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Old Apr 24, 2013, 06:23 PM   #1
the real scar50
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How can i perserve subtitles when converting with Handbrake?

When i use handbrake to convert mkv files to mp4 the subtitles almost always get messed up.


After i finish converting a video from mkv to mp4 the subs end up looking like this:

http://i492.photobucket.com/albums/r...-35-19-858.jpg

http://i492.photobucket.com/albums/r...-34-50-095.jpg


So far i've only been able to get subs to work for one video; all the others have these crazy symbols around them.

Most of the videos i'm converting have .ass, VOB, or UTF-8 subtitle formats if that helps. Does anyone know how i can get handbrake to properly convert these formats?


Thanks for your time, The Real Scar504

Last edited by the real scar50; Apr 24, 2013 at 06:53 PM.
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Old Apr 24, 2013, 07:09 PM   #2
mic j
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the real scar50 View Post
When i use handbrake to convert mkv files to mp4 the subtitles almost always get messed up.


After i finish converting a video from mkv to mp4 the subs end up looking like this:

http://i492.photobucket.com/albums/r...-35-19-858.jpg

http://i492.photobucket.com/albums/r...-34-50-095.jpg


So far i've only been able to get subs to work for one video; all the others have these crazy symbols around them.

Most of the videos i'm converting have .ass, VOB, or UTF-8 subtitle formats if that helps. Does anyone know how i can get handbrake to properly convert these formats?


Thanks for your time, The Real Scar504
I would strongly suggest you take that issue to the Handbrake forum: https://forum.handbrake.fr

Post a log from your encode and get help from the developers.
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Old Apr 24, 2013, 07:24 PM   #3
the real scar50
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Originally Posted by mic j View Post
I would strongly suggest you take that issue to the Handbrake forum: https://forum.handbrake.fr

Post a log from your encode and get help from the developers.

Hi Mic j, thanks for your reply.

The handbrake forum is, of course, the first place i tried to find help, but it isn't the most suportive of places.

Would you mind telling me how i can find my "log"? I've already tried posting there twice, but i guess i can try again; perhaps with this "log" my post will be accepted by a moderator.

Nvm, i found it.

Last edited by the real scar50; Apr 24, 2013 at 07:32 PM.
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Old Apr 24, 2013, 09:53 PM   #4
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Hi Mic j, thanks for your reply.

The handbrake forum is, of course, the first place i tried to find help, but it isn't the most suportive of places.

Would you mind telling me how i can find my "log"? I've already tried posting there twice, but i guess i can try again; perhaps with this "log" my post will be accepted by a moderator.

Nvm, i found it.
They have a policy of not responding unless a log is posted. And that is for good reason, the logs provide a lot of diagnostic information and helps keep them from wasting time. After all, they would prefer to using there time developing the software than trying to figure out why someones torrent file is not working. I have found them to be very helpful when they are provided the one thing they request...a log. I recommended that approach because it is obvious technically something is seriously wrong with your transcode and they, being the true technicians of the application are the most sure way of figuring out the problem. Most (except for Dynaflash) on this forum have user knowledge not developer knowledge. Glad you found your log. I will be watching the forum and curious to see what they say. Good luck.

Update: Not sure if it was you or not, but someone at the HB Forum was noting they were getting corrupted subtitles upon conversion. It was a bug in the HB nightly build and has been corrected in a later build.
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Last edited by mic j; Apr 25, 2013 at 11:20 AM.
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Old Apr 25, 2013, 02:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mic j View Post
They have a policy of not responding unless a log is posted. And that is for good reason, the logs provide a lot of diagnostic information and helps keep them from wasting time. After all, they would prefer to using there time developing the software than trying to figure out why someones torrent file is not working. I have found them to be very helpful when they are provided the one thing they request...a log. I recommended that approach because it is obvious technically something is seriously wrong with your transcode and they, being the true technicians of the application are the most sure way of figuring out the problem. Most (except for Dynaflash) on this forum have user knowledge not developer knowledge. Glad you found your log. I will be watching the forum and curious to see what they say. Good luck.

Update: Not sure if it was you or not, but someone at the HB Forum was noting they were getting corrupted subtitles upon conversion. It was a bug in the HB nightly build and has been corrected in a later build.

Thanks again for your response.

I tried posting again last night--this time with the activity log--but it still hasn't shown up on the forum.

I don't really know anything about those nightly builds. I have the normal handbrake--which i re-installed to no avail.

Maybe if i can figure out these nightly builds, i can try them and see if they fix the problem.

I can't find anyone else who's having this problem, so i don't really know what's going on. :/
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Old Apr 25, 2013, 03:03 PM   #6
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If you want it as softsubs (as opposed to subs that are hardcoded into the video and can't be changed), you can convert the mkv file to m4v/mp4 first, then use Subler to add the .srt file.
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Old Apr 25, 2013, 03:16 PM   #7
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If you want it as softsubs (as opposed to subs that are hardcoded into the video and can't be changed), you can convert the mkv file to m4v/mp4 first, then use Subler to add the .srt file.
Hi DesertEagle, thanks for your response.

