James mentioned in another thread that Infuse plans to focus specifically on subtitles in upcoming version 5.4. This I think is a very good and wise priority. Infuse user interface and experience in general are now mostly awesome, while subtitles still have significant improvement potential.
The functionality of retrieving subtitles from databases online is great. Unfortunately, visually the subtitles are not at a good enough level. For example, I have many DVDs ripped losslessly to MKVs, and here the subtitles (mainly VOBs) appear to be rather large with a font that looks kind of bizarre and…hmmm…in a way outdated. Text that is meant to be white appear more like gray.
I understand that subtitles are not as important for English-language users or users in countries where it is common to dub the movies. In other countries, such as the Nordic countries, people are used to hearing original audio while reading subtitles. It works great for us, but it’s absolutely crucial that the subtitles look good and have high readability.
Here are my biggest wishes for subtitles in version 5.4:
Option to choose from different fonts
Option to select font size
Gray / shadowy background for better readability (get inspiration from the subtitles in Netflix and iTunes). Those are excellent.
Can you tell us a bit about what we can expect, James?
I love Infuse and the Firecore team. Infuse has made my video collection look like a million bucks. It’s basically just to get the handling of subtitles on par that are missing. If the subtitles on my DVDs soon would look like in Netflix/iTunes, I’ll be grateful.
I can confirm a number of improvements for DVD (VobSub) subtitles will be available in 5.4, however since these are graphic based (and not text based like SRT/SSA) we will be a bit limited with regard to the customization options we have.
I’ve attached a comparison of VobSub rendering in 5.3 and 5.4. A little bit improved I’d say.
Interesting to see the comparisons you have attached pictures of. It definitely looks better. I’m excited about this
A few follow-up questions regarding VobSubs:
You write that there are limitations related to these because they are graphic based. Does it mean that you can not implement the gray / shadowy background?
I attach a photo so readers can see what I mean. The advantage of such a solution is that the text’s readability becomes more independent of the colors in the video. White subtitles work well on dark or neutral backgrounds, but becomes challenging to read when there is a light background. The mentioned gray / shadowy background fixes this.
In the image you have attached as example from version 5.3, the text is completely white. At my side the text appears consistently grayish, even when I choose “white”. Do you know what might be causing this?
I understand that the possibilities for adjustments are more comprehensive when it comes to SRT / SSA subtitles. Can you tell us a bit (or show pictures) about what we can expect from these?
An option for a background box is something we will likely look into for a future update, and it’s likely something we can have available for all subtitle types.
The muted (gray) text color issue is something we’re looking into as well.
A variety of subtitle styling options are available in the current 5.3 update (see attached). You can try these out for yourself with your existing videos when downloading subtitles from OpenSubtitles.
+1 for Subtitles with the translucent black background. They look / work the best over all types of video. Can you just leverage the tvOS ones?
Do you get access to San Francisco (the new apple system typeface).
It’s been a long time. This is a feature Infuse really should have. It’s not without reason that “all” other streaming apps use background box on subtitles to dramatically improve readability. Is this on your radar now?
I have another issue with the subtitles on infuse… i am a long time Kodi user and the adjustment of subtitles there - if they are off sync - is much more confortable. Is there no way to keep the video running in the background while adjusting? I found it on Kodi always easier to adjust the sync while the movie was still running… stop and sync is kind of sloppy and slow… and it is not so obvious in which „direction“ i have to move the sync… will there be a way to include more services like podnapisi or subscene too? Sometimes there are subtitles i could find only there, it would be nice if i could manually add subtitle sources… anyway, infuse is on a good way to become my favourite media player, there are still some issues that keep me from completely stop using kodi, but keep up the good work!
I’d love that too. Especially because OpenSubtitles has become unreliable, it works every two other times, sometime even not connecting at all. I believe it is OpenSubtitles because once I tried with Kodi and I couldn’t download with it the subs from OpenSubtitles either.
An option to click in the subs offset and get a small popup window to sync the subs would do too, to be honest.
This is the current suggestion thread with the most views/momentum/attention about the subtitle background topic - Add background behind subtitles. Please use this discussion to put our suggestions about pretty much the same topic in the same place for easy reference.