Forced subtitles

elfy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 26, 2011
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Glasgow, Scotland
I've been ripping and adding my DVD collection to Apple TV and only today found out about forced subtitles. That is, subtitles for those small foreign language sections in English speaking movies. I only just realised these aren't always automatically included in the finished file.

A couple of things, is there a definitive list anywhere of movies that contain sections like this? I've found a couple of lists but they only have a couple of hundred movies at most. I want to be sure which of the hundred or so movies I've already done will need to be redone.

Also, for future reference, is there any reason not to just choose the 'foreign audio search' option under the subtitles tab and check the forced checkbox, as a matter of routine when converting in future? Am I right in thinking it will just apply subtitles to these foreign language sections, if there are any? Does it make a difference to file size?
 

mic j

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Mar 15, 2012
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I've been ripping and adding my DVD collection to Apple TV and only today found out about forced subtitles. That is, subtitles for those small foreign language sections in English speaking movies. I only just realised these aren't always automatically included in the finished file.

A couple of things, is there a definitive list anywhere of movies that contain sections like this? I've found a couple of lists but they only have a couple of hundred movies at most. I want to be sure which of the hundred or so movies I've already done will need to be redone.

Also, for future reference, is there any reason not to just choose the 'foreign audio search' option under the subtitles tab and check the forced checkbox, as a matter of routine when converting in future? Am I right in thinking it will just apply subtitles to these foreign language sections, if there are any? Does it make a difference to file size?
I've always gone here, https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjJJQ9cOO5PicFBIRVFYcmVhb2pGeldFb1ZiVUx3UUE&hl=en#gid=0 to find which movies have subtitles and what type and where in the movie they are located. Not sure it is a "definitive list", but it is the best I know of.

The only downside I can think of to always doing the foreign audio search is the added time it takes, which is not huge but it is real (it scans the entire file using an algorithm designed to find forced subs) . I started doing it for a while and found there are just too few movies with non-burned in subtitles to be worth the extra time for each transcode. Instead, for anything I suspect even might have a soft sub, I go to the index (above) to check first. Very very rarely I would miss a movie containing soft subs. In those instances, I would just download and srt and mux it into the movie file.

Not sure what you are asking about file size? Are you asking if the scanning for forced subs impacts the file size if no forced subs are found? If forced subs are found, they are burned in and you would be hard pressed to notice any file size change.
 
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elfy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 26, 2011
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Glasgow, Scotland
I've always gone here, https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjJJQ9cOO5PicFBIRVFYcmVhb2pGeldFb1ZiVUx3UUE&hl=en#gid=0 to find which movies have subtitles and what type and where in the movie they are located. Not sure it is a "definitive list", but it is the best I know of.

The only downside I can think of to always doing the foreign audio search is the added time it takes, which is not huge but it is real (it scans the entire file using an algorithm designed to find forced subs) . I started doing it for a while and found there are just too few movies with non-burned in subtitles to be worth the extra time for each transcode. Instead, for anything I suspect even might have a soft sub, I go to the index (above) to check first. Very very rarely I would miss a movie containing soft subs. In those instances, I would just download and srt and mux it into the movie file.

Not sure what you are asking about file size? Are you asking if the scanning for forced subs impacts the file size if no forced subs are found? If forced subs are found, they are burned in and you would be hard pressed to notice any file size change.
Thanks. Yeah, that was one of the lists I found. Just thought there may have been more examples of this kind of thing in movies. This was the other list I found https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?key=0AkGO8UqErL6idDhYYjg1ZXlORnRaM3ZhTks4Z3FrYlE&usp=sharing.

I wasn't really sure how including these subtitles impacted file size or if it even did. Or if I made it scan for subs but didn't find any, whether or not it would then include some kind of empty subtitle track that would make the file size bigger? Like I say, I just found out about these today so I don't really know much about them. :)
 

mic j

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Mar 15, 2012
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Thanks. Yeah, that was one of the lists I found. Just thought there may have been more examples of this kind of thing in movies. This was the other list I found https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?key=0AkGO8UqErL6idDhYYjg1ZXlORnRaM3ZhTks4Z3FrYlE&usp=sharing.

I wasn't really sure how including these subtitles impacted file size or if it even did. Or if I made it scan for subs but didn't find any, whether or not it would then include some kind of empty subtitle track that would make the file size bigger? Like I say, I just found out about these today so I don't really know much about them. :)
Yea, I've looked at that spreadsheet as well. Good to take a look at both for into.

The scan for subtitles will not change the file size. Just adds to the transcode time by making it a 2 step transcode process.
 

elfy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 26, 2011
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Glasgow, Scotland
Yea, I've looked at that spreadsheet as well. Good to take a look at both for into.

