How Do I Convert My Movie So That It Plays on Dropbox?


When accessing your movie files using the Dropbox service on mobile devices, the playback options depend on the device. For iPhones and iPads, the HTTP Live Streaming protocol by Apple is used; on Android, the native video player determines the type of movie files that are compatible. Dropbox recommends that you use either the HandBrake or iTunes application to convert movie files to a mobile-compatible format. Both these applications feature preset settings for movie playback on mobile devices. Information in this article applies to HandBrake version 0.9.9 and iTunes 11.

Using HandBrake Open Source Video Transcoder

  • Open the HandBrake application on your computer and select "Source." Select "Open File" and then open the movie that you want to convert for Dropbox.

  • Select the appropriate preset from the list of devices in the presets panel. For phones, choose the "Android" or "iPhone" option depending on your device. For tablets, select "Android Tablet" or "iPad."

  • Click "Browse" and select your Dropbox folder as the destination for the converted movie. Type a name in the file name input box and then click "Save." The preset you selected automatically adjusts the output settings to match your device, but you can also make adjustments yourself using the "Picture," "Filters," "Video," "Audio" and "Subtitles" tabs. For the best results, match the dimensions of the video file to that of your playback device.

  • Click the "Start" button to initiate the movie conversion and store the file to the output folder you selected. The process can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes to complete depending on the size and duration of the movie file. The "Queue Finished" message is displayed after the conversion is complete.

Using iTunes for Movie Conversion

  • Open the iTunes application on your computer and press "Ctrl-O" to open the Add To Library window. Select the movie file you want to convert and then click "OK."

  • Click "File," select "Create New Version" and then click "Create iPod or iPhone Version" or "Create iPad or Apple TV Version" depending on your playback device. If the file menu is not visible, press "Ctrl-B" to unhide it.

  • Copy the converted file to your Dropbox folder after the conversion process is complete. The duration of the conversion depends on the duration and original format of the movie.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are unable or unwilling to use HandBrake or iTunes, you can perform the conversion using Miro Video Converter, Freemake Video Converter or Video To Video Converter. Consult the documentation for your device to determine the optimal resolution settings and video file compatibility.

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  • Photo Credit gpointstudio/iStock/Getty Images
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