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Why does Dropbox insist on renaming my files?

Why does Dropbox insist on renaming my files?

usrx
Helpful | Level 7

2020: "Stop renaming my files! (on auto phone upload)" by @BoxyBeat

https://www.dropboxforum.com/t5/Dropbox-installs-integrations/Stop-renaming-my-files-on-auto-phone-u...

 

Dropbox response was: "interesting indeed". Then they are like; let us learn what you have uncovered that we still don't know. Like, let's go out there and jump through the hoops together to confirm if the files are named based on when the files are created (recording starts) or when they are last modified (recording stops). What difference does it make? Just stop renaming people's files!?

 

They go on to explain that this is the expected behavior... duh! They never explain why this is, even though the author specifically requested an explanation from Dropbox as to "why" this is.

 

They said they moved the question to the "Share an idea" section.

 

They closed the question for further comments so that anyone who feels the same way about this Dropbox misbehavior can start their own discussion about it, like I'm doing right now, and we can all pretend that no one really wants this "feature", because the discussion activity is low and no one is voting.

 

They even go as far as closing supposedly "shared ideas" for lack of support by other members of the community of users, before it even has a chance to reach the right team at Dropbox, Inc. With so many filters along the way, I would be surprised if any Dropbox features is ever a direct result of user input. Dropbox has its own fixed ideas of how to do things, and that's how it's going to stay. Like it and use it, or don't like it and move on to using something else.

 

This is the example of a shared idea that has been closed due to lack of support.

 

2021: "Stop renaming files" by @Pete3000 

https://www.dropboxforum.com/t5/Dropbox-ideas/Stop-renaming-files/idi-p/510186

 

Allow such ideas to stay open for a good while and see what happens. You will never get enough votes if you keep closing ideas and keep closing discussions. You will always blame it on lack of interest by other users, and users will keep creating new topics for the same old discussions, and keep sharing the same old ideas without it ever being forwarded to the right team at Dropbox, Inc. It's so obvious right now that you are genuinely not interested in what we users have to say or what we think of your apps and services. Not when you keep shutting us off, closing our topics of discussion and keep closing our "shared" ideas before they can gather enough votes and traction, and before they ever reach the right team. You're doing this on purpose. And that's OK. It's your product and your service. I just wanted to call you out and let you know that I can see through your charade and I don't agree with your practices.

 

So let us have it... why are you changing the names of our files? And more importantly, why are you not allowing us to decide for ourselves if we want your app to change the name of our files or not?

 

There is a way to set up naming conventions with Dropbox, but it does not apply to the mobile app and camera uploads. It applies only to the web and the desktop app (the option links back to the web for setting it up, there is no interface for it within the desktop app itself).

 

"How to use naming conventions in Dropbox"

https://help.dropbox.com/files-folders/sort-preview/naming-conventions

 

Despite this advanced and elaborate way to exactly specify how to name and organize files in Dropbox (as long as you're not using the mobile app), and despite having several preset naming rules to choose from, having no rule at all is not a selectable rule or option.

 

I am very disappointed with Dropbox right now. It feels like with each passing year I have less and less reason to use Dropbox. You have already reduced the number of devices allowed to sync from 5 to 3 (if I remember correctly) on the free plan. I wouldn't actually mind getting a premium plan if you did things a little differently and you got rid of the excess bulk you have invented in recent years like Paper, Transfer, Vault, Spaces, and what not, the list keeps growing. Dropbox has moved well beyond what used to be its core business idea, and it's far from working ideally, and I don't want to be paying for the things I don't intend to use.

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: Why does Dropbox insist on renaming my files?

usrx
Helpful | Level 7

So why does Dropbox insist on renaming my files?... because they/it can. It is that simple I'm afraid.

 

View solution in original post

5 Replies 5

Re: Why does Dropbox insist on renaming my files?

usrx
Helpful | Level 7

So why does Dropbox insist on renaming my files?... because they/it can. It is that simple I'm afraid.

 

Re: Why does Dropbox insist on renaming my files?

Megan
Dropboxer

Hi @usrx, let's get right into this! 

 

Can you give me a tad more info? Do you upload content manually or via camera uploads

 

How is the name before, and how is it after the upload?

 

Keep me posted.


Megan
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Why does Dropbox insist on renaming my files?

usrx
Helpful | Level 7

Same as @BoxyBeat, and I am upset for the same reason as he/she is/was and it has to do with things he/she mentioned already, like being able to "keep track easier for missing files, [interrupted] transfers, moved files and so on". The only difference is that I take mostly photos, and not so much videos, so to me, it's completely uninteresting if the Dropbox app uses the timestamp from when the file was created or when it was last modified (in case of video files, according to referenced discussion above). But sure, I will give you some examples.

