Is .Mac a Good Buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by LaMerVipere, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. LaMerVipere macrumors 6502a

    LaMerVipere

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    #1
    For those of you who have a .mac subscription, is it a good buy do you think?

    I like the homepage feature, but the palty 15MB email storage and 100MB iDisk storage space are the big drawbacks I see with it.

    How many of you who have it regret getting it, is it worth the cash?
     
  2. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #2
    i got it for half price when it first came out, i never used it. it was an utter waste of money imo, but other's love it. you can get more for free.
     
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #3
    I use iDisk all the time for sharing files, and since my family has mostly Macs or XP systems, it works well.

    Worth $100 a year? Hard to say. Backup is pretty worthwhile, Virex is, to date, unnecessary. The free stuff that comes along about twice a year isn't worth much.

    My opinion is that iDisk and Backup are the big selling points, and, if they aren't worth the price to you, the rest of it isn't either. A so-and-so@mac.com email address is cool, but... not $100 cool.
     
  4. blackpeter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2001
    #4
    Ex Apple employee here.

    Now that I'm allowed to post here (we are contractually banned from posting on rumor sites), let me give you my opinion about this service.

    We all get a free .Mac account when we are hired, so until then I never thought it was worth the cash. But since using it for about 2 years, I've changed my mind.

    Here are the things I like:

    -Email (+ webmail w/ local address book synchronization*)
    -iCal publishing
    -iDisk
    -iPhoto and iMovie integration with your homepage
    -Backup

    ...all this for $8 a month! And it's only going to get better.

    What was the last thing you spent $8 on? Was it as valuable as what you get with .Mac, or was it something you got with pepperoni and extra cheese?

    P.S. If you go to your local Apple Store and ask them to sell you .Mac at the reduced rate of $69 (usually reserved for those who are buying a computer) see if they turn you down. They won't (but don't tell 'em I said so).
     
  5. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #5
    The first "pay" year it was only $60 and worth it. We got some nice "freebies" including like 100 free prints. This last year it has not been worth it to me. I have till October to decide if I'm renewing, as of right now.. I'm not. Here is MY breakdown:

    .Mac Email: 15MB of storage

    I like their email service. I would have to say this has to be the main reason people still use .Mac, there is something about having that @mac.com email addy.

    HomePage

    Works very nicely. They have just made it PC compatible, so you can make changes on a PC. This feature went awhile without an update, and they should update the templates monthly, instead of yearly.

    .Mac Address Book & Bookmark Syncing

    Nice. However, I think Bookmark syncing should not require .Mac to operate.

    iCards

    They are fun on occasion, but most are available for free (not the customized ones). Not really a useful feature.

    Backup

    Should not require an internet connection. I’ve had problems with it estimating the wrong amount of DVDs and CDs. It creates an unusual file hierarchy that makes it difficult to manually restore items. I’ve had problems with it crashing in the middle of a backup, and had to start the process over again.

    Virex

    I don’t need it yet. Maybe useful in the future. Right now it’s just in the way.

    .Mac Benefits/Discounts/Gifts

    The 100 free prints were nice. I wish they would offer that again. It would be nice to see discounts with iPhoto books. They sometimes offer $10 discounts on shareware games like Collapse, etc. These are more like little perks, and rarely are anything valuable.

    Learning Center

    Great for newbies or switchers. I don’t find it useful.

    iDisk

    2nd most popular feature of .Mac. 100MB of storage and is upgradeable for a “nice” fee. I use it quite a bit. It performs slow, and I have a 3MB DSL connection. It is usually reliable, but there are outages. The outages can last for several hours. I have problems connecting when using a PC when using the iDisk Utility for Windows. Local vs. Network iDisk can cause sync issues.

    .Mac Support

    When it was first announced, it was not made clear that the message boards were for .Mac issues only. The .Mac admins spent months telling people they couldn't post non-.Mac issues on the .Mac forum, and finally ended up creating a non-.Mac issues thread. I and evidentally many other mac users believed the $100/year got us access to a message board moderated by Apple employees that would answer any mac question, whether .Mac related or other. Not the case. Recently, they decided to scrap the message boards and now only offer email based support.

    At the end of the day, sign up for the free trial. If you find its features useful---buy it, if not don't. I find .Mac useful, just not $100 useful.
     
  6. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #6

    $8 a month, but you pay $100/year annually. Just making that clear because I've had several people ask me if you could pay monthly.
     
  7. SillyKary macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Location:
    US of A
    #7
    Go Spymac

    I'm still hanging on to my .mac account, but basically only because I signed up early when it was "iTools" and free and got a nice, short email address that I don't wanna miss. I felt really cheated when they made it for-pay only and I don't really need all that other stuff. I do use the web page hosting and iDisk a bit, but only because I paid for it, so I thought I might as well... I was lucky and got the same nick with Spymac as with .mac, so my email address is now only three letters longer (@spymac.com vs @mac.com). I can live with that and in Oct, Apple has one customer less...

    My opinion: sign up with Spymac.
    http://www.spymac.com/network.php?p=tour

    You get most of what .mac has to offer for free, best of all: 1GB email, yes just like Google! And if you need professional web hosting, with all the tools that .Mac doesn't let you use (cgi scripts, perl, mySQL, several email boxes, own domain), you can get that there too and STILL cheaper than .Mac ($7/mth).
     
  8. Squire macrumors 68000

    Squire

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    I like it. Homepage is great for letting my parents see their grandkids, the Mail service works flawlessly, and the Learning Center is a great way to learn more about the machine and iApps.

