Tuesday, January 4, 2005

.Mac worth the money?

I am trying to decide if I want to continue my .Mac subscription. My currrent subscription expires in 12 days. I have only actually used some of the .Mac feeatures:

  1. Sending iCards

  2. Downloading the free games

  3. Backup

The first two don't make much of a difference to me, since I am sure that I can find other places to send e-cards and I really haven't played the downloaded games. The only compelling feature, for me, is the network backup.

I would love to use Backup to backup all of my data, but Apple by default only gives you access to 250Mb of space. They do offer to sell you more space though.

I am going to try to see if I can find backup software that can use to backup to my server at home, in addition to CDs and DVDs. I have plenty of space on that computer. If it can do it securely, and cost the same as .Mac, I will get that software instead.


  1. If you use multiple Macs and iCal or Safari, the syncing abilities enabled by .mac make it worth it. I also use it to sync my e-mail (no imap server where I am, grrrrr).
    In the future, .mac will probably become more valuable. One, much more space will be added (probably to 1 gb). Two, Apple is likely to open iSync to developers in Tiger. Three (and this is rampant personal speculation as opposed to the ordinary speculation I've read on rumor sites), .mac could provide for a virtual iPod so you can more easily sync your music across computers.
    In my view, iSync is what makes .mac worthwhile now and in the future maybe even more so.

  2. First, you can backup your mac to CD or DVD using the Backup Software Apple provides with .mac but that is not a good enough reason to pay $100/year in my view.
    The value of the .mac service is very personal. For me the major two features are the quick web publishing and iDisk support. Now I know enough HTML and FTP that I could publish my kids photos and movies on the web with regular updates without much trouble but it is all about time. Even with .mac I can go weeks without pushing an update because there is just no time. But creating a page from within iPhoto or by simply uploading photos and using homepage I can have a really nice page in minutes.
    But it is really all about iDisk for me. I keep all sorts of important personal and work documents up there and have access to them from anywhere in the world.
    If you don't use these features I doubt you can truly justify .Mac even with all of the cool free programs they have given me.
    The Simms
    SkyWalker Sounds
    Additional Garage band clips
    And the Free iPhoto prints
    All and all this has been very worthwhile for me and I like my mac.com address but as I said, it is all about iDisk.

  3. ok now with gmail this may not be so great but the email is a big help for me on my travels and switching employers all the time (i´m a postdoc). also the sync capabilties are great when you have two machines, ipod, phone etc and all that bookmarks/contacts on .mac is great. a lot of this is now offered by gmail; but if the space increases to 1 gig as romoured i think it is worth it. there are rumours of other upgrades but no real details as of yet. i figure we will find out at mwsf as .mac is way overdue for an overhaul.


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