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Apple launch: changes to .Mac afoot?

[intro]New features to Apple's online service, .Mac, could be in the pipeline. [/intro] Interesting one here: Apple's suite of online services, .Ma

[intro]New features to Apple’s online service, .Mac, could be in the pipeline. [/intro]

Interesting one here: Apple’s suite of online services, .Mac, will be down for ‘scheduled maintainance’ between 10 and 12 PDT today. Which is exactly the time that Steve Jobs is set to give us his ‘product demonstration’.

The .Mac service offers members a selection of email addresses, iDisk online storage, web hosting, calendar synchronisation and software for back-ups and security. However, it hasn’t been updated in a while, and the rise of free online storage and huge webmail accounts from the likes of Google and Yahoo! have cast a shadow over .Mac’s £69 annual cost.

The iWeb integration makes it incredibly easy to set up your own web pages with .Mac, and a lot of people use it to publish iPhoto albums. But with Flickr and Facebook offering free – and sophisticated – photosharing, .Mac needs to offer something new. At the very least, a rise in the 1GB cap would be appreciated.

One this .Mac already does brilliantly – and my main reason for using it – is synchronising calendars and address books across computers. Doing the same thing for, say, music files would be another killer application – at the moment I use mp3tunes.com to store my music online, but it’d be great to have online backup built into iTunes. Even better if I could then stream that music onto my – yes, MY – iPhone, thereby sidestepping the limits of the built in memory (why oh why did I buy the 4GB model? Oh yes, now I remember… because of the money).

OK, enough random speculation. Here’s the facts: the .Mac site tells me:

So, it could just be – horror of horrors – scheduled maintainance. I’ll let you know as soon as I find out…