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Great tool, awesome work. Gmail should really offer a link to backup your mail though. I know you can do it with mail clients and this, but its annoying I cant just download one big zip file from gmail itself.

I imagine (and I'm not speaking for my employer here) that it has to do with cost: if the easiest way to backup your email is by using IMAP or POP, it's essentially an incremental backup mechanism. If the easiest way to backup your email is by clicking a link which contains all your email in a .zip file, it would be a non-incremental backup system and its cost would be much higher, because people would be far more likely to repeatedly download the same emails.

Maybe there could be a few options? Download all mail, download by month, download by year? Seems like they could solve that problem pretty easily and would be very awesome.

Offering different zipfiles for months/years wouldn't solve the problem. "The problem" is that when you have hundreds of millions of users, the easiest mechanism needs to be an efficient mechanism. Adding links for months/years would still leave the easiest mechanism as the least efficient: I know that I, personally, would continue to download the "all mail" zipfile just to ensure that I didn't miss anything. I cannot imagine my mother or grandmother doing anything different.

I don't think it would. That would then be something I would have to set up reminders for and then what if I forget it for a few days? I would have to remember when I last backed up and set that as the starting date. Of course google could remember that for me but we're now getting closer and closer to what IMAP already does better.

When I first set up offlineimap, it downloaded my entire account history on the first day - I'm not sure how that would be less expensive than a single zip file to download on that same day too.

I imagine that most people would download their entire e-mail history, stick with what they know, and re-download their entire history week after week.

Sure, but it would be easy to wrap that inside a Google 'download my data' tool' only downloaded the diff of all your data (not just email) and provided that in compressed form.

I'd prefer the direct zip, sure, but I'm just saying that it's not inconceivable.

You can argue that's it not technically inconcievable but if anyone were to implement it this way, it would likely become a nightmare of usability and broken expectations.

If I'm 'downloading' or otherwise 'exporting' data from any service, I expect it to be all the data. Not a diff wrt the last time I clicked the button.

I don't really see the advantage to that? Do you just prefer HTTP to IMAP? :)

Its ease of use and ease of storage. Setting up a mail client and getting it to download everything isnt a 1 click operation.

However, clicking "download backup now" is a very easy 1 click operation, and I can just store that zip file wherever I want. Done.

Backups are only as useful as the 'restore' strategy. If I had a zip of all my email somewhere I wouldn't really know what to do with it (and it'd be obsolete pretty quickly).

I mainly use Gmail via IMAP (and the web version when I need to set up filters). Therefore, I'm intrigued that folks seem to be interested in a 1-click-download kind of solution.

I guess installing an email client is a hassle. But in Outlook and Thunderbird (at least), it really is that easy. You just put in your email address and password and it will start downloading automatically.

I hope they'll eventually do this too. They have this *Data Liberation Front" (http://www.dataliberation.org/), from where you can already download some data in simple zip files.

Bizarre that you can download aggs of docsr and phoos-- and photos don't compress! But not a few hunded megs of zipped mail. www.google.com/takeout

This would be hard to implement effectively. HTTP sucks for downloading massive files.

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