Flexplay: The Disposable DVD that Failed (Thankfully)

  • 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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Comments • 5 653

  • Technology Connections
    Technology Connections   6 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

    • Prone One aka the shaker of cans
      Prone One aka the shaker of cans  3 weeks back

      These only arrived in Australia for a short time in vending machines when video stores like block buster started failing and before netfix went online

    • Stacy Smith
      Stacy Smith  3 weeks back

      So... If you are buying the license to view it PERMANENTLY, shouldn't you rate a replacement should the PERMANENT media cease to quit working?

    • Nigel Cam
      Nigel Cam  3 weeks back

      @N T They did not function fine, the poor allocation of resources condemned humanity to centuries of hard labor and bare substance through the middle ages. Fencing off the commons and making individuals responsible for their own portion dramatically increases potential output. This is why China, which had small scale family rice paddy agriculture for thousands of years, had a vastly larger population than Europe. The basic principle here is taught in any IO class at a real university.

    • Nigel Cam
      Nigel Cam  3 weeks back

      @Brad Buffalo were hunted as part of a strategy in the Indian wars, the dodo was geographically very limited in distribution as was the Tasmanian tiger.

    • Ryan Pruske
      Ryan Pruske  4 weeks back

      Are you going to post pictures of the disk?

  • Marcus Zyker
    Marcus Zyker  15 hours back

    So they’re not edible dvds? *stomps* DAMN IT

    • John Arnold
      John Arnold  17 hours back

      Back in the middle of the companies life I found a way to wash the chemical coating off (scrap and keep clean) and put a clear coat on and it cost about 5 dollars Wreck about 13 trying it on one disc

      • Well Read Productions
        Well Read Productions  2 days back

        Tragedy Of The Commons: We were sold that single use disks becomming landfill was bad practice. Then plastic water bottles were marketed to us with no regard to this precedence, yet they are far more destructive. Who stood to loose from such a media distribution strategy is WHO worked our minds to collective control.

        • Jacob Sowers
          Jacob Sowers  2 days back

          I remember the old blockbuster we used to have. RIP buddy. RIP.

          • Eric Hansen
            Eric Hansen  2 days back

            Yooooo! You mentioned Blockbuster needing to invest in a lot of infrastructure to rent, and some place like a grocery store not wanting to do that. BUT, my family bought their first VCR sometime before 1985 because they were sick of renting a portable VCR and my favorite cartoon movie.... from a grocery store. Could have been Kroger, could have been Food Lion. I don't know, I was like 4.

            • Eyar Ouziel
              Eyar Ouziel  2 days back

              While I'm happy this never caught on for environmental reasons, the biggest convince of the Flexplay is not the fact that you don't have to return it, it's the fact that you didn't have to return in *within a certain timeframe*. That used to be the biggest hassle about rentals, having that deadline to return it to the store by a certain date.

              • Tahngarthor
                Tahngarthor  4 days back

                "A grocery store isn't gonna want to take on all those hassles"

                Many grocery stores had video rentals. The store where I still work used to do it, until VHS died out.

                • Tahngarthor
                  Tahngarthor  16 hours back

                  @Pajama Sam Typically it was at or near the service desk since they handled it. Several chains in this region did it at some point or another. The company I work at might have been one of the last to stop doing it (not all stores had it, mainly the bigger ones)

                • Pajama Sam
                  Pajama Sam  17 hours back

                  I've never seen or heard of that. Seems like it must have been incredibly rare. I've only ever seen grocery stores selling movies for purchase.

              • Tahngarthor
                Tahngarthor  4 days back

                "According to this website I found..."

                Never gets old.

                • Linus Magnus
                  Linus Magnus  5 days back

                  Garbage making - capitalism rocks.

                  • TheNomadicMonk
                    TheNomadicMonk  6 days back

                    Last I knew CD/DVD's aren't even allowed in carry on luggage due to them being able to be broken in half and used as knives..

                    • Fred L
                      Fred L  6 days back

                      Your greenscreen is confusing me. Why do you use a green screen if you can just film there? lol

                      • Mejbi Show
                        Mejbi Show  6 days back

                        just record the movie from a tented dvd,and that's it.

                        • Hayley’s Comet
                          Hayley’s Comet  6 days back

                          I mean I actually do miss video rental stores. Movie gallery was the shit. Nostalgia.

                          • VendettaAllan
                            VendettaAllan  7 days back

                            Literally no one:

                            Flexplay: change da world
                            my final message. Goodb ye

                            • Rich Greiner
                              Rich Greiner  7 days back

                              Next time just set a mirror next to the camera, that way you can see the screen from your seat

                              • Hashirama Senju
                                Hashirama Senju  1 weeks back

                                these flextape products are getting out of hand

                                • TMP Playzz
                                  TMP Playzz  1 weeks back

                                  Vacuum chambers?!

                                  • Huey Freeman
                                    Huey Freeman  1 weeks back

                                    there should be at least one person who wants an item before it gets produced you'd think

                                    • Huey Freeman
                                      Huey Freeman  1 weeks back

                                      lol what's that doing here?

                                      • RetroAND
                                        RetroAND  1 weeks back

                                        While for movies it is a silly idea, if they were DVD-R compatible, they would have been pretty useful in other fields, such as cyber security. Having a limited timespan is the basic principle of a one-time-pad. I think they focused the wrong market.

                                        • Michael Burns
                                          Michael Burns  1 weeks back

                                          8:33 *COULD* have been

                                          • Doku FREENET
                                            Doku FREENET  1 weeks back

                                            Is there a way to "rescue" them? some type of light or something?

