I'm about to encode my whole DVD library using HandBrake, and I only want to do it once. I've been testing around for quite a while now, with pleasing results. So far, I'm very confident, and there's just one question left before I get going: Should I embed relevant subtitles from the source media, or not? What are the advantages and disadvantages of embedded and external ones? Generally, I don't need to burn subtitles in, I just activate them every now and then, mainly when watching foreign movies in their original language. So we're talking soft subtitles anyway. Initially, I was planning to encode the appropriate audio tracks only and to leave out subtitles altogether. However, then I recalled that there are quite a few movies with forced subtitles -- or movies for which forced subtitles would make sense that is --, like The Lord of the Rings, and Babel. Do external subtitles support those cases, similar to HandBrake's Foreign Language Search option, or is that going be an issue? If you advised to go for external subtitles, am I supposed to import them while at the encoding process, or can I simply link them at a later time, when needed? I understand that downloading them won't affect my original movie files, or do I stand corrected? As a result, one advantage would be creating smaller files. (Which of the many apps do you recommend?) Now the main reason why I'd prefer to exclude embedded subtitles is that it can be a real pain to figure out which are which. I'm aware that some DVDs have SDH (deaf or hard-of-hearing) as well as commentary included, however, more often than not there are empty ones. You can properly select them in VLC or elsewhere with absolutely no effect -- they seem blank. Do you have any idea what those are for? Apart from that, validating subtitles is very time consuming and bears no proportion at all. Your help is very much appreciated!