[nSLUG] Re: MPlayer subtitle problem

Mike Spencer mspencer at tallships.ca
Tue Apr 23 18:31:00 ADT 2013

Dop wrote:

> How sure are you on that? WAG but there may be UTF or otherwise
> extended characters embedded in there that someone has inadvertently
> added.

Reasonably sure. vgrep in less(1) which shows non-ASCII in standout
mode.  M-x hexlify-buffer in emacs, vgrep for bytes >= 0x80.  Then
perl -n -e 'if(m/[^ -~\n\r]/){print;}' --> nothing.

> Also maybe try altering the times of subtitles 730-735 to occur
> sequentially at a one second break to see if it's a timing issue.

I'll try that. MPlayer does report some timing warnings to stdout
earlier although not at the time of the subtitle failure.

> Re-encoding the DVD with the subtitles hard coded by mencoder might
> work too.

I thought of trying something like that but don't know how, haven't
used mencoder, lots of hen tracks to learn from the manpage...

> (see eg http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1155877 for a
> sample) 

Ooooh, good!  That doesn't look too complicated. Have to figure out
how to apply that to the morass of .ifo, .vob, .buf files of the DVD

> I subtitled an ASL course video once. It was incredibly finicky and
> time consuming even using a .srt editor, I'm not overly surprised
> you are having problems.

A couple of times, I've downloaded .srt files for movies lacking
subtitles and found that they were out of sync.  By turning on the
on-screen timer and hitting the z/x keys repeatedly, I could get a
point where the subtitles were in sync and a matching elapsed time
displayed.  Putting the elapsed time and the subtitle offset into a
perl script, I could rewrite the .srt file with a proportional
offset throughout. Tedious but worked like a charm.

Frank Geitzler wrote:

> ...but if I recall ancient history correctly, the sequence '0D0A'
> translated as 'Carriage Return (0D) LineFeed (0A).

Ha, exactly. Digression:

My wife's first access to the net was via Dal's Vax circa 1989 when
she went back for her master's.  I recall that some clever feature of
VMS determined that files fetched from the net should have all line
breaks "fixed" and did that.  Made a mess, of course, out of binaries
of any kind. My intro to VMS was to undo that for her.

> You can also try to edit it with a subtitle editor like Gaupol for
> instance. Gaupol will alert you of any problem and fix them.

Downloading as I write. Lots of stuff there I won't need but maybe
it'll have some kind of timing checker or fixer.

Further datum:  The French subtitles that *are* on the DVD don't fail
at the point where the English ones from a separate file do.  

...Ooop. New mail...

Herb Theriault wrote:

> Does the same thing happen in vlc or xbmc? I have had luck switching
> apps in the past, with problem files.

Are those media players?  I don't have them.  Slackware comes with
Xine.  I have never been able to get Xine to do what I want, which is
why I have mplayer.  Xine does display the on-DVD startup menu which
mplayer does not. Let's see here...

[going away for half an hour...]

Okay, there's some Xine documentation that I hadn't found before (man
5 xine). Yes, there is a way to get Xine to play this DVD with
external subs.  But Xine can't keep up with the video data: jerky
(dropped frames?) and gradually gets out of sync with the subs. And
YES! Xine *does* continue to display external subtitles beyond
MPlayer's failure point.  But this is 59 minutes into the movie and so
it's way out of sync.

Par for my previous experience with Xine: Pretty but impenetrably
irritating and uncooperative.

More when I have something to report.  Thanks all,
- Mike

Michael Spencer                  Nova Scotia, Canada       .~. 
mspencer at tallships.ca                                     /( )\
http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/                        ^^-^^

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