 

This is the naming convention that my phone uses to store the files in memory and how I want to keep them.

Format: YYYYMMDD_HHMMSS.jpg

Example file: 20210102_183405.jpg

 

This is the naming convention that the Dropbox app on my phone uses when the files are uploaded to Dropbox using the camera upload option.

Format: YYYY-MM-DD HH.MM.SS.jpg

Example file:  2022-06-24 19.14.54.jpg

 

There is a bit more to it when it comes to photo files that are taken within the same second. So the phone will add a suffix like "_03.jpg" and if I recall correctly the Dropbox app will turn that into "-03.jpg". I don't have a real example of this at the moment, I would need to spend another fifteen minutes searching for it as it's not very common that more than one photo is taken within a second, and it usually does that when you take burst shots, which I don't normally do. There are some more situations like that, but the general rule is what you have above.

 

So in summary...

 

File is stored as:

20210102_183405.jpg

 

File is mangled by Dropbox into:

2021-01-02 18.34.05.jpg

 

I expect the file to have this name on my computer after it has been uploaded/synced from my phone using Dropbox camera upload:

20210102_183405.jpg

 

Instead, Dropbox downloads/syncs to my computer a file with a name like this:

2021-01-02 18.34.05.jpg

 

So my question is, why are you doing this? And why are you not allowing people to change this behavior for years now? For example, does your backend not have the capacity to store or process files whose name contain underscores? A technical reason like that, I would understand, even if it seems highly unlikely. As it stands right now, you don't have a reason to do this (none has been given thus far in the many discussions on the topic). I on the other hand, like many users like me, do have a reason to keep the original file names and we have presented our reason.

Re: Why does Dropbox insist on renaming my files?

Jay
Dropboxer

Hi @usrx, we appreciate the feedback on this matter. The camera upload feature currently doesn't allow any customization when it comes to renaming the files during the upload process.

 

If you wish, you can suggest this change as a new idea for other users to vote on, in order to pass it onto the dev team for their consideration.


Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Why does Dropbox insist on renaming my files?

usrx
Helpful | Level 7

I know that. In fact, I am not even asking for a way to customize the way that Dropbox renames files. It should not be renaming them in the first place. At all! I simply ask that it leaves be my file names. This should be the default: not touching people's file names.

 

What do you achieve by renaming the files anyway? You're not filing them in different folders automatically for organizational purposes, not by default anyway. They are all just dumped in the same camera upload folder anyhow, just with different names compared to the original files on the phone.

 

This is not a new idea and not a new suggestion. Others have asked for this for a long time, long before me, and it was never forwarded to the right team (dev team or whatever the right team is) for consideration. Not that I am aware of or have found evidence of on the forum. For example @Pete3000 has made this suggestion, but his suggestion was never forwarded due to premature closure of the topic. The topic was reportedly closed because of lack of support by other users.

 

How can other users have a chance to support the idea if you keep closing the topic before it gains traction?

 

This is what @Walter  from Dropbox had to say on that:
"This idea has been closed due to inactivity and can no longer be voted for. If you have a similar idea please share it with us here."

 

@Pete3000created the topic on 04-03-2021 (April), and it was closed by Walter in November of the same year, 7 months later. Why even close it? Was it somehow problematic to leave it open? I have been online long enough to know that there are forums that don't close old topics until they are at least 5 years old or 60 months, and only then do they force people to start a new discussion on the same topic. Others still never close a topic of discussion, unless they have a very good reason to do so.

 

In fact, Walter's assertion that it's no longer possible to vote on the suggested idea is false. I was able to vote on it a few days ago. Maybe you don't have your forum settings configured right? It should not be possible to vote if what you say is true.

 

Anyway... I give up! I have made it more than clear what's going on here and how I feel about it. If you don't want to listen to what users are saying, that's OK. You don't need to do a thing anymore. I have found my solution: OneDrive. I have already had a subscription plan with OneDrive for a few years now, but I was stuck on using Dropbox for camera uploads, and I used OneDrive in conjunction with Dropbox for certain things, since the year when Dropbox decided to lower the number of synced devices from 5 to 3. Today I disabled the camera upload in Dropbox on my phone and enabled it in OneDrive, and guess what?... it does not rename my files! Good news for me, bad news for you. Good bye!

 

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    usrx Helpful | Level 7
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