MailFX is a new notification utility for Mail.app that displays a Quartz Composer animated graphic on the Desktop when new mail arrives.
This is the sort of thing that will please people looking for a notification utility between the complete pop-up MailAppetizer offers and the minimal approach of menubar utilities like MailUnreadStatusBar.
It installs itself as a classic bundle in your Mail Directory, with its own preference Pane in Mail.app’s Preferences:
Here you can select which of the included graphics you want it to display, how long it should display and how transparently. It can also play a sound when the notification is shown (Nostalgic readers should check out the Eudora new mail sound in the dropdown box).
You can also opt to reveal Mail.app when you click on the notification.
The plugin crates a rule that controls which emails will trigger a notification. By default it is set to trigger for all new mail:
Obviously, tweaking the rule can reduce this and make the alerts more useful (for example, set the rule to trigger only on emails from your work account and not emails from your blog, or only from your boss, or whatever).
In addition, it claims to restore the ability to hide Mail.app on start-up, a feature broken in Leopard (and Tiger too, IIRC).
MailFX is freeware and only works with Leopard Mail. It’s available from the developer’s web site
Excursus: An Ethical Blogging Dilemma
Every now and then an app or plugin comes along that sharpens the difference between being a journalist and a blogger. The bouncy, bouncy notification madness of NotifX was just such an app. This one is another.
When you are a journalist, you just write what your editor tells you to, and don’t ask (too many) questions. And then you get a paycheck in the mail.
When you’re a blogger, it’s more complicated (for one thing, there are no paychecks).
On the one hand, you want to be comprehensive. That’s the point of the blog. On the other hand, there’s the question of good taste. The blog is “mine” in a way that the IT articles I once wrote are not. To be honest, this utility offends my aesthetic sensibilities. I would rather cut my heart out with a teaspoon than use it.
To post or not to post?
I resolve this dilemma as follows: Smack myself on the back of the head for being a snob, and post.
- NotifX 1.6: Bouncing notification madness
- NotifX: Ironic postmodern notification?
- NotifX notification utility updated
- Missing GrowlMail in Leopard? The workaround
- Spoken notification of new mail
Tags: a question of good taste, animation, anti-productivity applications, Apple Mail, mail.app, notification, notifx, plugins, quartz composer