The scan for subtitles will not change the file size. Just adds to the transcode time by making it a 2 step transcode process.
Good to know. Thanks man.
 

rayward

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Mar 13, 2007
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Houston, TX
Mic J and I have had this conversation before, I believe, about scanning for forced subs. At this point, I rip and transcode maybe one movie a week, so I just go ahead and run the scan. It has never failed* to pick up the non-English subs, and it takes but a few minutes compared to the 2-3 hours to encode the entire movie.

No right or wrong here. I like the "fire-and-forget" methodology of the forced sub scan, but each to his own.


* I do, however, save my original rip until I have watched the movie to make sure that any necessary subs are there. Haven't needed to yet but, in theory, it will save me having to re-rip my BD in order to re-encode with the correct subs.

Basically, you're going to spend time doing this. It's up to you where you spend it.
 

elfy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 26, 2011
331
3
Glasgow, Scotland
Mic J and I have had this conversation before, I believe, about scanning for forced subs. At this point, I rip and transcode maybe one movie a week, so I just go ahead and run the scan. It has never failed* to pick up the non-English subs, and it takes but a few minutes compared to the 2-3 hours to encode the entire movie.

No right or wrong here. I like the "fire-and-forget" methodology of the forced sub scan, but each to his own.


* I do, however, save my original rip until I have watched the movie to make sure that any necessary subs are there. Haven't needed to yet but, in theory, it will save me having to re-rip my BD in order to re-encode with the correct subs.

Basically, you're going to spend time doing this. It's up to you where you spend it.
Yeah I've run a few today and scanned for the subtitles. The scan has taken 3-4 minutes at most so it's not a great hassle to just run it each time to be sure.
 

RecentlyConverted

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Oct 21, 2015
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Sorry to resurrect an old thread. I use MacX DVD Ripper pro, I select forced subtitles, yet I don't get them displayed on any iOS device or ATV 4/4K. What am I doing wrong? Its driving me mad.
 

priitv8

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Jan 13, 2011
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Estonia
Sorry to resurrect an old thread. I use MacX DVD Ripper pro, I select forced subtitles, yet I don't get them displayed on any iOS device or ATV 4/4K. What am I doing wrong? Its driving me mad.
No Apple device can play back bitmapped subtitles. With the built-in tools (based on QuickTime) that is.
That's the only sort of subs a DVD can carry.
You could use 3 workarounds:
a) use a tool to "burn the subs in" to the picture.
b) use Subler to OCR the DVD subs into text-based subs and mux into MP4 file
c) download text-subs from any of the sites and use Subler to mux them in.

The general problem you are facing is this: subtitles on DVD-s and for most part also on Blurays are bitmaps (BD standard provides for text subs, but they are rather exception than rule).
iOS is not capable of rendering them on screen. To make things worse - DVD, Bluray and digital broadcast streams all use a different format of bitmapped subtitles.

iTunes/iOS/QuickTime only support text-subtitles.
 
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Dobbs2

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Jun 5, 2008
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Sorry to resurrect an old thread. I use MacX DVD Ripper pro, I select forced subtitles, yet I don't get them displayed on any iOS device or ATV 4/4K. What am I doing wrong? Its driving me mad.
I use Makemkv to rip my blurays into an mkv file while using https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nAMVVnmk3vSaUiuFXcN7D0R69FHIP4tfIkTdThTkXEk/edit#gid=20

to see if its hardcoded, forced, or separate tracks for subtitles.

For movies that have forced subtitles for example english movies that have a few conversations in a foreign language I then use mkvtoolnix and load up the mkv I just made go into the settings and have the mkv click the forced tab and let it run to completion usally 3-4 minutes. I use plex, and infuse to play my movies. When I set the individual movie to this setting it will display the forced subtitles even if Plex, and infuse have subtitles turned off. This has been the easiest solution with a server of 42tbs.
 

Dobbs2

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2008
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There is a much easier way: MediaInfo
I'll have to take a look at it. The way I described is pretty easy because if its not hardcoded its usually the third one for English subtitles.

1. Is normally DDH subtitles

2. Is normally commentary

3. Is normally the Forced.
 

Rigby

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Aug 5, 2008
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San Jose, CA
For movies that have forced subtitles for example english movies that have a few conversations in a foreign language I then use mkvtoolnix and load up the mkv I just made go into the settings and have the mkv click the forced tab and let it run to completion usally 3-4 minutes. I use plex, and infuse to play my movies. When I set the individual movie to this setting it will display the forced subtitles even if Plex, and infuse have subtitles turned off. This has been the easiest solution with a server of 42tbs.
For MKVs this is really much less of a problem, since they support many subtitle formats, including VOBSUB format from DVD, and MKV player apps can usually display them. But if you want to create MP4 files that are compatible with the native iOS/tvOS video player, this is not an option. As already mentioned above, iOS natively only supports text-based subtitles. When ripping discs to MP4 format, I usually do what @priitv8 described above: isolate the forced subtitles (e.g. makemkv has an option to create a separate forced subtitle track in the resulting MKV file) and "burn" them into the video (e.g. when re-encoding using Handbrake).
 

