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BMW Films, AT&T Video E-mail Are Both Interesting New Services

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RALEIGH — Two new multimedia services are well worth a look: big name stars and directors are hyping BMWs on the Internet, and AT&T WorldNet subscribers are getting a big extra with their e-mail service.

Until now emoticons, more commonly known as smiley faces, were about the only way to express feelings in e-mail. Now, AT&T WorldNet allows users to put streaming video into e-mail.

You will need a camera, microphone and speaker to use the service.

This is great for Internet-connected family and friends. No extra software is needed by the sender or receiver. Streaming video is stored on AT&T's servers.

"What that means is it doesn't take a great deal of memory. It doesn't clog up or slow down the computer of the end-user," says Bob Lancaster, an analyst for the Yankee Group.

Other programs allow sending video, but AT&T is making it much easier.

BMW is widely regarded as a prestigious brand. Now the automaker uses the Internet and big-name directors and stars to promote the performance image.

The BMWfilms web site features a series of five short movies by big name directors including John Frankenheimer and Ang Lee, all featuring BMW products. A special, free, Quicktime player really revs up the experience.

A click on the screen lets you hear the director describe his movie.

"I wanted BMW to be able to show their car at maximum stress," director John Frankheimer says of his movie, "Ambush."

Guy Ritchie's movie, "Star," takes his wife, Madonna, on the ride of her life.

One caveat: the movies are very large, so they are best viewed with a high-speed connection.


Tom Lawrence, Reporter
Ken Bodine, Photographer
Julian King, Web Editor

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