Can I restrict access to the source file when sharing?

When sharing a file in MediaLab we provide several options to restrict what the receiver can see and/or download. Depending on the type of file you are sharing, some options may not be fully supported. Please have a look below to see how we handle the different files that can be shared.


Yes, you can share a video without providing download rights to the source file. For all media uploaded to MediaLab, we create one or more copies that we use for display purposes. If it’s a video, we will prepare an MP4 file that can easily be played online. We call these extra formats "preview files". Usually the preview files are of lower quality compared to the source file, but good enough to provide a decent online playback experience for your receivers.

What happens when sharing one of these files without "Download source" rights? You are basically sending a link to let someone watch the preview file. We will not provide a way to download the source file and there is no way the receiver can download it from our servers.

Example: let’s say your source file is a 1-hour BluRay 1080p video (17 GB total with 38 Mbit/s bitrate). A default preview setting of (1 Mbit/s, MP4, H264) would give us a preview file of about 460 MB. When you send a share link, you are allowing the receiver to watch the 460 MB preview version. He will not get access to your 17 GB source file.

Exception: when your original source is already to the same specifications as our preview files, we use the source for previewing. Read more about downloading previews here.

Audio & Images

Yes, for audio and images we also create preview files, such as MP3 files for audio and JPG for Images/PSDs etc. Unless your original source is already to the same specifications as our preview files, in that case please see the part about downloading preview files for more information.

Office documents and other files

No, for other file types we are not always able to create preview files. Imagine Office documents, ZIP files (.zip) or an Executable installer (.exe). When you decide to share one of these files, we will assume you intent to share the source file or there would be no use sharing it. On the share page we will show a file icon as placeholder and provide a "Download" button to download the source file.

For all office documents we will attempt to create a PDF version as preview file. However, since this is a best-effort attempt and may not always match the original (like large Excel sheets), we will still allow downloading of the source. Office documents include PowerPoints, Word documents and Excel files.

Custom formats

For enterprise customers we support custom formats created to your own specifications. For example, it is possible to have a custom HD preset that we use when transcoding your video, which can then be shared with external stakeholders. This way you are not limited to sharing the preview files, but also special formats that you use.