I am a bit of a technophobe and haven't had a mac for long so please bear with me...

I have an MP4 file and an SRT file (Subtitles) that I want to play together using VLC. They are saved in the same folder and have identical names.

The MP4 works fine on it's own but when I try to use the subtitles it goes all jumpy! How do I resolve this? I have downloaded Perian but not sure what that does to be honest.

Is there any way to play the movie with subtitles in QuickTime? The option is greyed out.

  • What does "jumpy" mean? What happens to the video? I don't think QuickTime loads subtitles via Perian for MP4 files. It probably does for AVI (because then it uses Perian), but MP4 is decoded by the QuickTime framework, not Perian. – slhck Oct 17 '11 at 9:45

1) Perian is a playback framework for a wide range of audio / video codecs, which makes its ability available to all QuickTime using applications (among them QuickTime Player). One additional feature of Perian is, that it supports loading external text based subtitles files to a video such as SRT, SUB, etc, by rendering it as an an additional video layer to the video file it belongs (they share the same filename (or at least the same beginning characters) i.e. "Video.mp4" and "Video.srt" or "Video EN.srt"). In order to not have the option greyed out, but facilitate this feature, ensure this setting:

System Preferences > Perian > Load External Subtitles: YES.

2) VLC uses its own libraries for decoding A/V codecs, and does not use Perian, as far as I know. If it is "jumpy" then the solutions lies within VLC. You can try to set a time offset for subtitles in the menu, or maybe try another subtitle file, your's could be corrupt.

3) Another media playback application which I can warmly recommend is MPlayer OSX Extended

To have the finest experience with subtitles, I recommend to go to the applications Preferences > Advanced > And add the following two options.

  • -sub-fuzziness 1
  • -slang de,fr,en

The first option ensures that i.e. "Video.mp4" is not only associated with "Video.srt" but also with "Video - English + scene annotations.srt" ("fuzzy").

The second option allows you to set a standard language priority in case you have various language subtitle files for a video. Change the language codes and order according to your taste.

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