As a Linux user I sometimes face difficulties with watching subtitled, movies. I mostly use Mplayer, Totem or VLC to watch the common video files.
The most common problems I face with subtitles are caused by bad timing, many times the solution to the bad timing issues is very simpleand comes up to changing the default movie player I use MPlayer to VLC or Totem.
However at many occasions trying to watch the movie with different kind of movie player does not help.
In this dark moments I get seriously irritated I am not a regular Windows user, where such kind of problems are almost none as many of the Windows movie player problems does fix bad timing issues automatically.
Luckily there is a work-around to this subtitles timing issues and other mishaps caused by guys who created a Movie subtitle files with a Windows subtitle editor program, subtitles timing, the Linux work-around takes a few more minutes to install a package called Subtitles
The Subtitles text utility is written in Perl and contains two executables subplay and subs .
Subtitles is the Linux subtitle Swiss Army Knife as it is capable of convert, join, split, and re-time of subtitles files
Installing Subtitles tools on Linux is a trivial job and it comes to download and installation of the 2 perl executables.
Here is how:
1. Download Subtitles.tar.gz toolsI have mirrored Linux Subtitles (Subtitles.tar.gz) here originally the binaries are to be found on URL address: http://karasik.eu.org/software/ , issue the commands:
linux:~# cd /usr/local/src2. Unarchive it
linux:/usr/local/src# wget http://www.pc-freak.net/files/Subtitles.tar.gz
linux:/usr/local/src# tar -zxvvf tar -zxvvf Subtitles.tar.gz...
linux:/usr/local/src# cd Subtitles-1.0
3. Compile and install Subtitles system widePitily the Subtitles tools are not currently available as a packages in the repositories of Debian and Ubuntu Linux and thus easy installation without compilation via apt-get is unfortunately not available.
Here is the commands with which to compile and install Subtitles:
linux:/usr/local/src/Subtitles-1.0# perl Makefile.PL
linux:/usr/local/src/Subtitles-1.0# make test
All tests successful.Files=1, Tests=17, 1 wallclock secs ( 0.05 usr 0.00 sys + 0.06 cusr 0.01 csys = 0.12 CPU)Result: PASS
linux:/usr/local/src/Subtitles-1.0# make install
Appending installation info to /usr/local/lib/perl/5.10.1/perllocal.pod
Now as we have the subs executable installed, Let’s say your movie subtitles displays 5 seconds earlier before the movie scenes (bad timing), all you need to do to adjust your subtitles to show up in correct movie scenes is issue:
hipo@linux:/home/hipo/Movies$ subs -i -b 5 your_movie_subtitle_file_name.sub
now check out the subtitle files once again with your favourite player and the early subtitles display on your movie should be fixed.
Let’s have another scenario, say that your movie file is encoded to display 24 frames per seconds (fps) but the subtitle file is created to display the subtitles for a 25 fps, to solve this situation issue:
hipo@linux:~# subs -i -a 24/25 your_movie_subtitle_file.sub
Another possible scenario where subs command will be a precious asset is if you for example want to merge two subtitle files into one.Let’s say you have subtitles for a movie which are split over in 2 parts and the corresponding subtitles are in 2 different files, but eventually you find a better quality of the movie (DVD quality) in a single file and therefore you need the movie subtitles to be stored in one single file.
In that case to merge the subtitle files from let’s say the files movie_subtitle_file1.sub and movie_subtitle_file2.sub use the command:
subs -z movie_subtitle_file1.sub movie_subtitle_file2.sub
Some few other helpful things you can do with subs on Linux, are for example: splitting a file after a determined period of time, separating overlapped lines, and joining files into a single subtitle.
If you want to remove all the comments of gestures, facial expressions loud laughing etc. which displays usually the annoying (‘[Sneezing]‘ or ‘[Music playing]) during the movie screen play, issue:
subs -e 's/[\s-]*\[.*\]\s*\n*//gs' movie_subtitle_file.sub
Also other interesting Linux tool which is useful if you want to make conversions between subtitle in a (.sub) format to (.srt) format is called sub2srt perl script:
sub2srt’s home page is located on the URL address: http://www.robelix.com/sub2srt/, just to ensure it won’t just disappear with time I have created sub2srt mirror here
The most basic usage of sub2srt linux converting tool is by simply passing input sub and output srt file names like so:
linux:~# ./sub2srt 5rFF-pop.sub 5rFF-pop.srt
sub2srt supports changing of fps rate per second during conversion with the -f option as well as creationg of converted files in dos like end of file (CR+LF) with the –dos option.
Hope this article makes sense. If you find it useful, please drop me a thanks comment