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Ask me anything about subtitling
Thread poster: Max Deryagin

joy hahn  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:27
English to Korean
+ ...
Please Jan 31, 2018

Dear Max,
When you have a chance can you explain below sentence for me please?
And what is 'fps" stand for?
I am subtitling beginner so many terms that I do not even know the meaning.
Thank you so much in advance for your help!

"Minimum duration: 5/6 (five-sixths) of a second per subtitle event (e.g. 20 frames for 24fps)
Maximum duration: 7 seconds per subtitle event"

[Edited at 2018-01-31 18:07 GMT]

[Edited at 2018-01-31 18:08 GMT]


 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:27
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- Jan 31, 2018

lanahahn wrote:

Dear Mark,
When you have a chance can you explain below sentence for me please?
And what is 'fps" stand for?
I am subtitling beginner so many terms that I do not even know the meaning.
Thank you so much in advance for your help!

"Minimum duration: 5/6 (five-sixths) of a second per subtitle event (e.g. 20 frames for 24fps)
Maximum duration: 7 seconds per subtitle event"

[Edited at 2018-01-31 18:07 GMT]


Hi lanahahn,

Here's what it means:

1. Each subtitle must appear on-screen for no less than five-sixths of a second. So, if the video's framerate is 24 fps (frames per second), each subtitle must be at least 20 frames long.
2. Each subtitle must appear on-screen for no more than 7 seconds.


 

joy hahn  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:27
English to Korean
+ ...
Thank you! Jan 31, 2018

You are awesome Max!

 

Tuulia Tipa  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:27
English to Finnish
+ ...
Choosing a subtitling software: Titlebee, FinalSub, Poliscript Create, Wincaps? Feb 2, 2018

I did already start a new topic, but I could just as well ask here too... I've been doing subtitling for several years, using the companies' proprietary software. Now, I have some new clients who would like me to purchase my own professional software. I can't afford anything as expensive as EZTitles or Titlevision. Are there other ones that are (almost) as good? What would you recommend? What are the pros and cons?

 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:27
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- Feb 2, 2018

Tuulia Tipa wrote:

I did already start a new topic, but I could just as well ask here too... I've been doing subtitling for several years, using the companies' proprietary software. Now, I have some new clients who would like me to purchase my own professional software. I can't afford anything as expensive as EZTitles or Titlevision. Are there other ones that are (almost) as good? What would you recommend? What are the pros and cons?


Hi Tuulia,

Professional software, which can be extremely expensive, is often not worth it — it does not necessarily make you work faster or better; it only provides a set of means to automate your workflow, customize the environment and easily adhere to a wide spectrum of standards used for various kinds of subtitling (of which there are many). A couple of other perks are very few (if any) bugs/errors and robust customer support.

So, before I can give you advice, I need to know what exactly you need professional software for — that is, what exact features not present in the free tools (e.g. Subtitle Edit, Aegisub, Subtitle Workshop) you're looking for. On top of that, I need to know your operating system, your budget and the kind of projects you're planning to work on.


 

Tuulia Tipa  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:27
English to Finnish
+ ...
To be more precise... Feb 2, 2018

Thanks a lot Max.

I've tried Subtitle Edit and Aegisub, and both seem somewhat clumsy. I can't say much about Aegisub, but the problems I had with Subtitle Edit were
- I couldn't accurately position the subtitles (top of screen, bottom middle etc.)
- When checking the subtitles, they didn't automatically show up red when the reading speed was exceeded, but only when I clicked on them
- No shot changes shown
- Adjusting time-codes seemed clumsy, I couldn't set
... See more
Thanks a lot Max.

I've tried Subtitle Edit and Aegisub, and both seem somewhat clumsy. I can't say much about Aegisub, but the problems I had with Subtitle Edit were
- I couldn't accurately position the subtitles (top of screen, bottom middle etc.)
- When checking the subtitles, they didn't automatically show up red when the reading speed was exceeded, but only when I clicked on them
- No shot changes shown
- Adjusting time-codes seemed clumsy, I couldn't set the time-out code manually

I use Windows and would like to stay under €500. I would mostly do subtitling on timed-coded templates, sometimes also proofreading/QC.
Collapse


 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:27
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- Feb 2, 2018

Tuulia Tipa wrote:

Thanks a lot Max.

I've tried Subtitle Edit and Aegisub, and both seem somewhat clumsy. I can't say much about Aegisub, but the problems I had with Subtitle Edit were
- I couldn't accurately position the subtitles (top of screen, bottom middle etc.)
- When checking the subtitles, they didn't automatically show up red when the reading speed was exceeded, but only when I clicked on them
- No shot changes shown
- Adjusting time-codes seemed clumsy, I couldn't set the time-out code manually

I use Windows and would like to stay under €500. I would mostly do subtitling on timed-coded templates, sometimes also proofreading/QC.


