I've made several switches from various services to other services recently. Here's are two along the rationale for each:

  • From Yahoo! Mail to GMail. My main holdout was custom From: addresses, which GMail added recently. GMail is optimized for the way I work. Yahoo! Mail has no threading or conversation grouping or keyboard shortcuts. Google wins.
  • From iTunes to Yahoo! Music Unlimited. I'm totally addicted to subscriptions. Paying $6 a month and getting nearly everything I want kicks ass. I sold the iPod last week but still have the Shuffle. Yahoo! wins.

There was a third switch, but I forgot it as I wrote the other two. Damn.

What have you switched recently?

Update: Yahoo! Mail does have keyboard shortcuts. I'm trying to find a link that lists them all.

Posted by jzawodn at August 25, 2005 12:19 PM

Reader Comments
# Preston Wily said:

Two switches:

1) Sharp Newsreader to NewsGator for an RSS reader.
2) Back to Sharp.

I like how easy sharp is to use. Also, I was most interested in the Outlook plugin for Gator, but I couldn't get it to work so I kicked it out.

on August 25, 2005 12:39 PM
# Tom Becker said:

I moved from my own domain's POP mail to gmail. I know this sounds stupid, but I would like to have folders in gmail. That's my only complaint. Sorting is nice but it's been tough moving over to the new way.

What are you using for a portable since you sold your iPod or are you just ripping CDs for the car?

on August 25, 2005 01:02 PM
# jr said:

Turn coat.


for what I use it for, y!mail is fine, but then I use it as secondary storage. I'm not a real big fan of gmail yet, but mostly for style and personal use reasons.

Jeremy, I'll still recommend picking up a Creative Zen. Damn nice little player, that. Grab a cassette adapter and a USB power adapter and you're good for however long you want. Plus it's seemless with YME, no drivers required (provided you upgrade to the 2.* firmware).

My only complaint about it is that windows no longer lets you play music off of it while it's docked. Kind of annoying but not a major issue.

on August 25, 2005 01:10 PM
# Mike said:

I use Squirrelmail - it has had at least two "custom from address" options for as long as I know.

on August 25, 2005 01:12 PM
# Mike said:

BTW, is there a way to search to see if specific artists/songs are among Yahoo Unlimited's 1 millions songs without actually signing up (trial or otherwise)?

on August 25, 2005 01:16 PM
# Mike said:

Oh, I guess it would be albums/songs with "BUY" next to them!

on August 25, 2005 01:17 PM
# Justin Thorp said:

Don't you want to own your songs? When you stop subscribing to Yahoo, the music won't working anymore right?

I'd rather pay more money and still be able to play my song 20 years from now whether I'm a subscriber or not. The service may not be around 20 years from now but my songs still will be.

on August 25, 2005 01:19 PM
# Thomas said:

1) Radio to YME (YMU)
2) Listenning to my Zen via FM transmitter instead of burning CDs for the car
3) Favourite IM is now G Talk instead of MSN Messenger

on August 25, 2005 01:29 PM
# Kari Sullivan said:

I recently switched from Windows to Mac, which sadly meant switching from Yahoo! Music Unlimited to iTunes. I would love to switch back, because (like you) I strongly prefer having a subscription service. I'm probably in the minority of Mac users with this opinion - but I'd be willing to pay WAY more than $6 a month for Yahoo! Music for the Mac. I miss the selection of music, but more than that, I really miss the collaborative filtering.

on August 25, 2005 01:30 PM
# Jeremy Wright said:

Justin: I'd rather have as much music as I'd like. "owning" music isn't what you do anyways. You simply have the file on your hard drive, that you are free to use within a certain number of boundaries.

Which isn't the same as owning it.

I'm all for subscriptions. As much music as I want, for only 5-10$/month? I mean yeah, if Yahoo ever went under, then I'd have to buy another subscription service. But my maximum outlay is like 120$/year. That's just 6 CD's.

