If you have downloaded a film or series, it is nice if you can also get Dutch subtitles. How do you download subtitles and get them to appear under your movies? In this article we explain that and we give some tips to synchronize the subtitles with the image.
1 Manual search
If your English is somewhat good, most movies and series are best to watch without subtitles. But sometimes it is more pleasant to be able to read along, and subtitles are also indispensable for series or films with a lot of scientific chatter. But where do you find it? There are many sites from which you can download subtitles, such as www.opensubtitles.org. On these types of sites, you search for the title of the movie or series and download the desired result. Just make sure that the subtitle has the exact same name as the name of the video file you downloaded. It can happen that a subtitling site disappears, because as illogical as it may sound, offering subtitling without permission is illegal. The Brain Foundation has forced subtitling sites such as Bierdopje.com offline in the past.
2 Auto search
You can also let software do the work for you. In that case Sublight comes in handy. Once you have downloaded the free program and created an account, you can drag and drop the video file you are looking for a subtitle for into the program. Sublight then immediately searches for the correct subtitles. Then you can double click on the subtitle file to download it. Note: Sublight would like you to upgrade to the Premium version, but that is not necessary ... waiting fifteen seconds is enough, after which the download will still start.
3 Thinking the other way around
Sometimes there are no subtitles available for the video you downloaded. Or they are there, but they are by no means synchronized. There are programs that can get those subtitles back in sync, but why all that extra work if you can simply prevent it? The trick is to think the other way around. Before you download a film or series, first look for the subtitle in Dutch. Once you've found that subtitle, you'll know what file name to look for for the video file.
4 Using Subtitles
Subtitles are basically nothing more than a file containing time codes and text. The file states when a certain piece of text should start and when it should disappear again. This way, exactly the right text is shown in your video at the right time. You can create subtitles yourself, but that's a lot of work, so in the previous tips we gave you ways to find existing subtitles.
Once you have a video file and a subtitle file, probably with the file extension .srt, .sub or .sbv, you're good to go. But how does your media player know that there is a subtitle? All you have to do is make sure that the subtitle file and the video file are in the same folder and have an identical name. The software or device that plays the video then knows enough and picks up the correct subtitle. Note: if your subtitle has a different name, you can rename it, but the chance that the subtitles will be synchronized with the film or series is not great because it does not 'officially' belong to it.
It may sound like a clumsy step, but it's a hugely important one. If you have downloaded the subtitles and put them in the correct folder, please check if it is the correct subtitle. After all, there is nothing more frustrating and clumsy than sitting down with your bowl of chips on the couch to discover that the subtitles are out of sync or - which also sometimes happens - are from a completely different film. You can check it very quickly on your computer by taking three checkpoints: the beginning of the movie, somewhere in the middle, and the end. If the subtitles are the same on all those points, then your subtitles are OK.
In this article, we'll explain how to download, edit, sync subtitles for videos, and so on. But wouldn't it be nice if there was software that could do all that for you? In principle, the software is there, but it does take quite some time to properly configure it. Kodi is media player software that allows you to download movies and series as well as the subtitles that go with them. You can install Kodi on your PC, but also on a mini PC that you then hang on your television. You can read how to install and configure Kodi to make it almost a fully automatic media player on Computertotaal.nl.
6 Uneven Asynchronous
But what if your subtitles are not evenly aligned? In other words, as the video progresses, the subtitles get more and more ahead or behind. Unfortunately, that's a problem that you can't solve with time-shifting, because time-shifting moves the entire set of subtitles forward or backward. This problem arises, for example, if you downloaded a subtitle that was created for one continuous video, while using it on a video that has the commercial cut out (or even still contains it). In this case it is really better to look for another subtitle. Isn't there? Then it is time for a manual intervention, see step 8.
7 Subtitle Workshop
A program that you can use to fix your subtitles manually is Subtitle Workshop. Download and install this program and open the subtitle and the video in question. You can now apply options such as the previously discussed timeshifting. However, you can also easily track down exactly where the subtitles are out of alignment and move the titles forward or backward from there (or adjust the frame rate, if that's the problem). Of course this is quite a job, it is therefore the option that you apply if you really cannot find the right subtitle.
Usually a subtitle is automatically shown by the software in your movie, but sometimes it is not supported. Then you can choose to embed the subtitles in the video. This is easy to do with Freemake Video Converter. Download and install this program, click Video and select the video you want to add the subtitles to. Click now Subtitles and select the corresponding subtitle. Click now Avi and on To convert. A Freemake logo will be added before and after the video unless you want to pay to remove it.