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post #1 of 16 Old 06-05-2015, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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MakeMKV and subtitles - DVD

Hey,

I currently rip my content using AnyDVD HD as folders (so VIDEO_TS and BDMW). I'm looking to redo them to MKV to allow me to strip out some unnecessary data and save some space on my NAS.

So the first disc I try is Breaking Bad Season 3 (we're re-watching it). I know episode 6 has some foreign dialogue so needs subtitles, so I put Disc 2 in and make my selection in MakeMKV as per the attachment.

If I leave the MKV Flags: Default on I get the whole episode subtitled as default, including the foreign dialogue. If I then turn off subtitles I get nothing, not even for foreign dialog. So I re-ripped getting rid of MKV Flags: Default and it just reverses the problem: I get no subtitles at all, not even for foreign dialog, and when I turn subtitles on I get them for the whole episode, not just foreign dialog.

I keep reading about 'forced' subtitles, but I can't work out how to just get the 'forced' subtitle track(s).

I use JRiver Media Center normally, but have also tried in VLC and MPC-HC.

Please help!

Thanks
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-06-2015, 06:23 AM
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Not sure about DVDs. But with BD discs, forced subtitle shows up right underneath the regular subtitle track. You can rip only the forced subtitle tracks. There is a thread here about force subtitles.
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-06-2015, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, but everywhere I look and everywhere I post this question, the answer is ALWAYS "not sure about DVDs".

Can MakeMKV (and others) not read foreign dialogue subtitles on DVDs or something?

My collection is 80:20 DVD:Bluray, so it's a bit important for me, and not like I can just upgrade the couple of DVDs I have.

How do Amazon, Netflix etc. do it, because it seems to me whatever they're doing (which works 100% of the time) is how it should be done?

It's a bit silly to have to wait for foreign dialogue, turn on subtitles, then turn them back off when it's no longer foreign dialogue.

Thanks!
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-06-2015, 04:28 PM
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It could be DVD spec doesn't support forced subtitle at all. Who knows. I have no interest buying or ripping DVDs ever since BD came to scene. Obviously most others do the same.
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-06-2015, 05:10 PM
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Nobody handles subtitles right with .mkv and I'm not sure why a bigger issue isn't made of it. What you need to do is set any forced subs to the default track, and any non-forced to null default, then enable subs in your player and they'll work right. You can use the header editor in mkvmerge to set the flags, and you'll have to deduce if there are multiple sub tracks (it's usually the second track of a language or maybe third if there's commentary). But makemkv doesn't set the forced flag correctly and I've never seen a player properly respect it, so it's the only option I've found that keeps you from having to fiddle with them during playback.

Edit: Looking at your pic, it doesn't look like there's a forced sub track if the English track is full subs, or it's mislabeled as one of the French tracks.

Edit 2: And I am speaking specifically of DVD's.

Last edited by SteelWill; 06-06-2015 at 05:19 PM.
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-06-2015, 06:50 PM
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After doing some research, it turns out that DVDs do have the option to force certain subtitles to display within a subtitle file. MakeMKV just doesn't preserve that information:

http://www.makemkv.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1760

The bug report was issued five years ago, so it's apparently not going to get fixed. The closest you can get to a fix is to use this guy's workaround:

http://www.makemkv.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7544

Use BDSup2Sub to extract the forced subtitles into a separate track, then use MKVToolNix to merge this English track into your MKV file, rather than the full English track that MakeMKV would try to merge.

Last edited by Aleron Ives; 06-06-2015 at 07:05 PM.
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-08-2015, 04:14 AM
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It is one of the most annoying things with converting your collection into mkv.

I currently scan the web when I get a new film (people usually post about it if it has forced subtitles) [or I am sometimes watching a film and a foreign language section pops up, I turn on subtitles and if it gets translated for me then I know there is meant to be a forced track underneath (if the subtitles says something like, [speaking in Russian] I know it isn't meant to be forced.)

Then I load up the film and cycle through the subtitles to find which track # is the forced one (only reliable way I have come across) then I use mkv merge to marked that track as default and as forced.

