A Review of Free Video Mail Methods

Aug 25th 2010 at 5:42 PM

<!-- @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } H2 { margin-bottom: 0.08in } H2.western { font-family: "Arial", sans-serif; font-size: 14pt; font-style: italic } H2.cjk { font-family: "MS Mincho"; font-size: 14pt; font-style: italic } H2.ctl { font-family: "Tahoma"; font-size: 14pt; font-style: italic } A:link { so-language: zxx } -->

Stand alone video mail service is the perfect solution for when:

  • Your friends may be offline when you are ready to video chat, especially true when there is a large time zone difference.

  • Your friend may be sick and you don't want to bother them with a live chat; best to leave a video message.

  • You may want to send a video message or demonstration to a team of people.

  • Educators can distribute assignments to a class of students in video mail.

  • Video mail is a great tool for sign language in the deaf community. Recording video messages removes the requirement for the other person to be online at the same time.

  • Recorded video emails are a great way to tell that special someone you are thinking of them.

  • And let's face it, sometimes we just don't have time to video chat. Record a video message, click Send, and you're done.

The original method - attaching files or links:

A straight forward method of sending video messages is to record a video from a camcorder or webcam, and attach it to an email. There are 3 major problems in this approach. The first problem is most video files are quite large, easily consuming 20-100MB of space per file. Most email systems will not accept attachments over 10Mb in size, making this option unusable for most videos. A second problem is the receiver may not have much room left in their in-box. Sending them a 9Mb attachment may cause it to be rejected. A third problem is the perceived virus threat from downloading and opening a large file attachment. Many people simply won't open the file due to fear of a potential virus being unleashed when that file is saved and opened on their computer.

To get around these problems you can send a link to a video within the text of your email. This avoids the size issues, but raises other problems. The video file has to live somewhere, so if you are linking to a video on your website or YouTube, you have now lost the ability to keep that video message private. Others could access that same video. Maybe this is what you want for a general marketing campaign for your business, but it certainly is not appropriate for private videos between individuals and teams. In both of these methods the sender will not know if and when the other person has viewed the video itself. And when you send the video as an attachment you can never pull it back.

Video Email Service Providers

Several companies developed solutions to the ease of use, security, and privacy needs for video messaging. Here is a summary of several of the leading providers of the service as of August 2010: – A long time leader in free video messaging of up to 10 minutes in length. However on July 22, 2010 they changed their service where you can no longer send stand alone video messages. The service now requires a video chat be initiated to a specific person, and if they don't answer, a 1 minute video mail may be left. Unfortunately this does not meet the needs of the bullet points at the beginning of this article. – A relatively new player in the video email industry, mailVU provides a free service that allows webcam recording for up to 10 minutes. They are the only company that does not require an account to sign up. Video mails can be created from their Home page, and sent to one or more people including yourself. The video mails are less than 25kb in size, and include a JPEG image which users click to play the videos which are stored on mailVU servers. All mailVU video mails can be played on smartphones such as the iPhone, Android phones, and the Blackberry, as well as on all computers and browsers. A unique feature to mailVU is the self destruct option which can be set for a certain number of views or certain number of days. They also allow you to retract a video after it has been sent, which deletes the video from their server so it can no longer be played. – An established player in the video email industry with a good range of features. Unfortunately most of the interesting features require a paid account. Their free service requires an account setup, and then will let you record a video up to 1 minute in length. Similar to mailVU the video mails are small in size as the videos themselves are stored on servers. A couple benefits to Eyejot having an account is that the user can see their previous video mails, and have a stored address book. Eyejot offers premium service plans at $29/yr and $99/yr which provide the ability to attach files, upload videos, and play video mails on smart phones. The paid plans, even the $99 plan, restrict record time to 5 minutes. You must have a paid plan to view Eyejot videos on your smartphone. – A widely used service sold through a direct selling (MLM) model. Unfortunately they do not offer a free version. The paid version starts with a $175 fee plus a monthly recurring fee starting at $20 and goes up depending on usage. Recording time is 5 minutes. Due to lack of a free version this article will not provide a review of their services. Contact one of their many sale representatives for a demo. and – I grouped these two companies together due to the similarities of the service offerings. Neither of them provides a free video email service, but both offer a feature rich paid subscription plan around $30/month and up. They both also offer iPhone apps. If you are considering a paid service you should keep these companies on your evaluation list and try them out.

After reviewing the available free video mail options, two companies stand out: and mailVu has the edge in recording time, self destruct options, and plays for free on smart phones. Eyejot has the edge on video mail history and a built-in address book. Depending on your needs either will work out great as a free service. Give them a try today!

Please to comment
Jul 29th 2011 at 5:37 PM by aussie_striker
You have missed one. Have a look at

sign in

Remember Me

New to IM faceplate? join free!

Lost Password? click here