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Outlook hangs opening emails - solved

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Several users recently reported issues with Outlook opening our emails and Outlook "hanging" waiting for images to be downloaded. This issue not only affected FeedBlitz but also FeedBurner and presumably anyone else trying to send email based on certain RSS feeds. It was something of a mystery to us since we hadn't changed anything that might have caused the problem.

The culprit, as found by Google Groups user Kevinbuckleywfb in this thread http://groups.google.com/group/publicity-tools/browse_thread/thread/33377c0ce50bc038?pli=1 was a malformed image URL in some Blogger blogs that causes Outlook to hang looking for a non-existent image (my guess is that it is interpreting the opening "//" as a UNC path "\\" and scouring your local network for machines and files that simply aren't there, which can take some time).

Anyway, as of 3:35pm eastern today (June 2nd) all FeedBlitz emails will now fix the malformed URL responsible if it's in your source feed (whether directly from Blogger or via FeedBlitz or FeedBurner RSS services) and the issue should not recur in emails from us going forward. I also know that the Blogger team is aware of the issue and will no doubt have a fix in place shortly for everyone else.

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