Kodi then correctly plays the forced tracks only. Jriver might need some setting turning on to display them though, I'm not very familiar with that front end.

I wish this could be automated, but I don't think it can be yet

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post #8 of 16 Old 06-08-2015, 05:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys.

Back to the drawing board for me then I guess.

From the thread Aleron posted:

1. Extract desired video and audio to mkv with Makemkv.
2. Encode video and subtitles with Handbrake. (I discard this video, but you can't tell Handbrake not to encode video.) When doing the subtitles, select what is usually (with forced subtitle discs) the only subtitles stream and add it. Then select the same subtitle stream again and tick the "Forced only" and "Default" boxes. This gives you a forced subtitle stream and full subtitle stream. Add these in whichever order you like, but I usually prefer all full subtitle streams to be stream 1, and any forced subs to be in a stream 2 if they exist. Any other settings are irrelevant, we just want to use handbrake for extracting these forced subs, which it does well.
3. Mux the video and audio from step 1, and the subtitles from step 2 using mkvmerge.

Thanks, but I'd rather be transported back to the stone age and live without the technology we have today, than do that for each of my discs; without first going to see the film at the cinema, I'll never know what films/tv shows have foreign dialogue, so you'd have to have a step 0 too: watch the entire film/tv show first before ripping it. At which point it becomes pointless ripping it because you've literally only just watched it.

Also from that thread (which was first posted in August 2010) is that there appears to be no fix for this problem in later versions (as of June 2015).

Is there anything else like MakeMKV out there that actually works?

Thanks
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-08-2015, 05:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelWill View Post
Edit: Looking at your pic, it doesn't look like there's a forced sub track if the English track is full subs, or it's mislabeled as one of the French tracks.
I tried ripping all subtitles in the screenshot... they are labelled correctly as when I flick between them during playback they are 'complete' subtitles, in that the whole episode has them, and in the correct language.

So MakeMKV is just not listing the forced subtitle track. One then has to wonder how the hell my PS3 plays these discs back correctly.
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-08-2015, 10:12 AM
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Why the PS3 catches them and MakeMKV doesn't is a mystery. My sample size isn't necessarily that large, but I've managed subtitles on every DVD I've ripped either undefaulting the default or defaulting the forced and have never seen this issue. Every time there's been forced subs, they've shown up as their own separate track.

Edit: Are you sure that's the right episode on the disc?
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post #11 of 16 Old 06-08-2015, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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As per the screenshot, there's 3 titles that are 1.6GB. I'm making the assumption these are the 3 episodes on the disc?
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post #12 of 16 Old 06-09-2015, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, I was wrong.

Just put the disc in my PS3 and played it... don't get subtitles either unless I put subtitles on, which then has them for the whole episode.

This has got to be a wind/**** up surely? How the hell I are you supposed to understand what they're saying!
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post #13 of 16 Old 06-09-2015, 11:50 AM
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It sounds like the PS3 doesn't recognise forced subtitles, either. I didn't even know DVDs had such a feature until you posted this thread. I expected all DVDs with mandatory subtitles to have hardsubs.
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post #14 of 16 Old 06-09-2015, 01:21 PM
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I have perfected this...

However, there are MANY steps - which are actually quite easy to follow and require a few programs.

One thing to note is the wording that I prefer to use...
default subs are a separate "default" track
forced subs are embedded in the single "main" track

1. open the DVD sub stream in DVDSubEdit and check for forced subs in the main stream
2. use makemkv
3. if the DVD has forced subs use mkvtoolnix to extract the file
4. open the .sub file in BDSup2Sub and export with the box 'export only forced' checked
5. use mkvtoolnix to mux the files
6. use mkvtoolnix to edit the header for your subtitle flags - it's not correct until you manually do it

this is what I mark them as:
default is marked both forced and default
any full sub track is marked as no for both

forced subs will now be on a default track that is automatically played.
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post #15 of 16 Old 06-09-2015, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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post #16 of 16 Old 06-09-2015, 05:17 PM
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Well I guess that solves the mystery.
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