Subtitles from a DVD in a .WMV file???



If I want to make a .wmv file from a DVD (which I own) to watch on my PPC,
here is how I do it. (There are probably other ways as well.)

1) Rip the DVD to my hard drive using a program like DVDShrink.

2)That creates a folder with several files, with extensions like .VOB, .IFO,
and .BUP. The .VOB files are the main movie files, actually in MPEG format.
If I rename the .VOB files to have the extension .MPG instead of .VOB, they
will play as .MPG files. So, I rename them to .MPG, then open them in
Windows Movie Maker 2 (in Windows XP Pro), put them in the right order for
the movie, and create a PPC-formatted .WMV file from that movie.

It works fine in most cases--everything is there--the video, audio, etc.


If it is a foreign language movie with subtitles---

The subtitles are missing.

If I take the ripped files from DVDShrink and burn them to a backup DVD with
Nero or another burning software, the subtitles are there. So they are there
in the ripped files on the hard drive. But when I rename a .VOB file to .MPG
and play it back on the computer, there are no subtitles. I think the
subtitles are in the .VOB file, but do not play back when renamed to .MPG.

Anyone know a way to do this--to convert a DVD with subtitles to a
PPC-formatted .wmv file (or any other type of computer video file, which
could be imported into WMM), and retain the subtitles?


subtitles are not "in" the video itself, they are separate butmaps that play
over the video, that's why the rename doesn't work

I would ask in or - maybe check

Terry A. Austin

Just gotta ask...

How much are you able to optimize these - what's a typical file size for a
finished movie?

Mike Berro

I just started experimenting with this. I did not have much luck with
DVDShrink, but did with "DVD Decrypter." I then converted the VOB (mpg) to
wmv using Microsoft's free Windows Media Encoder, which has a great
interface. I tried the 500kps setting, but the playback was jerky on my
Toshiba 755 (400 mHz.) The 250kps setting was not jerky, and only slightly
more blocky. (Both, however, are quite blocky, and not very impressive.) It
ended up about 40 megs per 30 minutes.

PPC Free MP3/OGG/Shoutcast Player


Using Windows Movie Maker 2, using the "full-screen" (320x240) 218kbps
Pocket PC option, a two hour movie uses about 200 MBs.

I find they come out quite well, if played at that screen size. If you play
it on your PC and choose 200% size under "View", then it will not look as
good. But quite acceptable on the PPC, and the sound is good too.

I didn't know WME deals with VOBs. I'll take a look at it. As I wrote, I
find the easiest way by far to do it, is to just rename the VOBs to MPGs.

Except--as i mentioned, if the movie has subtitles, they do not show in the
renamed MPG, nor from any re-renderings (such as wmv) of it.

Therefore--back to my main question--how to convert a movie from a DVD to a
computer movie file (I already know how to rip it with programs like
DVDSHrink or DVDDecryptor), which will include the subtitles, if the movie
has them.


Mike Berro said:
I then converted the VOB (mpg) to
wmv using Microsoft's free Windows Media Encoder,

Hey, I just tried that. When I opened WME and chose "Convert a File", it did
not recognize .VOB files.

Did you rename the .VOBs to .MPGs? That will work, but no subtitles, which
was my main question here.


It does not recognize the files by default but if you select the all files
file type it will open a vob. But it is not trivial. I have one windows
installation that will do the conversion and another that gets an error
"unable to allocate memory because size has not been set?" The intallation
that works is using WinDVD the one that doesn't is using NvDVD. I haven't
tried NvDVD on the working installation yet, but will soon.


Well, if it opens the VOB, will it read the subtitles in the VOB? Or not see
them, as is the case when the VOB files are renamed to MPG?


I read that the way Media Player supports subtitles is by having a ".sami?"
file with the same name as the movie in the same directory or the .dvr-ms
files created by windows media center ccontain closed captioning. I don't
see an option in encoder to provide either output. The help does talk about
capturing closed captioning from a video card that supports it. I am also
interested in converting VOBs to smaller high quality WMV files, while
preserving some more information (closed captioning) but I don't have any
more information on getting it done. I still looking and will report if I
find something.


I finally found a way, that I think will work for me.

