For many viewers, subtitles are a key part of a TV or movie-viewing experience, especially when the source material is in another language or sections of the movie are spoken in other languages. While there are a variety of subtitle grabbers available for Android, I’ll be focusing on the most popular one in this article and will walk you through a simple tutorial on how to get fully subtitled movies onto your Android device.
Note that this is for people with local copies of their movies on their phones or computers. Streaming video services like Netflix already support subtitles. YouTube and other sites may as well, but generally on a much smaller scale, as universal subtitles would require all content creators to manually create subtitles for their videos.
Get the movie onto your device
This may go without saying, but let’s cover it anyway.
You’ll need a local copy of your movie for this in a file format compatible with your device or player of choice. Popular formats are .3gp and .mp4. In order to play locally-stored movies on your Android device, you’ll need to have a copy of the movie in question in this file format. After that, simply plug your Android phone into your computer and copy the file over, preferably to the “Movies” folder, though anywhere will do as long as you know the directory you put it in.
Install a compatible video player
Android’s default video player doesn’t generally cut it in comparison with external solutions.
In this case, I’m recommending VLC for Android. In addition to supporting subtitled videos, it also performs very well, and like its desktop counterpart has best-in-class file compatibility for all kinds of different music and video files. Once you’ve installed VLC or another player, be sure to check that your device is capable of playing the video. Most players will automatically scan for videos on the device, so finding it shouldn’t be an issue. If your video doesn’t come up automatically, simply navigate to where you placed it when you initially put it on your phone from your computer.
Once you’ve gotten the video onto your phone, and you have a player that can handle it and the subtitles, the next step is to install SubLoader. There’s a premium version, but for the sake of this guide I’ll be using the free one and going through the process of using the application.
Once you’ve installed the device, go ahead and launch it. You’ll get a screen that looks like this:
This is just a changelog saying what’s changed between different versions of the program. Don’t worry about it.
Once you’ve hit OK, the program will automatically search for video files on your device.
At this point you should select the video file you want to find subtitles for.
In my demonstration I decided to use the anime movie “Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods” since it had a fairly brief theatrical run and isn’t really a mainline cinematic blockbuster. I wanted to test SubLoader’s searching capabilities.
Once you’ve selected your movie, SubLoader will search and present you with this screen:
I got a perfect match, so I simply went right ahead and selected that one. You can select any one you want, though, or change them later if you please.
After selecting your file, you’ll be given a big full-screen advertisement that you have to close – a downside of using a free program, but a minor one.
To watch your newly-subtitled movie, simply open SubLoader and select your initial file in the starting menu. It’ll have green text indicating it has subtitles now, and choosing it, you’ll be given an option to choose what video player to open it with. Remember to use the one you chose earlier.
You have your subtitles, even if you’re watching a silly anime flick.
Do you know any better ways of grabbing subtitles? Or maybe you have better video players for Android? What about movie recommendations? Sound off in the comments!