Review: Musashi 2.2.2
Published by: Sono Software
Shareware Fee: $30
With the impending demise of Claris Emailer, I have found myself in the market for a new e-mail client. I tried Eudora, but quite honestly, I don't like the look of it. As pragmatic as I am, a program's look is a very important component to me. And as powerful as Eudora is, my needs aren't that elaborate; I receive maybe 8-10 messages per day. And I don't want to get Netscape Communicator because I don't want to fire up my browser every time I want to check my mail.
No, what I want is a piece of software that has a small footprint, uses very little RAM, and is as elegant looking as it is easy to use (and I must confess that helping out emerging software companies is always a consideration). Fortunately, I came across a link for a new e-mail client, Musashi from Sono Software.
Ease of Use
You will immediately realize that this program is extremely intuitive. This is fortunate, as the manual is all of two pages and poorly translated. The buttons and icons are self-explanatory, and just by clicking and exploring you should be able to get up and running in no time. It took me all of five minutes and that was without consulting the manual once. (And I ain't no genius.)
Musashi comes with the usual compliment of preference settings, mail filters, editing functions for signature files and your address book, and so on. It has multi-user capabilities that allow for other users to have protected mailboxes within the same copy of Musashi. You can compress any or all of your mailboxes (if you're just that popular!). Musashi is capable of background sending and receiving, and has five types of encoding for your attachments--BinHex, three flavors of MIME, and UUencode. Musashi also uses drag-and-drop extensively. You can drag messages from mailbox to mailbox and reassign addresses within your address book by dragging them from group to group.
Personalizing your copy of Musashi is a snap. Every window can be completely customized: button size; foreground and background colors; fonts and their sizes; etc. You even get to choose from over a dozen icons for each of your mailboxes. I found all of this appealing as I like to customize what programs I can in order to give my desktop a more uniform appearance. And, as an added bonus, Musashi takes up very little real estate on your monitor.
Thus far, I haven't been able to create new e-mail groups from existing addresses. I have to re-enter each of the addresses manually and use a different name for each repeated entry. A one-time pain, but a pain nonetheless. However, I was able to import my address book from Claris Emailer as a text file and, with a small amount of tidying-up, I was ready to go in no time. I also imported all of my saved messages; however, this took a bit longer as I could only import them one at a time. (Note: There are special functions within Musashi for importing addresses and messages from Eudora and Unix mailboxes.) And, finally, you can configure Musashi to automatically get your e-mail, but not to simultaneously send your e-mail. I expect that with the aid of user feedback, the future release of version 3 will address these shortcomings.
All-in-all, I'm quite pleased with Musashi. It's a lean little program that satisfies all of my requirements for an e-mail client. As I write this article, I have been using Musashi for over two weeks and not once have I had a need to go back to Emailer.
Musashi is available for a 30-day trial at their Web site and can be downloaded in either a 68K or PPC version (I found the PPC version to be quite fast). I strongly recommend that if you are in the market for an e-mail client, you give Musashi a test drive.