Flexplay: The Disposable DVD that Failed (Thankfully)

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  • Published: 28 April 2019
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    Have you ever run across a cool idea that you desperately hope doesn’t catch on? Flexplay is one of those. In this video, we’ll talk about what it is, why it was crazy to think it would go anywhere, and why it’s probably a good thing it didn’t.

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  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 5 542

  • Technology Connections
    Technology Connections   5 months back

    I mentioned the tragedy of the commons a couple of times in this video. This is an old but (in my opinion) underutilized term for the concept of what happens when shared resources are used by individuals acting in their own best interest. Although the term is flawed and some situations are far more complex than can be explained in four easy words, it’s a useful reminder that things that seem harmless on an individual level can scale in ways we can’t grasp. If you’d like to learn a little more about this concept, check out this website I found; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

    • Ryan Pruske
      Ryan Pruske  3 days back

      Are you going to post pictures of the disk?

    • Chuck Mangione
      Chuck Mangione  1 weeks back

      Did the disk turn black though?

    • Melbourne Transport
      Melbourne Transport  1 weeks back

      @unuseful idiot oh wow this is why I'm not a fan of meat and cars like a lot of people are.

    • Roger Theil
      Roger Theil  1 months back

      I just want to know if it turned black

    • GhostShipSupreme
      GhostShipSupreme  2 months back

      Did the disc turn black or not?

  • Elephant Grass
    Elephant Grass  5 hours back

    I've seen plenty of disposable movies. Have you seen how "woke" Star Wars and the Marvel Universe has become?

    • Always Bolt the Bird
      Always Bolt the Bird  8 hours back

      Other than the waste which is a huge problem it's kind of a weirdly good idea

      • Jed Olson
        Jed Olson  10 hours back

        Seeing that display on the TV screen brought back my childhood in the first second of this video.

        • Linus Halpin
          Linus Halpin  14 hours back

          They were so proud of the concept that they made the company self-destruct as well.

          • nitehawk86
            nitehawk86  20 hours back

            Nice SovietWomble style "but this one is blue..."

            • Mutt Fitness
              Mutt Fitness  20 hours back

              That patent might not be enforceable. Time for you to do a crossover with legal eagle!

              • Dangerous Devil Official
                Dangerous Devil Official  22 hours back

                I actually will release my next album on a limited edition Red Disc CD that looks like this! Only my discs won’t die after two days! 💪😎👍

                • Beagle Boy Gaming
                  Beagle Boy Gaming  23 hours back

                  This message will self destruct

                  • David G Austin
                    David G Austin  24 hours back

                    I actually bought one of those back when they were in stores. I wanted to try it out, just to see how it worked. My DVD player wouldn’t play it. I could start the movie, but within a few minutes I would get an error message. Over and over. I was never able to watch more than the first few minutes of the movie.

                    I thought about taking it back to the store, but it seemed like way too much of a hassle. I just threw out the disc. In retrospect, I should’ve kept it to add to my collection of obsolete media — I have several hundred LaserDiscs — but it went to the landfill instead...

                    • Pete Puebla
                      Pete Puebla  1 days back

                      I'm glad all of this tech failed.

                      • Jeff Davis
                        Jeff Davis  2 days back

                        How many after watching one of these made the best Don Adams they could, "This video will self destruct"

                        • the watcha
                          the watcha  2 days back

                          And fill landfills...?

                          • Июльское Утро

                            where can I order that cool fuji t-shirt?

                            • MVE
                              MVE  2 days back

                              Good riddance indeed. What an environmental disaster!!!

                              • kowasumono
                                kowasumono  2 days back

                                man.. if i had used these disks on my ps2. i would have been mad if it had burned out my laser. ;p

                                • Chevyguy 1984
                                  Chevyguy 1984  3 days back

                                  I remember my mom randomly got one of these in the mail I think it was journey to the center of the earth it worked for about a week

                                  • Ron Stoppable
                                    Ron Stoppable  3 days back

                                    Flex Play DVD discs that only work once are so wasteful. Now we know that we are just surrounded by plastic that needs to be recycled instead of piling up in landfills and oceans. Glad this never really caught on, unless you can modify a DVD player to play the expired discs.

                                    • basspig
                                      basspig  3 days back

                                      Blaze brand bdr media self destruct after 10 plays.

                                      • LethalBubbles
                                        LethalBubbles  4 days back

                                        Weaponized disc rot... scary.

                                        • MrMakeDo
                                          MrMakeDo  4 days back

                                          This woulda been terrible for the environment

                                          • Denver Morgan
                                            Denver Morgan  4 days back

                                            Nobody wants a dvd that self destruct s.

                                            • heath ashley
                                              heath ashley  4 days back

                                              Do you have dirt on that background?

                                              • Matt Carrell
                                                Matt Carrell  5 days back

                                                Shades of "This message will self-destruct!"… lol. I remember those terrible DIVX discs at Circuit City and thinking there is no way I will pay for a player and buy video discs that require you to pay, and pay an pay again or they become useless. What a strange, retarded concept! It was obviously not to benefit the consumer, but only to benefit the movie studios and disc manufacturers. So it flopped and thank God that it did, but then what's this, on the computer, the name DIVX is resurrected as a streaming video format.. ???? That was also suspicious. Waiting for the boom to drop on those video files… lol

                                                • MrBegliocchi
                                                  MrBegliocchi  5 days back

                                                  Products that self-destruct after a short time? Were they made by Apple?

                                                  • Bryan Liguori
                                                    Bryan Liguori  5 days back

                                                    Great video as usual.
                                                    I honestly have no memory of this, and this is from the time I was 15-20. Oh well

                                                    • Polarbear Frost S
                                                      Polarbear Frost S  6 days back

                                                      2:43 No but where did the toast come from?

