Some movies I download legally, contain embededd subtitles. I would like ego extract them as text files(.srt, .sub, etc) in order to view the movie on a samsung tv, which needs separate files for both movie and subtitles. I tried with VLC bout found no way to extract them, do you know about any other way? Preferably for OSX.

  • Don't have much idea about video formats but I guess the only way you can extract the subtitles is if the video is in a container format along with the subtitles. I might be totally off track but you could try googling along these lines.
    – Shekhar
    Feb 20, 2012 at 9:56
  • You of course realize that some subtitles are burned-in, e.g. they are part of the picture and there is no way to extract them? Are you sure this is not your case?
    – haimg
    Feb 20, 2012 at 15:09
  • Yes, i know that Feb 20, 2012 at 20:59
  • Guess this is for you if you want commandline :-) Superb answer in thread Extracting Subtitles from mkv file Sep 5, 2021 at 23:51

5 Answers 5


If your video happens to be in mp4 format then for example MP4Box can be used to demux (extract) the different types of streams (video, audio, subtitles) from it. This works only if subtitles are not actually "burned" on the video image (easy test - can you turn them off in your player? If yes then all should be well).

  • I have used MP4box via a GUI, both of which are Windows only. A quick look at the command line documentation here shows that possibly -srt command line option should do the trick "-srt TrackID : dumps text track to SRT format." Do find out the TrackID the "-info : prints some file information. File can be an IsoMedia file or any file supported by MP4Box for import." would be my first guess.
    – Rainer
    Feb 25, 2012 at 22:04

If you have the command line ffmpeg installed you can use:

ffmpeg -hide_banner -i Movie.mkv -map 0:s:0 subs.srt

Mapping depends on the subtitle track you want. if its the second one then use:

-map 0:s:1

Works with mp4 too.

  • You may need to strip XML tags from the output file. At least I had to.
    – Ariel
    Jul 9, 2018 at 6:48

For mp4 files I use MyMp4BoxGui from http://www.videohelp.com/tools/My-MP4Box-GUI. This is a Windows tool which will separate the different tracks in an MP4 file including subtitle tracks, if present.

  • Launch MyMp4BoxGui.
  • Click Demux tab.
  • Click "Open" button and select mp4 file.
    • Will show video, audio file and "timed text" (subtitles) if present.
  • Click checkbox for timed text item.
  • Click "Demux" button.
    • Will process mp4 file to .srt in mp4 file directory.

Unfortunately, many video files (esp. DVDs) store subtitles as bitimages. Extracting these as text for a .srt file requires an OCR process. Google SubRip for one solution.

If you're dealing with a video which is a movie, you might be better off not trying to extract subtitles from your video files. Instead go to a site like http://subscene.com/ and download a srt file in the desired language for your video. If there is more than one subtitle file, you'll have to try them until you find one that best syncs with your file. Or use a program like Subtitle_edit, to tweak the sub file.


On the other hand if your subtitles (or anyone else's who happens to read your question from now on for that matter =) are hardcoded i.e., embedded in your video file, which is often the case with AVI files for instance. It's also possible to extract them but you will need to proceed with OCR (Optical Character Recognition). SubRip for instance, there are others. The extraction that way takes much more time, because of the numerous computations involved by OCR (several filters must be applied to extract any "useful information", timecodes, ... then it's simple OCR as each frame may be processed as a picture) and the results depend of your video (are the subtitles outlined ? how readable/legible is the font used to display them ? are they displayed directly on the video or is there some stationary background ? ...)


I've tried XMedia Recode and it worked great for a .mkv file. I assume it can handle "soft subtitles" in many other formats as well. It is currently only available for Windows however.

Steps: (for version 64bit)

  1. Click on "Open File" or go to "File > Open File..." on the menu bar and select the video from which you want to extract the subtitles. Alternatively you can drag and drop the video.
  2. Under the "Format" tab, select "SubRip subtitle" as the format type from the drop-down.
  3. Make sure the file you added is selected in the application window, then go to the "Subtitle" tab. Select the file in the "Source" box and click the right-pointing arrow button to take it to the "Output" box.
  4. Click on "Add to queue" from the toolbar or use "Edit > Add to queue". Under the "Queue" tab, you can double-click on the job to change the destination folder and filename.
  5. Finally, click "Encode" or "File > Encode" and the subtitles will be extracted in no time.

(I learnt about the software from this Reddit).

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