Subtitles, subtitles, subtitles... (mkv) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-22-2014, 02:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Subtitles, subtitles, subtitles... (mkv)

Disclaimer: I do spend hours and hours researching this stuff before showing up here with these noob-like questions.

I've been converting my dvd's to mkv rips and storing them on my Synology DS1813+ with relative success. I'm starting to hit some titles with "forced subtitles" and need some guidance and reassurances.

I've been ripping with MakeMKV to my hard drive. quick check with VLC on windows 7, and then move it to the synology for storage. I use the Video Station app on the synology to index and scrape the data for a front end app called DS Video. (it's a Samsung Smart TV app...) I'm just using it for testing while I decide on my future media player.

So I decide to rip a title that I know has plenty of forced subtitles, "The Da Vinci Code". MakeMKV handles the rip and I notice one and only one English Subtitle. Okay, after a little research I use MKVExtract and pull out the subtitle track and it creates a sub and idx file. A little more research and Subtitle Edit opens the sub file. A glimmer of hope as I notice their is a checkbox for "forced subtitles only" and it reduces a gigantic list down to a manageable one that looks like my forced subtitles titles. I end up doing an OCR scan and I now have a srt file.

I feel like I'm getting in deep here but I'm determined to see it through. MKVmergeGUI and I'm combining the srt with the main movie.

The results:

Davinci original MKV rip with full english subtitle track in VobSub

VLC: plays all subtitles, but can also switch them off, taking "forced" off too...
DS Video: plays with no subtitles, but can toggle them on in settings. again, all or nothing though.

Davinci MKV rip with VobSub extracted and replaced with srt

VLC: plays srt subtitles, which are only the forced titles, in a quite nice font as well!
DS Video: upon launching the movie brings up a window asking me to select subtitle track 2, or no subtitles. Selecting "2" plays the nice looking "forced subtitles" that I created in the srt. As a side note, if there is more than one audio track the DS Video app brings up the same window to select an audio track.

My questions are:
  1. Why does a standard dvd player always default subtitles off but always plays the forced one's?
  2. Why do most soft players struggle with this?
  3. Why does MKV files not pick up on the flags or whatever a normal hardware dvd player uses?
  4. Does Popcorn or Dune or xbmc or Mede8er handle the playing of forced subs any better or does the problem lie with the MKV file format?
  5. Did I over-complicate this whole process?

I really don't mind the extra steps with creating SRT files, as they look really nice, I just don't have a feel for how accurate it is.

Any advice from the kind souls that have already gone through this would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-22-2014, 11:57 AM
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Hmmm . . . I always thought that with DVD Video, forced subtitles were burned into the video stream. Guess not all.

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post #3 of 8 Old 08-22-2014, 12:36 PM
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1. Dvd's have different options for picking subtitles, some of them are flags which will carry over to mkv some of them are menu based kill bill vol2 is a good example of this depending on what language you pick in the menu tells it what subtitles to play.

2. It depends on how you are ripping what software and what player. MKV container allows forced flags to be set and a player can also use these flags to say what to play and when to play its a multi stage process what all pieces of the work.

3. makemkv can pick up the flag you might not have the subtitle options selected right in makemkv and again some you cannot tell and there is a master list on this forum and makemkv that will tell you what track is forced for you to select yourself.

4. Popcorn hour will play a flagged forced subtitle track inside mkv, dune will do it with a patch. Mede8er does not follow the flags.

5. Yes you did slightly.

In makemkv all you really need to do is select what you want deselect the subtitles you dont want and click a check box next to the forced track. This should rip only the forced track as well as flag it forced inside the mkv container. Most software players should follow this, popcorn hour would and dune would with the patch.

here is the master list not sure its maintained anymore or not though

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...sharing#gid=12

it will also tell you what type of subtitles they are

If you already ripped a bunch of mkv's you can open them with mkvmerge and make sure the subtitle track is marked as forced. example below you can see this subtitle track is marked both the default track which tells the player it should be the default played if subtitles turned to on. The second you see its marked forced this tells the player it should be played all the time.


Last edited by halfelite; 08-22-2014 at 12:45 PM.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-22-2014, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Maybe Da Vinci code is rare in that most DVD's have a separate VobSub for "forced". In this case it only had one. Here's my snapshot below.



I turned Forced Flag on and reran it, but it was still all or nothing. I can see how that would work with a separate stream though.

So in the future, if a DVD has 2 VobSub's and i figure out which one is forced then I can mark it as forced and the players should pick that up? (Dune after a patch that may never be coming... LOL)
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-22-2014, 02:07 PM
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Looks like its a makemkv bug follow this step here to make it easy to correct. Looks like makemkv does not handle dvd forced subs like it does bluray forced subtitles so there is a bit of a work around.

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


also the dune patch is already out. Its a user patch done by scottj he is on these forums. you can find it here

http://scottjohnson.org/wiki/Dune/MKV_Forced_Subtitles
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-23-2014, 12:24 AM
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@OP
3. Forced subs can be authored differently and not every method is easily detectible by rippers. Another problem is that MKV does not support forced items, the entire track has to be flagged. So your best bet is to extract the forced items to a separate track (possible with MakeMKV if the items are flagged) and manually mux it into your MKV.

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post #7 of 8 Old 08-26-2014, 12:21 AM
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I rip all of my movies with MKV as well. I rip all of my movies with the English and Spanish subs. If one or more of the movies that I rip have force subtitles, I then use MergeMKV and move the forced subtitle track to be number 1, and flag is as forced sub.

VLC recognizes this, and I will be testing it with XBMC as soon as I complete my HTPC. My Dune D1 recognized it as well with the MKV forced subs patch.
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-26-2014, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post
I rip all of my movies with MKV as well. I rip all of my movies with the English and Spanish subs. If one or more of the movies that I rip have force subtitles, I then use MergeMKV and move the forced subtitle track to be number 1, and flag is as forced sub.

VLC recognizes this, and I will be testing it with XBMC as soon as I complete my HTPC. My Dune D1 recognized it as well with the MKV forced subs patch.
I think I'm going the xbmc/kodi route as well. Kind of a reversal in my initial thinking, but upon further research it looks like they way for me. Maybe OpenElec on a nuc. (didn't even know what a nuc was 3 weeks ago... LOL)

I have a good routine down for the subtitles now, including only the "english -forced" when applicable. The synology program I'm using for testing won't autoplay the forced tag, but at least it pops up a screen before the movie to select it. (DS Video on Samsung TV, part of the Synology Video Station app) I'm hoping that xbmc will just autoplay it...
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