Geometrical shift of subtitles display time on Linux

Have you ever tried to synchronize a subtitle file to a movie in Linux?

I hope you’ve not, because it’s not something you would like to do. All apps dedicated to this task are outdated and buggy. I miss the good old SubEdit Player. However, there is gnome-subtitles, which actually is a little bit better than the rest, not perfect though.

gnome-subtitles main window

Gnome-subtitles in order to work needs mono to be installed. When run for the first time, you need to change the language you wish to edit subtitles in, using Tools -> Set Text Language menu.

Next thing you wish to do is set encoding of the subtitles file. In Polish it would be CP-1250. Go to Edit -> Preferences:

Gnome-subtitles set encoding window

When the charset encoding is set, it is advised to restart the app.

Next thing you wish to do is open a subtitle file (File -> Open). Gnome-subtitles ough to display a movie file associated with the subtitles (make sure it is named the same except of extension).

When you have happily opened your movie with subtitles in gnome-subtitles, it’s finally time to synchronize them. Go to Timings -> Synchronize:

Gnome-subtitles synchronize timings window

First thing you should try is to associate the first caption with the moment in the movie when a phrase is actually being started to said. Click on the first subtitle entry in gnome-subtitles window, play a movie till sound starts, pause it and click Add button in Synchronize Timings dialog. Do the same with the last dialog. Check Synchronize all subtitles and press Synchronize button. Of course you don’t have to use very first and very last subtitle, you can for example take fifth and the one before last as long as you have checked Synchronize all subtitles box.

This method should work in most cases. When things become more problematic, more work is required. To put it shortly, you have to take into account more points.

Sometimes the series epizode can be desynchronized after a place where the advertisement was ripped off. You should find such place and sync a dialog after it, till the end of the episode.

Good luck using Gnome-subtitles, don’t get aggravated, breath deeply 🙂

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