Help with subtitles

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1_slice_toaster
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2021 3:04 pm

Help with subtitles

Post by 1_slice_toaster »

Hello,

I am trying to figure out how to access subtitles via MakeMKV and ultimately use the subtitle file for Handbrake. Any advice for how to do this or links to previous posts would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!!
preserve
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Location: Canada

Re: Help with subtitles

Post by preserve »

As shown on this page in the second screenshot (the screenshot is a bit old, but everything is still basically the same) - http://makemkv.com/onlinehelp/ - any existing subtitles will be shown and selectable when you expand each individual title.

Selected subtitle tracks will be written to the ripped MKV file, and Handbrake will recognize them.
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Woodstock
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Re: Help with subtitles

Post by Woodstock »

MakeMKV won't write the subtitles as a separate file, though. If it did, handbrake would NOT recognize them, because the only types of subtitle files handbrake can load from a separate file are SRT and SSA, which Bluray disks do not use.
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Seeker47
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:42 pm

Re: Help with subtitles

Post by Seeker47 »

I'm thinking that Post #2 above may have the info I was looking for, as I was at a loss to understand why MakeMKV wass "throwing away" subs I knew to be present. I had not ventured beyond default settings. With some jobs the EN subs would come through, but in many others they seemed to just get tossed. I couldn't account for this, but suspected there must be some settings I had not visited yet.
Woodstock
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Re: Help with subtitles

Post by Woodstock »

If you set a preferred language, only subtitles listed for that language will automagically be selected. You would have to manually select others.

Taking out the preference will default to selecting all languages.

Way back in the dark past, I had EN set for preferred, and some disks didn't select the EN subtitles... because they weren't tagged as EN. And I've had disks where ALL subtitle and audio tracks were tagged as EN, even though they were not English.
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Seeker47
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Re: Help with subtitles

Post by Seeker47 »

I guess I'm maybe even more confused than before. Just ran another job -- multi-Ep Blu-Ray disc -- after which I went back and checked the job settings. ALL subs had been checkmarked. Confirmed that the subs are there to optionally display, when played back with VLC on the computer. Yet when I played back the MKVs rendered from completely similar BR discs on the tv, there were either no subs available to select, or when supposedly selecting them nothing then showed up in playback. Will have to see if that holds true with this latest one. So, what subs format is standard for BR discs ? (Might be a totally different story with material from DVDs . . . ?)
Woodstock
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Re: Help with subtitles

Post by Woodstock »

Ah, a TV is involved. TVs are notoriously fickle about subtitle support, which is why I never bother. Most are limited to text-based subtitles. Sometimes SRT, sometimes only the "Timed Text" format used by MP4 files.

If VLC can see the subtitles in the MKV file on your PC, handbrake should have them selectable too. Handbrake has "behaviors" for selecting audio and subtitle tracks, but you can change them and manually override them, too.

If my target is a TV (no media player), I'll tell handbrake to render the subtitles in the video (burn in) and package it as an MP4. If I have a media player (like a FireTV or others), I'll do an MKV file, put the subtitle track in directly. I now have a new step, where I use MKVPropEdit to set the "correct" subtitle as Default and Forced, so that the player will render it immediately on playback.

The new step was decided after I found out that "just" the default flag wasn't enough with most players. Neither MakeMKV nor handbrake will set both flags, but both are the only effective settings I've found.
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Seeker47
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Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:42 pm

Re: Help with subtitles

Post by Seeker47 »

Thanks. Yes, various media players have been involved for the playback. Or sometimes the USB input of a BR deck which supports MKV files. I've now started to routinely inspect the checkboxes, prior to doing a run with MakeMKV, but as you indicated that is apparently not sufficient. If I was using VLC on a media player that is equipped with it, perhaps nothing further would be needed. However, the Android edition of VLC is much inferior to the Win desktop version I use, or likely also to the Mac or Linux versions, neither of which I use. A lot of codec support that we take for granted on the computer desktop versions seem to be absent on the Android one. I'd like to avoid any further processing that may involve reencoding. Guess I'll have to learn the use of MKVPropEdit, which I had never heard of until you mentioned it. Seems a bit odd to me that this extra step is required in order for the subs to "stick."
Woodstock
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Re: Help with subtitles

Post by Woodstock »

My journey to enlightenment on subtitle flags can be found here.

If you know which subtitle track you want to force to be displayed, you can edit the command line in the end to set the flags. VLC on your main computer can help you find it. After they are set properly, VLC and ViMu on Android properly display subtitles.

If it's just a few files you want to fix, you can use the MKVtoolnix GUI, header editor, and a few clicks takes care of it.
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Seeker47
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Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:42 pm

Re: Help with subtitles

Post by Seeker47 »

Thanks. Since my first-choice streaming / player box has been having issues lately in recognizing the presence of attached storage (that it formerly handled routinely), I played a nearly 3-hour MKV film through the BR deck's USB input the other night. Subs were needed occasionally for a language that few people understand, and the EN subs track was present on demand. But that's not a given: sometimes this works, and sometimes it doesn't. I'm sure that I'll need to make use of one of the procedures you mentioned, in quite a few other cases.
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