That sounds like a lot of work: going to each of my videos extracting the soft sub then converting the video then adding it back on. Maybe it's not; i don't know.

Does adding/extracting subs take a lot of time?
Does it mess up the quality?

Last edited by the real scar50; Apr 25, 2013 at 03:22 PM.
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Old Apr 25, 2013, 03:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by the real scar50 View Post
Hi DesertEagle, thanks for your response.

That sounds like a lot of work: going to each of my videos extracting the soft sub then converting the video then adding it back on. Maybe it's not; i don't know.

Does adding/extracting subs take a lot of time?
Does it mess up the quality?
Grab the .srt file from the many sites that are on the internet. It will still take time to add it back to your videos.
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Old Apr 25, 2013, 03:44 PM   #9
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Extracting the sub from the MKVs only take a few seconds, but adding them back to the mp4 seems like it will take a long time.

Is there any program that will just paste the soft sub onto the mp4 file? i could just keep the mp4 and the sub in the same folder, but that's really inconvenient when you have 100's of videos; and re-encoding the entire video means spending twice as much time + losing quality + big files.
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Old Apr 25, 2013, 03:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by the real scar50 View Post
Hi DesertEagle, thanks for your response.

That sounds like a lot of work: going to each of my videos extracting the soft sub then converting the video then adding it back on. Maybe it's not; i don't know.

Does adding/extracting subs take a lot of time?
Does it mess up the quality?
I usually download the .srt files from subtitle sites. If you extract from .mkv, it will be an .idx/.sub file, which is a graphics file and needs OCR processing to be converted back to text (a .srt file is in plain text). If the OCR is inaccurate, you will se funny symbols here and there.

Last edited by DesertEagle; Apr 25, 2013 at 03:55 PM.
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Old Apr 25, 2013, 03:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by the real scar50 View Post
Thanks again for your response.

I tried posting again last night--this time with the activity log--but it still hasn't shown up on the forum.

I don't really know anything about those nightly builds. I have the normal handbrake--which i re-installed to no avail.

Maybe if i can figure out these nightly builds, i can try them and see if they fix the problem.

I can't find anyone else who's having this problem, so i don't really know what's going on. :/
Nightly builds aren't really any more difficult than than the stable version. They are just an updated version still in beta but they do have enhancements. Follow this link (assume you are using Mac): https://build.handbrake.fr/view/Nightlies/job/Mac/

Download and install it just as you would the current version. I am not confident it will solve your issue, but it's worth a shot. Also, if you ever want to do BR's with subtitles, right now only the nightly's can do that.

I have never seen, nor seen anyone else, with the issue you have. That's why I thought the HB forum would be more helpful. Let's hope they address your issue.
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Old Apr 25, 2013, 05:44 PM   #12
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Nightly builds aren't really any more difficult than than the stable version. They are just an updated version still in beta but they do have enhancements. Follow this link (assume you are using Mac): https://build.handbrake.fr/view/Nightlies/job/Mac/

Download and install it just as you would the current version. I am not confident it will solve your issue, but it's worth a shot. Also, if you ever want to do BR's with subtitles, right now only the nightly's can do that.

I have never seen, nor seen anyone else, with the issue you have. That's why I thought the HB forum would be more helpful. Let's hope they address your issue.

Hmm, well, that seemed to mostly work. When i converted the video to mp4 using the nightly build some of my subtitles worked properly.

The original MKV had two subtitles: one was UTF-8 and the other was .ass

When i tested the newly converted Mp4 one of the subtitles (i don't know which) looked like this:

http://i492.photobucket.com/albums/r...-34-14-743.jpg

No strange symbols (thank god) but there was still that black box. Thankfully, the other one worked just fine: no box no symbols.

It would be nice if i could figure out how to get rid of that black box, but at least it's working at all!

I'll continue trying to post on the handbrake forum because i'd rather use the normal (stable) version, but for now this will be great.

Thanks alot for your help and attention.
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Old Apr 25, 2013, 05:53 PM   #13
mic j
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Hmm, well, that seemed to mostly work. When i converted the video to mp4 using the nightly build some of my subtitles worked properly.

The original MKV had two subtitles: one was UTF-8 and the other was .ass

When i tested the newly converted Mp4 one of the subtitles (i don't know which) looked like this:

http://i492.photobucket.com/albums/r...-34-14-743.jpg

No strange symbols (thank god) but there was still that black box. Thankfully, the other one worked just fine: no box no symbols.

It would be nice if i could figure out how to get rid of that black box, but at least it's working at all!

I'll continue trying to post on the handbrake forum because i'd rather use the normal (stable) version, but for now this will be great.

