Mcards

Mcards are multimedia images designed specifically to display on most mobile phones. They may be animated or regular images, and are incredibly useful for marketing, business, or just for fun. They can easily be sent to mobile phones from your account and published on your Website for visitors to download directly to their mobiles.

How do you actually get your own Mcards?


There are 3 easy options..

1. Create your own Mcards; using our straight forward guidelines

2. Get a graphics designers to create for you, just give them our guidelines

3. Use our design services to create professional Mcards for any purpose

Sample Mcard

Zax All Kars

Zax All Kars


Load Random Card


 

Creating Your Own Mcards

There are several ways to create your own Mcards.

If you just want a static (non-moving) image such as a photo it is quite easy. If you want an animated Mcard, you will probably need reasonable computer skills and some animation software.

Guidelines for Creating Mcards

Following is summary of the Mcard format.

An Mcard is simply an image file that can be displayed on most mobile phones. The image may be animated or just a regular static image such as a photo.

  1. The dimensions of the image should be 240 (wide) x 240 (high)
  2. The image file type is GIF, JPEG, or PNG (animated Mcards require the GIF format)
  3. The image file size should be less than 100Kb (for MMS direct delivery to phone)

1. Mcard Size/Dimensions

Card_mobile_resolution

 

There are several common screen resolutions on mobile phones. Resolution is simply how may pixels it can display (color dots that make up an image). Mobile phones generally do not do a good job of resizing images, so it is best to create your Mcards to the optimal size for the screen. Mobile_screen_resolutions

The most common screen resolution for modern mobile phones is 240 pixels wide x 320 pixels high. However, you usually loose some of the top and bottom of the screen to the phones' menus. Hence, the optimal Mcard dimension is 240x240.

Note - when you upload the image/(Mcard) to your account, several versions will automatically be created to fit the most common phone screen sizes. The user has a choice of which version to download if you publish your card, or, if you are sending it yourself - you can choose which version to send.

240x240 may look quite large on your computer screen (the size of the sample Mcard on this page) - however on a mobile phone the pixels are closer together, so the same image will look smaller on a mobile screen.

Images can be resized from larger to smaller quite easily, so we recommend always creating your Mcards at the highest resolution (240x240).

If you want to use your Mcard as a wallpaper on a mobile phone, you may want to create it to be the full size of the screen (240 wide x 320 high).


2. Mcard Image Format

Mcards should be saved as a GIF, JPEG or PNG file. GIF files can be animated. Generally, JPEG's are good for photos, and GIF's are good for images with fewer colors. File_size_get_info

3. Mcard Size On Disk

Mcard file size should be 100Kb or less. The file size is how much space it takes to store the file on your computer or phone.

NOTE: there are 2 ways to send Mcards to mobile phones (see the messaging section for more details)

  1. Directly (using 'MMS'), where it arrives directly on the phone without the receiver having to do anything.
  2. As a Link to the file (using 'WAP'), where the receiver has to click the link to download the file

When sending directly (MMS), there are file size restrictions. Hence, the file size limit for Mcards is 100Kb. This is sufficient for both static images and basic animation at the standard dimensions (240x240).

A static image (e.g., a photo) at 240x240 will generally be less than 30Kb if saved as a JPEG.

A reasonable level of animation is achievable within the 100Kb limitation. Files should be saved in the Animated GIF format. There are a number of ways to optimize the file size, it just takes some practice and following basic web tutorials.

When sending an Mcard as a link, there is no limit to the file size, as the receiver can download the file. However, it is best to keep the size reasonable as mobile phone storage is generally limited.

To find out the size of a file, right click on it an select 'Properties' (Windows) or 'Get Info' (Mac).


Example 1: Create a Static Mcard from a Photo

This is very straight forward. The simplest option is to click on the mcards link, then Upload MCard. Choose any image file on your computer. After it is loaded into your account - it is automatically converted to the optimal sizes.

Some photos are very large - and we recommend resizing before you upload (eg, to 240 pixels wide). Most graphics programs can resize images.

The proportion of most photos will not be ideal for mobile phones, so, you may need to crop your image. Cropping simply means selecting the area of the image you want to keep, and deleting the rest. Again, most graphics programs have a simple crop tool built in.

Before Crop

Crop1

After Crop

Crop2
  1. Open your graphics program
  2. Open the photo file you want to re-size
  3. Crop the photo so it is a square
  4. Resize the cropped photo to 240 (wide) x 240 (high)
  5. Save as JPEG, e.g., photo1.jpg The file size should be about 20Kb - 50Kb
  6. Login to your account, click on mcards, then Upload MCard. Choose the file you just saved

Example 2: Create an Animated Mcard

To create an animated Mcard you will need to learn to use an animation program (if you have not already). After you create the animation you want, simply export as an animated GIF, and ensure that file size and dimensions are correct.

Some programs that you can use:

  • Adobe Photoshop has built-in animation abilities - click on Window menu then Animation
  • We do not recommend any particular product, however we suggest you do a web search for gif animation software, and you should be able to find what you need. We also recommend looking for online tutorials for the best way to create animated GIFs.