I used to watch my movies and series with VLC, but I got tired of always having to download the subtitles.
A long time ago, I read something about a VLC plugin to automatically download subtitles.

Do you have any idea? What do you use to do this task? Do you do it manually?

I'm on Mac OS X.

  • see related answer superuser.com/a/571293/162573. In OS X there may be a problem, but I hope not with both extensions. subdownloader is free in osx i guess – user162573 Mar 25 '13 at 17:59

Sublight automatically downloads subtitles, it works well with movies but I don't how good it works with TV shows, and it's a standalone software not a VLC plugin.

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  • thanks for your answer, but i forgot to specify i was on MacOs... – Arkan Oct 27 '10 at 18:04

LUA script (Subtitle downloader) to search and download subtitles directly in VLC: here.

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  • In this discussion it was mentioned that extensions with custom windows aren't supported yet on Mac OS X. – haggai_e Dec 4 '11 at 15:44
  • How to install LUA extension in VLC? The documentation is missing... – Jakub Narębski Jun 11 '12 at 16:26
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    @JakubNarębski - how to install lua scripts in vlc: Windows (all users): %ProgramFiles%\VideoLAN\VLC\lua\extensions\. Linux (current user): ~/.local/share/vlc/lua/extensions/. Mac OS X (all users): /Applications/VLC.app/Contents/MacOS/share/lua/extensions/ – user162573 Mar 25 '13 at 18:02
  • see my answer for the link to the blog with the updated version – user162573 May 11 '14 at 20:30

Extensions did recently become a part of VLC, but there is currently very little information floating around about them. I do recall seeing a subtitles extension in the nightlies a while ago, but it didn't work at the time. Perhaps that's worth a look.

There are a couple of applications out there for this purpose:

  • SubDownloader -- Open source, cross-platform but shareware on Windows (?!). Last I checked it didn't work, presumably due to an API change. When it did work it was pretty good.
  • Sublight -- Windows only.
  • SolEol -- Cross-platform, broken last I checked.
  • FileBot -- Cross-platform

I haven't found a solution that I like yet, so I decided to slowly develop my own. Currently I use a combination of Google, OpenSubtitles and TVsubtitles. I recently tested FileBot and found it to work very well.

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VLSub is coming as part of the VLC package now and works with VLC 2.2 (Also with VLC 2.0.x., but not with 2.1.x. In 2.0.x the addon must be installed manually.)

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Can be also found on the Videolan addons page, here.

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How to install lua scripts in vlc:

Windows (all users): %ProgramFiles%\VideoLAN\VLC\lua\extensions.

Linux (current user): ~/.local/share/vlc/lua/extensions/.

Mac OS X (all users): /Applications/VLC.app/Contents/MacOS/share/lua/extensions/

You may even try to download subtitles when playing an internet video stream in VLC. After the video has started in VLC, start VLSub, put the proper name of the film, and download (see that 'Load and save' is selected in Configs).

An error message may appear saying that the subtitles cannot be saved. Then: 'Click here to open the file'. That will download the subtitles (maybe archived).

This may vary between VLSub versions. A VLC error window may open instead of the error message in the VLSub window. Then, click 'Show config', then 'VLsub working directory' which opens a folder where the subtitle file should be.

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I was looking into this isssue the other day and I found out that it can be done by using LUA-scripts. Here is the page on the VideoLan-forum which talks about subtitles.

Hope that this was what you were looking for.

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You can download subtitles automatically from your vlc player. Just go to view>download subtitles and then follow the instructions. This guide will surely help you .


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  • Welcome to Super User. If you link to your own external work, you should disclose that. In general, though, the goal of the site is to build a knowledge base of self-contained solutions here, rather than a collection of links to external solutions. Links eventually break, in which case the value of the answer is limited to what's here. You can link to your blog for further reading, but please include the essential information within your answer. – fixer1234 Sep 7 '16 at 17:38

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