My response is confined to native BD.m2ts files and Clown_BD.
Originally Posted by pepar
New question - subtitles ... is there a resource somewhere that will tell me whether I need to check a subtitle box? Or is there another setting somewhere that will include the forced subs, i.e. english when someone is speaking non-English?
Forced BD subtitles have been a bugaboo for as long as I have been using media players -- it's amazing how often it comes up on various threads as if it were a new issue all over again. Very few media players handle forced subs properly or reliably in an automatic fashion from any container. I have always used WD Live players which fit into that category and require human intervention for BD forced subs so this is how I have approached it and have been very satisfied. Of course, this is my personal workflow -- others won't like it a bit but it serves as an example that could be adapted, modified or ignored as the case may be.
I have found two types of forced subs -- forced subs that are contained within the full subtitle track and forced subs that are contained in a track of their own (less common). In the extraction (demux) phase, Clown_BD will identify and extract forced subs and create a separate subtitle track for them in the demux folder -- they are easily identified because they have "forced" in the filename. If you do not see a new subtitle track with "forced" in the filename then the title does not have forced subs and there is nothing further to worry about. In the case where you have the forced subs embedded in the main subtitle track, you will end up with two sub tracks -- the original main subtitle track and a second "forced" subtitle track containing only the forced subs. In the second phase (remux) Clown_BD will remux the forced subtitle track first and the main subtitle track second so when you play the title you only need to tell your player to play the first subtitle track for you to view the forced subs.
When the forced subs are contained in their own track to start with, that is a bit of a pain. During the demux phase, Clown_BD will still create a forced subtitle track which is now a duplicate of the original forced sub track. So now you have 3 sub tracks -- the full sub track, the original forced sub track and the new duplicate "forced" sub track. I have not found a way to turn off the Clown_BD function and not create a second forced sub track. The remux phase will still locate the forced sub track first in line but now things get confusing if you are looking to select the full sub track. I have not found a way to edit the command script to leave out one of the forced sub tracks during remux phase. The only solution I have is to remux the final BD.m2ts file with TSMuxer and leave out the extra forced sub track.
Refer to the screen shot of Clown_BD you posted above. There is a check-box labeled "Force Subtitles". This is a three-state checkbox. Unchecked
does nothing. Checked
sets a flag to "force" playback of the first subtitle track. Grayed
only sets the flag if the first subtitle track is a forced sub track. I leave that check-box grayed all the time. If your media player understands that flag and can act on it then presumably it will automatically play your forced subs without your intervention. Currently the WD Live doesn't do anything with that flag but who knows what a future firmware update may hold.
Caveat 1: Many titles have multiple English sub tracks for director comments or hearing impaired viewers, so how to identify which one. It's actually straight forward, just requires some time. I do a "pre-rip" with Clown_BD in which I just run the demux phase and only select all the English subtitle tracks. I then use SUPRIP to view all the tracks in the demux folder. It's pretty easy to pick out the main subtitle track from the group. If that main sub track also has embedded forced subs, a "forced" sub track is generated which quickly narrows down the list. Once I have identified the stream number of the main subtitle track I rerun Clown_BD and do the full extraction selecting only the above identified subtitle track. Yes, I know, extra steps -- but it works perfectly and reliably.
Caveat 2: I have run across 1 or 2 titles which had forced subs in their own subtitle track but were not identified by Clown_BD as being forced subs -- so Clown_BD did not make a duplicate "forced" sub track. Here you run the danger of not knowing there is a forced sub track that needs to be included in the extraction if you only depend on Clown_BD for their identification.. The solution here for me is SUPRIP. SUPRIP has a check-box that will only display subtitles marked as forced. It has never failed to identify a forced subtitle track, so even though Clown_BD failed to identify the separate forced subtitle track of those couple titles, SUPRIP did and I was able to include it in the main title extraction.