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Quickeo builds nice multimedia e-mails, but snags hold it back

Yet another way to send large video files without sending large files (or posting them on YouTube): Quickeo.

It's been a while since we covered a file transfer product like Izimi, Tubes, YouSendIt, or Zapr. But there are still new solutions popping up to solve the problem of sending big files. The latest--that we know of--is Quickeo.

This product's special sauce is that it will bundle up several multimedia files into an attractive e-mail "album". When a recipient clicks on link in the e-mail, it will fire up a Web page that he or she can use to play your files directly.

Quickeo does a great job creating e-mail packages of multimedia assets. CNET Networks

To create a Quickeo album and send these e-mails, you need to download and install Quickeo's Windows-only software, but the recipients of your albums don't need the software (compared to Tubes). However, since Quickeo is partly a peer-to-peer system, you may have to leave your PC on if you want your recipients to be able to actually play the files your e-mails link to. This is because the free version is peer-to-peer only: your computer needs to be on and connected to the Net when recipients of your Quickeo e-mails click your media files, otherwise they won't see them. The paid version of Quickeo--as well as the free version, for 30 days--automatically synchronizes your Quickeo albums to a central service and will stream media from there when your PC is not available. Quickeo Premium costs $29.95 a year.

The app, which is required to send Quickeo messages, has some nice features. It transcodes all video into Flash, which makes viewing files easy for recipients. In addition to transferring videos already on your PC, it will also record directly from a Webcam, which makes it a decent video-mail app (although not nearly as simple as EyeJot or GabMail). Quickeo also makes nice photo slide shows. And if you send audio tracks in a message, those will play in the background during a slide show. Unfortunately, audio, video, and pictures can't easily be downloaded by recipients, although other file types can be.

The e-mail composer software is easy to use--but not easy to set up. CNET Networks

The snags: While Quickeo itself is a small (2MB) application, it requires the enormous .Net 2.0 framework, which it installs automatically (and slowly) if necessary. During setup, you also have to tell the software what your SMTP gateway is. That's archaic--every Web service should be able to send its own e-mail. Also, the service (paid as well as free) limits you to 1GB of bandwidth per month and 1GB of storage on Quickeo servers (more storage and bandwidth are available for an additional fee).

Quickeo does make nice e-mailable packages of multimedia files, but it's a single-purpose tool with important installation and setup issues. That's enough for me to warn people off the service.