How to Get VLC to Download Subtitles Automatically

VLC is a great media player that can play almost any media format. When you have a video file (for example, .mkv) that your usual media player can’t play, simply play it with VLC and there is high chance it can play it without installing additional codec. VLC also comes with a subtitle feature where you can load the subtitle file for the video file. The thing it doesn’t do is to find and download the subtitle automatically. Wouldn’t it be perfect if VLC can download the subtitle automatically?

VLSub is an extension for VLC that can search and download subtitles from opensubtitles.org using the hash or name of the currently playing video.

1. Download VLSub from its Github page. Extract the compressed file. You should find a “vlsub.lua” file in the folder.

vlsub-extension-file

2. Assuming that VLC is already installed in your computer, the next thing to do is to move the “vlsub.lua” file to the VLC extension folder.

In Linux, the extension folder is at ” ~/.local/share/vlc/lua/extensions/”. (Note: this filepath does not exist by default. You have to create the “lua” and “extensions” folders in the “~/.local/share/vlc” folder)

cp vlsub.lua /usr/lib/vlc/lua/extensions/

For Windows, copy/paste the file to

%ProgramFiles%\VideoLAN\VLC\lua\extensions\

For Mac OS X:

/Applications/VLC.app/Contents/MacOS/share/lua/extensions/

3. Open the VLC and load a video. Under the View menu, you should now see a “VLSub” option.

vlsub-under-view-menu

4. In the VLSub window, you can select the subtitle language and add the title of the movie. Click the “Search by name” button to fetch all the related subtitles from OpenSubtitles.org. If you prefer, you can use the “Search by hash” button where it will calculate the hash for the video and find the subtitle that matches this hash. If you have converted the video from one format to another, or modified it, the hash method won’t work well.

vlsub to download subtitle automatically

5. When you found a match in the result list, highlight it and click “Download selection”. It will prompt you to select the location to download the subtitle file (the default location is the location of the currently playing video). Once that is done, you will be able to load the subtitle file in VLC.

VLSub is a useful extension that makes VLC even better. Now you can watch video without wasting time searching the Web for the correct subtitle file. Try it out and let us know if it works for you.