Saturday, July 12, 2008

Videos with subtitles on the iPhone - Part 1 - Quicktime Pro

Since I got lucky yesterday getting an iPhone, one of the first things I tried to do is to convert some series that I want to watch to the iPhone. I always watch them with subtitles (srt files) and that does not cause any problem with Quitcktime and some additional Plugins (Perian, Flip4Mac) when I watch them on the Mac. 

To get them played back on the iPhone is though not that easy. I tired a few solutions and here comes what I found out about using Quicktime Pro to do so.

  1. make sure that you have Quicktime Pro and Perian installed
  2. rename the subtitle file (only works with srt format subtitles) to have the same name as the video (except for the ending of course)
  3. Open the movie in Quicktime and select "Export" from the "File" menu, then select "Movie to iPhone" in the the "Export" dropdown that appears in the dialog
  4. hit save and wait (can take some time)
  5. copy your newly created file to the iPhone and enjoy

If you have the subtitles not in the srt format at hand you can use Jubler to convert it from all formats (sub files are pretty common) to the required srt files.

In the next post of this series I will show how you can convert the video using FFMPEGX.


flowney said...

I have not been able to get this to work using QuikTime Pro 7.5.5.

Mr. said...

seems to work, the only problem is that converting a 45 minutes episode on my macbook pro is going to take roughly 12 hours... :(


GTD Marc said...

Hi Marcello

That's strange, I remember that I had around a 1:1 conversion time on my iMac C2D 2.33 GHz. Will try to have a look at it again when I'm back from holidays.


GTD Marc said...

I tried again encoding a 42 minute avi file with str subtitles for the iPhone using Quicktime Pro 7.5.5 with Perian 1.1.3.

It took roughly 30 minutes to encode the video on my white 24" iMac C2D 2.33 GHz.

Here are the before / after stats from Quicktime's Movie Inspector:

Original file
Format: Xvid (Perian), 512 x 384, Millions
MPEG Layer 3, Stereo, 48.000 kHz
Text Subtitle, 512 x 384, Millions+
FPS: 23.98
Data Size: 346.44 MB
Data Rate: 1152.96 kbits/s
Duration 0:00:42:22.48

Encoded file
Format: AAC, Stereo (L R), 44.100 kHz
H.264, 480 x 360, Millions
FPS: 24.42
Data Size: 310.35 MB
Data Rate: 1032.85 kbits/s
Duration: 0:00:42:22.48

Marcello, are you using FileVault to encrypt your home folder? If so, put the original files to a temporary folder outside your home folder (e.g. create at the root "/" a folder called "Temp"). You need to have administrator rights in order to create a folder directly in the root folder. Save the output file of the encoding also to the same temporary folder outside your FileVault home directory.

Let me know if you still have problems and tell me which version of Perian / Quicktime you use and what is the original file's format, maybe I can then create a similar setup to try it out once more. I also might try to do the same on my white MacBook C2D 2.0 GHz.

PS: At the moment I normally use the Elgato Turbo.264 stick to encode videos for the iPhone. A 42 minutes avi XVID file without subtitles is encoded in roughly 15 minutes. Nowadays I usually encode only files without subtitles, since the Turbo.264 does not improve encoding time when subtitles are to be encoded along. :-(