Platform: Windows XP
Number of downloads: 374
Tiscali Vmail is a little different to other video-chat programs on the market.
Rather than being a downloadable program that you need to install on your PC, Vmail is a free online video-communication service in conjunction with Creative. So clicking the download link will take to a registration page rather than a file.
While you don't actually need a Creative webcam to use the service (just about any webcam will do), the Tiscali Vmail site has a special offer allowing you to pick up two Creative WebCam NX cameras for half price (£40), which is a nice sweetener for those who haven't already invested in an electronic eyeball.
Using Vmail is a piece of cake. All you need to do is register yourself at the Tiscali site. You don't need to worry about inadvertently signing yourself up for any of the ISP's other offerings, and you don't even need to be a Tiscali customer to use Vmail.
Once you've registered, follow the links to the Vmail section where you will be offered three choices: Video Mail, Video Call and Video Conference. The first allows you to record a short video greeting and attach it to an email to send to one or more recipients.
More interesting, however, are the second two options, as they offer face-to-face video communication with up to six other chatterboxes. The Flash-based interface works well, but a slightly clumsy system of emailing a URL to those you want to chat with makes it a little less streamlined than some other dedicated chat clients we've used.
Nevertheless, it's very easy to get going with this service.