Apple's has released Backup 3, offering usability and feature improvements.

The software is available exclusively to members of its $99 .Mac service.

This version is easier to use than before, with several automation options, the capacity to back up more categories of information (including iTunes purchases), and offers a powerful Spotlight-driven way to identify individual files or folders for regular automized backups.

The update also introduces preset backup plans for iLife content and other essential files; automatic scheduling for backing up to CDs and DVDs; advanced file restoration; and the ability to back up more than one Mac iDisk.

Reflecting the latter move, storage for individual .Mac members has been increased to 1GB of combined email and iDisk space, while .Mac Family Pack customers now receive 2GB of combined storage.

Scheduling backups means that user can schedule the actions for any backup destination, including CD or DVD. "The result? You don't have to remember when it's time to back up. Backup will do the remembering for you," said Apple.

The software's facility to support incremental backups means the software saves a new version of only the files that have changed each time it performs a backup, preserving space and saving time.

.Mac now costs $99.95 per year for individuals and $179.95 for a Family Pack which includes one master account and five sub accounts. Backup 3.0 requires Mac OS X v10.3.9 or Mac OS X v10.4.2 or later.