    However, I really wish they offered an enhanced version of Homepage- even for an additional fee. I'd like a more advanced website builder. (I once used a service called Homestead that was pretty good. Sort of a "Websites for Dummies" kind of thing.)

    Squire
     
  9. broken_keyboard macrumors 65816

    broken_keyboard

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    Secret Moon base
    #9
    Mail: Only 15M = not competitive
    Homepage: too family oriented
    Learning Centre: too retard oriented
    iDisk: slow to the point of unusability
    Virux: no viruses
    iSync, iCal: who in their right mind would upload their private contact details and calendar appointments to the Internet?

    Giveaways: giveaways! unbelievable. get the core service right first
     
  10. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #10
    This is one of those perenial subjects that seems to come up on a monthly basis. There's been plenty of discussion about it in the past. For the record

    a) Some people think it's worth it
    b) Some don't
    c) Some of (b) who point out they can get a lot more from somewhere else

    It's your choice. Take the demo trial and then when it's over pay for it if you find it worthwhile. Ditch it if you think it's not.
     
  11. Squire macrumors 68000

    Squire

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #11
    Despite my dislike for being called a retard, you have good points. ;) (I'm fairly new to the OS so I find the learning center more useful than the average Mac aficionado.)

    Squire
     
  12. mccaffreye macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    #12
    You could just get a domain name and hosting for less then a .Mac account.

    You can have however much e-mail space you need; as well as much more web and storage space.

    You can backup via FTP and easily choose to make something available for others to see or not. And a resourceful person could even use Applescript to automate this, I bet.
     
  13. LaMerVipere thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LaMerVipere

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    #13
    Err but I hate Spymac!

    I had over 5,000 posts back before spymac became the bloated piece of crap that it now is. I remember the good 'ol Spymac 2.0, which wasn't what it is now and it only had like 30,000 members as opposed to half a million, most of which are only there for the freebies. I'd rather pay $200 a year than ever go back to Spymac. Now its just immature kids and people from like asia trying to ask for technical help in chinese about how to get the free e-mail to work. How sad! They had to ruin a good thing

    I vowed I'd never go back to that hell hole! And now I'm a MacRumors man :cool:

    Sorry to veer off topic but I'm rather passionate about the anti-Spymac biz
     
  14. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    #14
  15. netytan macrumors 6502

    netytan

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    #15
    Quick answer, its a pile of crap! Its a travilsty that Apple is even charging for it when you can get so much more for free! If you have broad band you can set up your own server and totaly blow anything offered by Apple to hell!

    Possibly the only good things about it is that its integrated with Mac OS X which makes it easier to get started with than the other options available.

    Idisk being probably the one savilg feature - get a pile of CDs, external HD or an Ethernet cable (if you have access to a desktop/network) and back up your whole machine in a millions of the time it would take to upload a few reasonably sized files to Idisk, baring in mind that a lot of users ares till on dial-up :eek:.

    Mark.
     
  16. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #16
    Lets get real. .Mac is not for everyone, but for the masses *(which is what apple needs to market almost everything to to make money and stay competitive these days) .Mac is really nice and a decent deal.

    Homepage: meant to be family oriented- I constantly am using it for family photos to inlaws, parents and other family and friends. You can use your own web designs I guess, but I have not looked into it more myself yet.

    Mail, 15M is not competitive if you keep everything, but since you can store your important emails on your local computer and since most users delete most of their email at some point in time it is plenty of space.

    iDisk is a bit s l o w, but getting better and is great for backing up my basic files, etc in case of a crash.

    I must not be in my right mind...my private calendar is up and i could always use a password if I wanted to but I don't exactly put up my credit card numbers and such on a calendar.

    Bookmarks: I love having my bookmarks everywhere I go be in sync with my home computer as well as my address book and calendar so I don't have to carry a PDA.
     
  17. Applexilef macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    #17
    Quick question about the homepage hosting on .Mac:
    Can I post a Macromedia flash webpage on a .Mac account?
     
  18. zim macrumors 65816

    zim

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    #18
    Yes you can :)
     
  19. noel4r macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #19
    Look into spymac first, they have this new program called "Wheel".
     
  20. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #20
    And this is a whole bunch of work for a few bucks. .Mac is for the average user, not the FTP, web domain name hoster person. Those people (many of the most active here) do save money doing it this way maybe, but for ease of use, benefits,etc. .Mac works for most.

    I even use it as my main email account and find it very reliable.
     
  21. SillyKary macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Location:
    US of A
    #21
    Well, the .Mac online forums aren't worth mentioning either. Hidden deep inside the .Mac site and only accessible through the Support area, they deal almost only with ppl who can't get their stuff working right.

    So what I'm saying is, you could still use Spymac's online tools like, 1GB email, their version of iDisk, webspace, iCal hosting etc. and never have to deal with those "immature kids and people from like asia".

    ... and come to MacRumors for the community! :)
     
  22. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #22
    Isn't this the point of support...helping people who are not getting their stuff to work exactly right?!?!? :rolleyes:
     
  23. SillyKary macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Location:
    US of A
    #23
    Sure is, but we were not talking about support. The reason why LaMerVipere abandoned Spymac was the loss of the community - a place where you can discuss with like-minded people everything Mac related, news, products, rumors etc. .Mac doesn't have any such thing to begin with; their support forum has a different purpose and is no substitute.
     
  24. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #24
    Yup...sorry for the misunderstanding...didn't get that from the earlier posts, but now I sort of do.
     
  25. DJ Forge macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #25
    honestly, you could hit up www.spymac.com and get what .mac gives you and then some

    and it's free
     

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