Creating a Subtitled DVD
November 14, 2009 6:09 AM   Subscribe

I need some help with creating a DVD with subtitles. My computer is a Mac, but also runs Parallels and XP.

I'm adept at using Subtitle Workshop (under Windows) to create .srt files. I have also used .srt files with Submerge on the Mac to create Quicktime movies with hardcoded subs.
Right now, I'd like to create subs in Subtitle Workshop and use them to create a subtitled DVD that can be played anywhere (hopefully not hardcoded subs).
It dawned on me that I have no idea how to do this.
I noticed SW can export subs in .sub format. That's a good thing, right?
I only have iDVD right now. Do I need to get DVD Studio Pro for this? Maybe this could be achieved using Toast?
Thanks a lot in advance for any assistance. I'd like to do this on the Mac if possible, but Windows solutions are also OK.
posted by Silky Slim to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure if it works in your steps or process, but for some work projects, I have used the shareware Subs Factory to create completely new subtitle track for movies (annotations, basically).

It reads/writes/creates the external .srt type of text file. The UI is a bit of a mess, and the English documentation was written by a French speaker.... but it works.
posted by rokusan at 6:57 AM on November 14, 2009

Response by poster: Doesn't do DVD, apparently.
posted by Silky Slim at 11:29 AM on November 14, 2009

iDVD can't do it, DVD Studio Pro can, dunno about Toast (I believe it can, but a quick Google didn't find instructions).

Amongst other apps, the freebie ffmpegX can do it, if you don't mind re-encoding (i.e. your source isn't already MPEG-2 in your local resolution, or you can tolerate a generational loss) and the lack of menus.

DVD subtitles really need to be added at the authoring stage, because they're contained in data packets that are interleaved with the audio / video stream. Doing that within a pre-existing DVD structure (except in the case of swapping an existing set of subtitles for another) is a bit tricky, since it throws out a whole lot of other reference points which are dependent on the overall stream structure - you need to recalculate those timings/counts, update them wherever they appear in both the streams & .IFO / .BUP files, etc, etc. IFOedit on Windows can sorta mostly do it, but the roughly-equivalent Mac myDVDedit can't.

So, kludges are fine for one-offs, but to do it properly & do it well, you really need an authoring app that handles subtitles.
posted by Pinback at 7:14 PM on November 14, 2009

Oh that's a pain in the ass. I did it a couple of days ago actually, with a friend of mine. It's basically only possible on Windows. I'll try and find the appropriate tutorial and mefimail it to you.
posted by Magnakai at 7:27 AM on November 15, 2009

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