Descript saves documents as Packages, which is standard practice for Mac applications. A Package is similar to a Folder, because it contains multiple files, but these files are highly technical and are used by the software to function.
That’s why Mac OS displays a Package as a single file. There's no reason you should need to worry about how the software handles constituent parts of your project — you just care about your project. Packages make things a lot simpler.
Unfortunately some file syncing services like Dropbox have issues with Packages (which they acknowledge). They treat Packages like regular folders, and don’t respect the way Mac OS is designed to handle them. This can lead to problems.
For example, sometimes Dropbox will start syncing parts of a Descript project without realizing that other parts are currently being edited. Similarly, sometimes Dropbox will indicate that a file has been successfully synced — when parts of it aren’t done uploading.
This can lead to weird glitches and even file corruption.
This is especially problematic for large projects, because it can take a long time for Dropbox to sync large files (sometimes hours), increasing the likelihood of a conflict.
Furthermore, if you try to download a Descript project via Dropbox’s web interface, you'll see that the file is actually listed as several files. If you want to download from the web interface, you'll have to ensure that you download the entire folder.
(It’s fair to be frustrated by all of this, because Packages are used by many Mac applications, including official Apple apps like GarageBand and Pages. You can voice your thoughts and questions to Dropbox support here.)
[Note: the sync service Box handles package files correctly. Learn more here.]
Because of these pitfalls, if you can work on Descript files locally on your computer, we highly recommend you do so.
But a lot of people use Dropbox. If you’re one of them, here are some tips that may help.
• Make backups! Copy your files to your local hard drive.
• Make sure there aren’t two people working on the same Descript project at the same time (this can lead to file corruption).
• If you work on a project, and you or a collaborator will be working on the same project later from a different computer: make sure your files finish syncing — both the changes uploaded from the first computer, and subsequently downloaded to the second computer — before attempting to open the project.
If you’d like to work on your files locally, but use Dropbox to keep them in the cloud, here’s a brief guide to doing so.
Help! I’m using Dropbox (or another file syncing service) and my files are messed up.
There’s a pretty good chance you can get your files back. Most file sync services keep backups of your files and will let you restore a previous version (note that they may only keep these past versions for a limited time). Here are the instructions for recovering documents for some popular services.