OK, it's my birthday soon and I plan to start building up a modest home studio. THe first thing I am going to get is an Audio Interface, but it's complicated....

1) Which type? I'm reluctant to get a PCI one as I read that computers are more and more using PCI express so that might not be good in the long run. So
either firewire or USB.... but I don't know which would be better.

2) We're getting a new computer soon and it will be Vista. Will audio interfaces that are meant for XP work on Vista?

3) My price range is up to about £100, and I would like it to come bundled with some good software. I want good value for money lol. Please don't tell me to spend more, I'm 15 (nearly), jobless, and it's only a hobby.

Here are my current two choices:

M-Audio Fast Track USB and theTapco by Mackie Link USB

I favour the Tapco one currently because I have read reviews that say it has better software with it and it is slightly better. It has has a two inputs rather than the fasttrack's one. However, I just read that the fasttrack has Vista drivers available, and I don't know about that Tapco one.

If you have any other suggestions: I would be using it to record guitar, vocals (probably with and SM57 i plan on buying) and D.I bass.

Thanks for any help!
The fasttrack is ok, and it does have 2 inputs - one for your guitar jack and one for mic, but you can only select one at a time.

I'd go with your second option as its far better spec'd, providing a Vista driver is released. If I were you I'd honestly ask for your new PC to be provided with XP though as there is far more support available.

The software with both options are ok to get going, but you should really invest in something decent when its your next birthday or you get a part time job. There are some good programs around, like Audacity that are free, that you should check out too.

EDIT: oh, yeah and the fasttrack doesn't have phantom power so you will severly limit the mics you can use...

I'm using audacity now, and I don't think I'll be able to get the new PC with XP instead as it won't just be me using it.... I'll have to check up if the tapco has Vista drivers.