I understand people who DO want to own music... But I've been a Launchcast user for years for the very reason that I don't care who owns the great music, as long as I get to listen to it.

on August 25, 2005 01:30 PM
# Jeremy Wright said:

... The irony, of course, is that both Yahoo Music Unlimited and Launchcast are down right now... :p

on August 25, 2005 01:33 PM
# Melissa Della said:

Interesting timing. I just switched from Movable Type to WordPress.

on August 25, 2005 01:33 PM
# Joe Beaulaurier said:

Funny you mention this now. I saw the custom send-from address thingy and got the itch. Y! Mail has been real sluggish for several months now and GMail is wicked quick. Readers of my blog know what a huge Yahoo! I am and don't believe I'll switch to GMail, especially with the expected release of a faster Y! Mail beta.

But, I'm about to. It takes just one email to change my work email forwarding. My finger is hovering over the send button ...

on August 25, 2005 01:37 PM
# Jeffrey McManus said:

I changed underwear recently, does that count?

We bought a non-closed hard drive music player (the most excellent Creative Zen Micro) but kept our shuffle as well. We let our kid listen to it in the car on the way to work. People mocked us for giving an iPod shuffle to a little kid but it's actually worked out excellently -- post-literate UI plus no moving parts means it's nearly 100% kid-proof.

Somebody should mention that you can in fact buy music and own it forever through YME. Maybe I'll mention that right now.

on August 25, 2005 01:45 PM
# Hosser said:

On the topic of switchbacks, I recently switched from using iPodder (lemon) as my primary podcatching client to Odeo's online service, since I liked the idea of having access to my online audio content via a central, web-based service, and I liked Odeo's clean interface (same reason I switched from Feedreader to Bloglines . . .)

Odeo's good, but it is still in beta, so there are some bugs - back to iPodder I go, although I may try out the Windows public beta of iPodderX.

on August 25, 2005 01:45 PM
# Greg Whitescarver said:

A switch I didn't make: Yahoo to GMail. I won't be able to switch to GMail until it organizes my entire life like Yahoo does. When another Y! person invites me to an event, I can add it to my calendar with 2 clicks (should be one click, though). I also sync my Yahoo calendar and address book to my PDA. Hard to beat! (Although, if anyone is going to beat Yahoo, it certainly looks like it will be GMail)

A switch I did make: Google News to Yahoo News. Those source toggles on each news category are perfect.

I'm feeling pro-Yahoo this week.

on August 25, 2005 02:11 PM
# Ran said:

Gmail's "From:" implementation still shows your gmail address in the headers. Personally I think that completely defeats the purpose of having it.

on August 25, 2005 03:09 PM
# guillaume said:

Recent switches...mmmm...
- MSN Messenger to the cleaner Windows Messenger (yah still stuck with them...)
- Twingine SE to Dogpile SE
- Yahoo Photo to Flickr Pro

I guess I'm with Greg here. I've never found Yahoo Mail to be slow or lacking features. Gmail lacks many things that I need. And were I to swith I think I'd go with a more professional "platform" (I spelled it right Joe !!) like Runbox or Fastmail.
Now I'll judge after the Y! Mail beta
Y! Music Unllimited rocks, trying it right now but I can't afford it. BTW there is no way to cancel the trial when you're a Y! Plus subscriber...

on August 25, 2005 03:53 PM
# Jack DeNeut said:

Ran - why don't you want your Gmail address in the headers?

I've looked at the Gmail headers when I'm using a custom "From:" address, and it works exactly as it should. In fact, many mail servers will tag an email as spam if the "Return-Path" header doesn't match the real sender of the email.

