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How to use SRT file with MP4

255646 Views 39 Replies Latest reply: Sep 3, 2013 10:13 AM by tomasb2012 RSS
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Moof666 Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)
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Aug 14, 2009 8:03 AM
I want to use soft subtitles with video so I still have the option to play them without subtitles if I wish. How can I enable QuickTime Player to play MP4 with soft subtitles SRT extension? I can play AVI with subtitles in QuickTime (QT doesn't have codecs for AVI, duh, but I installed Perian to overcome that weakness). I can export the MP4 as AVI, but when I do, the result looks terrible. It seems QuickTime cannot correctly export MP4 to AVI. I can play MP4 with SRT subtitles in VLC Player, but the subtitles don't have decent shading to make them readable, like they do in QuickTime Player. Because of that, I want to find a solution for using MP4 with SRT in QuickTime Player. Any suggestions?
three Macs, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • rustler2x4 Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 15, 2009 9:01 PM (in response to Moof666)
    I have just the thing for you. Get Perian:

    It renders subtitles much more beautifully than VLC. Otherwise, same game; make sure the .srt has the same name as the movie and Perian will do the rest.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Josef Kowalewski Level 4 Level 4 (1,915 points)
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    Sep 2, 2009 4:40 AM (in response to Moof666)
    You need Subler - get it Here

    2.66 Quad-Core Intel Xeon, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • leokennis Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 11, 2009 3:11 PM (in response to Moof666)
    In QuickTime I don't know, however the Movist video player ( renders SRT subtitles in a separate video layer, so they are always ultra clear (and fully configurable). In most other video players, subtitles assume the resolution of the video file and thus become blurry in fullscreen.
    iMac C2D, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • JohnPatterson Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Sep 15, 2009 2:08 PM (in response to Moof666)
    First of all, SRT subs are fail. I would Highly recommend downloading jubler subtitle editor and export them as .*** (advanced substation) or .SSA (substation alpha) It should pick up the files then as long as its in the same directory with the same exact name, unless you mux it with that guys program. I personally. .*** allows you to stylize and add effects, which are unnecessary, but easier on the eyes, and easy to do, just open them in notepad and enter the color value code, or do it in jubler. Full customizability over .SRT which could really only be resized.
    MacBookPro 15 inch, Mac OS X (10.5.5), 4Gb RAM 250GB Nvidia 8600GT Intel 2.6GHz Core2 Duo
  • JohnPatterson Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Oct 2, 2009 10:38 PM (in response to Moof666)
    Oh, I hastily misread the question. My apologies. I ran into this same problem, cant figure out how to force these layers on without hard subbing, in which case you cant turn them off. I usually just convert to the other formats because 1. you can see them better because you can set the color, 2. you can turn them on and off in vlc as long as it has the same name as the video file without hard subbing. But alas, I contribute not to the problem with quicktime, which has too many problems of its own.
    MacBookPro 15 inch, Mac OS X (10.6.1), 4Gb RAM 250GB Nvidia 8600GT Intel 2.6GHz Core2 Duo
  • Rondex Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 12, 2009 11:30 AM (in response to Moof666)
    Hello guys. I have the same problem here. I'm using avidemux_2 to convert mkv to mp4, and that works successffully. The new mp4 files plays without any problems on quicktime with gpu acceleration enable (cpu utilization under 10% to 720p high definition movies). The only problem is: I can't load subtitles with mp4 on quicktime, but in vlc player the same file works just fine exept this is playing without gpu acceleration.
    The only reason that I want to play movie files on quicktime is hardware acceleration, witch causes less power consumption and heat.
    Does any one know how to use gpu acceleration with subtitles? As far as I know, hardware acceleration is only possible with mp4 and I'm not so sure with mov files.

    Thanks in advance.
    MacBook PRO, Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • CMar|c|e|l | Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 15, 2009 12:52 PM (in response to Moof666)

    Facing the exact same quirk, the solution I found comes with good old MPEG Streamclip. It allows to save one's mp4 into an avi-container and lo and behold, Perian kicks in to load whatever subtitle file it supports as soon as QuickTime Player opens said avi.
    Copying the subtitle track from avi to mp4 (add to selection and scale!) may be required. Save as mov and you 're all set.
    1.5gHz 15" PowerBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.11), 233mHz Power Mac G3 - Performa 450 - Apple IIc
  • yliu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 21, 2010 2:11 AM (in response to Moof666)
    The reason you see SRT soft subtitles in AVIs is because it's the Perian component that's drawing subtitles. QuickTime itself has no capability to read any external subtitle files. When you open up a MP4 file, Apple's own codecs kick in, and not Perian; therefore, you don't see any subtitles.

    There's not a lot you can do:

    1. You can wait for Apple to implement SRT support. I wouldn't hold my breath.
    2. You can talk to/beg/threaten the Perian developers and see what they can do. Note that this feature request is already filed in 2007 ( ), and they haven't acted on the request for three years.
    3. You can extract the video and audio tracks from the container and put it in a Perian-compatible container. MKV is the best option for this, I think. Note that you do not want to directly export your video to a new format, or to re-encode the tracks -- that will cost you quality. You need to find a program that lets you extract the MP4/AAC/whatever tracks from the container and remux them into a different container, such as MKV or AVI. If you can get Perian to handle the video, rather than Apple's default decoders, you'll get the SRT in QuickTime Player.
    4. You can use a different player. Honestly, I agree you with that most of the alternative players out there have absolutely atrocious user interfaces (I'm looking at ya, VLC). In the end, though, I just want to watch the video, and not fight with various video/audio formats.
    MacBook Pro 15-inch, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • MustardParty Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 21, 2010 5:58 PM (in response to yliu)
    Apple supports SRT's don't they? I just muxed an SRT into an m4v container and QT iTunes and my aTV all recognize and can display the soft subtitle and it looks beautiful.

    What I want to know is what to do with an SRT when the container is an mp4. The codec is supposed to be exactly the same but my muxer won't right the SRT to the mp4 properly. If I change the extension by hand to m4v another muxer WILL right the SRT in - but iTunes can't see the subtitle still.

    Is there a direct method to get to a valid m4v container from a mp4? What doesn't happen when I simply change the file extension that makes the process fail?
    horses, Other OS, i am made of pizza
  • incognito6174 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 22, 2010 2:34 AM (in response to Moof666)
    After reading this thread, I tried using the mp4 file with the srt subtitles file in VLC Media Player 1.0.5 and the subtitles work perfectly fine. No bad shadowing issues, the subtitles appear fully opaque on the background of the movie. Anyone did this?
    Macbook Pro 13", Mac OS X (10.6.2)
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