All of the current versions of both hardware and software media players should have subtitle support. In order to play a video with an external subtitle file, the subtitle file name must be exactly the same as the video file name except with a different file extension. For example, if you have a video called raymond.avi, the subtitle for the video should be raymond.srt which is a standard for all media players to detect the availability of the external subtitle file. Searching for the correct subtitle can be frustrating because there are normally many versions of it and you need to look for the exact match or else the subtitle will be either too fast or too slow. Other than that, there are also a few websites that you can search and download subtitles.
The steps involved to search for the correct subtitle is just too much. You need to search, download, extract, rename and test. If it doesn’t match, you need to go through all the steps again. In order to simplify the searching and downloading of subtitles that sync with the video file that you’ve spent hours in downloading, here are 5 tools that can help you.
Sublight is a powerful free software to manage subtitles that comes with a modern interface and ribbon menu. Not only it can search and download subtitles from multiple sources, Sublight can also edit, synchronize and publish subtitles. After 5 years in active development, Sublight has gained over 100,000 active registered users that constantly provides feedback by rating and reporting the correct or incorrect subtitles.
Searching for subtitles with Sublight is really easy. You can either choose the video file which it will attempt to determine the title of the video and year that it was released to further assist in locating the correct subtitle, or you can manually search by typing in the keyword. Click the Search subtitles button and within a few seconds the results of available subtitles to download is listed at the bottom. To download, simply right click on the subtitle and select “Download subtitle”. The subtitle file will be automatically downloaded, extracted to the same directory as the video and renamed accordingly.
According to our experience with Sublight, sometimes it takes a few tries to download the correct subtitle that sync with the video because it doesn’t search using hash. Sublight works on Windows and there is both setup and portable version although the portable version is an older build without automatic updates.
SubiT is a simple and free program that searches for subtitles from multiple sources. The goal of this tool is to download the subtitle as fast as possible without hassle. You can either right click on the video file and select SubiT from the context menu where it will automatically search, download, extract and rename the subtitle file or you can run the program and load the video file from there. The program automatically closes after finished downloading the subtitle. If there are multiple versions available, it will be listed in the Versions box.
Do take note that by default SubiT searches only the Hebrew version of the subtitle. To change the default language, click on the setting icon located at the bottom right, go to Providers tab and tick on the language that you want to search for. SubiT works on both Windows and Unix operating system.
ALLSubtitleSearcher is a subtitle searching tool that has monitoring capabilities. Sometimes a subtitle for certain video takes longer to be created and uploaded to the database websites. Instead of constantly doing a search, you can use ALLSubtitleSearcher to automatically look for the subtitles at selected intervals. There are 2 ways to search for subtitle which is by right clicking on the video file and select ALLSubtitleSearcher or you can click the Add title button from the program.
After testing this program, we found that it is able to auto download and unzip the downloaded subtitle but the file name is kept the same. ALLSubtitleSearcher only support one database which is from OpenSubtitles.org.
SubDownloader is free for Mac OS X and Linux build but weirdly it is a 15 days shareware that cost €15 to purchase a license key. If you hate to search and end up with a subtitle that don’t sync with the downloaded movie, SubDownloader would be your perfect choice because all the found subtitles are 100% matching as it uses file hash. You can either search for subtitles for individual videos or select the whole folder for batch search. It is also possible to search by movie name and upload subtitles to help out the community.
Although it is accurate, there is a limitation that sometimes even a matching subtitle may not be listed because no one submitted the hash.
5. Subs Grabber
Subs Grabber is also a shareware that cost 15€ with 30 days free trial. It is able to search for subtitles from 10 different database and pulls the movie poster and details from the database.
There are some limitations on Subs Grabber such as only allowing you to search for one subtitles at a time. Moreover the automation feature is lacking as it does not automatically unpack the downloaded subtitle and renaming it to the exact file name as the video.
Final Notes: We have also tested a few other subtitle searching software such as Oscar, Subtitles, OpenSubtitleSearch and SubCrawler but they did not make it to the list because they are not working. In our experience, Sublight would do the job most of the time but if you have extra cash to spend, you can invest on SubDownloader which we normally use it first to quickly find an exact matching subtitle, and then only turn to Sublight when it does not return any results.