Jeremy - Yahoo! Mail does not handle the custom "From:" header correctly (it sets both the "From:" line and the "Return-Path:" to the custom address, and this violates SPF (http://spf.pobox.com/)). I had to stop using Yahoo! Mail because of this bug, because many European mail servers I send to are very picky about "fake" headers.

on August 25, 2005 04:12 PM
# Morgan Schweers said:

I'd say it was funny that this question arose just as I'd made a recent big change, but I'm *always* moving to new and better platforms and gizmos.

I just made the switch from LiveJournal to self-hosted WordPress synched out to my various LJ accounts. I wanted more control, more statistics, (oddly enough trackback and pingback), and deeper access to the theming system. (Pure CSS+XHTML liquid layouts rock, and are screamingly hard to do in S2, LiveJournal's theming system.)

-- Morgan Schweers, CyberFOX!

on August 25, 2005 04:24 PM
# MF said:

I switched from lously 1999-style HTML with to CSS/XHTML. So refreshing!

on August 25, 2005 05:00 PM
# Joe Zawodny said:

I switched from beer to wine not too long ago. I'm fairly happy with the switch, but the leanring curve can be steep and expensive if you have finicky tastes (I like Chardonnay's but not woody Oak).

on August 25, 2005 05:26 PM
# COD said:

Windows XP to Ubuntu Linux. So that sort of rules out Yahoo Music. XP and IE required? Yech.

on August 25, 2005 06:30 PM
# Scott Johnson said:

I really hate subscriptions, but that Yahoo Music deal is really just too good to pass up. The RIAA should have given up on the MP3/file sharing wars a long time ago, and the success of Yahoo Music is proof that it's a concept that works well when the price is right.

on August 25, 2005 06:32 PM
# BillSaysThis said:

Atkins to vegetarian, been three months and I have yet to miss meat.

Glasses to (extended wear) contact lenses. People say get the Lasik but I just have nightmares about being the one in however many thousand that gets permanent damage.

I use both Y and G mail, though neither as the primary, and Y only because we use Y Small Business to handle the company mail server. Sorry but I find the UI terribly difficult and lacking configurability. G doesn't offer as much configuration as I'd perhaps like but puts messages in much easier to reach places. Maybe when the Oddpost-derived version of Y finally comes public I'll feel differently.

I use both Y and G News too, but they serve slightly different niches for me. Y has news from sies I always want to see while G throws in stuff from places I won't see otherwise, and it's good to get that wider perspective. IMO.

on August 25, 2005 06:53 PM
# Damon said:

Now that I think about it, quite a few switches recently...

Debian to Gentoo

CVS to Subversion

And I bought a powerbook recently too, and am in the process of trying to make that my main personal system. I gotta get all that other stuff settled first, though!

oh...hehe, and I switched jobs.

on August 25, 2005 07:46 PM
# Ran said:

There are other posts elsewhere that addresses the "From:" issue better than I can, but it boils down to privacy, why I use it in the first place and spam.

I use custom "From:" addresses to keep seperate email addresses for different purposes, but manage them in one place. If the address where you are managing it is in the headers, you've given both the person and spammers another address to use. I do not want people from work/mailing lists/blog/spammers/whatever (each of which has seperate addresses) to know where to send stuff to my private/personal email address (where I'm managing it) if for whatever reason they choose to start harassing me.

I don't see any reason (outside of bad recipient filters) to even use custom "From" addresses if all the addresses you use are known anyway, as you might as well just use the "Reply-to" setting.

on August 25, 2005 07:55 PM
# Kearns said:

I love the From:, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

I checked out Yahoo, and like the more value I get with Rhapsody, it costs just a little bit more, but the library is larger (and wider)...

on August 25, 2005 08:50 PM
# Anjan said:

- I switched from bloated malware to a clean machine. Basically moved from Windows to a Mac :)
- In the process of switching from Yahoo to Google. Almost everything Yahoo does is seemingly anti-Mac. Yahoo Messenger on Mac is idiotic; still no Launchcast for Mac and so on. Compare that to Google from its Maps being compatible with Safari to Talk using XMMP so you can pull it right into iChat 3.0

