Is Apple’s .Mac for OS X Worth it?

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Back in 2002, I felt that a .Mac subscription was just a waste of money. Man oh man, has my mind ever changed. The upgrade to it with Leopard is so amazing, I can’t imagine NOT having it.

As I am making this video, you can see I am now installing Leopard on a second MacBook. I first installed it on the one sponsored by Ligit. Now, we’re putting it on the MacBook Pro sponsored by Blue Sky Factory. Everything has gone so smoothly since my upgrade on the first one, I feel comfortable putting it on the other machines. Two tips I have to speed up the install is to skip the dvd check, and uncheck the box for “install extra fonts”. You don’t need those unless you regularly use other languages than your native one.

Ok, back to the .Mac! There are just so many things you get for the $100.00 per year subscription:

  • Web Gallery Easily share your photos and movies online from iLife08, with just a few clicks.
  • Web Hosting You can now publish a website, create a blog, whatever you want to do with your space!
  • iMap Mail Get an email address if you don’t already have one… or add another to your collection
  • Groups Keep everyone on the same page using this feature.

The best feature as far as I’m concerned is Sync. This is absolutely unparalleled. There is no similar feature in Linux or Windows. Using Sync, you can sync your address book, widgets, bookmarks, calendar, Dock items and more across ALL Macs on your network! .Mac Sync is built right into Mac OS X, so setup is as simple as a few clicks. Just open .Mac Sync preferences, choose what you want to sync, and click Sync Now. You can have .Mac sync changes automatically, or sync manually whenever you like.

Is there any question that a .Mac subscription is worth what you’re paying for?

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62 thoughts on “Is Apple’s .Mac for OS X Worth it?”

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  2. Chris, I don’t have a dot mac account (at least not yet).

    You forgot to mention the free downloads exclusive to dot mac subscribers, such as the garageband extras.

    Can you further explain what other exclusives are available to the dot mac membership please?

  3. Nice going with giving installation speed up tips, but the fonts are hardly going to slow down your installation as they come in under 150MB while the extra printer drivers are OVER 3GB! Uncheck those, and also uncheck some of the translations that you will never use.

  4. i’ve had a .Mac account since since 2003. all of this was there already. the only thing extra is more storage essentially. Synco is great. Couldn’t live with the sync to mobile phone feature.

  5. Here’s a good tip — make sure to use the full erase-and-install if you’ve installed Logitech Mouse “Drivers”. Logitech’s so-called “drivers” use an unsupported hack from a third party which is giving people blue screens of death when they try to do an upgrade install:

    The hack is called APE and it monkeys with your system:,00.shtml

    Those who install such hacks knowingly to get modifications to the appearance of their system, as people do, bring it upon themselves. But how would any poor person installing a driver from an apparently reputable company like Logitech know they were installing a hack at the same time?

    Apple’s getting the bad press from the BSODs but it’s not their fault at all. Shame on Logitech. Maybe we should all get our mice from Microsoft. At least that’s one thing Microsoft *are* good at. :-)

  6. .Mac still isn’t worth the 100 bucks imo.

    Have you tried uploading 3Gb of photos or holiday video clips to someone’s Public folder on iDisk? How long did it take? All night maybe? It took me a couple of hours to upload 30 jpgs, some 100kb each. I have a good quality of broadband, so no, it’s not a crappy connection/speed/contention issue.

    IMAP Mail: you can add ONE address to RECEIVE from. ONLY. You cannot SEND. You can only send from your address or any active alias. Which makes you a prisoner as when you say bye-bye to your subscription, you lose the address. In this way it does not act like your desktop mail app. In fact, I opened a GMail account BECAUSE .mac mail does not let me mange my mail in this way – I might change my mind if it worked like GMail does.

    And an “email only” account is only in addition to a current subscription. So, that means fork out for your .mac annual fee, then splash out some more for “email only” accounts.

    What’s more I caved initially to the “sign up today” slogan in your face and forked out for the annual subscription. I’ve spent some money, so there. Now I’m insulted every time I log on by another slogan pushing me now to buy more! Just leave me the heck alone. If I want to buy more I’ll buy more. DON’T push it in my FACE!!!!!!!

