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Why does Dropbox insist on renaming my files?

Re: Why does Dropbox insist on renaming my files?

usrx
Collaborator | Level 8

Thanks for sharing @dwcapture ! I know how you feel about this.

 

There is only one sensible way to do this. You either keep device-given filenames, or you let users do this properly and willingly, where you allow them to specify if and how they want the renaming to be done, for all the same reasons both you and I, and others, have already mentioned previously. We keep repeating ourselves but Dropbox is not hearing our plea.

 

This doesn't have to be complicated, and it should not be all that complicated to allow users to control this part of Dropbox.

 

There are two odd things about this I want to point out.

 

1. It's already possible to create your own naming rules for Dropbox on the web. The desktop version of it relies on the web version, so they are one and the same in that sense. But it's not possible on the mobile app. I'm using Android but I see it's the same with the iOS app.

 

2. This careless/forced renaming only applies to the Camera Upload feature of Dropbox for mobile devices. Mind-bending! So if you just select a bunch of photo files and save them manually to Dropbox, they are not renamed! Works even if you save them to the special "Camera Upload" folder. It's only when the app does it automatically as you take photos that it renames them! Weird, huh? I mean what were they thinking?... you're either all-in, or all-out. You don't leave one foot in, half-baked implementation, and then let it hang like that for years.

 

I am also a photo enthusiast and I have some 57000 photos from the past 10 years on my computer. If I had some dumb app rename all my files without asking me for permission – because some tech giant knows best what I need – I think it's only fair to compare that to a virus attack! But when it's sneaked in as a "smart feature" and you yourself have installed it, or if it's part of your new operating system, then you can't really hold anyone accountable.

 

I don't want to imagine what I would do if something like this happened to my photo collection. For me, it's not a matter of taste or preference, and this is what Dropbox doesn't seem to understand. It's a matter of function. For example, my Adobe Lightroom database depends on these file names. In the past, I have had to locate and reconnect old files to the database, and it was no fun. Weeding out duplicate files is another solid reason why you might want to stick to one naming convention, preferably the one that came long before Dropbox was around.

 

In my opinion, no app should ever rename or otherwise alter user files and user data without prompting the user to do so. But we're living in a time where data processing and user interactions are increasingly more and more automated. Users serve merely to pay the bills for various subscription plans, everything else is taken care of by the brains behind the various companies. (Unless those brains are replaced by artificial intelligence, then it's an automated company.) Other times still, their subscriptions or "free" services are paid for by their data.

Re: Why does Dropbox insist on renaming my files?

usrx
Collaborator | Level 8

Thanks for the tip! I will check it out. For this type of thing I normally use one called Bulk Rename Utility (BRU). BRU is a bit complicated to use, so I'm hoping Rename Master is easier.

 

I will need this sort of utility very soon as I have convinced my brother to stop using Dropbox and switch over to OneDrive and he has a lot of old files from Dropbox that need to be renamed.

 

I have added him to my OneDrive subscription, so he will have a premium service, free of charge, that's just as good as Dropbox. But the thing is, Dropbox saved him once when his old Galaxy phone just died one day, all of a sudden, for no apparent reason. It still had some battery charge in it when he left it to charge up, and minutes later when he came back to check the status, the phone was no longer responding. It was completely dead. Thankfully he had Camera Upload enabled in Dropbox, so all the photos and videos were safe in the cloud. Samsung took care of the rest with its own cloud, for things like contacts, messages, etc. So when he ordered the latest Galaxy phone he could simply restore all the data. He is therefore very grateful to Dropbox and reluctant to "drop" (let go of) the Dropbox.

 

This story just shows what an immense value that Camera Upload feature can have! The only issue is, it has now become my job to consolidate all his different "Dropbox, Dropbox (2), Dropbox (3), ..." folders into one, and then merge everything with his old photo collection that's named differently. We're talking about some 2000 files in his Dropbox folders. He was constantly running out of space on Dropbox, so he kept moving those files out to the desktop on the computer, to make room for new photos. Now he has several of those. He's not very technical and so he still doesn't fully understand how this cloud thing works. I was going to buy a Dropbox premium subscription for him, to make it easy on him, giving him a lot more room to play around with. But it's difficult to buy something in someone else's name. And since I have decided to transition to OneDrive, it made more sense that I help him do the same.

 

So again, thanks for sharing your view and thanks for the tip about Rename Master! I am still hopeful that Dropbox will do the right thing and either allow users to disable this in the settings or expand on this idea (fully implement it) and allow users to make their own naming rules.

 

Be well and be safe!

Re: Why does Dropbox insist on renaming my files?

LilyMuseic
Helpful | Level 5

Seriously, we have to download another app to get our files named the way we want?  

Why, Dropbox, does everything have to be so corporate?  Corporate, in the sense that Dropbox functions don't make sense, so they need to be explained by tech employees. Often to perfectly intelligent and sometimes very geeky customers --- let's raise our hands! 🙂

 

 

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    LilyMuseic Helpful | Level 5
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    usrx Collaborator | Level 8
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    MB-S New member | Level 2
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    dwcapture Helpful | Level 6
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