How to add (.srt , .sub) subtitles to .flv flash movie video on Linux

If you’re on Linux the questions like, how can I convert between video and audio formats, how to do photo editing etc. etc. have always been a taugh question as with it’s diversity Linux often allows too many ways to do the same things.

In the spirit of questioning I have been recently curious, how can a subtitles be added to a flash video (.flv) video?

After some research online I’ve come up with the below suggested solution which uses mplayer to do the flash inclusion of the subtitles file.

mplayer your_flash_movie.flv -fs -subfont-text-scale 3

While including the subtitles to the .flv file, it’s best to close up all the active browsers and if running something else on the desktop close it up.
Note that above’s mplayer example for (.srt and .sub) subtitle files example is only appropriate for a .flv movie files which already has a third party published subtitle files.

What is interesting is that often if you want to make custom subtitles to let’s say a video downloaded from Youtube on Linux the mplayer way pointed above will be useless. Why?

Well the Linux programs that allows a user to add custom subtitles to a movie does not support the flv (flash video) file format.

My idea on how to create custom subtitles and embed them into a flv movie file is very simple and it goes like this:

1. Convert the .flv file format to let’s say .avi or .mpeg
2. Use gnome-subitles or subtitleeditor to create the subtitles for the .avi or .mpeg file
3. Convert back the .avi/.mpeg file with included subtitles to .flv (flash video format)

This methodology is really long and time consuming, but pitily as far as my understanding goes it’s the only way to do that on your Linux until now.

To make the conversations between .flv and .avi format you will need to use the ffmpeg – (FFMpeg command line tool video converter), here is how:

– Convert .flv to .avi

debian:~# /usr/bin/ffmpeg -i input_flvfilename.flv output_avifilename.avi

– Convert .avi file to .flv

debian:~# /usr/bin/ffmpeg -y -i /path/to/your/avi/input_avifilename.avi -acodec mp3 -ar 22050 -f flv
/path/to/your/flv/output_flvfilename.flv

The required overall tools which you will have to have installed on your Debian or Ubuntu Linux are:

1. ffmpeg
2. gnome-subtitles
3. subtitleeditor
4. mplayer

You will also have to spend some time to get to know gnome-subtitles or subtitleeditor, but it won’t be that long until you get the idea on how to use them.

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4 Responses to “How to add (.srt , .sub) subtitles to .flv flash movie video on Linux”

  1. [...] another one I have given a very simple example of converting a .flv file to .avi and vice versa in my previous post Like [...]

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