Muse is a free downloadable tool that allows a user to archive their personal email. It is a project developed by Stanford University’s Mobisocial Computing Lab. Funding for Muse is provided by an NSF POMI 2020 Expedition Grant and the Stanford Mobisocial Lab.
- Sentiment Graph - Displays messages that may be meaningful to the user, which relies on a pre-built lexicon to determine sentiments.
- Calendar View - Displays important terms in the user’s email found through statistical analysis.
- Attachment Wall - Displays all email attachments and allows the user to view the messages associated with the attachments.
- Jog Dial Interface - Allows the user to quickly skim emails in chronological order using a dial interface.
- Browsing Lens - A browser extension for Chrome and Firefox that identifies and highlights names on Web pages that also appear in the user’s email archive.
Users are able to fine-tune these features as they see fit in the Settings menu.
Common email formats supported by Muse are mbox, .PST, .DBX, and Eudora. Email can also be obtained simultaneously from multiple accounts. Muse connects via a secure email server, storing data locally, which ensures confidentiality among user accounts.
Muse is available for Windows and Mac OS X. Firefox, Chrome, or Safari browsers with Java v1.6 or higher are also required.
Documentation and User Support
Muse offers an extensive FAQ page along with a Tip Sheet. Users are also encouraged to contact the tool's creators for additional assistance.
- FAQ: http://localhost:9099/muse/help
- Muse Tip Sheet: http://mobisocial.stanford.edu/muse/tipsheet.html
If Muse fails to launch on a user's system, entering java -Xmx1g -jar muse-standalone.jar in the system's command line should cause the file to run. This launches the tool with 1GB of memory available, however changing the number in -Xmx1g allows the user to increase memory for particularly large email archives.
- Extreme Tech: Relive and analyze your entire email archive, October 17, 2011.
- New Scientist: MUSE to sift the emails of yesteryear, October 15, 2011.