me tell you about a nifty software package from Arcsoft
— Multimedia Email. With this program, you can easily design and send a
very personalized e-mail “postcard” to your family and friends. For the
front, you can select one of 187 different template designs fitting 17
different theme categories such as Birthday Wishes, Baby Time, Funny Bone,
and Thank You. After you’ve finished designing the front, you flip the
card to write your message on the back (just like you do with a postcard)
and then select a clipart stamp.
The neat thing about this program is, when you click on the “Send” button,
up pops your e-mail address list to click on the e-mail address of the
recipient to receive your masterpiece. When the postcard .exe file is received,
the person will first see the front of the card and after a few seconds,
the card automatically flips to be back for the message to be read. The
card can be printed with a color printer with the front of the card appearing
on the top half of the page and your message on the bottom half.
When does the “multimedia” in the name enter the picture? You can add
a photo or video (BMP, TIF, GIF, PNG, TGA or AVI video) to the front of
the card. Another button adds audio (MP3 or WAV) to your postcard. Of course,
you should check to see that the person on the other end has broadband
Internet access — as a file with audio/video will be quite large.
I decided to send a Birthday postcard to a neighbor who has just turned
40. Selecting the Birthday themes, I found a template of a Polar bear sniffing
a birthday present that was perfect.
Next I added a funny photo of Kathy that was secretly provided to me
by her husband. Once the photo was in place, I used the tools to enlarge
the photo and move it to center it within the cutout. Next I chose the
Write a Message button to type my birthday greeting. Since the background
was snow, I chose a nice blue color and a very bold font.
The person receiving the card gets an e-mail from you with attachment
with a filename that reads: multimediaemail.exe. The person can click on
the filename online to view the card or download it to view it over and
over, all the while thinking “ how did he do that?
I’ve had great fun sending these e-mail postcards to my grandson and
granddaughter. I make a conscious effort to design a card that would fit
the likes and personality of a 13 year old boy or a 10 year old girl. That’s
not easy. Many of the cards that I’ve sent to them came from the two Sports
template themes (21different backgrounds to choose from) and I usually
include a candid photo of the grandkid on the front of the card.
Do you like what you see thus far? For $29 and change, this program
will be on its way to you by going to Arcsoft
and click on software. Do you have what it takes to run Multimedia Email?
ArcSoft recommends you use a Pentium II 300 MHz or higher CPU, IE or Netscape
4.0 or higher, 128 MB RAM, Apple QuickTime 4.0 or higher (although RealPlayer
does a good job with video). The program will work on Win95/98/ME/2000/NT
Multimedia Email is a neat and inexpensive way to communicate to family
and friends. You should get 30 dollars worth of fun out of this program
the first month you own it. After that, you will have to be a bit more
creative in designing that second card for your friends and relatives.