Add subtitles to video files

When you watch a foreign language film or program on television, it usually has subtitles. This is so automatic that you would almost forget that in reality it does not happen by itself. When you download a movie, you notice that it has no subtitles at all. In such a case, how do you ensure that the file is still provided with the much-needed translation and how does your media player know that these subtitles should be displayed? We explain it to you.

Part 1: Subtitle via single file

1. What are subtitles?

We don't need to explain to you that subtitles are lines of text that represent a translation of the spoken text on the screen. What you may not know yet is what a subtitle is physically. It is not a bizarrely complex technology, but simply a text file with a special extension (.srt, .sub etc) in which the text of the subtitles is included, including time codes that indicate when the text should be displayed. That way, your PC or media player knows exactly when to show what.

2. Search subtitles

Depending on the file format in which you download a movie, chances are that you will have to search for subtitles yourself. Fortunately, there are a lot of sites where you can find it, such as Subtitlesnl and Opensubtitles. On such sites, you simply search for the title (or better yet the filename) of the movie, series or documentary you want to download subtitles from and select the desired language. In many cases you can also indicate in which file extension you want to download.

3. Search subtitles with Sublight

If you have some trouble finding the right subtitle, you can also consider using Sublight, a free program that makes it easy to search for subtitles. For example, you can browse to the video file, so you don't have to enter a title yourself. You can even take a look at the subtitle so that you don't download something that is of no use to you. The program can be downloaded via Sublight and an extensive review can be found on our website via Sublight.

4. Place subtitles in movie folder

For a media player to recognize the file as a subtitle, it is very important that both the video file and the subtitle file are located in exactly the same folder. In addition, the subtitle may not be located in a subfolder, the file must be physically located in exactly the same location as the video file, otherwise the subtitle will not be displayed. There is no difference between playing with Windows Media Player, a burned CD or a physical media player over the network.

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