I'm afraid your budget is unrealistic — there's simply no pro software under €500 that supports Windows and is worth considering. To give you a quick rundown on your ideas:

1. Titlebee saves your work to the cloud without giving you access to it (this will almost always break the NDA);
2. Wincaps Q4 is £1500;
3. FinalSub is Mac-only;
4. Poliscript Create is outdated; it doesn't support many features taken for granted nowadays.

Any other half-decent tool I know of is way above €500. If you used Mac, you could go with Annotation Edit for half the budget, but with Windows you'll have to bite the bullet — either make do with a free tool or invest into a more expensive solution like EZTitles or SubtitleNext. Or you can use a subscription-based online tool like OOONA ($60/month for the PRO version), but those end up costing more in the long run.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:27
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
The cost of automation Feb 2, 2018

I've seen many people in North America who are unable to drive a vehicle with manual transmission. They simply can't handle a stickshift properly. This doesn't necessarily mean they are unsafe drivers.

Many professional subtitling translators say that it's impossible do do a decent job with freeware, that those heavily automated (and heavily priced) programs are an absolute must.

It's like a driver saying that automatic transmission is an absolute must for a safe trip.

Tuulia Tipa wrote:
I've tried Subtitle Edit and Aegisub, and both seem somewhat clumsy. I can't say much about Aegisub, but the problems I had with Subtitle Edit were
- I couldn't accurately position the subtitles (top of screen, bottom middle etc.)
- When checking the subtitles, they didn't automatically show up red when the reading speed was exceeded, but only when I clicked on them
- No shot changes shown
- Adjusting time-codes seemed clumsy, I couldn't set the time-out code manually


I have been successfully subtitling video since 2004 without these automatic features not available in freeware. I "shift gears" manually-intuitively and it works all right. Maybe the fact that I got into subtitling after almost 18 years spent in translation for dubbing explains it, I wouldn't know.

Recently a couple of subtitling companies selected me to translate for them, however each required me to use their chosen $$$$ software. I tried these programs on both Windows 10 and Windows XP, and couldn't get them to work productively here. We had to give up.

Max Deryagin wrote:
I'm afraid your budget is unrealistic — there's simply no pro software under €500 that supports Windows and is worth considering. To give you a quick rundown on your ideas:

1. Titlebee saves your work to the cloud without giving you access to it (this will almost always break the NDA);
2. Wincaps Q4 is £1500;
3. FinalSub is Mac-only;
4. Poliscript Create is outdated; it doesn't support many features taken for granted nowadays.

Any other half-decent tool I know of is way above €500. If you used Mac, you could go with Annotation Edit for half the budget, but with Windows you'll have to bite the bullet — either make do with a free tool or invest into a more expensive solution like EZTitles or SubtitleNext. Or you can use a subscription-based online tool like OOONA ($60/month for the PRO version), but those end up costing more in the long run.


This is a fair statement of the cost of automation.
Plan B would be for you to master the technique of "using the clutch and switching gears", and do your subtitling with freeware, at least to get started, and perhaps later move back to automated software, when your demand-hence-income yields an acceptable ROI.


 

Tuulia Tipa  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:27
English to Finnish
+ ...
One more question Feb 2, 2018

Thanks a lot for your time and insight. However, I see that on the Wincaps page it reads that a one-month subscription is only €28.55, which is a lot better than the $60/month for OOONA, or €80/month for EZTitles. Am I missing something, is this somehow not the "full" Wincaps version? Do you know?

Max Deryagin wrote:

I'm afraid your budget is unrealistic — there's simply no pro software under €500 that supports Windows and is worth considering. To give you a quick rundown on your ideas:

1. Titlebee saves your work to the cloud without giving you access to it (this will almost always break the NDA);
2. Wincaps Q4 is £1500;
3. FinalSub is Mac-only;
4. Poliscript Create is outdated; it doesn't support many features taken for granted nowadays.

Any other half-decent tool I know of is way above €500. If you used Mac, you could go with Annotation Edit for half the budget, but with Windows you'll have to bite the bullet — either make do with a free tool or invest into a more expensive solution like EZTitles or SubtitleNext. Or you can use a subscription-based online tool like OOONA ($60/month for the PRO version), but those end up costing more in the long run.


