Wherefore .mac?
March 17, 2008 2:00 PM   Subscribe

What should I do with my trial .mac membership? I signed up for it with my upgrade to Leopard because it was free, and does not auto-renew. But I just can't think of anything to use it for. I don't need it for making a blog, or posting pictures online. I use gmail. Am I missing something?
posted by bingo to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The backup program is nice, but in my opinion it's not worth the $120/yr for the .mac account.
posted by zippy at 2:13 PM on March 17, 2008

I use mine for transferring largish files. I use FileChute which makes it stupid simple: pops a URL for your file into the clipboard for pasting into an email or link...

No doubt there are many other free and cheaper alternatives. But this one is Apple elegant, works, and puts my .mac account to good use.

posted by dpcoffin at 2:17 PM on March 17, 2008

I had a membership for a year and I did absolutely nothing with it except use the backup app (and now I have SuperDuper and Amazon S3 space, so I don't even need that.) .Mac regularly comes up in Apple circles as one of the biggest squanders of potential that Apple currently engages in, because it could just be so much better than it currently is.

If I had more than one Mac, I might consider re-upping for the Back to My Mac (which, as I understand it, doesn't currently work) / syncing between multiple Macs features, but as it stands, there's just... not much there.
posted by Kosh at 2:24 PM on March 17, 2008

I have four macs, so it's worth the money, to me, to keep them all painlessly synched.

Other than that, I probably wouldn't use it.
posted by crickets at 2:26 PM on March 17, 2008

We have four Macs in our household, used by two active kids and two busy parents. The syncing function of .mac is simple and elegant, and it works. Having the calendar sync alone would probably be worth it to us. The rest of the .mac benefits are gravy.

BTW, get your .mac renewal on Amazon or EBay. Last time I checked it was $70 at Amazon for a single user.
posted by dinger at 2:48 PM on March 17, 2008

Kosh: ...now I have SuperDuper and Amazon S3 space...

SuperDuper works with S3? Please?
posted by rokusan at 3:03 PM on March 17, 2008

Well the biggest thing about .mac is that it puts everything (email files, backup, photo galleries, website, etc...) all in one place.

I've used to back up bookmarks and address book. Sharing photos and files with people and mostly the storage space. It's actually $99.95/year (not $120) which works out to $8.33/month for all the features not to mention the back-to-my-mac.

It's really meant for regular folk and is supposed to be simple to set up and use.
posted by eatcake at 5:37 PM on March 17, 2008

Lifehacker just detailed how to set up a Back-to-your-Mac equivalent without paying for .mac. With that, I can't see a reason to bother with it. I was offered a discounted membership, not the year free (because of my existing account) when I bought my new Macbook last month and I told the Apple store guy "enh" and he said "everybody says that."
posted by Dreama at 6:06 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

I got a year free when I got my new Macbook Pro, and I used my .mac account for exactly one thing: giving myself a myname@mac.com email address and chuckling and thinking about how awesome that would have seemed to me if I were still 15 and a diehard mac nerd. Other than that, it's utterly forgettable. It does have useful features, but nothing actually useful enough to warrant the investment of time required to make it really hum.
posted by GoingToShopping at 10:07 PM on March 17, 2008

SuperDuper works with S3? Please?

Nope, sorry, I meant them as two separate things. I use SuperDuper for full drive backups to an external drive and the S3 space for cheap offsite storage of critical things.
posted by Kosh at 10:13 PM on March 17, 2008

You might want to check out Take Control of .Mac - you don't have to buy the ebook, the free sample includes an introductory chapter listing all the things .Mac can do.

I use just about every feature available (email, Backup, iSync, iLife integration). I have four Macs so iSync & iDisk are particularly handy. I also sell a lot of stuff on eBay and I use a program which integrates nicely with iDisk so I can upload my photos there instead of paying more eBay fees. The iPhoto web galleries are rather nice IMO.

Yes, I could probably do all this elsewhere for free, but as I've been using .Mac for a few years now I find it's cheap compared to the time I would spend learning how to do it all again with services that may not be so reliable and definitely wouldn't be so elegantly integrated & easy to use.
posted by hgws at 1:18 AM on March 18, 2008

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