RecentlyConverted

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Oct 21, 2015
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Thanks for the replies. I am saddened that Apple do not provide support for these DVD subtitles, but I am also surprised that ripper companies haven’t produced a ripper with an option to output subtitles in an Apple friendly format.
 

priitv8

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Jan 13, 2011
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Thanks for the replies. I am saddened that Apple do not provide support for these DVD subtitles, but I am also surprised that ripper companies haven’t produced a ripper with an option to output subtitles in an Apple friendly format.
If on a Mac, use Subler. It will do all that you are asking for. And then some.
In tandem with MakeMKV, you have complete workflow (for free!) for DVD-s and Blurays.
 

Rigby

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Aug 5, 2008
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Thanks for the replies. I am saddened that Apple do not provide support for these DVD subtitles, but I am also surprised that ripper companies haven’t produced a ripper with an option to output subtitles in an Apple friendly format.
There is some software that can do that. However, be warned that converting graphical subtitles to text-based ones requires OCR (text recognition), which is not error-free. You'll often have lots of typos in the resulting subtitles. If you're only interested in forced subtitles (so it doesn't matter that you can't turn them off during playback), it should be easier to just "burn" the original graphical subtitles into the video.
 

westrock2000

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Oct 18, 2013
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Is there anything that can look at the subtitles and say there is 10 seconds of subtitles shown in this subtitle track. Which might indicate that it is a forced subtitle track.
[doublepost=1526355948][/doublepost]I’ve also noticed in a lot of newer Blu-ray movies, they like to be artsy with the sub titles and so they are pre-burned in. Because they want to use a specific font or put it in a specific place on screen.
 

Rigby

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That software will identify if a track is the forced subtitle track?
No it doesn't. Detecting forced subtitles requires scanning the whole track since you can have a mix of forced and normal subtitles within the same track. However, if you use it on MKV files produced by MakeMKV and the latter was configured to extract forced subtitles into their own tracks (i.e. you use MakeMVK to detect the forced subtitles), then you can of course see these tracks in Mediainfo and similar software.
[doublepost=1526483421][/doublepost]
[doublepost=1526355948][/doublepost]I’ve also noticed in a lot of newer Blu-ray movies, they like to be artsy with the sub titles and so they are pre-burned in. Because they want to use a specific font or put it in a specific place on screen.
This is to some extent even possible without burning the subtitles into the video, since Blu-ray and DVD support graphical subtitle formats.
 
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ActionableMango

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No it doesn't. Detecting forced subtitles requires scanning the whole track since you can have a mix of forced and normal subtitles within the same track. However, if you use it on MKV files produced by MakeMKV and the latter was configured to extract forced subtitles into their own tracks (i.e. you use MakeMVK to detect the forced subtitles), then you can of course see these tracks in Mediainfo and similar software.
Wow, I didn't know MakeMKV could do that. I'm partway through ripping my entire library of discs, but I've stalled out because of the subtitle issues. Two titles I've run into (Avatar and Valerian City of a Thousand Planets) have the problem you describe, where there is only one single subtitle track on the disc, but it contains both forced and normal subtitles. If I don't burn that track in, there are subtitles for alien speech. If I burn the track in, I get subtitles for all speech. I didn't even think to check MakeMKV for an option to separate it into two tracks.

Of course I also have the challenge of not even knowing in the first place if there is a forced subtitle track that I need to burn in.
 

RecentlyConverted

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Oct 21, 2015
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For MKVs this is really much less of a problem, since they support many subtitle formats, including VOBSUB format from DVD, and MKV player apps can usually display them. But if you want to create MP4 files that are compatible with the native iOS/tvOS video player, this is not an option. As already mentioned above, iOS natively only supports text-based subtitles. When ripping discs to MP4 format, I usually do what @priitv8 described above: isolate the forced subtitles (e.g. makemkv has an option to create a separate forced subtitle track in the resulting MKV file) and "burn" them into the video (e.g. when re-encoding using Handbrake).
Hello Rigby,

I tried MakeMKV, was impressed by its speed and quality, but I couldn't find the option to create a separate forced subtitle track in the resulting MKV file. How do I go about doing that? Thanks