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  1. Hello

    I need to help a friend add subtitles to a video. She's a total newbie when it comes to video.

    A search in the archives didn't return a lot, but I understand that the choice is between hardcoded, "permanent" subtitles, ie. embedded within the video file, or softcoded, ie. they live in an independent, text file. I'd rather use softcoded, so that the video doesn't need to be re-encoded.

    Which application would you recommend?

    Thank you.
    Last edited by yetanotherlogin; 10th Jun 2014 at 06:45.
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: Freedonia
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    NOBODY says "Macintosh" any more. Just say "Mac" or you'll look like a dweeb.

    You should have posted this in the Mac section of the forums as doing so would put a special "Mac forum" symbol on it that some of our members look for. But at least in the subject you said enough that our Mac experts may find it anyway. Unfortunately other than saying you need to find Mac software you've told us nothing useful. What kind of video? MKV? MP4 like Macs use? Something else? Kind of need to know that to tell you what to use. And you should probably tell where this is going to be viewed (Mac, PC, TV, etc.) because that could influence the answer you get too.
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  3. Because I didn't know there were a Mac forum. I'll ask again there.

    Like I said, she's a newbie, so even getting her to find out what the file is isn't guaranteed. I assume she has VLC and told her to open the file with it.

    Thank you.
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  4. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2001
    Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    Most appropriate, straightforward/simplest & cheapest is to use Quicktime itself (actually QT Player Pro). If you don't already have it, the Pro version cost $29USD, but if you are on a Mac, it's worth every penny.

    If you already have FCP, etc., you probably already DO have QT Pro.

    QTPro can accept text and use them for soft subs (see tutorials on the web). This gives it a 3rd track (V, A, Sub) inside the container (->SaveAs). And/or you could also export to another format (even another QT movie of the same codec) and it will "hardcode" the sub (aka burn-in) to the video.

    Scott
    "When will the rhetorical questions end?!" - George Carlin
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  5. Thanks for the infos.

    Am I correct in understanding that QuickTime Pro will take soft subs (eg. an SRT text file), and add it to the container, and create a new file without re-encoding the video and audio tracks?

    But then, if the movie is meant to be played on a computer, what's the added-value compared to applications like VLC that can open a sub-title file along with a movie file?
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2012
    Location: USA
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    The more I re-read your original post, the more confused I'm getting.

    Are you looking to create original subtitles, or is this a commercial movie you are adding pre-existing subtitles to?

    What is the format of the original -- if it's in a container like .mov or .mp4, what is the video codec within the container? Raster size and frame rate are also helpful. (All this information can be found in quicktime -- window/show movie inspector, or VLC -- tools/media information)

    How are you planning to view this movie ultimately -- on a computer, DVD, Blu Ray, theatrical projection?

    Do you have FCP or FCPx available to you already?

    My initial thought was to recommend you check out belle nuit subtitler -- but given the ambiguities that may or may not help you.
    Last edited by smrpix; 5th Jun 2014 at 05:55.
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  7. Yes, I'd like to create sub-titles myself. The file is an MP4 container, with video in H264 and audio in AAC. The movie will be played on computers. I don't have any application available, and would rather a free solution since I won't be using it again.

    I have two more questions:

    1. When using QuickTime Pro to add a sub-titles file, will it just add this third track and create a new container file or will it also re-encode the video and audio tracks?

    2. In addition to hard subs, it appears that Handbrake is also able to manage soft subs: In the latter case, like QT Pro, does it also create a new container and simply add the video, audio, and subs files?
    http://www.macxdvd.com/mac-dvd-video-converter-how-to/handbrake-add-soft-hard-subtitle-to-movie.htm

    Besides Jubler and Subs Factory, I found another app to create subs: Aegisub.

    Thank you.
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  8. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2001
    Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    Yes, QT can just add a 3rd track. Isn't that what I said earlier?

    Here's a few examples:
    H.264-in-MP4 movie, Text file, Text file opened & saved as QT text movie, H.264-withQTtext-overlaid movie

    Scott
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    "When will the rhetorical questions end?!" - George Carlin
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  9. It's because I didn't know a container (MP4, here) could contain more tracks than just a video track and an audio track.

    Apparently, Handbrake is cross-platform but requires .Net. I'll see how easy it is to install on a Mac.

    Note: Subs Factory changes the computer's search engine. I guess it's the result of it being "Payware ($8)". Hopefully, this can be remedied without being an expert.
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  10. For adding subtitle to a video you can use Subler.
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  11. Thanks for the info.
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