[Matroska-users] Extracting Subtitles

Liisachan seelie at faireal.net
Sun May 24 09:42:13 CEST 2009


Ivan Kowalenko wrote:
> Bad news: Likely your subtitles are either SRTs or SSA/ASS files, and I 
> don't know of any program that will convert those to the VOB Subpicture 
> subtitles you need for the DVD spec.

Good news: There is at least one such program, called Son2Vobsub, from 2003.
http://lists.matroska.org/pipermail/matroska-general/2003-December/000614.html

IIRC MaestroSBT can convert SSA to SON (SRT to SSA is trivial). and 
Son2Vobsub can then convert SON to IDX+SUB.

Bad news: They're for Windows. Mac users would have to use a VM to run them.

Another option directly working on Mac is to save your MKV as 
hardsubbed, preferably using mplayer with SSA/ASS support,
or (if that is not possible for some reason) using VLC.
If you use a lossless video codec, you can do so losslessly before 
converting it again to MPEG-2.
The problem this time is that video is hardsubbed,
meaning you can't turn the subtitles off.
But then again, it is not possible at all for VOB SubPics to be as 
expressive as SSA/ASS. VOB subs can't even handle true colors, actually 
not even 8-bit, not to mention scalable anti-aliasing, overlapped 
subtitles, automatic collision handling, etc etc.
So you'll have to give up one thing or another anyway.
Essentially, the problem you're experiencing is the limitations of DVD 
specs, not the lack of conversion tools. Even with a hypothetical, 
optimal conversion tool, you'd have to give up many things in SSA/ASS as 
long as the output is VOB SubPics. If you can live with hardsubs,
that may be the best solution.

Liisachan



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