                                            • RISTAR DA HEADDY MAN
                                              RISTAR DA HEADDY MAN  1 weeks back

                                              Called TEECHHNOOTRASHH?

                                              • Ducky Vexton
                                                Ducky Vexton  1 weeks back

                                                How exactly did you get your hands on one of these discs in the first place? That's what I'd like to know!

                                                • Robert Johnston
                                                  Robert Johnston  1 weeks back

                                                  You won't find RedBox in airports because of international region restrictions and copyright problems (RedBox UK does not have the rights to sell discs to play in the US, for instance)

                                                  • Aaron Huslage
                                                    Aaron Huslage  1 weeks back

                                                    The customers were the content companies, not the end-users. It’s sort of the “ultimate DRM”

                                                    • Patrick Utter
                                                      Patrick Utter  1 weeks back

                                                      I remember these at the truck stops and I pretty much forgotten about them until now..... LOL

                                                      • Russell Schiwal
                                                        Russell Schiwal  1 weeks back

                                                        But when you bury plastic, you sequester carbon. Flexplay would have saved the Earth!

                                                        • hustlebwnz
                                                          hustlebwnz  1 weeks back

                                                          For a tech channel, your comedic timing is on point. You've got a new fan here :)

                                                          • IAGMRevenge
                                                            IAGMRevenge  2 weeks back

                                                            Good focking try.

                                                            • Zonned Comfyshortz
                                                              Zonned Comfyshortz  2 weeks back

                                                              I used to buy these and then copy them to a DVD-R. I would then throw away the original and put the copy in the case.

                                                              • Shane G
                                                                Shane G  2 weeks back

                                                                Before the rise of Blockbuster and its like grocery stores often did do video rentals, at least in some areas.

                                                                • instinctual
                                                                  instinctual  2 weeks back

                                                                  i cant get over how the logo for flexplay has the same font and color scheme as the supreme logo and supreme is associated with flexing

                                                                  • Lisa Silversmith
                                                                    Lisa Silversmith  2 weeks back

                                                                    Throw some toast.

                                                                    • Rudy De Leon
                                                                      Rudy De Leon  2 weeks back

                                                                      I can only see these disc working at airports as an impulse by in the shops. Not everyone will buy them and only a select few who don't want to figure out how to rent a movie on a new town would want it. Since not too many people fly consistently, not too many would be disposed of

                                                                      • KaptenKetchup
                                                                        KaptenKetchup  2 weeks back

                                                                        But does it work underwater?

                                                                        • Niklassen
                                                                          Niklassen  2 weeks back

                                                                          You could create a small vacuum chamber made of glass with one of those glove thingies attached to it. Put a DVD player in it and make some precise holes for the cables and the fan. Come to think of it, it would be smarter to get a player without a fan because the DVD disc would be inside the player so some oxygen would probably come in the fan and destroy the disc.

                                                                          You can put new DVD packages in the chamber and then suck out the remaining oxygen with a pump. Use the glove thingies to open a DVD package, then remove the disc and then put it in the DVD player. Have a little vacuum tube in the vacuum chamber to store the discs, so they wouldn’t come in contact with the oxygen when putting in new DVD packages in the chamber. A pump as I mentioned will remove the little oxygen remaining after putting a new DVD package in the chamber. Goddamn I feel like a genius!

                                                                          • TheBros2theend
                                                                            TheBros2theend  2 weeks back

                                                                            God bless and save you

                                                                            • Blain Johnson
                                                                              Blain Johnson  2 weeks back

                                                                              Still more environmentally conscious than AOL trial disks.

                                                                              • gibbdude
                                                                                gibbdude  2 weeks back

                                                                                What is the point of this? Don't these cost just as much, if not more to manufacture despite lasting for a miniscule fraction of the time? Would any movie store really benefit from enough of an increase in sales to justify this? Is so much of the cost of DVDs just paying the production?

                                                                                Edit: Well, that answers that.

                                                                                • Dr. Peopers
                                                                                  Dr. Peopers  2 weeks back


                                                                                  • J Fz
                                                                                    J Fz  2 weeks back

                                                                                    disposable movies? like b movie or direct to tv movie right?

                                                                                    • Kruemmelbande The Cat
                                                                                      Kruemmelbande The Cat  2 weeks back

                                                                                      Yeah... It failed because it was designed to fail... after two days

                                                                                      • ChiefsChiLLaXN
                                                                                        ChiefsChiLLaXN  2 weeks back

                                                                                        shipping it back would cause more greenhouse gasses than just throwing the disk away. its not much plastic or packaging either probably no more than a fast food meal packaging.

                                                                                        • SaucyBegger25
                                                                                          SaucyBegger25  2 weeks back

                                                                                          just rip it strait away once opened

                                                                                          • Gamekingofthebeast
                                                                                            Gamekingofthebeast  2 weeks back

                                                                                            why pay money for a dvd that commits Allahu Akbar

                                                                                            • Der Pferdehuführer
                                                                                              Der Pferdehuführer  2 weeks back

                                                                                              Oh jeebus, *_NOBODY LET EA SEE THIS VIDEO, NOOOOOO!!!_*
                                                                                              Imagine they buy the patent.... and they lock exclusive pre-order content this way, rather than a potentially hackable/createable code
                                                                                              Wait, I think there was something similar?
                                                                                              My memory is dredging up some kind of dlc or limited install outcry from around the spore era? Crap, I can't remember exactly what happened...