    So no, .Mac isn’t worth the money. Still deciding whether to cancel.

  7. I used Windows from 3.1 right up to XP. I made the switch (with much trepidation) to Mac when OS X 10.2 came out and I’ve never looked back. For the few Windows programs that I absolutely need I still have a desktop PC and run Windows Vista in Parallels on my MacBook. As an aside, if you’re happy with XP I can see no reason to upgrade to Vista unless you want the eye candy and you want your system to run slower. I’m going to buy an OEM version of XP for my MacBook and ditch Vista altogether.

  8. paying for sharing settings/preferences is only useful for those that need a couple of Macs. I’m quite content with my MacBook Pro and I would have a reason to get another Mac any time soon.

    I share my Firefox bookmarks with Google Browsersync, which is cross platform. That way I have the same history and bookmarks on my Mac, Vista, XP and Ubuntu.

  9. One more tip when installing on more then one machine and you’ve already registered your copy of Leopard. When you get to the registration window you can Command+Q (quit) and a dialog will come up to skip registration. Saves having to fill out this page.

  10. I’ve got dot mac now and its worth every penny just for the syncing features. It just makes life that little bit easier for those of us that have several computers. Thanks to dot mac sync + isync, my desktop, laptop, phone and iPod all share all contacts, calendar items and for the computers bookmarks etc. I recently changed laptops too. Within a couple of minutes I had everything I wanted on it already thanks to dot mac. Fantastic.

  11. Wait, i thought the fonts checkbox on the leopard install dvd only disabled/enabled english fonts like arial and comic sans ms; and that if you actually go into the languages submenu, you can disable languages (which include the fonts in those other languages)

  12. Lordy, Chris … you’re starting to make me look like a cynic! Come up for air, man!

    I think twice about my .Mac account every year — the websites, while easy to create, are CrapForCode (sets my teeth on edge). Publishing photos from iPhoto is easy, but I can’t easily build a website with them (nest all travel photos under “travel” for instance, dog photos under “critters”). Publishing on Flickr is easy, too — although not as easy.

    Calendar/address book sync … that’s a “yes”. Software freebies thru-out the year — a “yes.”

    I felt better when Apple just announced its bumped storage to 1 GB.

  13. i don’t have a mac yet
    but when i do
    here’s my situation..

    i work on mac machines on campus for classes and engineering sooo ..
    i really hate it when i log on and install and customize every single thing over and over again

    so by the time i own the mac .. i will diffidently subscribe for the .mac account … it’s really useful

  14. The days of the shitty tempermental Macs are likely long gone. Personally I will never switch to a mac because I honestly love windows, but that’s simply a preference.

    Macs definitely has its virtues and the .mac stuff sounds pretty great if you can afford the subscription price.

    The only thing that dislike about Apple is that they have to shittalk PCs just to make themselves look better. It’s not the PC/windows fault that Apple has been hardheaded over the years.

  15. even though that i don’t own a mac
    i still think their the best OS out there
    i mean don’t get me wrong every os
    has problems it’s just that mac osx has the least of the problems
    if you asked me 2 years ago mac or pc i would have sad
    pc but now since leopard no question i would say mac

  16. what the hell?
    here is the equivalent.
    syncing on PC. its called ‘windows easy transfer’ for local. and its called windows live (favourites, skydrive, etc.) for over the internet.

  17. first of all we dont have three four laptopss so i dont give about the feat and plus mac screen is tooo wide length is too is made for midgets they want u to buy the big one that costs more ofcourse those blood suking money mac ppl… ridiculous

  18. Well, I have 3 mac’s 2 mac mini’s and a 14″ ibook they all run os x leopard 10.5.5 with a .mac account and loving it.
    in addition what a lot of people just don’t seem to get, is that with a PC by the time that you get done with messing sound buying, a good firewall, anti -virus, ad ware spy ware removers, that you don’t need while owning a mac, you could have bought a nice shinny new mac, with out having to worry about all that other stuff!
    my mac’s work like the day they were new out just out of the box, mac’s just plain work, period!

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