For those including you Jeremy, that are jumping all over music subscription should see the market trend. iTunes music has not lost any ground at all. Napster is close to bankruptcy and the $6 a month price so touted by some will be bumped up to a more cost effective price for Yahoo. Either way, it doesn't seem to be gaining any momentum....

on August 25, 2005 08:57 PM
# POI said:

It was about two months ago but I finally switched from a Palm to Windows handheld (HP iPAQ). I've had several different models of Palms since the Pilot 1000 and it was a tough choice but they are falling behind.

on August 25, 2005 09:48 PM
# Badrinath.V.S said:

Interesting!!! I was going to blog today about my recent switchings(I still am going to).Anyways I made the following switches in the last ten days

i) Moved from Google Desktop Search to Yahoo Desktop Search and then back to Google Desktop Search 2(Still haven't figured out which one is better).

ii) Moved from itunes to winamp. I use them basically to listen to songs from CDs I own and some how I feel the winamp interface is better.

iii) Tried moving from Y!Messenger to Google Talk but Google Talk aint no good so dropped the moving plan.


iv) Am planning to move from blogger to some better blogging tool, does anyone know of a free service that is better than blogger.

on August 26, 2005 12:28 AM
# Sriram Krishnan said:

Switched from Google to MSN Search as my primary search engine. And found no major complaints as of yet :-)

on August 26, 2005 04:52 AM
# Srijith said:

An "unlikely" switch I recently made - GMail to Yahoo! Mail (http://www.srijith.net/trinetre/archives/2005/07/30.shtml#000929)

on August 26, 2005 06:41 AM
# Graeme Williams said:

I've already switched from Y!mail to Gmail, and I'd love to switch to Y!MU, but I can't get past the Y!MU credit card screen. If a simple form won't work (on two browsers and three machines), perhaps the machinery is getting a little creaky? And Y! support has gone quiet on me ...

on August 26, 2005 07:44 AM
# Aaron said:

Bud Light to PBR. mmmmm, beer

on August 26, 2005 10:50 AM
# Joe Beaulaurier said:

Srijith - Thank you, thank you, thank you.

It would have killed me to go through what you just did with GMail. I would be a likely candidate to be shutdown as I have been known to crank out a couple hundred emails (no I'm not spamming) on occasion. Y! checks me when I do this but only with additional password checks and not allowing me to send for an hour (not a day!).

Phew! I feel like I dodged a bullet.

ps... new recommended Firefox extension for Y! Mail -> http://tinyurl.com/8qg7h

on August 26, 2005 11:29 AM
# Gudmundur Karlsson said:

From listening to Radio in the car to podcast.
From iPodder to my own perlscript and cron.
I don't like having to set a new podcast list on every computer, I think even with iPodder you should be able to set your podcast list on the web.
Hope to soon be able to switch from TV to videopodcast or whatever it might be called (using MythTV).

On my laptop from windows XP to
1. debian - good
2. gentoo - terrible
3. mandriva - ok
4. Suse - similar to mandriva
I still like debian the best.

From treadmill/weights to Yoga.

on August 26, 2005 12:01 PM
# Chris said:

I agree with the sentiments on the switch from Yahoo Mail to Gmail... BUT: the custom From: addresses feature doesn't work as seamlessly in Gmail as in Yahoo, or SquirrelMail for that matter. It still sends a Sender: header with the e-mail, causing it to show your core Gmail address in many mail clients (Thunderbird, Outlook, etc). This negates usefulness of the feature for me: if I want to send as another one of my addresses, and I've gone through the verification process, why shouldn't I be able to hide my Gmail address? If I'm emailing a company or an e-tailor or a web site, I often want to hide my core e-mail address and I can't do that with this implementation in Gmail. Bad move, Google.

on August 26, 2005 12:23 PM
# Guillaume said:

Badrinath.V.S , you might give a try to Wordpress or Blogsome.
i'm on Typepad, it's another paid subscripton but I'm too dumb to know how to make a Link blog on Wordpress...
That'd be another move otherwise

on August 26, 2005 04:35 PM
# Kishore Balakrishnan said:

Dear Jeremy,

Are you aware that the "from" address in the reply is not dynamically set based on the "to" in the email and always set to the default

See http://www.kishore.org/blog/2005/08/27/gmail-from-address-is-always-set-to-default-and-not-dynamic/

Am not sure if the trackback works on your side...

