File Quality Settings

Descript saves two versions of every file you add to a Project: original and optimized. Optimized files are smaller, making them easier to share, improving playback and editing performance, and taking up less space on your hard drive — and for most cases, the audio/visual quality is indistinguishable.

When you add a file to a Project, Descript automatically creates an optimized version, and uploads both the original and optimized versions to Descript's Cloud.

Projects default to using optimized files for playback and export, which is recommended for optimal performance.

Exporting a Project using the original files

While we don't use the original files for playback and editing, you might want to switch to your original files before exporting a file or session to achieve the highest possible export quality.

To change your project's File Quality setting:

1. Click the dropdown next to the Project's name in the upper left corner then select Project Settings

2. Check or uncheck the Download original files to this computer box.

You can either leave this as a per-project setting, or you can click the Set as default button if you would like to set this across all projects.

Note: You can monitor the download progress by observing the cloud icon in the top right corner — a loading spinner indicates the download is in motion. Click on the cloud icon for more details.

Optimization Settings

Optimized files created by Descript use the following settings.


  • Codec: H.265 (HEVC)


  • Codec: AAC
  • Bitrate: Maximum of 256k for mono audio, 320k for stereo audio. Note - if your source audio bitrate is lower than that, we will keep the original (lower) bitrate - no sense in scaling up!