Subtitles - where World-Readiness and Accessibility both make themselves at home

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2013/08/19 07:01 -04:00, original URI:

I want to start by saying that I love my Surface RT and my ex-girlfriend loves the one I gave her. They are awesome and useful and every day I learn more about what they can do. Especially with the power of the applications in the App store.

And not just the Microsoft ones. The third party apps have extended the platform for not just the Surface - in Windows 8 (and soon Windows 8.1!) the game has been changed in ways that I doubt anyone fully understood at the time.

Remember that whole 'Windows 7 was my idea' stuff? Well it came true even more, since the people writing apps and putting them in the store *are* building Windows now.

I also love my Windows Phone 8. Most of mail is read there and written there. In fact, this very blog you are reading is being written on my phone.

But that is all an introduction to the real topic of this blog you are reading.

It is a wonderful story about how even when Microsoft doesn't deliver, a third party can save the day with a free, and ad-free app!

Where our story begins is the SRT file extension (the link is to the Wikipedia article on the SubRip text files that are pretty much universally used to support both translation to other languages and captioning for the deaf. As it says in the article:

SubRip is a software program for Windows which "rips" (extracts) subtitles and their timings from video. It is free software, released under the GNU GPL. SubRip is also the name of the widely used and broadly compatible subtitle text file format created by this software.

Now I fell in love with turning on the captions during that weird time when my flat screen blew, but I still do it to this day.

So imagine my surprise when I find my shiny Nokia Lumia 920 running Windows Phone 8 wasn't supporting captions!

But before sending out emails I went to the store looking for subtitles....

Thankfully, a developer named Luis Fonseca created a free App called Subtitles Display which allow any video with an .SRT file next to it do what Windows Media Player and pretty much everyone else has been doing since 1.0, even if the WP folks were to busy! 😒:-(

I am not a manager over there, but they could do worse than bringing Luis in for an interview loop. Or at least cutting a check to say THANK YOU for the assistance!

You'll be seeing an app or two coming from me, too. I want in on this brave new world where people have the opportunity to build Windows and Windows Phone based on our ideas. I won't build a new Outlook or anything, but an MSKLC update or two or three would be quite nice!

Who's with me?!?

Joe Clark on 19 Aug 2013 10:25 AM:

Any “external subtitles display” (the poor grammar is telling) is a complete failure and a nonstarter. Also, captions are not subtitles.

Michael S. Kaplan on 19 Aug 2013 7:15 PM:

Although the description of the App doesn't say it, simply HAVING the App installed lets the .SRT file work properly running any video.

For the other, if I have five files, each in a different language, for the same movie (assume one of them is for the same language as the movie is already in), then the lines get blurred a bit...

Roman on 21 Aug 2013 5:52 PM:

> Who's with me?!?

I might join when I manage to forgive WinPhone for being the cause behind ClearType's disappearance from the desktop versions of Excel/Word. I feel so betrayed, and I know whose fault it is. Yes, WinPhone. It's your fault.

I can't see this happening until all of my desktop monitors are 250+ dpi, so... this will take a while.

KlimaxDanielix on 25 Aug 2013 11:16 AM:


WinPhone? What does it have to do with Cleartype ine Office on desktop?

(IIRC WinPhone uses ClearType itself for text.)

Michael S. Kaplan on 1 Sep 2013 12:35 AM:

Indeed, it does!

kinokijuf on 17 Sep 2013 9:01 AM:

I do not see ClearType in this screenshot.

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2013/09/12 SRT? Indubitably!

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