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Software Review of:
Multimedia E-mail


Clarke Bird has been a member of Alamo PC for 8 years and has more than recovered his $35/year dues by reviewing software programs for PC Alamode and keeping the software - one of the best Alamo PC benefits available to members.

From the April, 2002 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

Let 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 and XP.

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.

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