Handbrake doesn't include all of the subtitles? (MKV to MP4)

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by AndrewMRiv, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. AndrewMRiv macrumors regular


    Oct 29, 2013
    Hello everyone,

    I'm trying to convert my MKV file which has Japanese audio and English subtitles to an MP4 (Apple TV 3 settings).

    I have never had this issue before but for some reason, after converting the file, the Subtitles only work for about half of the movie. After that, it gets stuck on the same subtitle "Ahhh!" for the rest of the movie. I set the Subtitle track to the English option like usual.

    When viewing the original MKV file in VLC player, it works just fine. I would just like to get it to work in iTunes properly so that I can watch it from my iPad, MacBook, and Apple TV from Home Sharing.

    I've been searching but have been unable to figure out what to do about this.

    Can anybody point me in the correct direction? Thank you.
  2. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    Standards for subtitles change, and it is possible for programs that process them to get confused. You might try telling Handbrake to burn in the subtitles - if you are not doing that already.

    That said, I would not recommend using Handbrake to convert MKV files. Many (most?) MKV files contain formats that your devices can already play - they just need to be repackaged. Tools like Subler and MP4Tools can repackage such an MKV in a few seconds.

    In addition, MP4Tools will extract individual tracks for you, so as a last resort you can hand-edit the subtitles and put the fixed version back into your file.

  3. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    Well, maybe true but ...

    1. the OP might want to reduce the file size.

    2. how do you know that the mkv contains codecs the OPs deviced can play? Many apple devices for instance can not play back certain subtitle formats that mkv's can contain as it has to be mp4 and mp4 does not support several subs formats that mkv does.
  4. Alrescha, Aug 12, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014

    Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    Absolutely. But I think you will acknowledge that in general it is desirable to avoid processing when possible.

    I do not. Hence my use of the word "many" with respect to MKV files, and not "all".

    I would also point out that my first suggestion was to simply use a different setting in Handbrake.

  5. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    I would export the Subtitle track(s) to SRT text files (using e.g. Subler) and look for weird or non-printing characters in the text.
    Also, the SRT structure must be precisely correct (e.g. no leading spaces on empty!! or timecode lines).
    I also would make sure my SRT is encoded in UTF-8 (using e.g. Jubler) and remux them back, replacing the original track.

    PS Not so much on aTV3, but on the old aTV1 bad symbols in subtitle track have even caused QuickTime player to crash during movie playback!

Share This Page