Apple Muscles Up Online
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Apple appears to be taking on all comers, launching a web-based photo sharing service to take on the likes of Photobucket and Flickr on the same day it fired a shot across Microsoft’s bow with an upgraded iWorks 08.

Users of the .Mac Web Gallery can share photos and movies via the Internet, using the subscription based service to download high quality images for printing and upload photos using a web browser or email.

Other new .Mac tweaks are a tenfold increase in storage to 10 GB, further support for personal iWeb website domains and enhanced .Mac Mail.

The service comes in two annual subcription flavours – a $139.95 individual pack that provides up to 10GB storage, and a $249.95 family pack with 20GB storage and four sub accounts in addition to the single master account.

Using iPhoto ’08, .Mac members can choose whether to make their albums available to everyone or limit access to specific people, allow visitors to download high-quality images suitable for making up to 40.5 x 50.8 cm prints or allow friends and family to contribute photos.

The .Mac Web Gallery albums support both Mac and PC platforms and offer a choice of views including mosaic, grid, slideshow or carousel. iPhoto ’08 automatically stays in sync and downloads contributed photos directly to the .Mac member’s iPhoto library.

The iMovie ’08 program enables members to encode and upload movies to their .Mac Web Gallery for viewing in several sizes, with the largest size offering higher-than-DVD resolution. They can also choose to make their movies available for download, which can then in turn be viewed on Mac, PC, iPod or Apple TV.

Members can also embed dynamic web widgets like Google Maps, Google AdSense, .Mac Web Gallery albums or HTML snippets in their .Mac website and host their websites at a personal domain.