Extracting embedded subtitles

Does anyone know how to extract subtitles that are embedded into a video? Is it possible?

This may not be what you want, since it’s about generating a transcript: - YouTube
You actually may be talking about just downloading the audio track from a video (for example a Youtube video) In that case you need to install Audacityi on your computer. Audacity is a free audio editing software. You can find instructions on exactly how to do so on Youtube then this video gives you instructions on how to seperate the audio file using Audacity: How to extract audio from video using audacity! How to import video to Audacity! Multi Track Video! - YouTube
Hope this helps,

From movies:

  1. Use handbrake on a film on a DVD. Save selected subtitles. Save on MKV format
  2. Open MKV files using SubtitleEdit. Run through program.
  3. Export subtittle from SubtittleEdit.

Good luck

I’m sorry Lusan, I’m the one who posted the original reply but I can’t understand what you’re talking about. Would you please clarify that a bit for me?
Thanks in advance,

Handbrake is a free software to convert films in DVD to format suitable for tablets. SubtitleEdit is movies subtitles editor. That is what I use to do what you want. You will find more info about them in the internet.

If you mean extracting subtitles from YouTube videos, I use a Firefox extension to do that. The extension that I use does not recognize the automatically generated subtitles, however. That’s not a big loss, IMO, since the quality of those, though improving, is still iffy, including no punctuation or sentence breaks of any kind. There might be a different extension that will work with those, but on the rare occasion that I want the auto-generated subtitles, I just use downsub.com. That site works for regular subtitles, too, though I find the Firefox extension more handy.

Extracted subtitles in the .srt format, such as from YT, have numbering and timestamps that you may want to remove. They’re simple text files, so easy to edit. If your text editor can match on “regular expressions”, then it’s easy to remove all but the subtitle text. There have been other threads on this subject that you might be able to find by searching the forums. For those who use Linux or Unix or CygWin I have a simple shellscript that does this.

Why would I want to download the subtitles rather than just let the Lingq extension import them directly? Sometimes I want to translate them into English, preserving the timestamps, so that I can share a good video or movie with my wife.

It should be be pointed out that some subtitles are embedded in a way that they’re actually part of the video image file — I think that may be what the OP is asking about here. Those cannot be extracted. Some movies and TV shows are distributed that way internationally.


Yes this is what I am talking about. It makes me so sad when they do it this way. :frowning:

For what it’s worth, a few years ago, before streaming boxes became the norm, this kind of embedding was pretty much the only way to distribute subtitled films. (In the days of film projection in theaters, subtitles used to be actually burned onto the surface of the film print itself after it was printed at the lab.)

Nowadays, all that would be done digitally of course, but if the movie you’re watching is a few years old, or it was prepped to de distributed on a non streaming service, embedding into the video image may still be the only way they can ensure proper subtitling.

My method works very well in these cases.