Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Emailing movies is very tempting, because it's simple. Unfortunately emailing movies and other large files often fails. We'll look at a couple of alternatives.
I made a movie with Windows Movie Maker from photos of my grand-daughter as a flower-girl at a wedding but try as I may when I try to email it I receive a 'Delivery Status Notification' that it has failed. I use Incredimail to send my emails and have tried exhausting their 'Help' support system but to no avail.
Movies are more and more popular, and with more and more people on broadband, it's actually becoming quite reasonable to start sharing movies over the internet.
There's still one problem, though.
Movies can be big ... really big.
In your case the first place I'd look is at that delivery status notification. Also called a "bounce" message, it should have included additional information as to why the message isn't being delivered.
My guess is that mailing a movie simply causes the email to be too large. Many email service providers have limits on just how large a single email message can be, and sending any large file as an attachment could easily exceed that limit. That limit could be imposed by your mail provider, or it could be imposed by your recipient's mail provider, or (less likely) some email transport in between.
Your recipient may also have a limit on how much email they can accumulate. If your email causes their mailbox to become too full, your message may get bounced back to you as undeliverable.
So what can you do?
There are a couple of approaches.
Perhaps the easiest and most reliable might be to use one of the new video services such as Google video (video.google.com) or YouTube (www.youtube.com). Both of these allow you to upload video, and then share it by simply emailing a URL to your friends. As an added bonus, most videos are presented in formats that are as common as possible, so you don't have to worry about what kind of computer each of your family members has, and whether or not they'll support the video format you happened to use.
While these services are free, there is one down side: anyone can see your video.
The other approach, which works for all file types - not just videos - is to just upload them to web somewhere, and then email the URL.
Now, while that sounds very much like what we just considered with the free video services, it's going to require a little but more education on your part. It's a very simple concept, though. Here's what you'll need:
A web site to upload to. Many ISPs offer you some amount of web site space as part of your package and this is a great use for that. If you've ever seen URL's that look like http://www.some-big-isp.com/~accountname then you've seen someone with the user name "accountname", who uses "some-big-isp" as their ISP, using the web space that they've been allotted.
An FTP program. "FTP" stands for File Transfer Protocol, but all it is, really, is a program that is designed to copy files from one place to another. In your case, you'll be using it to copy files (your movie, perhaps) from your hard disk, to the web space provided by your ISP. There are several good ftp programs out there - FileZilla is one popular, and free, FTP program. WebDrive is a commercial program that I use that makes FTP connections "look like" another drive on your system, so that uploading a file via FTP works just like copying a file from one disk to another.
You'll need to configure your FTP program with the information from your ISP, telling you what server name to upload to, and how to log in. After uploading your file, you'll then need to determine the correct URL to send to your family members. For example, for my isp:
The server I upload to is "userftp.isp.com"
I login with my regular account name and password (typically this'll be the same as your email account provided by your ISP)
I upload to a folder called "web_docs"
Once uploaded, the files are visible to anyone in the folder "http://home.isp.com/~myusername". So if I uploaded "wedding.wmv", then the URL I would send people would be http://home.isp.com/~myusername/wedding.wmv".
This is just an example! The details will vary slightly depending on your ISP, but the concepts and the steps are very much the same.
There are many advantages to this uploading approach:
your email is very small - just a URL with your message - and hence much more likely to be delivered.
Your recipients only need to "suffer" through the download of the huge file if the choose to - in those cases where email works, many of your recipients may still be required to download the file even if they don't want to watch it.
You can remove or update the file when you choose to.
You have some limited control over who sees it - only those people you tell. And again, if it's ever a problem, you can remove it.
If you have additional needs, such as strict control over exactly who can see what it is you're uploading, these simple solutions may not be appropriate, or may need to be combined with other security or encryption steps. For the majority of people who are just wanting to share some photos or videos with family members around the internet, it's a convenient approach that's going to be much more reliable than email delivery.
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