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What Is An SRT File And How To Use SRT File For Subtitling?

For videographersFor YouTubersHow to transcribe
How to use SRT file for subtitling

While almost anyone has heard, seen, or downloaded a .srt file, not everyone knows what does srt stand for. 

Despite it being an old standard, it’s still widely used in modern entertainment. Likewise, it’s beneficial to learn everything about it. If you agree, please read on.

Below, we’ll discuss srt meaning, why choose it over other formats, and how to create and use one.

What is SRT file and how to use .SRT files?

In movies, YouTube videos, and other content on the Internet, users can view changing texts typically in the bottom part of a video. Moreover, these texts will sync and change in every dialog of a character or sound description. 

Also, these words are the character’s exact or rephrased dialog in that particular time. If unfamiliar, these are called captions or subtitles

Subtitles are what enables viewers from other countries to understand a foreign film. 

Additionally, it’s also a way for people with disabilities to read a movie’s conversations and messages. 

Moreover, while several subtitle file formats are available, nothing comes close to the popularity of SRT subtitles.

SRT, or SubRip Subtitle, is a subtitle file format in plain text. 

Inside a .srt file, one can see the number sequence of the subtitle, timestamp (hours:minutes:seconds,milliseconds), the text of the dialog, and a new blank line. In the process, the sequence number helps media players or video files indicate what text group to play if a user replays or forwards scenes. 

srt file example
Originally published

On the other hand, the timestamp is responsible for syncing the text as they sound on the video. If the timestamps are incorrect, the syncing is either delayed or advanced. 

Next, the texts are what the media players will display. 

Lastly, a new line indicates that the player should proceed to the following text group in the sequence.

Currently, anyone can create, edit, or download .srt files as they’re an open and free file format that’s widely available on the Internet.

Besides, most subtitle distribution websites prefer SRT over others due to its simplicity, small file size, and compatibility with media players.

SRT Subtitle File Format, Why Choose It?

Since there are numerous subtitle formats available, one might wonder why choosing SRT over others is beneficial.

First, if a user plans to distribute a video to different platforms, SRT is the safest option. Why? As there’s no single standard, streaming, video sharing platforms, and other websites use different formats for captions.

Moreover, unlike others, SRT is the easiest to convert into other standards without losing important formatting data.

Apart from that, SRT is also the subtitle format that most media players favor and only support. In mobile devices, built-in video players with captioning capabilities only accept SRT and nothing else.

When browsing through movie subtitle sharing sites like OpenSubtitles, SRT is the only offered file format; and no users are complaining about it.

In other words, if one wants small file sizes, better compatibility, simple formatting, wider availability, and flexible captioning, SRT is the best choice available.

How To Create SRT File?

While it’s possible to create .srt files in word processors, they’re not as efficient and pleasant to use as dedicated subtitle creation tools.

However, with a subtitle creator, one still needs to patiently spend hours perfectly matching the texts and timing as they sound in the video. While it’s not that bad when dealing with small files, it can get tiring and inefficient with more videos and ones with longer durations.

Thankfully, excellent tools like Audext can give you the answer –  how to make srt file?

Audext, an AI-powered transcription tool, allows users to upload audio and video files, automatically generate transcriptions and provide a built-in text editor feature. In the process, one can create a .srt file in Audext with the following easy steps:

1. Sign in or register for a free Audext account.

2. Click the “New Upload” button and choose to upload a video file from the computer.

Audext upload

3. Wait for Audext to generate an automated transcription of the video file.

4. Update the transcription with the built-in text editor.

Since Audext already includes timestamps and speakers in the transcription, it’s much easier to follow the SRT format.

After that, edit the text according to the .srt file rule, namely subtitle sequence (1), start and end timestamps (hours:minutes:seconds,milliseconds (00:00:00;00 –> 00:00:11:12)).

5. Download the output file in .txt format.

export your transcription

6. Use free online .txt to .srt file converter websites to complete the process.

How To Open SRT File?

Again, unlike other subtitle formats, .srt files use simple encoding, lightweight, and widely available on the Internet. Accordingly, there are different ways on how to open srt files.

First, with only a simple “srt viewer” Google search, anyone can view countless websites that can open .srt files.

Next, using a text editor like Notepad, Notepad++, and Sublime, users can view a .srt file in a clean plain text mode.

If one wants a true subtitle editing experience, then using a dedicated subtitle program is ideal. Thankfully, like the SRT standard itself, many subtitle tools are free for the public to use.

Examples of the best editors available are Jubler, and Nikse. However, regardless of the program, a .srt file will still display its contents in the correct format and order.

How To Add SRT To Mp4? Best freeware available online

So, how to add srt file to video? 

After creating a .srt file, there are two ways to use it: insert it into a video file or use a specialized media player. In the former, there are different ways to add a subtitle to something like an mp4 video.

Also, native programs like Aegisub do the same thing but are more suited for offline use.

Apart from post-editing, one can also insert subtitles when creating a video. In most modern video editors, users can quickly type dialog text without doing any formatting. 

Additionally, video conversion tools like HandBrake transform media format and offer .srt insert support; great for burning media files into discs. Lastly, using a media player like VLC, one can import .srt files from subtitle-sharing sites or any source to quickly enjoy watching locally-saved movies.

Explore The Benefits Of SRT

Since you read this article, you’re likely interested or are planning to create a subtitle file for a video. In that case, based on the above reasons, using the SRT file format is the best and safest choice.

Once you understand everything about it, you’ll learn about its benefits and advantages over different subtitle variants.

Katrin Deres 06/22/2021
Katrin runs her own podcast show and is interested in the best ways to transcribe audio recordings into text.
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