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Why Can't I Play a Movie for More Than an Hour on the Dropbox Link?

Explorer | Level 3

I have been a longtime Dropbox user and tonight, for the first time, someone I sent a film to via Dropbox said that the movie stopped playing on the Dropbox website after one hour and gave the viewer the option to Download the movie. Why is this? I normally give two links to friends: a link to the webpage to watch the film and a zip file link of the film to download. Many friends are not computer savvy and don't know how to download for one reason or another.

Is there any way to overcome this SERIOUS limitation on the link to the movie? Is there an upgrade to overcome this? I think this is a serious flaw of Dropbox and enough to send me hunting for another application that doesn't have this restriction.

I would appreciate guidance on this issue.

Thank you.

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions
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Re: Why Can't I Play a Movie for More Than an Hour on the Dropbox Link?

Super User II
Super User II

@galleherjazz wrote:
Why Can't I Play a Movie for More Than an Hour on the Dropbox Link?

Because the Dropbox website only shows a time-limited preview of videos. For Basic (i.e. free) accounts, previews are lmited to the first 15 minutes. For Plus and Professional accounts, it's 60 minutes. For Business accounts, it's 4 hours.


I have been a longtime Dropbox user and tonight, for the first time

These limitations have been in place for years. Nothing has changed recently.


... the movie stopped playing on the Dropbox website after one hour and gave the viewer the option to Download the movie. Why is this?

Because Dropbox is not meant as a streaming service, so it only shows a transcoded preview of the original video. If the user needs to see the entire video beyond the limitations of your account, they'll need to download the file and play it locally.


Is there any way to overcome this SERIOUS limitation on the link to the movie?

WIth Dropbox, no, because those limits are there for a reason. You can, however, use a service like Vimeo and add your videos directly from Dropbox and have your users view them there.


Is there an upgrade to overcome this?

As noted above, different account levels have different limits.


I think this is a serious flaw of Dropbox ...

It's not a flaw; it's an intended function of the preview process. Dropbox is not intended to be a streaming service. There are far better options out there if your sole purpose is to watch videos through a website.

View solution in original post

3 Replies 3
Highlighted

Re: Why Can't I Play a Movie for More Than an Hour on the Dropbox Link?

Super User II
Super User II

@galleherjazz wrote:
Why Can't I Play a Movie for More Than an Hour on the Dropbox Link?

Because the Dropbox website only shows a time-limited preview of videos. For Basic (i.e. free) accounts, previews are lmited to the first 15 minutes. For Plus and Professional accounts, it's 60 minutes. For Business accounts, it's 4 hours.


I have been a longtime Dropbox user and tonight, for the first time

These limitations have been in place for years. Nothing has changed recently.


... the movie stopped playing on the Dropbox website after one hour and gave the viewer the option to Download the movie. Why is this?

Because Dropbox is not meant as a streaming service, so it only shows a transcoded preview of the original video. If the user needs to see the entire video beyond the limitations of your account, they'll need to download the file and play it locally.


Is there any way to overcome this SERIOUS limitation on the link to the movie?

WIth Dropbox, no, because those limits are there for a reason. You can, however, use a service like Vimeo and add your videos directly from Dropbox and have your users view them there.


Is there an upgrade to overcome this?

As noted above, different account levels have different limits.


I think this is a serious flaw of Dropbox ...

It's not a flaw; it's an intended function of the preview process. Dropbox is not intended to be a streaming service. There are far better options out there if your sole purpose is to watch videos through a website.

View solution in original post

Highlighted

Re: Why Can't I Play a Movie for More Than an Hour on the Dropbox Link?

Explorer | Level 3

Thank you so much, Rich, for your full and helpful reply!! I have created a pay account with Vimeo and can now quite happily upload films of any length to this site. I had NOT known that Dropbox is not ideal as a streaming online viewing site. Most of the films I had sent via Dropbox to friends were shorter than the long film that occasioned my question.

 

 

Highlighted

Re: Why Can't I Play a Movie for More Than an Hour on the Dropbox Link?

Super User II
Super User II

@Nona96 wrote:

I didnt faced this issue. I am able to watch 2 hours movie contuiously..


You can watch the full video because it's within your own account. Anyone you share with will be limited to the previews defined above.

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