Okay, Qflix didn't actually save her life, but it definitely did save her sanity. What's worse than traveling halfway around the world with 4-year-old twins on back-to-back 10+ hour plane flights? Traveling with 4-year-old twin boys AND a baby...
She emailed me in a panic last week: What can I do to keep the boys entertained while I take care of the baby? Being the geek that I am, I immediately started thinking of all sorts of ways to copy their favorite DVDs to her laptop. But that involves illicit ripping software, and other techie skills she doesn't have the time or inclination to learn.
I could have told her to download them from iTunes, but why pay for a movie only to be locked into viewing it on a computer or portable player? Most of the time, the boys watch on TV, and they love being able to pick their favorites from the pile, put them the DVD player, and press the button. When it comes to kids' movies, plastic discs rule.
That's when I hit upon Qflix, the download-to-burn movie techology that has just shipped from Roxio and partners like Dell and CinemaNow. With Qflix drives and media, all she would have to do is connect the Qflix drive I sent her, open the accompanying Roxio Venue software to select a movie, then click the button to both download it and burn it to a Qflix DVD. She's an online-shopping addict (it's pretty much impossible to drag three little kids around the mall), so this would be right up her alley and technical comfort level.
In one shot, she'd have a copy of the movie on her hard drive for the boys to watch on the plane or in the car, and a physical DVD for them to play on the TV at home. She downloaded Surf's Up (they love penguins so this was a safe choice) and The Spiderwick Chronicles, made sure the extra laptop battery was charged, and was all ready to go.
I won't pretend the trip was without incident (notably the drink spill on the saintly lady sitting next to them on one leg), but they got through it. Even better, Liz now has a source of movies that she can tap any time without going to the video store or waiting days for them to come in the mail. She can pick a movie before dinner, start the download and burn process, and it will be done in time to watch with her husband after the kids are in bed.
Learn more about Qflix and how it works here.