Does Google Drive Reduce Audio Quality?

From helping work teams collaborate in real-time to allowing you to share vacation photos with friends and family, Google Drive has made our lives easier for many of us. While Google Drive offers excellent functionality by letting you store information in virtually any format, a common concern is that it reduces the audio quality of audio and video files. So, is this true?

Google Drive does not reduce audio quality as it does not modify any data you upload onto it. The quality of both audio files and audio in video files will remain unchanged. However, if you notice reduced quality, it could be due to the file being compressed using lossy compression.

Read ahead to learn about audio quality in Google Drive, why you might be facing troubles with your audio files, the audio and video formats and sizes supported in Drive, and how you can ensure you have the highest quality audio. 

Audio Quality in Google Drive

You can save audio in Google Drive through audio files or video files that have audio in them. Both types of files maintain their integrity when saved in Google Drive. Hence, they retain their original quality when played back or download onto your computer. 

To ensure that your audio file remains unchanged, you can upload an audio file from your computer onto G Drive and play both to see if there is a difference. 

You can also download the uploaded file back onto your PC and compare the file size against the original file. 

Furthermore, when you upload a video to Google Drive and play it back, you might feel that the video is not as clear in the uploaded file as it was in the original file. 

That is because your video can be played in multiple different resolutions, such as 360p,  720p, and 1080p, and you may be playing the video in a lower resolution. The resolution of the video, however, does not impact sound quality.

Compressing Files in Google Drive and Audio Quality

When uploading audio and video files to Google Drive, you can compress the files to save space on your Drive. Depending on the audio format you are using, there may be lossless compressions or lossy compressions.

In lossless compressions, the quality of the audio stays the same. However, in lossy compressions, important information may be removed from the file, lowering the audio quality. Hence, if you are using lossless compressions, there is no reason to worry about a decrease in audio quality.

Google Drive also allows you to compress files while downloading them onto your computer. Files are compressed into zip format so that they take up less space while downloading or sending. 

However, when you open the file on your PC, it will retain its original quality.

It should be noted that you cannot open zip files in Google Drive. To access the information on zipped files, they’ll need to be downloaded and unzipped on a computer first. 

Once you’ve extracted the files, you can open them in Google Drive.

Why You Might Be Having Issues With Audio in Google Drive

While Google Drive itself does not modify your files, there may be a few reasons why you might be having trouble with your audio. 

Firstly, a third-party app may be impacting your audio or video file. For example, a virus scanner may have affected your file.

Secondly, there could be an issue with downloading a file through a browser. Some file formats may not be compatible with a specific browser, giving the impression that something is wrong with the audio file. 

In such cases, you should access your Google Drive from a different browser and download the file from there. 

There may also be other issues interfering with your audio files, such as an interruption in the upload or download of files or poor encoding to begin with.

Audio and Video Formats Supported in Google Drive

Google Drive supports audio and video files in several formats without compromising their quality.

The audio formats supported by Google Drive are:

  • MP3
  • MPEG
  • WAV
  • .TIFF
  • .SVG.

Most videos, too, have audio. Video formats supported in Google Drive are: 

  • WebM
  • .MPEG4
  • .3GPP
  • .MOV
  • .AVI
  • .WMV
  • .FLV
  • .ogg

Audio and Video File Size Allowed in Google Drive

According to Google Drive Help, you can save files of up to 5 TB. However, the free version of Google Drive offers limited space. All Google accounts start with 15 GB of free space shared across Google Drive, Google Photos, and Gmail. 

So, if you have the free version of Google Drive, assuming that you do not use your space for anything else, you can save a video or audio file of up to 15 GB.

However, the basic Google Drive plan offers 10 TB of space, while the Business G Suite provides unlimited storage space. Therefore, you can save any audio and video files of up to 5 TB, provided that you have the storage.

No matter the size of your audio and video file, the audio quality will remain unchanged when you upload it to Google Drive.

Best Format To Save Audio Files in Google Drive

You can save audio files in a bunch of different formats in G Drive, with higher resolution formats taking up more space. 

Among the hi-res formats, lossless audio file formats provide the best sound quality but are also the largest. These hi-res formats include FLAC, WAV, and AIFF. 

Of these, Google Drive allows you to upload files in WAV. 

Because WAV files take up more space than lower-resolution formats, you can save them in a compressed format. In this way, you will retain the full quality of the original audio while using less storage than an uncompressed format.

Hence, WAV is the best format to save audio files in G Drive. 


The bottom line is: Google Drive does not reduce audio quality. You can comfortably upload your music, share your lecture recordings with your classmates, and keep safe that recording of you trying out your vocal cords without worrying about a loss in audio quality. 

Offering a significant amount of free storage and complete integrity of all your files, Google Drive is a fantastic option to house your audio and video files.

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Apple MacBook Air M1 512GB Ram (Waiting for the new 16in pro)

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Razer Holiday Bundle Cynosa Chroma Gaming Keyboard, Abyssus Gaming Mouse, Goliathus Chroma Mousepad

KTRIO Large Gaming Mouse Pad with Stitched Edges

Panasonic LUMIX G7 Digital Camera – Great Entry Camera for Shooting and Streaming

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