Cheers, Kishore.

on August 26, 2005 07:56 PM
# Ray Everett-Church said:

Tried Google Desktop Search, but quickly went back to Yahoo! Desktop Search. Remarkably quick and easy, and doesn't open some kinda weird server/proxy/thingamajiggy on my machine. As a privacy guy, Google's Desktop Search interspersing local results with Internet results in a page that looks like a regular Google search results page completely creeped me out... and got me annoyed thinking about the security implications of some web server whatever hanging out on a port on my machine. Yeah, yeah, I'm sure it's harmless, but any application that inspires panicked calls to security gurus gets a few style points deducted in my book.

on August 27, 2005 03:26 AM
# Ryan Kennedy said:

My switches within the last 12 months:

* Switched employers from EarthLink to Yahoo! (Best. Switch. Ever.)
* Switched from iTunes to Yahoo! Music Unlimited.
* Switched from Blogger to WordPress.
* Switched from Hotmail to Yahoo! Mail.
* Switched from Java to C++ (see first bullet point).

on August 27, 2005 10:07 AM
# Jack Eales said:


Sony Network Walman thing to Creative Zen Micro - sucky, crappy rip to a "sony" version interface and 512Mb of capacity.... to 5Gb of WMA's /MP3's from my "owned" collection of CD's or a Plays for sure subscription... no brainer!

LCN.co.uk to crystaltech.com hosting - MySQL support - see next switch!!

Blogger to wordpress - customisable, fun, php learning, great way to host your blog, or s^&ty thing that makes a mess of every photo you post...

MSN Messenger to Google talk - long live the death of the smiley - and I hear the chat is good too :-)

Newsgator to FeedDemon - not a "swap" as such - more an addition of feed reader - with syncronisation - if I want it in Outllok on one PC - it's there..... if I want it standalone on a PC at work (to avoid mailbox size limits) it's there.... withour the hastle of readin gthings twice!!

There's more I'm sure - but it's late and Mr J Beam is doing his best to make me forget!!

Blogger to Wordpress

on August 27, 2005 04:30 PM
# GrumpY! said:

Switched from Firefox to DeerParkAlpha2 (your extensions will almost certainly work with it)

Switched from YMail Candygram back to classic

Switched from mp3 to ogg

For all you people paying for online subscriptions for music...WHY??? i spend ZERO on media at this point, its called bittorrent.

on August 27, 2005 08:51 PM
# Bryan said:

I switched from tea to coffee. Also, Mac to Windows.

on August 30, 2005 01:12 AM
# Sam Sethi said:

I am experimenting with OpenOffice 2.0 as it has the oasis xml file format expected in Office 12. I will leave MS Office on my PC but will see how long it takes before I HAVE to use it. I have already switched to Firefox full time and just started to use the Sunbird Calendar (iCal) and Thunderbird email with RSS instead of Outlook. I am also looking to replace MSN IM with Trillian.

Less is more. Less Microsoft more standards support.


on August 31, 2005 12:46 AM
# daaku said:

Yahoo! Mail Plus has the custom from addresses.

on August 31, 2005 06:51 PM
# Varun said:

i switched from
- FC3 to Gentoo

on September 14, 2005 11:22 PM
# Somah said:

I switched from Windows to Mac and I love it. I do all my programming on UNIX, so I am happy with my PowerBook :-)

on October 18, 2005 11:53 PM
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