It’s almost that time of year again- the annual “Do I keep .mac, or do I leave it” decision. I’ve had a mac email address since the iTools days when it was all free. After years of paying my mac tax, I’ve decided to leave .mac and migrate to my own domain (hosted within my gmail account).
Google lets you manage your own domain effortlessly. I’ve set up a Google Apps account for jasonball.com which lets me manage about 100 emails on the jasonball.com domain.
The key here is I’m reading and managing everything from within one unified inbox at my gmail account (could have been from within the jasonball.com/gmail account, but I already use most Google products through my existing gmail account).
Google have made it dead easy to migrate from any service. For .mac there are three steps:
Step One– Move *all* your messages into your Inbox. This includes your sent messages. Although Google won’t register sent messages in your gmail inbox, nor in your gmail “sent” folder, it does add them to your archive- with the right date AND threading. This makes it easy to import all your inbox and sent messages- making them easily searchable.
Step Two– Go to the Settings>Accounts>Get mail from other accounts. Add .mac (even though it refers to POP accounts). You’ll need to input your username, password and these pop server details: mail.mac.com, port 995, select “use secure connection”, select “archive incoming messages” and you’re off to the races.
I chose to leave the messages on .mac just in case I change my mind over the next five months. Google only loads 200 messages at a time, so it will take a while for all your emails to automagically appear in gmail (but they will and the time stamps will all be correct also.)
Step Three– There is no step three! (well, maybe some cleaning up, select as read/filing/tagging you might want to do, but not required. You might also want to uncheck that “auto renew” button for your .mac account).
Why leave .mac? Well, aside from calling it .crap for years…
I don’t use the blogging tools (I use TypePad).
I don’t use the photo albums (I use Flickr Pro).
I don’t use iDisk other than for backup- and a total of 2GB doesn’t get you very far (I now use Mozy, which offers 2GB for free, but pay the $50 per year to back up my entire HD).
I don’t use the iSync bookmarks feature I use Google Browser Sync and Delicious.
.Mac costs me about $150 per year (I have my wife, mom and dad on the service so it costs more than the standard $99). My current set up costs me about $75 net per year (Typepad gets offset with Adsense)- and I get much, much more for my money.
Other small details: .mac’s spam filter is pitiful. I had to buy Spamsieve a while back (excellent software) which meant that I had to read emails in my Mail.app. Google has caught every spam message that .mac missed. Also, the tight integration with calendar is great as well (i.e. there’s an event mentioned in an email and a “add to calendar” appears to the right of the message.
Any questions or problems doing the same, drop me a line: blog at jasonball dot com.