, personal project, not any kind of pirating.) I just can't get it to line up right.

I tried plugging the phone into the audio jack using just a standard 2-band stereo 1/8" cable; that didn't work. I then tried plugging it in using my detachable headphone cable (which has an inline microphone). That cable has 2-band on one end and 3-band on the other. When I plugged the 2-band side into the MacBook, the sound preferences showed "internal mic" as the only input option, and nothing was recorded. When I switched the direction, the sound preferences showed "external mic" as an option, but then it just recorded the audio through the cable's inline mic, rather than the audio coming out of the headphone jack.

Would love for this to be possible... Any help is appreciated.

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The 2012 has only a mono mic input - this question explains the pin-out. MacBook Pro (mid-2012) Microphone Input

If you want stereo audio from Spotify, then you're really going to either need a USB 'sound card' of some sort - you can get something half decent for under $£€ 20, but don't go for the ones at $5, they're not worth it.

Alternatively, record from Spotify on the Mac itself. This will be a whole lot cleaner signal. It has traditionally been the territory of Audio Hijack which still remains my go-to for this type of task, but isn't cheap. There is a list of alternative audio routing apps/utilities on Capture audio correctly while capturing video calls on MacBook with earbuds

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    Ah! That's a great point about the stereo vs mono. We had trouble getting any audio through the cable, but then discovered that the phone volume was turned way down low when plugged in ;). Turning it back up solved the problem (although then we had the audio from Spotify and also the in-line mic, which was annoying). Anyway, thanks especially for the audio capture reference. I hadn't even thought of that. Marking this as accepted, since I think between the two of us there's enough here to help others.
    – kael
    Jul 26 '21 at 2:49

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