Spite on the AppStore

As you will all have seen (and, I hope, enjoyed), I develop handy little apps for the Mac in my spare time.  I only develop an app if no-one else has developed a similar program – I always like to be first in the Market.

MailRaider kind of broke this rule because, when I first developed it (in 2008), there was already an application which purported to open Microsoft Outlook msg files – it just didn’t work.  At all.  So MailRaider was born.  MailRaider does work, and very effectively, and users who encounter an edge case file (not very often these days) have been very good about giving me the details so that the next version of MailRaider performs flawlessly.

In the UK App Store, MailRaider has been very well received.  As a download from my website (and rated on MacUpdate) it is similarly well regarded.  I was therefore horrified to discover that the reviews of MailRaider in the US Store are overwhelmingly negative.  I’ve spent a great deal of time honing a useful piece of software and so it is rather hurtful to discover it dismissed as:

  • ‘Hristo Spasoff’ writes: Free app for (free) wasted time. Not Working! I can’t open 80% of MSG files with this app.  But it’s free so I give you 1/5 stars for 20% successfully opened MSG
  • ‘Mac Freack’ writes: No way to open .msg files, absolutely useless.
  • ‘Suga Shane’ writes: If it won’t open a .msg file, what good is it?

If what they said was true then I’d have no problem with these comments.  Mind you, if what they said was true I wouldn’t be promoting MailRaider either.  It’s not impossible that they’ve hit an edge case – but, in that case, why wouldn’t they get in touch and ask me if I can fix the problem?  It’s not like I’ve hidden my e-mail address or anything.

Interestingly, none of these reviewers have ever reviewed an app positively, and Spasoff and Freack have only ever reviewed one app.  MailRaider.  Presumably they’ve downloaded more than one app in the past, so why is it only my software that warrants their spiteful attention?  I don’t generally go for conspiracy theories, but I can’t help wondering if this is a deliberate smear by my competition (MailRaider may have been first, but it isn’t the only solution anymore).

I have two options, as far as I can see it.  I could give up developing it, or I can fight back.  To fight back though, I need your help.  Please download MailRaider from the App Store.  Please try it yourself – it’s easy enough to generate a test msg file to work with (just load up Outlook for Windows on your PC and drag an email to the desktop.  The email will be in msg format and you can then copy it onto your Mac and open it in MailRaider).  Please then rate it in the AppStore, and if you’d be so good as to write a brief review (denouncing the opinions of the naysayers, and pointing out the flaws in their review) I’d be very grateful.

10 Replies to “Spite on the AppStore”

  1. Hi Pascal,

    thanks for saving my day! I’ve downloaded MailRaider and it opened 10 year old .msg files without any problem. Thanks to your app I can now access some valuable information from the time I was still ‘forced’ to work in outlook!

    Next challenge I would like to present you with is developing an app to tackle those hideous .pst files I also still have to get converted!

    Cheers mate!

    1. Erit, I have considered how to deal with pst files. In fact, I did do a version of MailRaider with preliminary support – but it was such a nasty hack that I abandoned it. Perhaps the time has come to revisit pst support for MailRaider? I am considering a MailRaider rewrite – with lots of new functionality and support for additional file types. Before I work on that though, I need to ship:
      Quiffler – a finance app to fix bad formatting in some QIF files which stops them from being process properly by personal finance programs.
      Convert64 – updated, with new functionality, for the App Store.
      Locamatic – updated, with new functionality and support for third party plugins, for the App Store.
      A game (top secret)
      And a silly customisation program – with added diagnostic functionality. A tool for a geek, with entertainment for the geeks non-geeky friends too!

  2. Hi there.
    I just wanted to let you know how thankful I am that your software has helped me in my daily work. I haven’t even thought about how much it has helped me until now. You’re doing all things right by my book. That’s why I’m shocked to read that your software was negatively received, it’s mind boggling to me how that can happen.
    Thank you so much for your work. I’m convinced you’re an awesome guy. Tip off my hat to you.
    Sincerely, Jonas

    PS. I’m currently the only one who has left a review in the swedish store. Guess the amount of stars 😉

  3. Hi there!

    Sorry to hear about all your trials. I only needed to open one .msg file and I was very grateful to see you were providing me a quick and easy solution – for free, no less! Thank you so much. I was able to read the message and the attachments.

    In return, I’d like to share with you how my experience was:
    I used the download link for Classic 1.0 that you have here: http://www.45rpmsoftware.com/45RPM/mailraider.shtml
    I had read your nice documentation page (you scared me off a bit talking about having to enter my password etc – but that did not happen in the end), but my experience was a bit different than you describe there. I got a zip file that opened with a square grey field with a doc pic on it called MailRaider.app. I could not see any installer file, and it did not seem clickable, so I dragged it to my “A” applications folder bar below. I could not find it there and it does not seem to want to go there, but the “hat and envelope” icon was suddenly on my application bar below. I can’t seem to do anything with it, but obviously something happened, because when I went to the .msg file I wanted to open, the dark grey icon (can’t remember what it said on it) had suddenly disappeared leaving a white space (only the file name was visible). But when I clicked on the white space it turned into a large light grey square and my .msg file opened with your MailRaider app. This was all very mysterious to me, but it worked fine. I could read my mail and attachment and download them!

    I had one small problem: under the date it had none, saying * NO DATE *.

    I tried to help you out as per your request by downloading your app from the Apple App Store but could not find where to do this. I am a novice and have never used it before, so that might not mean anything.

    Thanks so much for your generosity and helping me out in a fix! Wishing you and your family all the best!

    Running Safari 5.1.7 on iMac under Mac OSX 10.6.8

    1. Faith, I know about the *NO DATE* issue – and I will try to fix it, I promise. It’s a bit of a tricky one though – because I can’t actually find the date I should be using! You aren’t the only one to want this fixing though – so I will get it sorted.
      I note that you’re using Mac OS X 10.6 – you can now use the App Store version of MailRaider and this is the one that I recommend you use.

  4. Great app. so far tried it on 2 files and worked perfectly. THANK YOU for giving it free, although i would pay a small fee (especially if you reconsider trying to figure out how to deal with pst files).

    I’m off to the app store to give u a good review, hope it helps!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I have few apps in the pipeline for the App Store – including one that is an essential app for every laptop owner!
      The next version of MailRaider will handle msg (of course), eml (for opening, it’s not necessary – but some users have been confused by its absence) and tnef. There’ll be batch processing, and a newer, slicker, user interface. pst handling? Well, not at first – but MailRaider 2 will make it easier for me to add. So watch what’s happening with 45RPMSoftware – I have big ideas!

  5. Having installed MailRaider, I find it works well. However, the contents of the files are not found in a spotlight search. So my question is how can I search a large number of msg files to find the one that I need?


    1. Neil,
      Spotlight search is a function of MailRaider Pro. If you’re using the free version of MailRaider then you will need to upgrade to benefit from this functionality.
      If you’re using MailRaider Pro and having trouble with Spotlight, please get in touch (via email) and I will help you out.

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