Latee-dah, latee-dee...Let's see here, 'Man's kilt into Girl's skort'? No... 'Boy's torte into Mom's skort'? Nah...'Pocket Socket'? Probably a no-go.
Oh, hello there! S and A are out right now and I am minding the Crafterhours Operations and Command Center. A month or so ago, I offered to watch the store so these tireless mothers could get some much needed time off. But now that I am here...not really all that sure what to fill all this white space with. Not all that crafty me own-self and not sure that sarcasm has the widespread visual appeal that I think it should. Oh, what to do, what to do?
What might be more interesting than watching me shove needles into my fingers and wrapping a project in duct tape and hot glue (maybe I should say Twill Tape and Mod Podge here) is a small techie craft project I have collected from the hard work of a few others and a lot of time on the internet. I started on this hunt after seeing S's iPhone crash onto a table a few too many times in the hands of our otherwise wonderful toddler. I had to find a way to entertain this young Mythbuster while extending the life of the pricey smartphone. Conveniently enough, the solution also overlapped with another project- protect and extend the life of our kids' DVD collection from K, who thinks DVDs are frisbees. I'll offer one solution that has many potential variations and you're free to create and branch out on your own, of course.
What you'll need is one Sandisk Sansa Fuze Mfree software programs that you can download. Ok, why the Fuze? Because it is cheap cheap and a great poor-man's alternative to the iPod. I love iPod and this isn't a post about it in any way (I am sparing you all from a great pro/con debate on this subject with only the highest level of applied self-discipline). The Fuze does audio, video (bingo!), FM, voice recording, and a few other things. Don't bother buying the full price, brand new version. There are a ton of places that you can get one refurbished. It comes in 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB versions as well as several colors. It works with Mac, PC, and Linux, (although I can only speak to this conversion process for PC right now). It also takes a micro-SD card, so you can bump up the capacity on the cheap too. A refurb 4GB will run you around $30-40 from a site like Newegg.com. So, you can set up an 8GB Fuze with an 8GB micro-SD card for 16GB total memory for a total cost of around $50 (Take that iPod! Sorry, I slipped). We have purchased several of them and all the ones we have received are like new. So, get one and update the firmware when it arrives in your hot little hands. If you order a refurbished one like ours, here's how it arrives:; your existing DVD collection, and two
And here's what's in the box (the Mp3 player, USB cable, headphones):
And here's something you can put on it. It's a still from the movie about how Susan makes dresses. Yes, the birds help her. That's her secret.
But back to the point of this post. While you are waiting for your Fuze to arrive, download DVDShrink (my suggestion, although there are many others like DVD-Decrypter, Handbrake, and more). These programs are designed to allow you to make a legal copy of a DVD that you have purchased for your own personal use (no mass copying or distribution of copied DVD is encouraged or legal!!) DVDShrink is an older program and you may run into issues with some newer DVDs, but I continue to have good success ripping DVDs that I own using this program. Dvdshrink has information about the program, but you cannot actually download it from there (go figure... so, try Filehippo).
The next program you need is called Video4Fuze (Get it here). This is a program that some Fuze-maniacs developed to make the whole video conversion process easy-peasy for this , as the Sansa media converter program is really not all that user-friendly. Once you have your DVDShrinked copy of your DVD, use Video4Fuze to convert the digital copy to a Fuze-ready format. Video4Fuze takes a few hours to convert the file and you don't have a whole lot of options with it, but it is a fairly straightforward process. Expect that it will take an hour or more to convert, but you can set it to run through several videos and let it run overnight.
Once your files have been ripped and converted, you are good to go, simply drag and drop your converted file onto your Fuze. Once you disconnect the Fuze from your computer, it will refresh the media and you should see your videos appear in your media list. So, there you go. All that's left for you to do at this point is to find a decent set of headphones that your little one can live with. The ones that come with the Fuze are decent, but not so great for little ears. Another good link to know about is the Sansa forums which has a ton of useful official and community-provided information to help you on your way with the Fuze.
Mission Accomplished! You should now have low-cost, high gain handheld music and Susan Cinderella looked so good on it, I knew Braveheart had to be pretty cool too, right? Besides, I need to protect my iPod from myself sometimes too. Ok, I am a geek. At this point, I'm probably not saying anything you haven't already figured out. So I'll leave you with this self-portrait. Happy Mother's Day!for your little one. You've also solved that “Which movie are we going to watch?” dilema if you have two or more kids quarreling over the in the car or airplane...and if you are like me, maybe you have one for yourself too. I mean,
P.S. Susan would like me to add that if black, red, blue or silver aren't your colors, you could always go this route.