create. share. enjoy. (Part 2)

create. share. enjoy. (Part 2)


The new .Mac replaces static photo galleries with interactive pages that allow visitors to upload their own photos and choose from several viewing options. We wish we got the option to review images submitted by others before they’re posted.

 

.MAC - WHERE YOUR MAC AND .COM MEET

With the rise of free Web 2.0 services such as YouTube and Flickr, berating .Mac for its $99-a-year price tag and storage caps became an official pastime. Apple’s update to the service takes some of the sting out of those barbs while providing users with one-click access to Web 2.0 publishing.

 

More Bang For Your 99 Bucks. Existing .Mac members will first notice the more generous storage and bandwidth limits. Apple bumped up storage space from 1GB to 10GB, divided between email and iDisk. Bandwidth increased to 100GB a month, enough to share even DVD-quality video from iMovie. Email accounts benefit from better spam filtering and increased attachment sizes, and support for custom domains allows any site published to .Mac the prestige of having its own domain name (well, sort of).

 

Other upgrades are tied to feature enhancements in iLife ’08. Galleries published from iPhoto ’08 create breathtaking pages rich in Web 2.0 options, including an iTunes-like carousel view. Apple says the goal was to make the Web browser experience application-like, and it certainly is. The upgrades also add a layer of interactivity. Visitors can upload their own photos to published galleries, and their contributions can be automatically downloaded into the original iPhoto library. Similarly, you can share movies created in iMovie ’08 online with a click of a button.

 

These updates are all well and good. The new limits are generous, but their very existence compares poorly to services that offer unlimited storage. Of course, .Mac’s integration with iLife ’08 apps makes it a different animal than browser-based services, but it will always be compared to them. Given the number of iLife features that require .Mac, we also wonder how long it will be feasible for the service to be sold as an option, rather than bundled with the purchase of a new Mac or iLife ’08.

 

The Bottom Line. Much-needed upgrades to storage space and bandwidth make .Mac competitive in the Web 2.0 world, and the exclusive features that the service unlocks within iLife ’08 almost justify the annual subscription fee.

 

COMPANY: Apple

CONTACT: www.mac.com

PRICE: $99 per year

REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.3.9 or later (10.4.10 recommended); some features require 10.4 and iLife ‘08

Increased storage and bandwidth. Support for publishing websites to custom domain names (i.e., yourname.com). Improved spam filtering.

Even increased storage and bandwidth limits stand out among unlimited competitors.

 

 

More...

 

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