What’s on Your iDisk - dummies

By Mark L. Chambers

In contrast to the physical hard drive in your MacBook, your iDisk never needs formatting or defragmenting, and you never have to check it for errors. However, the structure of an iDisk is fixed, so you can’t just go crazy creating your own folders.

In fact, you can’t create new folders at the root — the top level — of your iDisk at all, but you can create new folders inside most of the root folders.

Now that you’re thoroughly rooterized, here are the folders that you find hanging out in your iDisk:

  • Backup: This is a read-only folder that contains the backup files created with the Apple Backup application. You can, however, copy the files in this folder to a removable drive on your system for an additional level of safekeeping.

  • Documents: This folder holds any application documents that you want to store — things like spreadsheets and letters. No one but you can access these items; you can, however, tag items in the Documents folder as shared, allowing individuals or groups to download them using an access code sent by MobileMe in an e-mail message. Sharing files is a great way to transfer files too big to send as e-mail attachments.

  • Groups: This folder holds files that you want to share with others in any MobileMe Groups you might have joined.

  • Library: Another read-only folder. This spot contains the configuration data and custom settings that you’ve created for other MobileMe features.

  • Movies: QuickTime movies go here. Again, you can add the movies stored here to your web pages.

  • Music: This is the repository for iTunes music and playlists, and the contents can be added to your web pages. Mine is stuffed full of Mozart, Scarlatti, and that Bach fellow.

  • Pictures: This folder is the vault for your JPEG, PNG, and GIF images, including those that you want to use with your web pages.

  • Public: This is the spot to place files that you specifically want to share with others, either directly through iDisk or with your web pages. If you’ve allowed write access, others can copy files to your Public folder as well.

  • Sites: The web pages that you store here can be created with iWeb. In fact, you can even use your own web page design application and copy the completed site files here.

  • Software: Apple provides this read-only folder as a service to MobileMe members; it contains a selection of the latest freeware, shareware, and commercial demos for you to enjoy. To try something, open the Software folder and copy whatever you like to your Mac OS X Desktop. Then you can install and run the application from the local copy of the files.

  • Web: This folder holds your MobileMe Galleries created from within iPhoto and iMovie, as well as other media used by iWeb.