Input

I've purchased my first 'item' -- a cheap pc mike. This will force me to tackle a technical question in real time: how to input sound into the pc. I know there are options, I just have to follow through with a few of them.
Related to this is the challenge of deciding what inputing devices I can employ to make radio. I'm thinking expecially of recording. Do I go with an expensive MP3 device with a so-so mike input (an item designed primarily to PLAY sound rather than record it when detached from the pc) or fall back on the standard portable tape recorder which I have relied on in the past? Actually recording away from the pc is not a pressing question just yet but if I want to freelance the broadcasts I want to be out and about capturing talk and other sounds. Editing -- god forbid, another problem! -- will have to come later in my apprenticeship.
But for the moment my task is simple: use the mike to make sound that registers in the pc.
I've also found out that my server has no upload limit. So while I can broadcast as much as I like, my listening to web radio and sundry other use of download verbs is limited to the manner of 1 g. I also failed to find one text book/reference/manual dedicated to the topic of web radio. I'm using web audio texts that were published way way back (in web time) in 1998! It's related but not quite on the marker.