.Mac expands storage, adds personal domains

With Steve Jobs’ introduction Tuesday of iLife 08, a new version of the popular consumer application suite included on new Macs, Apple has also refreshed its .Mac offering. A basic one-year membership costs $99.95.

.Mac members now receive ten times the amount of storage space they had: 10GB of combined storage space for their .Mac e-mail account and their “iDisk,” a virtual drive users can use to store and share pictures, Web pages, documents, music and other items. What’s more, the data transfer limit has been increased tenfold as well, to 100GB per month.

Family Pack users also get increases. The “master” Family Pack account is allocated 10GB, which each “sub-account” is allocated 2.5GB of space. And users can purchase additional storage capability: storage upgrades of 10GB and 20GB are now available, with 100GB and 200GB of additional monthly data transfer, respectively.

In a blog posting to the .Mac Web site, .Mac administrators note that all .Mac users will have the additional storage available within a week, so expect that this is a rolling upgrade program that won’t happen instantly.

The bandwidth and storage enhancements are being offered partly to accommodate new “Web Gallery” features in iLife 08. iLife 08’s iPhoto and iMovie applications let you share movies and photos on the Web, in full quality, using Web 2.0 technologies. So you can display them as slideshows, provide users with the ability to download print-quality versions of images, and more.

Another new feature of .Mac is the ability to use a personal Web address. A new “Personal Domain” button now appears in users’ .Mac settings windows, and enables you to forward a registered Web site domain directly to a Web site hosted on .Mac.

Combined with the new version of iWeb included in iLife 08, this now enables users to create .Mac Web sites using top-level domain names, rather than having to user harder-to-remember .Mac-based URLs.

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