How to Email Video with Hotmail

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Michelle writes, "How do I send a video from my digital camera through my Hotmail account?"

My #1 recommendation to anyone who wants to send video as an email attachment is don't send video via email. Even on high speed broadband connections sending a several megabyte video takes a long time to send; potentially clogs the receiver's inbox; and might get blocked by content filters on their mail server. You are almost always better off to upload the video to a free hosting service like YouTube and send the email recipient a link to the video. If you want your email to look more professions, use a service like Eyejot to share your video.

If you absolutely cannot be dissuaded from sending a video as an email attachment, open a new message in the Hotmail interface and choose Attach > File from the menu and browse to your video. Keep in mind there's a 10MB limit for attachments in Hotmail and follow these guidelines:

Best Practices for Sending Video Via Email

Use 320x240 resolution maximum Most iPhone and Android smartphone cameras record video at 1280x720. If you have an HD video camera, you probably have the option to record 720p or 1080p video. Classic standard definition camcorders typically record 720x480 video.

If you send video via email, the maximum size you should use for sending a video through email is 320x240. If you need to quickly resize a video to any other convenient format, open the video in Windows Movie Maker and Save Your Movie by picking one of the Pocket PC output options to keep your video under the 10MB maximum.

Reduce the Video Frame Rate Most digital cameras and camcorders record video at 29.97 frame per second. You can dramatically reduce the file size of your video by switching to 15 or 20 fps, which cuts the number of video frames in your movie in half.

Avoid Special Effects and Transitions If this is a video you made with a video editing app, don't use creative effects and transitions. They bloat the file size of your video and make it more likely you'll hit the 10MB limit.

Target a Specific File Size As you're exporting a movie from your favorite editing application, you can specify a file size. Ideally you should try to stay in the 4-5MB range, unless you know for certain that the person on the other end of your message has room for plenty of video in their inbox. For example, Windows Movie Maker offers a Best fit to file size option that lets you choose a file size. The software automatically picks the resolution and frame rate best suited for your selected file size. You won't get an outstanding looking video when doing this, but you will hit the required file size.

Convert the file to a format optimized for low bitrates. Some video formats look better than others at low bitrates. RMVB and DivX both excel in this area. There are a variety of free tools for converting both formats - WinFF is my favorite app for converting videos to a DivX compatible file.