The Guitarbud from the cable arm of guitar manufacturers Paul Reed Smith Guitars allows you to plug a guitar directly into an iPhone or iPod Touch, slap on a pair of headphones and use the multitude of guitar apps available to record your magical moments of inventive creativity, tune up your six-stringed companion, jam along to your favorite artists or capture a killer riff and send it to your friends.

A growing number of apps are available from Apple geared towards the guitar player. Whether you're a novice trying to learn quickly or a seasoned pro looking for a portable recording device, iPhone and iPod Touch apps can help. Guitarbud from PRS Cables (in partnership with Bond Music Research) allows you to interface your guitar directly with your mobile device, cutting out any irritating background interference you might otherwise be troubled by when using the built-in microphone of the iPhone or from an attached external mic.

Naturally, PRS Cables has its own app called jamAmp that combines an amp simulator, a tuner and a practice aid that allows budding guitarists to load in tracks using the onboard web interface, then loop sections and slow down clips until the whole song is completely grasped. But the Guitarbud is compatible with just about any guitar playing app that would otherwise involve using the built-in microphone, so StompVox, GigDaddy and GigBaby, Riff Raters or Guitar FX Deluxe, for instance, can also be used with the interface. Guitarbud will also work with the Voice Memos app that comes bundled with the iPhone.

The Guitarbud's included headphone socket means that your tuneful creativity can be as loud as you need it to be without causing too much annoyance to those around you. Of course if you want to, you can also connect the interface to an amplifier and share your performance with the world. And as your guitar is wired up to a mobile device you can also share any recorded masterpieces with friends or family (or recording industry executives) by email.

The Guitarbud interface is available now for around US$30 and will work with a bass too.

View gallery - 5 images