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Show HN: SubSync – Automatically download subtitles for your movies (github.com/zerratar)
74 points by zerratar on April 9, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 30 comments

How does this compare to subliminal (https://github.com/Diaoul/subliminal)?

I have no idea. I've honestly never heard of subliminal until just recently (yesterday) and I've never really tried it out.

But on first glance it seem like subliminal is more for developers in general as it provide apis to use it, it also have a bunch more providers than what SubSync currently have and most likely a much better way for guessing which subtitle is correct. It also seem to focus more on individual subtitles rather than trying to batch download them unlike SubSync. Although they do have support for downloading for a whole folder. How well that works I have no idea.

In the end, Subliminal have been in development for over 5 years and has been thoroughly tested. Whereas SubSync was a weekend project I made 2 weeks ago and never meant to compete with anything existing. I only knew I had a problem I needed to solve and wanted to share it with everyone :-)

TL;DR: I don't think SubSync offers anything unique over Subliminal at this moment. And if you're already used to using Subliminal you should keep doing so if that works good for you. :-)

I think the implication was more "why don't you incorporate subliminal support into SubSync, getting the best of both worlds?".

Yeah, I didn't mean to discourage. It's a cool project and making your own stuff is fun :)

Actually, one thing. The idea with SubSync is that you keep it running in the background and as soon as a new video file is added to your library it does look for a subtitle to download.

I'm not sure if subliminal has that or if you manually have to tell it to look.

One reason could be that you don't use Windows. Glancing at SubSync's GitHub repository I see it seems to be a Windows project, whereas subliminal runs anywhere Python does.

Its luckily a .net core 2.0 application so it is possible to run on mac and linux. :-) not completely hasslefree though. As you would need to install the required runtime for it.

Is python "natively" supported on those platforms or do you have to install some prerequisites for it to work? If so, it's just as "hard" to run this as Subliminal.

Yes, python is included, though I think macOS uses python 2.x (though people using cli tools will often have the latest). I’m guessing a google search could tell you what is bundled for macOS and various Linux distros.

Not sure about Plex and Kodi but Emby has a feature to automatically grab subtitles. It can search for the specific release (likely synchronised) or be more liberal with the added risk of getting a subtitle which doesn't sync. I think it uses Opensubtitles, and has no support for a different backend.

VLC uses Opensubtitles as well, but requires manual interaction. It can search for hash or name.

Both require an account (no API I think).

Subliminal you can run in a Docker environment (Emby as well, I suppose same with Plex and Kodi) to continuously grab subtitles for new releases.

Ideally, you want multiple providers for this. For example, Subscene and Addic7ed. AFAIK this isn't possible with any of the software I mentioned.

What I don't understand (actually, I think I do understand: it is because maintainers of subtitle platforms want to profit via ads) is why there's no incremental databases with subtitles (like we used to have with serials for software, forgot the name) so you can just select it offline. The amount of data is very little because its all text. With some compression and a database to search, it shouldn't cost a lot of resources. You can have a base, and then have incremental updates over that, with rebasing every once in a while. Kinda like HVSC (High Voltage Sid Collection).

I used https://subtitlesapp.com/ for a while, but I think they started charging for it, so I stopped using any subtitles program.

Thanks for giving me an alternative :)

I'm glad you find this useful!

A tip if you want easy subs is to use Kodi. It has plug-ins for subtitle downloads so you just start playing the movie and go into a list of subs it found from subscene, opensubtitles or similar. Couldn't be easier.

My user experience with Kodi's plugins was not good. It kept finding subtitles for the wrong episode, or even worse the wrong show. And once I found a decent one I had to manually time sync them almost every time.

The thing is I didn't have a lot of trouble manually finding the right subtitles in any popular website, it would be different (i.e. not Kodi's fault) if the data was wrong or difficult to find on the first place.

I'll give this a try and see if it performs better.

Smplayer comes with this feature and it works very well too.


I will compile a list later of media players that has this feature and put it on SubSync github so it can help people out as much as possible.

So does IINA on macOS!

So does VLC on Android

That is an awesome tip! Thank you.

Be aware that this is a legal gray or even dark area, if your product becomes big you can expect to be hassled or sued by the media companies.

Interesting, which part of it? The fact it consumes from subscene.com without asking them or because downloading subtitles are illegal?

Reason why I'm asking is because I don't know, and obviously I don't feel like getting in trouble for a weekend hobby project.

In a way there is nothing illegal about offering links to another site. But subtitles are a derivative work of the original text so they are copyrighted and also you typically only need subtitles for movies obtained in a questionable way. So you immediately get involved in legally shady stuff.

The main problem is that if you get sued you stand to lose a lot of money, even if you eventually win.

Nothing illegal about this application.

I’m using Media Player Classic with the k-lite codec pack, and there you can press D to download subs in specific languages

Does this sync subs to the audio?

Unfortunately, not at the moment. It would be awesome If I could get that nailed. But that feels like it's a whole project of its own.

I'm exploring the idea though and doing some research on how this can be done. So it could be a feature for the future. :-)

I experimented with something related, but instead of fixing subtitles i focused on filtering out bad ones. My approach was:

* Extract a few sentences from the middle of the subtitle file.

* Extract the audio for those sentences from the video file

* Run speech-to-text and verify that at least a few of the words were the same.

It kind of worked on some shows, but not reliably..

Awesome findings! Thank you.

For mac you can use FlixTools which is pretty decent

I use subdl on Linux, a simple command line tool.

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