Subtitles are a serious business

By | 24th April 2014

I enjoy movies a lot. Most of them are in English and nothing beats watching them with an original soundtrack and voice acting. Some house inhabitants disagree and feel more comfortable with subtitles.

Previously I’ve used a utility to grab the needed subs and it used to work perfectly, right before the moment the developer decided to monetize and inserted credits, waiting queues and popping up viagra adds.
That’s how I began searching for software app that would fit my needs – right click a file, SubIt and play.
Surprisingly, the list of appropriate apps is not that large and I decided against using some un-needed feature stacked clumsy “have-it-all” wannabes.
Now to the point. OpenSubtitles has a developers section that explains how to interact with their RPC server. You search subtitles using file hash (can’t go wrong with this!). For a moment I considered writing my own utility, but due to “everything can be found on the internet” went with a free one (VrokSub) from the general list of apps using the API.
Ended up configuring Windows Shell extensions. Everything I wanted – right click and it plays with subtitles.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\VLC.avi\shell\Subtitle Now\command]
@=”cmd /c \”\”C:\\Users\\*******\\Folder1\\Folder2\\Vroksub\\VrokSub.exe\” \”%1\” en,ru /newonly & \”C:\\Program Files (x86)\\VideoLAN\\VLC\\vlc.exe\” –started-from-file –no-playlist-enqueue \”%1\”\””
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\VLC.mkv\shell\Subtitle Now\command]
@=”cmd /c \”\”C:\\Users\\*******\\Folder1\\Folder2\\Vroksub\\VrokSub.exe\” \”%1\” en,ru /newonly & \”C:\\Program Files (x86)\\VideoLAN\\VLC\\vlc.exe\” –started-from-file –no-playlist-enqueue \”%1\”\””
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\VLC.mp4\shell\Subtitle Now\command]
@=”cmd /c \”\”C:\\Users\\*******\\Folder1\\Folder2\\Vroksub\\VrokSub.exe\” \”%1\” en,ru /newonly & \”C:\\Program Files (x86)\\VideoLAN\\VLC\\vlc.exe\” –started-from-file –no-playlist-enqueue \”%1\”\””
With the occasional “Service Unavailable” it’s still more bearable than surfing the subtitle websites.
And it even has a neat feature to completely download subs for all files in a folder:
“vroksub.exe “c:\my videos” gr,en
This will first try to locate a greek subtitle for every movie in c:\my videos (including subfolders) and if it doesn’t find one it will try to find one in english. You can use more language codes if you’d like.”
 A kudos to the utility author!