Performance and Operability
Overall, the performance of Spicebird on Windows has been good. It does hang on occasion and does hesitate on some tasks. It crashed a few times when we added content and worked with the application. On the positive side, we created an account with over 100,000 items in the inbox. This is a little more than the Outlook recommended maximum of 5000 items per folder. When opening an item in the inbox there was no hesitation. We were able to open, reply, and move messages to and from that inbox without delay. Even sorting the folder by sender or date was faster than Outlook on the same workstation. Even sorting by thread with 100,000 messages took only a few seconds (eight seconds to Unsort). Spicebird is not gentle on system resources, though. When we were able to use Spicebird for an extended period, it performed well using about 140MB of RAM on our test system with 2GB RAM total [See Figure 23]. Searching entire message bodies for specific text was quite slow and caused some hangs, though header queries were returned promptly.
Some of the integration functionality is weak. The Import process is not as specific as it could or should be. For example, when importing from an external mail source, Spicebird will ask what type of file you want to import, but it lists applications. Outlook and Eudora are not “files". There are still a lot of references to Thunderbird in the application. For example, an e-mail attachment with the .eml extension will show the classic Thunderbird icon (Spicebird did not assume that extension at installation). Also when managing RSS Feed Subscriptions (Edit | Account Settings | RSS Feeds | Manage Subscriptions) you are able to export feed information to an .opml file. The default name for this file is labeled MyThunderbirdFeeds.opml by default. Spicebird beta help in the Help menu opens the Mozilla Thunderbird support page at Mozilla.org.
The Default Mail Client checking seems to be inoperable on our test installation, including the Check Now option. Also lacking was any mechanism of reporting. I would like to see disk space consumption by account for example, but was not able to do so through the application. Setting Spicebird to present full headers instead of normal (basic) created problems with the preview pane with header information leaking onto the status bar at the bottom of the window and did not provide a scroll bar to view the message itself.