This is a very deep subject - so we will skim the top and show
you what you need.
Subtitles are similar to "Captions" - they display text at the
bottom of the screen that follows the words being spoken on the video. The
most common application is for foreign films - the subtitles let you see the
works in English. Subtitles are a separate stream of data that is combined
with the Video stream. They can have just one language or they can come in
multiple languages - i.e. multiple streams.
There are many formats of subtitle files, each is designated by
the file extension. The most common are SUB/IDX,.SRT, SUP, and SSA.
Ther is also SMI, TXT, and about 20 others.
If you have a "sub" file then you also need the corresponding "idx"
file - the sub file in compressed text for the words, and the idx file is a text
file containing the timings and synchronization of the words (i.e. it tells the
media player "when" to display each set of words). The other file types
are all singular - just one file contains all the necessary data.
When downloading movies on the Web where you have the movie file with no
subtitles and then a separate subtitles file - there are two ways to view them
on your PC - you will need to test and use trial and error to see what works
best for you and your video card. Subtitles are very very picky and often
do not work unless in a particular format:
- Create a Hardcoded subtitle AVI - combine
the subtitles with the video - these are called "Hardcoded" subtitles - and
watch the movie on any media player and then either watch it on your
computer screen or send it to your TV via a TV Out port on your video card.
I use the method outlined below using SSA files - if I have an SRT file I
synch it using Subtitle Workshop but save it as an SRT because the SSA files
from that app don't work for me. Then I convert the SRT using
SRT-to-SSA and then use the Virtual Dub method below to combine the SSA
stream with the AVI video stream, creating ba new AVI with hardcoded
NOTE: supposedly the Media Player Subtitled Media Player - "DVlaD"
http://users.pandora.be/vlad/subsync/dvlad.htm ) will play a wide
variety of subtitles.
- Play separate video/subtitle Streams - open
both files in a media player that supports separate video and subtitle
tracks, and play the movie with the subtitles being dynamically sent to the
screen. You can use a player such as VLC (but don't - it is terrible
with subs) which will auto-detect the subtitles track, then start the movie
and select Video/Subtitles . . . Track1. But VLC often misses words or
even entire sentences. The better way is to install a Direct Show
filter called VobSub which will apply the subtitles into any DirectShow
capable video player. It works best with WMplayer and Media Player
Classic (MPC). It will autodetect the subtitles track but so far it
ONLY works with SUB/IDX file pairs for me !! In all cases the names of
the files MUST be IDENTICAL EXCEPT FOR THE FILE EXTENSION !!!
Downloaded Movies (from Bit Torrents)
- some come with Subtitles already hardcoded in which case you're done
- some come with subtitles files included as separate files - they need to
have the SAME NAME as the movide video file, except for the file extension
of course. Included subtitle files will be ready to use in most cases.
Sometimes you may need to adjust the synchronization - to do that use
- others come with no subtitles and no subtitle files - for those you need
to search the web and download the subtitle files (if they exist).
Here are some sources:
Subtitle Files from DVD's - for Uploading to Bit
There are numeropus ways to do this - all of them a hassle.
You can use "SubRip" to pull the subtitles off the VOB files from the DVD, then
convert the main movie to an AVI and test the synchronization using Subtitle
Workshop and adjust if necessary ( usually it is necessary).
Adding SSA subtitles to any .avi
Here is a quick and simple guide to
add SSA subtitles to any .avi
file that you would like to have harcoded
are the tools needed:
SRT-SSA Converter (if you
have SRT instaed of SSA)
VirtualDub Subtitler Plug-in DivXLand
Copy the VirtualDub plugin "subtitler.vdf" into the PLUGINS folder
under the VirtualDub program directory - the filter will then automatically load
the main program starts. If the PLUGINS folder does not exists, create it.
Synchronize the Subtitles if Necessary - start up Subtitle Workshop or use
SubSynch. Load the movie into the preview pane, then load the subtitle
file - preferably in SRT format. Play a few sements and check the
synchronization of the audioble spoken words with the subtitles flashing on the
bottom of the video.
What is the Best Timing to Use ?? The words of a
sentence should pop up onto the screen either "exactly" when the
speaker says the first word, or after a brief delay (about 1/2 sec
into the spoken sentence). Do NOT have the subtitles pop up
BEFORE the first word of the sentence is spoken - that just "feels
uncomfortable" as you watch the movie.
Convert your Subtitles File into SSA Format - the VirtualDub subtitle filter works with ssa subtitles
ONLY. So if you have the more common sub or srt or some other format, you
will need to convert it to ssa.
Naming Convention - although not always necessary, to create a
good habit - name the subtitle file the same as the movie. For example, if
the movie file is "Miami Vice 2006.avi" then name the subtitle file "Miami Vice
Customize the Subtitles (color, font, placement)
- even if your subtitles are already
in SSA (SubStation Alpha) format, this step is recommended to customize the
subtitles aspect. We'll use DivXLand Media Subtitler to convert the subtitles to
SSA and/or edit their font aspect and position. Open the subtitles with DivXLand
Media Subtitler from the File menu.
Then go to Settings > Format
Settings. In the popup dialog select the SubStation Alpha format.
Configure the format
with a clear font such as Trebuchet MS and a font size of 36pt.
Here you can also change the subtitles alignment and margins if desired.
After that you can save
the subtitles from File > Save As. The following dialog will popup:
Make sure to select the
SubStation Alpha [SSA] format and click OK to save the subtitles.
The next step is converting
the .srt files into something VirtualDub can
read, in this case, an .ssa file.
up the .SRT-.SSA Converter and click on
Browse to select the .srt file you want
The program will now
automatically create an output file with the
identical name as the input file except with an
All you have to do now
is hit Convert and wait until it is done
Adding subtitles into
subtitle.PNG[/img]Its now time to go back to
VirtualDub which should still be open.
Go to the Video tab and select
"Full Processing Mode". Then under
Audio select "Direct Stream Copy" (it will usually be set to that
Now go to
File and Open Video File... and
use the browse function to select the .avi file
you want the subtitles hardcoded to. Press
Open when you find it.
video has opened, go once again to the
Video tab and select Filters
Press the Add button, and
navigate down to the Subtitler option and
Select the .ssa you
created earlier and press OK
Selecting the Compression
The final step is selecting
the compression for our .avi.
once again to the Video tab and this time
press on Compression.
file is an XviD (most will be) then simply
select XviD Mpeg-4 Codec from the list.
Leave the default settings.
If your file
is another type of compression select that from
the list and leave the default settings.
Saving your file and finishing
To finish up simply go to
File and select Save As .avi or
simply press F7 for convinience. Save it where
you want and make sure the Save as type
is set to audio-video interleave (avi).
Click Save and you are done. Sit
back and wait for your .avi with hardcoded