26 Jul 2009 14:19
(This list is not complete. It just contains a few of the best tools to get you going.
All software is freeware)
Simply use a player that can display subtitles out of the box:
Video Lan Client (VLC) (Windows, Linus, MacOS)
Out of the box subtitles and playback of almost all video and audio formats.
Good subtitle capabilities (including all non-Western languages). Highly customizable.
MPlayer (Windows, Linux, MacOS and more)
No frills solid player.
Mediaplayer Classic (MPC) (Windows)
It looks like an ancient version of Windows Media Player, but don't let that fool you: it's much better. A very good player that can be tweaked and customized as you like it.
or use your favorite player together with a subtitle add-on:
If vobsub can't display it, it's not a subtitle.
Perian (together with Quicktime Player) (MacOS)
The Swiss Army Knife for subtitles on the Mac. It's a must-have.
Rip subtitles from DVD or SUB/IDX files
subrip (Windows) (can even rip hardcoded subtitles that are part of the video) Still the best! (Link fixed)
(Comment: try the older final version of subrip 1.20, too. Often it gives better results than 1.50 beta)
Subresync, part of the VobSub Package
One of the few tools that allows to resync IDX subtitles.
Avidemux contains a module that can rip subtitles. (Windows, Unix, Mac OS). See further down.
Gaupol (Windows, Linux, MacOS) One of the best subtitle editors with extended spell-checking capabilities.
Subtitle Edit (SE) (Windows, Linux) is another highly recommended subtitle editor with many useful features.
Subtitle Workshop (Windows) Simply one of the best subtitle editors. (Note: doesn't work with UNICODE/UTF8 encoded subtitles!)
I recommend Version 2.51 but there is also a newer beta version that is totally different. (I like the older version much better!)
Jubler (Windows, Linux, MacOS)
Java-based subtitle editor. Although it cannot handle IDX/SUB, it's really good with all text subtitle formats.
Another subtitle editor that is easy to use and more accessible than Subtitle Workshop.
Other useful software for Windows:
Video reencoding, editing, joining, hardsubbed videos. One of the most useful video tools available.
AviDemux (Windows, Linux and MacOS)
It's another very powerful video tool.It can reencode any video into another format. It supports subtitles as well and it's one of the few tools that can extract IDX subtitles on MacOS. Highly recommended.
Merges multiple .srt or IDX subtitles with avi that will play on newer DIVX DVD players. This is a great way to get Arabic, Hebrew or Chinese subtitles without reencoding the video.
MediaInfo is a software that shows you advanced information about all media files. It integrates into the operating system's file browser. It is available for Windows and several unix systems. Very useful to find out more about the framerate, bitrate, resolution and encoding of videos.
JustSubsPlayer is a software that plays subtitles even without a film - which can be very useful for any videos from youtube, netflix, hulu and virtually every film material. The subtitle-player displays the subtitles in a screen overlay which can be adjusted. Nifty.
Transcript Annotations Cleaner (TAC) (Windows)
by Kerensky. This is a whole new approach to removing unwanted parts for the hearing impaired (HI). This is definitely cool stuff and is constantly evolving.
Kerensky is also working on the Automatic Subtitle Synchronizer (SAS) which is slightly ill-named. It is an attempt to automatically create a subtitle timeline that is synced to the audio track. All that's left to do is fill in the words. Highly experimental, but definitely worth a try.
Wanna learn more?
Browse through our Tutorials and have a look at the Subtitle Help corner as well. Your question might have been already asked and answered.
Still none the wiser?
Head over to videohelp.com to find more amazing and free software.
They also have a huge forum. If they don't know it or can't figure it, nobody does.
Welcome to the world of subtitles.
Now you are ready to find out how deep the rabbit hole goes.
PS: suggestions for FREE software are welcome and you can post them in this thread.