Dot Mac Reloaded
Subject:   I will DEFINITELY renew
Date:   2003-07-09 14:44:12
From:   gforce
I too wanted to justify the expense of a .Mac account. So, I decided to do a little exercise to determine it's worth (at least to me). Here's what I found...

What .Mac gives me for $99.95/year or $8.33/month:
-100MB of server space including FTP and WebDAV access
-Access to an IMAP email account (or POP if you prefer)
-A ".mac" email account that's not tied directly to my ISP

hmmm... doesn't sound like much, but wait there's more.

Let's look at what .Mac combined with OS X allows me to do with relatively minimal effort.

The ability to EASILY...
-Access my Address Book online
-Create web photo albums with iPhoto or other 3rd party software
-Create file sharing web pages with Apple Homepage
-Create iCards from any photo stored on my iDisk
-Backup important files to a non-local storage area maintained by Apple
-Synchronize files between work and home, including Address Book, iCal, bookmarks, PDA and Cell Phone
-Utilize McAfee anti-virus software that is updated automatically
-Post and share Calendars through iCal
-Share personal photo slideshows (as a screensaver) with other Mac OS X users through .Mac Slides. If you have kids this is amazing.
-Share files across the internet with other Mac OS X and Windows users through a public folder on your iDisk.
-Post your own Blog with 3rd party software such as iBlog

Wow, not too shabby.

Now what would it take, in terms of time and effort to be able to do all of this without a .Mac account. It's all definitely possible to do for free, but personally I'd much rather be spending time with my family than trying to develop all of these features on my own.

Of course, this does not apply to the hard-core developer who revels in his own ability to create the same functionality from scratch. Again, these are mainly features of convenience that are designed to increase the usefullness of your Mac with little impact on your time and effort.

$99 a year? I think it's worth it.

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Showing messages 1 through 3 of 3.

  • I will DEFINITELY renew
    2003-07-09 15:51:08  anonymous2 [View]

    That's all fine and dandy for people who actually use all that stuff. The problem is that the service isn't compelling enough for people with either simple or advanced needs.

    For those people who just want an email account, have no need to sync to other computers/cell phones/PDAs/Internet/Space Station/Pets/etc, and have no interest in making their own website, the $99 service is complete overkill.

    On the other hand, people who need to build their own sites with their own domain name will find that the .Mac offering a quant little subset of the tools and resources they are already using. Why spend another $99 on top of what you're already spending for what you already have?

    I'm not saying .Mac isn't a great service with some fabulous features. My problem is that it's trying to be a one-size-fits-all solution to a problem that many people either don't have, or have more than overcome.

    • I will DEFINITELY renew
      2003-07-09 16:06:02  gforce [View]

      I absolutely agree. If you have the expertise to build and maintain your own site and you have the time to do so, then by all means that's the way to go. Especially if you already pay for your own domain name. But I think the target is for people that are going to opt for convenience over customization/functionality.

      I think it's important for people to weigh their options. And decide if any of the features I've listed above are of any value to them. And don't forget that there is almost no setup for these features. You don't have to build anything and configuration is a matter of a few simple steps.

      Again, as you stated above, if all you need is an email account then there's no reason to spend $99 bucks for a bunch of features that you won't use.

      Personally, I'm surprised at how many of these features I've actually ended up using.
    • I will DEFINITELY renew
      2003-09-16 19:06:42  anonymous2 [View]

      I think they (Apple) would get more customers to try .mac if they offered just email for a nominal fee, then, if you want to upgrade to each of the other features, you could pick the ones you want to use and purchase just those.

      So if someone just wanted Backup and email, they could get those without Homepage, Virus, etc.