Even though English is dubbed as the International language, there are literally thousands of languages used in all parts of the world. This rich variety of native tongues can be a hindrance in the context of international communication. That’s also the case in the cinematic universe. Hollywood movies might dominate the landscape, but there are other great movies from other countries as well. If you speak native English and try to understand Japanese anime, or if your mother’s tongue is Vietnamese and you want to watch a French movie, the quickest and easiest way to bridge the language gap is by using subtitles.
Downloading and Adding Subtitles Automatically
Today it’s relatively easy to get subtitles in multiple languages for virtually any movie existed. There are many subtitle service sites on the Web. You only need a browser and an Internet connection. Do a little search of “Movie_Title” + “Subtitle,” and you will find tons of results.
- Pick one that fits your movie and the preferred language, then download it.
- Extract the zip file.
- Put the subtitle in the same folder as the movie.
- Rename the subtitle to match the movie – except for the file extension
- After that, play the movie.
Most modern movie players support subtitle display. As long as you follow the process correctly, everything will work flawlessly.
The process described above is relatively easy, and anybody can do it if they only have one or two movies. But what if you want to find subtitles for twenty movies? Repeating the process manually one by one would not be a very good idea, not to mention the inconveniences that you would have if the subtitle that you downloaded didn’t exactly match the movie. Even a few seconds in subtitle delay (or lead) is annoying.
Luckily there’s FlixTools Lite. The app is a free automatic subtitle downloader from OpenSubtitles.org. This tool is currently available for Mac OS X, while the native Windows and Linux version is on the way.
After you download the app, using it is as simple as dragging and dropping movie files to the window. FlixTools Lite will then search OpenSubtitles.org for the matches, download each of them to the same folder as the source movie, and adjust the timing so it will match the movie exactly.
You can start playing the movie directly from the info window. Just click the “Play Video” button, and FlixTools Lite will open the movie using your default media player.
If you have subtitle files and want to help other users have more options, FlixTools Lite can also help you upload those subtitle files to OpenSubtitles.org. To do so, choose the “Upload” icon instead of “Download.”
Other Things to Tinker With
While the basic usage of FlixTools Lite only revolves around dragging and dropping movie files, there are several other things that you can customize from the “Settings” menu – it’s the icon on the top left corner of the main window.
While most of you will want to leave all the default settings under the “General” and “Saving Files” tabs, some users wll want to tinker with the settings on the Languages tab, especially if their nalive language is not English. You can add your preferred languages by clicking the “Plus (+)” button, deleting the ones that you don’t want with the “Minus (-)” button, and re-arranging the download priority by dragging and dropping the items.
Another setting that you might want to customize is the “Watch Folders.” You can add folders that you use to keep your movies, and FlixTools Lite will watch it and add missing subtitles automatically. Don’t forget to enable it by checking the “Enable” box. And if you need to stop the feature for a while, just uncheck the button.
You can take the automation further by using Hazel. You can ask Hazel to watch a download folder, move the movie files to a specific folder, arrange them into sub-folders according to a set of rules, and add subtitles to the movies using FlixTools Lite. But that’s another story for another time.
If you have a huge collection of movies without subtitles, you can save yourself some trouble by automating the subtitle search and addition by using FlixTools Lite. Power users will be able to upgrade to FlixTools Pro to have even more features, but the option has yet to be released.
Have you tried FlixTools Lite? Or do you have other tools for downloading subtitles? Please share them using the comments below.