                                                      • Chuck Mangione
                                                        Chuck Mangione  1 weeks back

                                                        Nice PBS inspired outro.

                                                        • Ciprian Popa
                                                          Ciprian Popa  1 weeks back

                                                          This kinda makes sense. A disk rental takes you on a 4 way journey. Thus reduces it to only two way.

                                                          • TheEightBitLink
                                                            TheEightBitLink  1 weeks back

                                                            I actually recognize that Blockbuster. It's a few blocks away from where I live, though right now it's vacant. It was briefly a gaming store oriented towards tabletop games before they also had to close down.
                                                            Little weird seeing snaps near where you live pop up in vids over 1 million views, gotta say.

                                                            • The Betamax Man
                                                              The Betamax Man  1 weeks back

                                                              I like your shirt

                                                              • Adin Tijerina
                                                                Adin Tijerina  1 weeks back

                                                                Please talk a out divix and diviX

                                                                • Mario
                                                                  Mario  1 weeks back

                                                                  I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that this "technology" was a flop. Otherwise, we might now also have stacks of discarded Flexplay discs washing up on our beaches to go along with the used bottles, toothbrushes and drinking straws.

                                                                  • DJmachine101
                                                                    DJmachine101  2 weeks back

                                                                    What's the diff between DIVX and DivX?

                                                                    • santyclos
                                                                      santyclos  2 weeks back

                                                                      You kind of look like a young Ralph Kramden lol

                                                                      • TheeTurkey79
                                                                        TheeTurkey79  2 weeks back

                                                                        Could you burn these discs on a computer?

                                                                        • Hexy Ko
                                                                          Hexy Ko  2 weeks back

                                                                          Not now but I'd assume that at the time the discs were playable, you could burn them/back up.

                                                                      • HnTv Gaming
                                                                        HnTv Gaming  2 weeks back

                                                                        Thank god online video became a thing, otherwise, we would have another waste issue. Now we need a way to download plastic bags via the internet to solve the plastic issue. :)

                                                                        • Una Salus Victis
                                                                          Una Salus Victis  3 weeks back

                                                                          i had a buddy who bought every movie from these guys he could get...he just ripped them to hdd... and burned a backup...

                                                                          and, there are ways to read them even after they turn dark, i have seen specific drives do it, very slow, but imaging the disks worked..plextor had a very nice daddy dvd drive back then...expensive..i got mine without a front free... LOL....

                                                                          i also saw a demo of a tech like this that was effected not by oxygen but uv light, making it easier to protect for long term use, but also making it more ideal for secure data storage, a place i worked tested such a system and, it really did work, if you took the disk out of the caddy..it would turn dark within a set time depending on the disk 5-15min from what i remember...

                                                                          he got ahold of a bunch of the disk both times cheap as dirt after it was clear it was a dumb idea...

                                                                          btw, at that time, you could buy 2nd hand dvd's at that price... good movies double that price... at any of a shitload of places in my area, for a while everybody did trade ins for dvd's......

                                                                          • SpiritBear12
                                                                            SpiritBear12  3 weeks back

                                                                            I never even heard of FlexPlay. But then again, I haven't rented any sort of movie since BlockBuster died out. I will sometimes borrow movies from the library in town for free. Yeah, I gotta bring them back, but big deal, I just do it with the rest of my errands.
                                                                            Movies are not important enough to me to keep shelling out money to watch them on NetFlix or whatever. Never used a RedBox either. Once in a blue moon I'll buy a legit DVD if I liked the movie enough. Sometimes at Walmart they have these bins full of 5 dollar DVDs. Most are crap, but here and there I can find a good movie and I'll get it.
                                                                            I dropped cable TV almost a decade ago. It just doesn't hold any interest for me.

                                                                            • Jared Maddox
                                                                              Jared Maddox  3 weeks back

                                                                              You know, if they really wanted to accept returns, then they should have just built a fold-out mailing envelope into the DVD sleeve. Would have worked fine.

                                                                              • Red Squirrel
                                                                                Red Squirrel  3 weeks back

                                                                                Wow sure glad that never worked out, what a stupid concept lol.

                                                                                • PINK GORILLAZ ALBUM
                                                                                  PINK GORILLAZ ALBUM  3 weeks back

                                                                                  Hi, Phil Swift here for Flexplay!

                                                                                  • Ion Cujbă
                                                                                    Ion Cujbă  3 weeks back

                                                                                    I will buy,is good ween you rent once in a month or two

                                                                                    • Taxi Rob
                                                                                      Taxi Rob  3 weeks back

                                                                                      Seems like hotel chains would have been their best customers... the guests would just leave them behind in the room, and the hotelier could handle the recycling.

                                                                                      • Lady D
                                                                                        Lady D  3 weeks back

                                                                                        I miss VHS & video/game rental places

                                                                                        • Lady D
                                                                                          Lady D  3 weeks back

                                                                                          Damn environmentalists! Trying to save the word & shit! ;-)

                                                                                        • Warded Thorn
                                                                                          Warded Thorn  3 weeks back

                                                                                          Ya know, I have a quetion:
                                                                                          Why does redbox consistently have the worst movies on the market?

                                                                                          • Maxim Rukinov
                                                                                            Maxim Rukinov  3 weeks back

                                                                                            I like how in the US people were constantly thinking about creating a service that lets people rent movies cheaper and more convenient way, while in Russia people were constantly thinking about how to make their torrent trackers become more reliable and accessable for everyone who wants to illeagaly download a movie and watch it.