If you were around the 2000s, you would remember the VideoNow player. This tech gadget was a mini video player for kids and teens to watch their favorite shows and music videos before the Apple ipod touch (1st generation) was made.
The VideoNow was a portable video player produced by Hasbro and released by their subsidiary Tiger Electronics in 2003. The systems use discs called PVDs (which stands for Personal Video Disc), which can store about 30 minutes (half an hour) of video, the length of an average TV show with commercials (a typical TV episode is about 20–23 minutes without them), so each PVD contains only one episode, with trailers at the end to use the leftover time on most PVDs, including Nickelodeon PVDs. The original was black and white PVD players. The product was selling 1.2 million players and 4 million discs in 2003. At the time, portable DVD players were large and bulky, and until products such as Game Boy Advance Video, miniDVD, and the 5th generation iPod came out, there were few options for children to watch video on the move.
After the success of VideoNow, they continued on making the brand into different standard models:
VideoNow Color - The second model, Released in 2004. Its most notable improvement over the original model is the screen, which along with the ability to display in full color, now has a resolution of 240×160 and a backlight. Another improvement is the ability to fast forward and rewind the video, while the first model only allowed for going between chapters. It is also backwards compatible with the original model's PVDs, though the image is cropped due to differing resolutions.
VideoNow Jr. - The third model, released by subsidiary Playskool in 2004. It is a variation of the VideoNow Color designed for preschoolers, with a more childish design, rubberized corners, bigger buttons for ease of use, and two eject hatches which have to be pulled at the same time to minimize the risk of opening the disc tray by accident. The PVDs for this system are also heavily flexible in order to prevent them from breaking when bent. Despite this, they can be played in a VideoNow Color and vice versa.
VideoNow XP - The fourth model, released in 2005. It uses a clamshell design, has a larger screen than the VideoNow Color, and was designed with functionality for FMV games. Standard PVDs released during the XP's lifespan would also feature a simple trivia game with questions about the episode included, which could only be played on the XP. If a PVD game is put into a VideoNow Color or Jr, the footage will play in the order it is stored on the disc. Around those times were available they were competing against the Game Boy advance SP. and the Game Boy SP already made Game Boy Video.
VideoNow Color FX - The fifth and final model, released in 2006. It is effectively a rerelease of the VideoNow Color that uses translucent plastic.
They were Special Editions as well like Kool-Aid Red VideoNow and Spongebob Exclusive Edition Video Now Color. As the VideoNow Color does not accept standard 8 cm mini-CDs, some creative users have resorted to cutting down standard 12 cm CD-R discs, though not without problems. Hasbro made recordable PVDs available without the Media Wizard from their online store. However, at least one video has been posted on YouTube showing how VideoNow Color players can be easily modified to accept standard-sized CDs with a bit of cutting and gluing. Years since VideoNow, some YouTubers would show off the classic discontinued video now demonstrates them out to showing the audience how they work. One of the YouTubers find the video now the worst portable player ever.
and I am not going to lie it was the worst. The reason was because I use to own one as a kid. I remember me and my sister saw them at Walmart and they showing previews of Drake & Josh and the Amanda Show. We were so desperate get one until my mom us each a VideoNow with an episode of Spongebob Squarepants and Some music videos from the Black Eyed Peas "Let's Get it Started" and Vanessa Carlton "White Houses". I remember when I started to play it it was working at first then there were some issues with the batteries, I had some hard time seeing the screen even during the day, plus we would watch the same old thing and my mom couldn’t afford to buy another PVDs. After a while for some odd reason they stopped working. We threw them since they stopped working. I remember the last time I saw them was at Kohl's in the toy section at a cheap price with four PVDs included I was thinking about getting them again unfortunately my mother couldn’t afford them so she made me put them back and told me that she can buy them another time until I didn't see them again in 2008 because around the time the iPod touch was taken over. Plus the video now screen was too blurry and hard to watch shows on the player. Honestly, it was a waste of money.
The player was discontinued in late 2004, a few months after the release of the VideoNow Color. They are still available at local Goodwill stores, local thrift stores, and eBay (still selling)
Even though the VideoNow was lame as f, they were the most memorable gadgets in the 2000s even though they could've been done better.