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  11. Mobile

Will movies and audio files play on my phone or tablet?

When connected to the internet, the Dropbox iOS app will play just about any type of video file you throw at it. We use Apple's HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol, which has been specially designed to stream files to your iPhone or iPad. The quality of the stream will depend on the speed of your wireless connection.

iOS and the Dropbox app support numerous video formats, including:

  • .mov
  • .mp4
  • .m4v
  • .mkv
  • .avi
  • .wmv
  • .flv
  • .asf

If you've favorited a video file for offline use and it's not natively supported by iOS, you'll need to open it with a third-party app that supports the format.

Will audio files play on the Dropbox app?

When you play an audio file in our app, you should be able to minimize the app and still hear playback. However, a couple of notes on usability:

  • The Dropbox app is not designed to be a fully-featured media player, so if you're playing items from a folder of audio files, it will not progress automatically to the next file
  • Playback will also stop if the app is open and you load a different file or exit from the playback screen

When the app is open, you can use the scrubber to fast forward or rewind. From the lock screen on your device, you can use the controls in the Control Center to fast forward and rewind the item you are playing. You won't be able to skip to the next audio item here.

For our advanced users

In cases where you may need to convert a video file to an iOS-friendly format, we recommend the free Handbrake desktop application (for Windows, Mac, and Linux). Handbrake has convenient video presets for converting video files for the iPhone or iPad. Read Handbrake's online documentation for detailed information about its presets and how to use them.

When converting using something other than iTunes or the Handbrake presets mentioned above, you'll need to meet specific criteria. The Dropbox app can play the following iOS-compatible movie types:

  • H.264 video, up to 1.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Low-Complexity version of the H.264 Baseline Profile with AAC-LC stereo audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, in .mov, .mp4 and .m4v file formats
  • H.264 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Baseline Profile up to Level 3.0 with AAC-LC stereo audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, in .mov, .mp4 and .m4v file formats
  • MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC stereo audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, in .mov, .mp4 and .m4v file formats

When connected to the internet, the Dropbox iOS app will play just about any type of video file you throw at it. We use Apple's HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol, which has been specially designed to stream files to your iPhone or iPad. The quality of the stream will depend on the speed of your wireless connection.

iOS and the Dropbox app support numerous video formats, including:

  • .mov
  • .mp4
  • .m4v
  • .mkv
  • .avi
  • .wmv
  • .flv
  • .asf

If you've favorited a video file for offline use and it's not natively supported by iOS, you'll need to open it with a third-party app that supports the format.

Will audio files play on the Dropbox app?

When you play an audio file in our app, you should be able to minimize the app and still hear playback. However, a couple of notes on usability:

  • The Dropbox app is not designed to be a fully-featured media player, so if you're playing items from a folder of audio files, it will not progress automatically to the next file
  • Playback will also stop if the app is open and you load a different file or exit from the playback screen

When the app is open, you can use the scrubber to fast forward or rewind. From the lock screen on your device, you can use the controls in the Control Center to fast forward and rewind the item you are playing. You won't be able to skip to the next audio item here.

For our advanced users

In cases where you may need to convert a video file to an iOS-friendly format, we recommend the free Handbrake desktop application (for Windows, Mac, and Linux). Handbrake has convenient video presets for converting video files for the iPhone or iPad. Read Handbrake's online documentation for detailed information about its presets and how to use them.

When converting using something other than iTunes or the Handbrake presets mentioned above, you'll need to meet specific criteria. The Dropbox app can play the following iOS-compatible movie types:

  • H.264 video, up to 1.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Low-Complexity version of the H.264 Baseline Profile with AAC-LC stereo audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, in .mov, .mp4 and .m4v file formats
  • H.264 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Baseline Profile up to Level 3.0 with AAC-LC stereo audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, in .mov, .mp4 and .m4v file formats
  • MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC stereo audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, in .mov, .mp4 and .m4v file formats

The Dropbox Android application uses the native Android operating system video player. Many of the videos in your Dropbox may already be supported, depending on your device and version of the Android operating system.

If you come across a video that is not supported natively, there are many applications available designed to encode them to play properly. We recommend the free Handbrake desktop application (for Windows, Mac, and Linux). Read Handbrake's online documentation for detailed information about how to convert for your mobile device.

For our advanced users

You'll have the best conversion results if you meet the criteria of your mobile device. For example, the Dropbox Android application can play any video your mobile device can handle. The Android OS can play H.263 .3gp and .mp4 files, H.264 AVC .3gp and .mp4 files, and MPEG-4 SP .3gp files. Some features, like screen size and memory, vary from device to device. You might be able to contact your phone's user manual or help documentation for more specifics.

To play video and music on your Blackberry device, you'll need Blackberry OS 4.6 or later.

Dropbox uses the Blackberry's native media player for playing video and audio. For a comprehensive list of supported formats, see the Supported Media Types on BlackBerry Smartphones PDF document.