You can't "burn" idx/sub subtitles with ffmpeg or mencoder. But if you really want to do it, there's a workaround, but you'll lose some quality in the process.
I have some xvid/avi with idx/sub (VOBsub) subtitles. I want to watch them on my standalone player on a big TV screen in my living room, so I have to reencode them.
You can do this with the mpg2enc DVD option. Load the idx file in the filters tab and preview the file to see if mplayer recognizes the subs. I had some files that didn't work, while others worked fine, but don't ask me why. If it works, just check "decode with mplayer" in the options tab, and you'll get an mpeg2 with the subs burned in.
Now you can either author a DVD or reencode the mpeg2 to any other format you like.
PS: I experimented a little more. You can even reencode mkv that have VOBsub subtitles this way. Now wouldn't it be nice to have an "decode with mplayer" option for ffmpeg or mencoder?
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I understand what you are saying. However in my situation, the idx/sub subtitles have many languages in them. I always seem to get the first subtitle listed and not the third, which is what I want. How does one start with an xvid file, choose the correct language within the idx/sub, and end with an xvid file with the correct subtitle language?
The subtitle files I have, seem to have only one language in them. It also looks like that you don't have to load the subtitle file at all, mplayer seems to recognize them if they have the same name as the avi.
Does changing the subtitle track number in the filter tab have an effect for you? When decoding mkv files with VOBsub subtitles you can select the subtitle that way.
We have many Norwegian DVD's, and we have an NTSC-only TV. We mainly watch these as AVI's over our EyeHome, which doesn't 'care' that they are 25fps, or PAL. We have yet to order the OPPO OPDV971Hhttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00078GLJY/ref=wl_it_dp/102-9526706-0283328?%5Fencodi...lance&n=172282. When encoding the PAL discs into XviDs with English subtitles (for me as I don't understand Norwegian), Handbrake is great. Works like a dream. We are not 'video-smart', by the way. From the relatives, we have some XviDs that have no subtitles encoded in them, as well as their corresponding .srt / .sub files that are Norwegian/english. This is where things don't seem to work for us. I tried what you said, and by the way, thank you for contributing. I have purchased and recommended ffmpegX to MANY people. However, when previewing the resulting movie, prior to it finishing, it recognizes the Norwegian subtitle, but not the english subtitle. The first subtitle in the .idx file as viewed by VLC, is Norwegian, and the second is english. After starting what you recommended, and previewing, the resulting .avi file has the Norwegian subtitle. I see that this is quite easy, if we were 'video-smart', with a PC. We have a Latitude which we like, but we love our Mac, ffmpegX, and EyeHome more. Should we let the movie encode all the way through and then see if both subtitles are encoded? We haven't done that yet as we only have a 1.6GHz G5 with 1.5 GHz RAM. Didn't want it to go on for hours with only getting the wrong result. Thank you very much for replying to my post.
I officially resign. Seems learning Norwegian will be easier. Have already started Berlitz. Ha Det Bra!
I just found out that you can encode mkv that contain VOBsubs directly to xvid/avi using mencoder. Depending on video resolution the sub position is slightly off (higher), because AFAIK those picture subs work with a fixed resolution. Nevertheless you get an avi with the subs burned in. Just select VOBsub and Burn in the filters tab and select the track you want.
Now if you have a video file with seperate VOBsub tracks, why not just mkvmerge them and then convert the mkv to your desired format with the subs burned in.
I haven't tried this yet, but it should work. And in comparison to my previous workaround only one conversion is needed, thus resulting in better quality.
I just tested it, and it really works fine with 4:3 movies. For movies with other aspect ratios there's still the problem with the subs placed slightly wrong.
I had an XviD/avi movie with mp3 audio plus corresponding idx and sub files. I mkvmerged them this way
mkvmerge -o movie.mkv movie.avi movie.idx
Then I checked the framerate in VLC's info window.
Now I opened the mkv in ffmpegX, selected xvid-mencoder as target format. In the video tab I corrected the aspect ratio and the framerate from the standard 25fps that ffmpegX always detects for mkv to the actual NTCS film rate. In the filters tab I checked VOBsub, selected the first track ("0") and selected "burn".
So forget all the encoding with mpeg2enc I mentioned above. This seems to be the quickest way to use, and only one video conversion is needed.
This should also help for the problem mentioned above, with several tracks in the VOBsub file. Either you can select the track you want during the mkvmerge, or you select it when converting.
For non 4:3 movies, I guess you'll have to letterbox the video to 4:3 first, then mkvmerge it. When reencoding with the subs burned in you then can crop them back to the original format. I will try that, but of course you'll have two video conversions this way.
Don't know if this helps because I'm going the other way avi/idx-sub --> DVD. But what I did to get burned in subs on the DVD was edit the .idx file.
On a mac open the .idx with text editor, take out all the languages you don't want (in my case two streams of Chinese) and save the .idx (make sure you have a backup. Now preview in FFMPEGX, you should have the language you prefer as the default language.
Hope this is of some help.