Can you loose your mails? Yes, so why not back them up?

Every once in a while we are exposed to situations that change the way we look at things. Without going into much detail, I recollect the endless hours spend on creating backups of mails using tricks like PST, OST (Outlook) or backing up the idx files (Outlook Express) and so on. Then I found GMail, create a couple of accounts and you have 7 x Accounts GB of space. and you can upload a copy of your email to these servers and have a nice backup for free. Till recently where Google servers had an issue and the emails were wiped clean off their servers for a lot of accounts.

For users that work with Mac OS X, here is a solution from Moth Software, Mail ArchiverX - An email backup utility that does slightly more than just backup the mails.

On Startup, Mail Archiver greets the user with a blank window that looks more like a mail client. When I almost asked myself if this was a mail backup application or another mail client? The next logical option was to click on the menu as I wasn't sure what the UI did. The first option on the File Menu is Setup, so I presumed that since this is the first time I am running the app, I need to run setup. The setup window should be a Wizard Dialog that should be run on first startup, guiding the user through the process of setting up the defaults. The first time around I had no idea of any of the settings. There are four categories,
eMail client A particular mail client of the default client can be chosen
Mailboxes A mailbox can be selected or all mailboxes can be used.
Cleaning A Feature generally not heard, this allows to split digest mails into smaller individual mail, and help in cleaning up the messages, subject line, etc. It removes or replaces text to provide a much cleaner subject line.
Export Format There are 7 formats to export data to, most of them are commonly know formats, like XML, Text, PDF, MySQL, Filemaker, and other lesser well known formats like MBox and Valentina. Valentina is the Database format here maybe other than FileMaker.

After the setup/settings, I felt a bit confident on using the app, on the UI, the first button read Archive followed with Open and Setup. I clicked on open and it prompted me to open a file. It was expecting an Archive File, but how do I get one? It was not very clear anywhere that Valentina (What is this?) is a database format and is what the Archived mail are saved in.

Lastly, Archive itself, it is more like the button Start, I had the option Select Mailboxes, It read a list of accounts from my default email reader. I selected an account that has few emails. After a few quick updates on the status dialog, the process was complete.

I tried the Open again this time opening the archive to view. The empty interface now filled up, allowing for browsing the emails.

This is perhaps the only solution that works across mail clients on the Mac than targeted at only a particular mail client. Other than that it backs up the data in a format that is best suited for the user than in the native format of the mail client. Thereby providing some level of protability. Lastly, the functionality to process emails while being archived, Removal of all words before Colons in the subject like Re:, Fwd:, Aw:, etc and KeyTokens used like [ATTN], [TIP], etc. It will also expand mail from a mailing list digest into it's individual components. All of this included in the low price, it is a must consider software, specially if you think that backups are important and you would want to also backup your email.

While this sounds interesting, I think that Moth Software should include a separate email archive viewer. If I store any data file, I want to store the back up and the reader for the file/archive. The ability to view the archives separately at a latter date is very important.

The software is made using RealBasic, so it should be easier for Moth Software to provide readers for Mac OS X, and Windows as the codebase is the same, they just need to compile for different OS targets. The reader would not really include the Mailbox selector. If the software is split into two parts, the Reader and the Archiver, the UI for the Archiver would be very minimal with maybe just three buttons and a status panel at the max. The database is using Valentina.

Software : Mail Archiver X
Version :
Publisher : Moth Software
Website :
Platform : Mac OS X (10.5.x or higher)
Demo : 12 days
Price : $34.95

And we have a copy of Mail Archiver X for one lucky winner, all you need to do
1. Follow @whatsin4me
2. Retweet the message "Read, follow @whatsin4me and RT this msg. You might win a copy of #MailArchiverX from #MothSoftware"