 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:27
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- Feb 2, 2018

Tuulia Tipa wrote:

Thanks a lot for your time and insight. However, I see that on the Wincaps page it reads that a one-month subscription is only €28.55, which is a lot better than the $60/month for OOONA, or €80/month for EZTitles. Am I missing something, is this somehow not the "full" Wincaps version? Do you know?


Oh, you're actually right. They used to offer Q-Lite as the subscription-based version, but then they removed it and got back to selling only the full license. Now, it seems, they returned to subscriptions again, so it seems like a great deal in your case. EZTiltes doesn't have that, though — they only offer installment plans for buying the full license over 1, 2 or 3 years.


 

Adrián Bergonzi  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 06:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
Installments Feb 3, 2018

Tuulia Tipa wrote:

Thanks a lot for your time and insight. However, I see that on the Wincaps page it reads that a one-month subscription is only €28.55, which is a lot better than the $60/month for OOONA, or €80/month for EZTitles. Am I missing something, is this somehow not the "full" Wincaps version? Do you know?


But if you buy EzTitles in installments, it's cheaper than €80 per month. For example, in 36 months you would pay €1937, or €53.80 per month. After 3 years, the software is yours; there's no more rent to pay, except the annual support fee of €120, which is optional.
I suggest you try EzTitles, Wincaps, Spot, etc., and decide if you really need professional software.


 

Tuulia Tipa  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:27
English to Finnish
+ ...
Rent Feb 5, 2018

Max Deryagin wrote:

EZTiltes doesn't have that, though — they only offer installment plans for buying the full license over 1, 2 or 3 years.


There are both installment plans and rental plans:

http://www.eztitles.com/index.php?page=rent


 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:27
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- Feb 5, 2018

Tuulia Tipa wrote:

Max Deryagin wrote:

EZTiltes doesn't have that, though — they only offer installment plans for buying the full license over 1, 2 or 3 years.


There are both installment plans and rental plans:

http://www.eztitles.com/index.php?page=rent


Very interesting, thanks a lot for letting me know! Some time ago, back when you couldn't rent it, the dev team lead told me that they had no plans to add subscriptions — they simply couldn't do that due to some quirks in the Bulgarian legislation. But now it seems they figured it out!

EZTitles is definitely the better tool of the two, by quite a large margin, but 80 euros per month seems a bit too much — almost three times the cost of Wincaps. Oh well.


 

Tuulia Tipa  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:27
English to Finnish
+ ...
It sounded too good to be true... Feb 7, 2018

OK, I think I've found the catch. After downloading the trial version of Wincaps and failing to open any media, I read the small print:

"Wincaps Q4 also requires an external standalone professional quality (minimum 256
MB) graphics card for video playback..."

Which translator has an external standalone graphics card installed in their computer? Apart from gamers, that it? Or when they say "external standalone", are they simply referring to standard graphics cards
... See more
OK, I think I've found the catch. After downloading the trial version of Wincaps and failing to open any media, I read the small print:

"Wincaps Q4 also requires an external standalone professional quality (minimum 256
MB) graphics card for video playback..."

Which translator has an external standalone graphics card installed in their computer? Apart from gamers, that it? Or when they say "external standalone", are they simply referring to standard graphics cards that all new laptops have? I am just lost with the tech and terminology, as my computer has until now worked fine with all media players and subtitle editors...

[Edited at 2018-02-07 13:55 GMT]
Collapse


 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:27
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- Feb 7, 2018

Tuulia Tipa wrote:

OK, I think I've found the catch. After downloading the trial version of Wincaps and failing to open any media, I read the small print:

"Wincaps Q4 also requires an external standalone professional quality (minimum 256
MB) graphics card for video playback..."

Which translator has an external standalone graphics card installed in their computer? Apart from gamers, that it? Or when they say "external standalone", are they simply referring to standard graphics cards that all new laptops have? I am just lost with the tech and terminology, as my computer has until now worked fine with all media players and subtitle editors...

[Edited at 2018-02-07 13:55 GMT]


It's highly unlikely that you can't open any media because of the graphics card thing. You have to keep in mind that the manual was written a long time ago, and the minimum requirements reflect that. An external card with 256 MB of video memory is a thing of the past — nowadays you won't find one in stores. A decent 1 GB card (four times the horsepower) will cost you as little as $35. Even if you don't have an external card, the graphics chip on your motherboard should be enough for basic playback, unless your computer is ancient.

So, before jumping to conclusions, I recommend that you try to open videos in different formats/containers (try AVI, MP4, WMV, MOV), resolutions (try 480p, 720p and 1080p) and framerates. If all these fail, then yes, something's going on.


 
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