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Uploaded MP4 files are altered

Level 3
I have a dash cam that generates MP4 files on an SD card. When I copy those files to my Mac, or access them directly on the SD card via my Mac, everything works perfectly. But when I upload these MP4 files to Dropbox, the files get changed; they are slightly smaller, and the GPS data in them cannot be read. If I download these altered files to my Mac, they get even smaller.

Is there a way to upload files in such a way as to have Dropbox not alter them?
10 Replies

Re: Uploaded MP4 files are altered

Dropboxer

Hey there @DFunk  - that sounds strange.

Could you let me know how are you uploading these files to begin with? Are you importing those via the desktop app by utilizing our camera uploads feature or are you just moving/copying them into your Dropbox folder? 

If you could send some screenshots depicting the discrepancy you spotted, that would be awesome. In order to get a better view of the matter at hand, I'd need one screenshot showing the file before you upload it to your Dropbox account, one from how it's shown on our website and one of how it looks like when you download and open it locally on your computer. 

Thanks in advance!

 


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


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Re: Uploaded MP4 files are altered

Level 3

Walter,

Thanks for the quick response!

First of all, I copied the files (using Mac > Finder) from the SD card to my Dropbox sync folder.  I also copied the files from the SD card to a local folder on my Mac.  I then compared the files in the Dropbox folder to the ones in my local Mac folder.  I did a "Get Info" for a couple of files in each folder, so I could see the exact number of bytes for each file.  "Identical" files from the local and Dropbox sync folder were different.

After I discovered the problem, I deleted the Dropbox folder containing the MP4 files.   After I received your response, I restored that folder using the Dropbox web interface.  And this morning, the files seem to be the same between the local folder on my Mac and the Dropbox sync folder!  Did you guys do something??

Whilst trying to figure this out yesterday (and before I deleted the Dropbox folder), I downloaded one of the files I uploaded to see what happened - it was smaller than original, and smaller yet from the version I uploaded to Dropbox.   I cannot add any attachments (screenshots) as you requested.  I am "signed in", but when I attempt to add attachments, I get "an unexpected error has occurred".

But this morning, a download from Dropbox to a local folder on my Mac results in an identical copy to the original on my Mac, as it should.  So did you guys do something?

The only remaining issue is that files opened in the Dropbox folder don't work right - I have to copy them to a local folder on my Mac.  The app I am using is "Dashcam Viewer".   When I use it to open files in the Dropbox sync folder, the video plays as it should, but the GPS data in that file can't be read.  If I copy those files to a local folder on my Mac, it "fixes" the problem, and I can access the GPS data.

- dave -

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Re: Uploaded MP4 files are altered

Dropboxer

Thanks for the additional information Dave - much appreciated. 

I'm glad to hear you managed to resolve most of your concerns already. As per the matter with the 3rd party app you mentioned at hand though, could you please send me a screenshot of the problem (or error you get) so that I can get a better understanding? 

To attach a screenshot in your reply, please use the 'Photos' button above your reply's box as shown below: 

Attach image.png

While we're at it, could you tell me the exact status of the desktop app when you take the mentioned actions? Is it up to date or still syncing? Does it happen for all files or only specific ones? Can you reproduce the same behavior if you quit our application completely?

More information

The normal way to stop Dropbox is to quit the application from your Dropbox menu:

1) Click the Dropbox icon in the system tray, or menu bar, by the clock.
3) Click the gear icon.
2) Choose either "Exit Dropbox" or "Quit Dropbox".

If that doesn't work then you can force quit the Dropbox program by following these steps on Mac:
1) Open "Activity Monitor" from your Applications > Utilities folder (or find and open it using Spotlight).
2) Select "Dropbox" from the list of running applications and click "Quit Process" under the red stop sign.
3) Repeat this if necessary until Dropbox is no longer displayed in the list.

Any additional information will be much appreciated too!

Thanks again!

 


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


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Re: Uploaded MP4 files are altered

Level 3

LocalvsSync.pngDropboxWeb.png

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Re: Uploaded MP4 files are altered

Level 3

Walter,

I have attached a screenshot showing "Get Info" on a representative file. The one on the left is the one that is unaltered and is in a local folder on my Mac. The one on the right is the one I downloaded from Dropbox yesterday. These two files should be identical, and they clearly are not. I also attached a screenshot of that file from the Dropbox web interface. I don't see any way of getting "details" on file using the web interface, so I cannot see the exact size.

As I mentioned, I cannot replicate this today.  I can upload and download files to/from Dropbox, and it is now working.  I'm not doing anything differently from yesterday.

As far as accessing files in the Dropbox app folder from 'Dashcam Viewer' go:

The Dropbox app (sync) folder was up to date when I was accessing files in it.

The same behavior exists for all files, not just the example one.  I have attached a screenshot from Dashcam Viewer that shows the GPS data (file is on my Mac), and another screenshot when the file is on Dropbox.  These two files are identical.

DCfails.pngDCworks.png

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Re: Uploaded MP4 files are altered

Level 3

Walter,

As per your suggestion, I tried quitting the Dropbox sync app completely.  I then opened a file in the Dropbox sync folder.  No GPS data.  I then copied another MP4 file into the Dropbox folder, and then restarted Dropbox and waited for it to sync.  After that completed, I accessed the newly added file, and now I *do* see GPS data.  Next, I removed the newly added file from Dropbox, waited for the sync to finish, then added it back again.  And I still see the GPS data.

So maybe something went wrong with the copy yesterday....  ?  Things seem to be working properly today.

- dave -

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Re: Uploaded MP4 files are altered

Dropboxer

Thanks for the additional info @DFunk  - I appreciate it. 

At this point, we'll need all of our tools to better look into this. Therefore, I've just found your existing ticket on our system and passed your comments there in order to have all the relevant information under the same place. I can see that a colleague of mine has already got back to you there and waiting for your response!

If there's anything else I can do for you, please let me know. 

 


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


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Re: Uploaded MP4 files are altered

Dropboxer

I was replying while you were posting your next responses Dave ( @DFunk) - sorry about that.

All's well that ends well though I guess, right? 

If there's anything else you'd like to ask or add, do let me know here and I'll be happy to follow up. 

Cheers!

 


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


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Re: Uploaded MP4 files are altered

Level 3

Walter,

Ahh!!!  I found the problem!  In Dropbox, if I store the files at the top level, one folder down, or two folders down, it works.    But if I store the files three folders down (or more, I'm guessing), it does not work; the Dashcam Viewer app can play the videos, but the GPS data is missing.

Is this a Dropbox issue?

- dave -

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Uploaded MP4 files are altered
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