May 26, 2010 4:32 AM   Subscribe

Anybody know a way of playing two movie files simultaneously, in sync?

I have two files of the same foreign-language film, each with its own English subtitles.
I'm trying to translate said film.
Seeing as I don't speak the source language, it would be helpful to me to see the two different translations, so as to better infer the original meaning.
I'd need play/stop commands to be sent to both films.
Is this possible with any app you know?
Win XP solutions accepted, MacOS X solutions preferred
posted by Silky Slim to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)

Response by poster: Nice find but nope.. Doesn't work. Not with the current version of Quicktime anyway.
posted by Silky Slim at 5:54 AM on May 26, 2010

VLC on one and Quicktime on the other.
posted by nevercalm at 6:10 AM on May 26, 2010

Response by poster: But how would I send Play and Stop commands to both at once?
posted by Silky Slim at 6:37 AM on May 26, 2010

one idea comes to mind:

Use VirtualDub (or similar) to hard code one set of subtitles into the movie itself but place them a bit high on the screen. That way you have space enough below to run the 2nd, soft coded subtitles below.

If you feel the 1st set of subtitles end up too high and interfere too much with the video, maybe you could alter the size of the frame and add some extra space to the bottom. Then you'd have space enough for both subtitle sets.

Anyway, you'd still end up with one player, but 2 subtitles.

another idea: use subtitle workshop to blend both subtitle tracks (if you are using 2 separate tracks that this software supports).
posted by alchemist at 6:56 AM on May 26, 2010

Use Automator (in the Mac OS X Applications folder). Create a new workflow and then press the record button. Have the two movies already open, then just quickly press play in one video, move the mouse, then press play on the other video. Then press 'stop recording' in Automator. Don't move the video windows -- then run the script to play/pause the videos.

There may be other, better ways to use Automator for this task as well...
posted by whiskeyspider at 7:58 AM on May 26, 2010

Do you have two Macs? Why not set them both up side-by-side then use a remote to send the appropriate commands. (The IR will go to both Macs.)

If not, AppleScript is your friend. Do you have QuickTime Player 7? If so, open one movie in QT7 and the other in QTX (in Snow Leopard) and use this applescript:

tell application "QuickTime Player"
if playing of document 1 is true then
pause document 1
play document 1
end if
end tell

tell application "QuickTime Player 7"
if playing of document 1 is true then
pause document 1
play document 1
end if
end tell

I would advise muting the audio in one movie.
posted by 47triple2 at 8:33 AM on May 26, 2010

For QuickTime and VLC, although it seems to have problems getting slightly off-sync:

tell application "QuickTime Player"
if playing of document 1 is true then
pause document 1
tell application "VLC" to play
play document 1
tell application "VLC" to play

end if
end tell
posted by 47triple2 at 8:56 AM on May 26, 2010

You can do this fairly easily with GraphEdit in XP. It's a tool from Microsoft for working with their video framework, but it will do what you want without much effort.

Dragging files into the workspace of the app usually works, but if you want a second file in the same workspace you may need to use "Render Media File" from the file menu. Just do that once for each file. This will give you two video windows with a single set of play/pause controls. It's not very elegant as a media player, but it will work. A big mess of a flow chart will be in the workspace window behind the video windows, but you can ignore that.

The official way to get GraphEdit is by downloading the entire Windows Platform SDK and looking for graphedt.exe in the "bin" directory where you install it. But you can also find GraphEdit on its own from independent websites of various levels of sketchiness.
posted by dodecapus at 9:07 AM on May 26, 2010

David Pogue recently did something similiar by embedded the videos in Keynote.
posted by mmascolino at 9:47 AM on May 26, 2010

Best answer: You can still do it in Quicktime; that previous key combo is outdated.

Press Command-Return in quicktime to stop and start all open movies.
posted by reeddavid at 10:25 AM on May 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

VLC can do it all on its own.

Under the 'Media' dropdown, select 'Advanced Open File'.

From there, select your first file.
Near the bottom, there should be a check box labeled 'Show more options'. Check it.

That should reveal more options, including a check box labeled 'Play another media'. Check it.

In the 'Extra media' box, select your second file.

Hit play.
posted by CrystalDave at 11:22 AM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks reeddavid! Best answer! Exactly what I needed!
CrystalDave - I tried what you said in VLC, found the option called "Play another media (sic) synchronously" and chose the second file, but curiously, it only played one file.
alchemist - both films had hardcoded subs. Sorry, should've mentioned that.
Thanks to all the Daves, Davids and others who replied!!!
posted by Silky Slim at 1:55 PM on May 26, 2010

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