Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

App of the Week: Subtitles

Screenshot of Subtitles on Mac OS X

Sometimes the best apps are the least complicated ones, and Subtitles is one such app. It does one thing, and it does it very simply: it finds closed caption subtitles for your video files.

The main window is shaped like a clapperboard. Drag and drop your video files onto it, and Subtitles will search for a match. If it is successful, then it will create a .srt SubRip file in the same folder as your video file with the same file name. Many media players like VLC will detect the .srt file when you open video files in them, and so the closed captions should automatically appear when you play the file.

And that’s basically it – there’s no fancy extra features, just a plain, simple app. You can, however, use the Preferences to manage with languages you would like the closed captions to use, and you can select both a primary and secondary language if you want more than one.

Subtitles doesn’t modify the original video file in anyway. Whilst modern video file container formats, like Matroska and MP4, can support closed captions within the video file itself, older ones like AVI weren’t designed to. Subtitles therefore keeps it simple by using a separate file for the subtitles, but, if you wish, you can use a tool like mkvmerge to combine them.

Subtitles is free. It was designed for Mac OS X, but there is a ported version for Windows available as well.

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