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With me being in Germany and the rest of the family back in bonny Scotland, that subsequently makes me the black sheep of the family. I only get home once a year and I often get complaints from relatives that they never see me often enough.

But I feel thankful that we live in the age of the internet with email, Skype and webcams. These days, I don’t feel so far away from home as I used to, compared to when I started travelling back in the Dark Ages of 1994. Now Eyejot has made that distance even shorter by giving me the ability to send my parents a video email. All you need is a webcam, microphone and of course yourself.

eyejotvideoviewer.gif

You can either have a free account or a pro account. The limitation of a free account is that the messages are restricted to a measly 60 seconds which leaves you no time to say anything of substance, except “hi, I’m fine, here I am!”. A pro account for $29.95 a year, on the other hand, gives you 5 minutes which is still not that much time but is better than 60 seconds. Of course, if you’re hell-bent on not paying $30, you can break up your long video message into lots of little 60 second video messages, but to me, that’s a lot of stress for nothing. I’d rather pay the $30 and have an easier life.

When you make your Eyejot account, you will immediately see a regular inbox, just like a normal email account. But on the right of the screen, you also have a video screen, like the one you see here. On the left are the video emails you’ve received and the ones you’ve sent. By clicking on any of the video emails in your account, they will instantly play in the video player.

Eyejot Interface Screnshot

Making a video email is very straight forward. Just click the “record” button and start speaking. When you’re finished, play back the recording and make sure everything is OK. Then enter the email address of the intended recipient and click “send”. They’ll then get a notification email that a video email is waiting for them. They can then sign into Eyejot, go to their inbox and play back your video email.

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The sound quality and picture quality is of course entirely dependent on what webcam and microphone you are using. Eyejot only feeds off what your webcam and microphone gives it. I made my first video email late at night which explains why the screenshot above is so dark.

Overall I am extremely impressed with the Eyejot service and I think I might slowly be getting hooked. I now just need to get my mother hooked on it too and then no longer will I have her on the phone constantly asking “so when will I see you next?”. If she wants to see me, she only has to go to her Eyejot inbox.

As a little bonus to Make Use Of readers, Eyejot has provided ten free Pro accounts valid for one year. The first ten people to register an account and then use the registration code UPG539FIESID will get the Pro account. When your account is set up, why not send me a video email at mark AT camelotonline.net, introduce yourself and tell me in one sentence why you love Make Use Of? I will summarize the best ones in a future article here on the site.

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