I'm writing this post to help anyone else who may be struggling to add subtitles to their Audials recordings, as I did. I apologize if this information is already available elsewhere. Please feel free to take down this post if it is.
I am using Audials One 2022 under Windows 11 with all the latest updates. Using the Other Source/Screen Recording option, I am recording videos in Microsoft Edge, using the High Quality Direct Recording option in Audials. I record one video at a time. I have used the following subtitle techniques both for MPEG4 and WMV recordings. And I'd like to note that although the MPEG4 and WMV highest quality both say they will record at 720p, I find that Audials is recording UHD videos at full 1920 x 1080 UHD resolution, and they look absolutely beautiful.
After my video is fully recorded, it appears on the righthand side under the "Last 100" column. I hover my mouse over the recorded video and click on the three vertical dots at the far righthand side. This brings up a long dropdown menu. Five options down, under the top section of that menu, I click on Search Movie Tags. When the smaller window opens, I fill in the title and episode of my recording, then click Search. When it returns an entry for the tags, I select that entry and click OK to add it to my recording.
I don't know why, but I have to Search Movie Tags before moving on to the next step. If I omit this step, the proper tabs don't show up for adding subtitles. Fortunately, my movie tags have always been in the database.
After this, I again hover over my recording and click the three vertical dots to pull up the dropdown menu for my recording again. This time, I click on Properties, which is the bottom entry in the middle Edit section. A smaller window opens, displaying my recording's properties, along with the movie tags I have just added.
At the very top of this window, in the center, are two tabs. The open tab is Tags. The other one is Subtitles. I click on Subtitles, and this changes the window to display any subtitle files linked to the recording. My recording does not yet have a subtitle file associated with it, so I click Add to link a new subtitle file to my recording. Add pulls up a typical File Explorer-style menu that allows me to access the folders and files on my PC.
Subtitle files are normally saved in SRT format, and if I add an SRT file using Add, Audials can link it to my recording and display subtitles normally. I have no idea where Audials stores this linked file. I wish I did! But presumably, Audials incorporates it into the recording itself.
There are many many subtitle sites out there on the Internet, and they often seem quite shady. They may also have over a dozen different SRT files for each title in each language. These subtitle files often don't sync properly with my recording because every streaming site may handle a video differently, perhaps adding a splash screen that will throw the subtitles off. Also, since they are often created by volunteers, the quality of the subtitles may be poor.
So I use a site called DownSub (downsub.com). This site allows me to put in the website link I used in Edge to play my video in the first place. Then it searches that webpage and finds all the SRT files associated with that webpage--the SRT files put in there by the streaming service. This means I am downloading the actual subtitles I watched on the streaming service--the ones that come with my exact recording. As long as my Audials recording started right at the beginning, this SRT file will sync exactly. Out of the various choices available on DownSub's webpage, I download the SRT file in the language I want.
Please note: I am not recommending DownSub to others. It too looks a little shady, and my popup blocker saves me from dealing with any number of annoying popups there. For all I know, my SRT files come with malicious code (although scans haven't found any). Still, it's a risk I've decided to take.
Going back to Audials, where the Properties window is displayed and open to the Subtitles tab, I click on Add, then select my Downloads folder. I click on the SRT file I have just downloaded, then click Open to add it to Audials. My file then displays in the Subtitles tab.
But I'm not finished yet.
Once again, I go back to the Last 100 column and hover over my recording, then click the three vertical dots to pull up the dropdown menu. This time, I click on "Search Subtitles," the option now available directly above the Properties option. (It won't appear until I've searched movie tags.) Search Subtitles brings up a window with a Search option, but I don't use this option because I've already added the proper subtitles. Instead, at the bottom of the window, I see the name of the SRT file I have added. I hover over that filename, and again click on the three dots at its far righthand side to pull up a dropdown menu. This menu has only one option: Set as Default. I click that option.
Until I do this, my subtitles will not display. That's because Audials has actually recorded the subtitles along with the recording but has no option to display them yet. Those phantom subtitles are the default until I choose another default file to play.
You might wonder why I don't just search for subtitles using the Search Subtitles tab. I've done this with mixed results. Sometimes, the file that comes up works well, but sometimes it's off. Also, there may be several files there to choose from, with varying levels of quality in the translation. So now I bypass all of that in favor of downloading the subtitles that come with my recording. I know those subtitles will always work.
Now I can finally play the video in Audials and check to see that the subtitles display properly. I check a few spots on the recording just to verify that the subtitles are properly synced. The only time I've had a problem, it turned out that Audials started recording about two seconds after the video started playing. My solution was to delete that recording and rerecord it properly, and then the subtitles displayed just fine.
I hope this helps other users who use Audials, as I do, to capture foreign films and episodes permanently so as not to lose them when they leave streaming services. Audials is a fantastic program and saves my recordings in beautiful ultra high-def, and with these subtitle tweaks, it's now just about perfect.
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