Thanks alot for your help and attention.
Well, I guess I am glad their was progress. But the black box should not be there. Just a question...are you burning these in or attaching them and view them as soft subs? I was assuming you were burning in.
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Last edited by mic j; Apr 25, 2013 at 06:01 PM.
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Old Apr 25, 2013, 06:14 PM   #14
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Well, I guess I am glad their was progress. But the black box should not be there. Just a question...are you burning these in or attaching them and view them as soft subs? I was assuming you were burning in.
I was not burning them in (all the boxes under the subtitle tab were unchecked). Although, i suppose i will in the future since there's no reason not to.

Edit: by the way, just now i tried to convert a new video, but when i selected the UTF-8 subtitles the burn-in option went away. The burn-in option is available for the .ass subs but i think they're the ones with the black box. Hmm wierd.
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Old Apr 25, 2013, 06:19 PM   #15
mic j
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From the Handbrake Wiki:

SSA Subtitles can be passed-thru or burned into the video.
When burned into the video, all styling (e.g. fonts, colors, etc) is preserved.
Animated effects (e.g. fade in/out, karaoke) are not currently supported. (Only the middle frame of the animation will be used.)
When passed-thru as text, only bold/italic/underline styles are preserved. Some players may not support the simultaneous display of multiple passed-thru SSA subtitles.
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Old Apr 25, 2013, 06:23 PM   #16
the real scar50
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From the Handbrake Wiki:

SSA Subtitles can be passed-thru or burned into the video.
When burned into the video, all styling (e.g. fonts, colors, etc) is preserved.
Animated effects (e.g. fade in/out, karaoke) are not currently supported. (Only the middle frame of the animation will be used.)
When passed-thru as text, only bold/italic/underline styles are preserved. Some players may not support the simultaneous display of multiple passed-thru SSA subtitles.

So, you think that if i burn-in the .ass subtitles the black box will go away?

Neither of the subs are highly stylized; they're just plain text.

Edit: actually i just check and the .ass subtitles in the original video are colored red. Maybe that's why they have the black box around them. I'm trying now to convert them burned-in. I'll tell you how it turns out.



Edit 2: Indeed, that did solve the problem. When i checked the burn-in option for the .ass subs they appeared on the converted video without the black box. Hurray!

I would be willing to bet that if i did the same for the normal version of handbrake, the subtitles would also appear without the black box--but that still doesn't explain those mysterious symbols.

Well, at least i've got a working version of handbrake now. Thank you again, mic j, for helping me so much.

If anyone else is experiencing the strange symbol bug with handbrake, please post.

Last edited by the real scar50; Apr 25, 2013 at 07:30 PM.
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Old Apr 25, 2013, 07:59 PM   #17
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So, you think that if i burn-in the .ass subtitles the black box will go away?

Neither of the subs are highly stylized; they're just plain text.

Edit: actually i just check and the .ass subtitles in the original video are colored red. Maybe that's why they have the black box around them. I'm trying now to convert them burned-in. I'll tell you how it turns out.



Edit 2: Indeed, that did solve the problem. When i checked the burn-in option for the .ass subs they appeared on the converted video without the black box. Hurray!

I would be willing to bet that if i did the same for the normal version of handbrake, the subtitles would also appear without the black box--but that still doesn't explain those mysterious symbols.

Well, at least i've got a working version of handbrake now. Thank you again, mic j, for helping me so much.

If anyone else is experiencing the strange symbol bug with handbrake, please post.
I know someone with a more in-depth understanding of this than me will probably correct me but I think the problem might actually be with the mkv and not HB. I think with those type of subtitle tracks in an mkv there should be another track that provides the specialized character set needed to display the text characters correctly. From my reading, that would be my guess. Anyway, glad you found a work around. Happy to help.
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Old Apr 26, 2013, 03:49 PM   #18
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By the way mic j, even though none of my posts ever made it past moderation i was banned from the handbrake forum.

Evidently handbrake "does not support piracy."

I'm not sure what that has to do with my posts, but i have to disagree with you about it being a suportive forum.

Last edited by the real scar50; Apr 26, 2013 at 05:03 PM.
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Old Apr 26, 2013, 04:01 PM   #19
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By the way mic j, even though none of my posts ever made it past moderation i was banned from the handbrake forum.

Evidently handbrake "does not support piracy."

Haha, I'm not sure what that has to do with my posts, but i have to disagree with you about it being a suportive forum. :P
Sorry, but I have to disagree with you on this one. They have a strict piracy policy and enforce it. They have to have that policy to keep the powers at be from coming after them. And frankly, I should have asked if you were having a problem with downloaded material...I usually do with these weird issues. And when I find that the source is a download, I always move on. I pay for all my material and you should too. Sorry dude...thats just the way it is.
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Old Apr 26, 2013, 05:03 PM   #20
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Sorry, but I have to disagree with you on this one. They have a strict piracy policy and enforce it. They have to have that policy to keep the powers at be from coming after them. And frankly, I should have asked if you were having a problem with downloaded material...I usually do with these weird issues. And when I find that the source is a download, I always move on. I pay for all my material and you should too. Sorry dude...thats just the way it is.
I never said i pirated it, and as far as i know my post hasn't implied that either. But anyway, this is all beside the point. Sorry, I won't drag you back here anymore.
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