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NotAComputerGuy 09-06-2013 12:34 PM

Downloading and saving email in a 'universal' format?
 
Hello,

Is there a way I can download and save emails in a format that in fairly universally used? E.g. save it in my 'cloud space' and read it in some sort of logical manner? Rather than potentially millions of .txt files in a random order?

Currently I'm using webmail and I'm starting to run out of space.

dt64 09-07-2013 06:20 AM

Plain text is probably the most universal format ever, but it all depends on what your requirements are.
If you need to save formats, pictures you could try saving as html or PDF.

You could try to setup a local mail server of your choice and import all your emails there by IMAP, backup its database and store it somewhere.

You say you are using webmail and run out of space. If that's a public service of a mail provider you could purchase a bigger package or move it to a another provider. Or you could run through your mails and delete what isn't needed anymore.
If your webmail is something you could get your hands on the "machine room" it depends on what the backend is.

JJJCR 09-07-2013 06:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NotAComputerGuy (Post 5023177)
Hello,

Is there a way I can download and save emails in a format that in fairly universally used? E.g. save it in my 'cloud space' and read it in some sort of logical manner? Rather than potentially millions of .txt files in a random order?

Currently I'm using webmail and I'm starting to run out of space.

okay you're using a webmail, there should be an option there to export you're email.

you're webmail is using what software?

if you email is configured to a third party email client software, then you can use that as well.

or you can increase the email capacity of your email account if you have the access to do so.

Doug Huffman 09-07-2013 07:06 AM

Abandon the webmail paradigm as catering to the lowest common denominator and use a local SMTP/POP client. Then you can catalogue and search your too huge files as you will. Besides, cloud is just a fancy name for NSA storage client.

JJJCR 09-07-2013 07:14 AM

Agree with you Doug, cloud is just a marketing nickname that will sounds good to trap people's money and confuse people who don't know much about technology.

273 09-07-2013 07:18 AM

As I understand it "Cloud" refers to the cloud icon on a Visio diagram. In other words it's shorthand for "something we don't have any control over or any idea of the setup of". It could be one plug server with a USB stick in it or a bunch of datacentres around the world linked by high-speed pipes.
You have to laugh when people try to sell it as a good thing.

JJJCR 09-07-2013 07:25 AM

Yeah you will hear people bragging about cloud storage, cloud software or other stuffs.

How long he/she has been using email? isn't email a cloud technology?

Weeh..marketing strategy is cool.. makes people run around their ideas..and get more money.

What would be the next term after cloud? atmosphere? ;)

273 09-07-2013 07:34 AM

As to an answer to the original question I think you might be able to use CSV files if you look into it -- sadly I'm rusty with Outlook and I've never tried the export tools for Thuderbird so I can only point to some links I found googleing:
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/o...3-4b1d6422b798
http://www.techrepublic.com/forums/q...l-to-csv-file/

goumba 09-07-2013 08:39 AM

273 I was about to think no one was going to address the original question. :)

Also a possibility for the OP is using an mbox file. Pretty much any email client can import or export to an mbox file. I've done so with Thunderbird; Forte Agent will even export it's newsgroup data to the format. I haven't seen many clients that won't do it that support export functionality. It's a commonly used format, and should suit the OPs requirements well.

unSpawn 09-07-2013 08:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NotAComputerGuy (Post 5023177)
(..) save emails in a format that in fairly universally used?

That would not be a database or maildir or whatever else but the MBOX format. Plain text basically.

273 09-07-2013 08:53 AM

Thanks both for reminding me of mbox.

John VV 09-08-2013 02:16 AM

Yeah you will hear people bragging about cloud storage, cloud software or other stuffs.

we had that back in the 70's
it was called logging in to your server from a terminal

NotAComputerGuy 09-08-2013 02:57 AM

Thanks for the insights and thoughts so far. Can I confirm, I basically just export my emails from my current provider into an mbox file. Will that get updated each time I export the emails?

My provider doesn't give me much space at all and won't allow me to increase it, but I do need to keep quite a few emails for reference and being able to jump to a date is a useful feature of emails.

I have Startpage'd mbox but it appears to be a music program of sorts.

Thanks :)

unSpawn 09-08-2013 03:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NotAComputerGuy (Post 5023949)
Can I confirm, I basically just export my emails from my current provider into an mbox file.

Kind of depends on what your current provider offers in terms of backup solutions.


Quote:

Originally Posted by NotAComputerGuy (Post 5023949)
Will that get updated each time I export the emails?

...OTOH if you have POP3S or IMAPS access to your current providers mail store you may be able to transfer mail to a local IMAPS server like Dovecot or you could use 'getmail' to download messages to say an mbox(rd) file. IMHO IMAPS is generally speaking the most compatible solution to share email between clients and machines regardless of their location or OS.


Quote:

Originally Posted by NotAComputerGuy (Post 5023949)
I have Startpage'd mbox but it appears to be a music program of sorts.

See RFC 4155 and RFC 2822 or Mbox at Wikipedia.

NotAComputerGuy 09-08-2013 04:12 AM

So I have discovered two new small issues within the last hour or so. Firstly, my provider offers export as .eml files, which may be ok, if I can find a client which will open these up preserving the dates in the messages (are they stored in the message?). Thunderbird can apparently open these files, but that leads onto the second issue, which is Thunderbird has apparently disappeared from my repository, which leaves me wondering why.

In the past I have tried to setup my computer as a mail server before, but it went horribly wrong.


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