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Audio file previews inquiry & request to to stream audio files in Dropbox.

Collaborator | Level 9

Dropbox is used by many audio professionals but I see many of them leaving Dropbox now.

It seems that sometime in the last year or so, Dropbox started to reduce the quality of the audio stream from its natural state. I see the point for better streaming for casual listening on weak networks, but this is not acceptable for audio professionals that send out files out for approval.

If anything, there should be a setting in the account of the file owner to never reduce audio quality when streaming from the Dropbox site or mobile app.

Another major annoyance is that if you link a client to a folder of audio files that are in numerical or alphabetical order, the Dropbox app or browser doesn't know how to go to the next song.

We don't need anything fancy here, but the ability to keep playing file after file would be very useful.

But first, you need to stop reducing the audio quality by default or more pro audio users will stop using it. It's not acceptable for cleint approval.

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8 Replies

Re: Dropbox Audio Problems

Dropboxer
Hey @Justin P.2, thanks for detailing us your thoughts! 
 
From what I gather from your description, it looks like you’re referring to something similar to what we discussed here, am I on the right path?
 
If so, and you’ve been affected by that in any way, I could create a ticket on our system, in order to check back on some example files that wouldn’t preview as expected. Please let me know if you’d be okay with this option. 
 
When it comes to streaming music within Dropbox, this isn’t currently an available feature, however you could support the relevant Idea, if that’s important to you. 
 
Please let me know how you’d prefer address this moving forward. Thanks again! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support

 

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Re: Audio file previews inquiry & request to to stream audio files in Dropbox.

Collaborator | Level 9

Hi Jane,

It does sound similar to that link. It's not a bug though. It's that if I uplaod a WAV file, audio is degraded when streamed, likely to a low quality mp3 intead of the full resolution WAV.

This is terrible for the audio industry. When we send a link to a file, and the client clicks on that link (usually on a mobile device these days), the file plays but in a low quality for easier streaming. This is not good.

Again, I don't think Dropbox needs a full-on streaming service, which is why I asked that you guys do not over complciate it. It should just be that if somebody is listening to a folder of audio files from a link, the files should play in alphabetical/numerical order.

We don't need anything fancy. We just need the files to play in the same quality as they are uplaoded, and to keep playing one after another instead of manually selecting each song one at a time.

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Re: Audio file previews inquiry & request to to stream audio files in Dropbox.

Dropboxer
Thanks for the additional details @Justin P.2!
 
Following-up from the feedback you’ve included in your last message, I tried recreating the behavior on my side. When previewing a .wav file on my browser, I set the preview quality to 256k & I couldn’t tell the difference. 
 
Upon checking on two android phones, I could notice a slight difference, which may be attributed to the phone’s hardware & setup, as the Dropbox mobile app uses the third-party (non-Dropbox) media players on your mobile device to play audio files
 
Having said that, it’s important to understand your perspective, so please let me know if you’ve experienced something different or you’d like to submit a report (i.e. via ticket) & I’ll do my best to follow along. 
 
Thanks again for sharing your thoughts & keeping in touch with me here! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support

 

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Re: Dropbox Audio Problems

Collaborator | Level 9

Hi @Jane 

256k might be fine for casual listening, but not ideal for professional approval. We need to hear it in its full resolution regarless of desktop or mobile.

I don't seem to remember Dropbox doing this until somewhat recently.

If you check out Filepass, Swan Audio, Fidbak, Bounce Boss, and some others, you'll see there is a demand for this in the pro audio community. 

Imagine if you sent a book out for review but only 1/7 of the letters were visible. It would not be true to what was written.

256kbps audio can be roughly 1/7 of the audio data (or less!) than the true master WAV file. If an mp3 is sent, and then the data/quality is reduced again by Dropbox, that can be even worse. We need Dropbox to stream the same audio quality that is uploaded.

Dropbox is losing pro audio users due to the reduction in audio qualtiy when streamed from Dropbox (mobile and desktop), and how annoying it is to listen to a folder of WAV or mp3 files.

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Re: Dropbox Audio Problems

Dropboxer

I appreciate the detailed message back @Justin P.2!

I've just sent you a brief message, so as to forward your report to a higher-level specialist in form of a question, since you mentioned that this has changed recently for you.

Please have a look at your inbox & we'll take it from there. Thanks!

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support

 

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Re: Dropbox Audio Problems

Collaborator | Level 9

Thanks. It's not really a "problem" though. It's Dropbox's decision to reduce the audio qualtiy when streaming WAV files instead of streaming the full quality audio which is what any professional audio engineer or studio would prefer.

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Re: Dropbox Audio Problems

Dropboxer
Thanks for keeping in touch with me here @Justin P.2
 
Re-iterating from our discussion through our support system, since that’s not a technical issue, I’ve now submitted your thoughts on functionality to the relevant team. 
 
I’m always here if you have more questions for me. Take care until we talk again!

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support

 

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Re: Dropbox Audio Problems

Collaborator | Level 9

Thanks. Yes, it's not a technical problem, it's a bad decision by Dropbox to reduce the audio quality of the stream from the native resolution.

I thought I had a Dropbox Pro/Business account, not Dropbox amateur.

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Audio file previews inquiry & request to to stream audio files in Dropbox.
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