Monday, January 13, 2014

Fixing encoding problems with Korean subtitles

So, you've managed to get a legal, paid-for copy of your favorite film, and want to share the moment with your Korean-speaking friend. You dim the lights, turn up the speakers, and hit play, only to have the mood ruined by this:

Ah yes, the random characters that ruin any 미드 (= 미국 드라마 = American dramas) viewing. Your face now looks like Hotch here. What can you do about this?

I can recommend basically two choices:
  1. Use GOM Player.
    Seriously. I know you love your VLC or whatever, but trust me, fighting with your video player to make it accept your subtitle file is more frustration than it's worth. Just download GOM Player: it's free, it's fast, and it handles subtitles files better than anything I've ever seen. Continue to watch your porn educational content on VLC; but use GOM for anything with subtitles. 
  2. Change the encoding or format of the subtitle file yourself.
    This might sound like a hassle, but it's not. I highly recommend Batch Subtitles Converter. This app rocks because (1) it's self-executable, i.e. you don't have to install it; just double-click it (2) it's super lightweight and clean (3) it does multiple / batch conversions (4) it can convert both the file type and the encoding type.
    For example, I had an old set-top box with a USB port. I'd copy movies onto a USB stick, but that damn set-top box was so picky. The subtitle files had to be named identical to the video file, they had to be in EUC-KR encoding, and they had to be in SAMI (.smi) format. Loads of subtitle files I downloaded were UTF-8 and SubRip (.srt) format. This app took did it all no sweat, in a flash.
Good luck. And by the way, if you're looking for where to get subtitle files from, check out this post.

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