Guide : Playing Movies with Subtitles

This was a query by one of our readers. Before you proceed with playing movies with subtitle, you’ll have to make sure to

  • Get a Subtitle file (.srt, .sub, etc)
  • Where to place the subtitle file and what to name it
  • Make the video player (WMP, VLC, etc) read the subtitle file

Getting a Subtitle File

First, lets start with getting a subtitle file. There are a good number of free subtitle providers on the internet. Listed below are the top subtitle providers, and before that, I would personally recommend Open Subtitles and SubScene as they have a good number of movies in their database.

  1. My
  2. My
  3. Subtitles Source
  4. Subtitles Box
  5. DivX Subtitles
  6. DivX Titles

Type in the name of the movie for which you are searching subtitles for in the search box available there. Subtitles should be listed there. Few providers like Open Subtitles allow you to have a preview of the subtitle file (in text format) before you download, so you can be sure if the time specified subtitle file exactly matches your movie. The file will be packed in ZIP format and on some sites you’ll have to pass through the CAPCHA.

Where should I place the subtitle file?

If the file you downloaded is in a compressed format (ZIP, RAR, etc), unpack it first. You should be noticing a file with an extension *.srt or *.sub (few subtitles have different extensions too).  Copy this file to the place where your movie file is located. In more simple terms, this subtitle file and the movie file should be in the same directory/folder (shown in the screenshot below). Also, both the files should have the same name. The screenshot below should explain you.

Movie with Subtitle file - Use the same name for both

Making your Player read the Subtitle File

You’ve crossed 80% of the total progress. :) When it comes to subtitles, VLC Player knows to handle it smartly. VLC Player is an audio and video player from VideoLAN. Moreover, this is a FOSS (Free and Open Source Software). But, if you love playing it on Windows Media Player (WMP), there’s a solution for that too.

Playing on VLC

Playing Videos with subtitles is no big deal on VLC. When you have the video file and subtitle file placed in the same directory with both files having the same name (as shown above), simply open the video with VLC Player and it should automatically recognize your subtitle file and should display the subtitles. If it doesn’t, open VLC, click Media->Open File –> Select the file –> check ‘Use a subtitle file’ –> click browse and point the subtitle file –> click Play. It should now play the movie with subtitles.

Playing on Windows Media Player

To play subtitles on Windows Media Player, you’ll have to use a 3rd Party software (freeware) named VobSub. When you have the video file and subtitle file placed in the same directory with both files having the same name (as shown above), simply open the video with WMP just like you would normally, and VobSub will load the subtitle file and stream it along with the movie. Simple!

What if my subtitles are not in sync?

If the subtitle and the movie doesn’t sync, in other words, the voice and the subtitle do not match, you can try Time Adjuster, a freeware tool of a mere 930KB of size that helps sync your movie and the subtitle. Download from Tucows mirror. Thanks to Aneef for sharing the link  through comments.

If you have similar queries, mail it to us – techqueries at josephcs dot com.