We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Ripping foreign films with subtitles

An interested party who would prefer to remain anonymous is curious about ripping DVDs. The Unknown One writes:

I am a college film teacher and occasionally I find it necessary to show sequences of subtitled foreign films to my class (yes, this is legal). However, I can not get subtitles to appear on my iPad. I have tried selecting each of the different subtitle options including "forced" in HandBrake but the titles never appear. Is there a setting that I'm missing?

You're so close. This is possible, but you've chosen the wrong option. Here's the secret.

In HandBrake, select the chapter you want to rip from the Chapters pop-up menus--Chapters 2 through 2 to rip the second chapter, for example. Click on the Audio tab and from the first Track pop-up menu, select the language you want to use if there's more than one--for instance, Chinese if that's the language originally used. Then click the Subtitles tab, choose the English language track from the Track pop-up menu, and enable the Burned In option. Select the iPad preset and click on the Start button to rip the chapter to a file compatible with the iPad.

In the resulting file you'll find the subtitles you want. Note, that they're burned into the movie clip and so you can't switch them off. They're stuck like glue.

For those not ripping foreign films but rather domestic fare, you may have another option that looks better on the iPad. For those movies that support closed-captioning, move to HandBrake's Subtitles tab and choose Closed Captions from the Track pop-up menu and enable the Default option. Rip your movie and transfer it to the iPad.

On the iPad, open Settings and select Video. Ensure that the Closed Captioning option is switched on. Launch the Videos app on the iPad, start the movie playing, tap on the Closed Caption icon in the play controls area, and choose English from the menu that appears. On the iPad you'll see crisp captions in the black bars below the movie rather than the somewhat pixelated subtitles that overlay a movie when you choose the Burned In option.

The usual fine print: Although there are provisions in the copyright code that allow you to rip portions of DVDs for educational purposes, the law is far less clear on ripping the DVDs you own for your personal consumption. Our advice is: If you don't own it, don't do it. If you do own it, think before you rip.

IDG UK Sites

Galaxy S6 UK release date, price, specs: When is the Samsung Galaxy S6 coming out? Galaxy S6 launch6......

IDG UK Sites

5 things we hate about MWC: What it's like to be a journalist at a technology trade show

IDG UK Sites

Interview: Lauren Currie aims to help design students bridge skills gap

IDG UK Sites

12in Retina MacBook Air release date rumours: new MacBook Air to have fingerprint ID, could launch...