As I mentioned, I tried several of the freeware programs mentioned in places
like, and, to convert a DVD to a computer
video file (such as DVD2AVI, DVD2SVCD, Autogordianknot, FlaskMPEG, etc.). I
had problems with all of these, and none would fully do the conversion, even
after hours of rendering (not to mention wasting hours of my time trying to
get them to work!). (Not to knock the programs. They must work for some
people. And for the price (free), who can complain?) (The ripping programs I
tried, DVD Decrypter and DVDShrink, worked fine for me, making it easy to
make backup copies of my DVDs. Rip to hard drive, burn to a DVD with Nero.)
(And also for making these small .wmvs, if the movie doesn't have subtitles,
by renaming the ripped VOBs to MPGs, and converting them to a .wmv.)

Finally I got one of the programs to work, to make a computer video file
from DVD files, including subtitles. It is called DVDX (I used version 2.2,
which I think is the most recent.) You can find it at the sites above. In
fact, it is even supposed to do ripping and decrypting from the DVD. (I
didn't try that, however, as I had already ripped the DVD to my HD with

Anyhow, it worked--created an .mpg file from a DVD folder with VOBs, etc.,
and the movie created includes the subtitles. Now I just need to convert
that to the small .wmv for PPC, which certainly should work.

By the way, which do you (and any readers) think is better for converting
movie files such as .mpg or .avi to small .wmvs, Windows Media Encoder, or
Windows Movie Maker? Curious if anyone has any opinion or experience
comparing the two. I have both, but usually use WMM. I think it's easier to
use. Also, if am converting multiple files into one movie (such as when I
rename the VOBs to MPGs in a movie, which all have multiple VOBs), WMM can
put them together into one movie, whereas WME, I think can only convert one
movie file----> one .WMV. (For the case mentioned above, where I already
created one movie file with DVDX, that isn't a factor.) But does anyone
have an opinion--have compared the two, etc., as to which does a better job
of compressing, smaller size vs quality tradeoff, etc.? (And I see some
commercial video programs I have, like Uleads Video Studio, and DVD Movie
Factory, can also save to .WMV. How do those compare?)


Thanks. Keep on posting progress. I'll post some news by tommorow also. I
think the encoder will give you the most flexibility. I think you have to
load the Windows Media SDK but there is also a batch mode utility so you can
convert many files while you sleep. I haven't used it because I couldn't get
the de-interlace to work when I tried the batch encoder.


Found an intervideo app that has the right idea:

The problem is it does not convert to WMV. It does DivX. You can select if
you want the subtitles or not. I selected subtitles and then it seemed that
they were merged in with the video. I could not find a way to turn them off.
So that may not be the best solution either. But the video quality was

I tried a program called SubRip to extract the subtitles to a ".srt" file.
It uses OCR on the subtitles and you have to train it for each movie. At
first it asks you to confirm each letter but after a few minutes it asks few
questions. I then used a program called Subtitle Workshop to save the file
as a ".smi" file that Media Player is supposed to understand but I do not
yet have the matching wmv video to try it on. If this works then you would
be able to turn subtitles on and off. I also may try a program called
SubSync to do the ".smi" conversion since it is a smaller program.

At least one of the above programs messed something up in Internet Explorer.
My Computer opened up very slowly. An uninstall and System Restore to two
days ago fixed the problem so I'm not concerned yet.

Still working on the issue.


Well I tried SubSync and I will use it instead to create the ".smi" subtitle
file since it is a smaller more dedicated application. I also changed a vob
to .mpg and played it with the ".smi" file in Media Player and it does work
somewhat. If I start hopping around in the movie then the subtitles do not
track the video. I manually edited the ".smi" file and my changes show up in
the Media Player subtitle display.

Also what do you have to do so that the Fast Forward and Rewind buttons in
media player work?


Well, my final report:

SubRip captures subtitles to srt file
SubSync converts srt to smi file

Windows Media Player, Play menu, Captions and Subtitles, On if available

SubRip gets captions by OCR so you must "train" it for each movie. The
training information or Character Matrix can be saved to a file for each

Video can't be seen full screen since the captions need to display
underneath the video.


Yes, I looked at some of those subtitle programs, vobsub, subrip, etc. Not
really what I want, to mess with subtitles. Just that if I am converting a
DVD with subtitles to a movie file, and I wish to keep the subtitles as is
on the DVD, how to do that?

As I mentioned in another post, DVDX did that for me, and it sounds like
this Intervideo is another one. It doesn't matter that it doesn't convert
directly to .wmv. You could then import the .avi or .mpg into WMM or WME,
and convert it to .wmv.

P.S. I just looked at your link to Intervideo. One major difference between
it and DVDX--it is a commercial program, costs $50, while DVDX is freeware!


In the resulting DVDX movie are you able to turn the captions on /off? Any
DVDX options that need to be set or is everything pretty much default?

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question