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While some people hate subtitles because they get in the way, I love them — and not only for foreign language films and TV shows The 10 Best Anime Series to Watch on Netflix The 10 Best Anime Series to Watch on Netflix Netflix has an impressive selection of anime shows just waiting to be discovered. In this article we pick the cream of the crop, with 10 anime shows everyone should watch. Read More , which absolutely need subtitles if the audio isn’t dubbed. In fact, I use subtitles even when watching stuff in my first language, English!

They’re great for dialogue clarity, especially during action sequences where loud noises can drown out what the characters say. But subtitles are also useful for shows with ensemble casts (seeing names can help with tracking characters), with heavy accents (most British shows for me 10 British Crime Dramas You Should Watch on Netflix 10 British Crime Dramas You Should Watch on Netflix Crime is universal. However, crime drama, specifically its attitude and tone, differs depending on where you live. With that in mind here are 10 British crime dramas all Americans should watch on Netflix. Read More ), and shows with lots of terminologies (sci-fi, fantasy, and procedurals).

Subtitles elevate the viewing experience. The only problem is, where can you get them? Many sites are available, but I highly recommend the three listed below.

1. Subscene

Subscene is my preferred subtitle source because it’s fast, comprehensive, and always kept up-to-date with subtitles for the latest films and TV episodes. All subtitles are created and uploaded by users, which means you can often find matches even for obscure titles.

My favorite aspect of Subscene is its simple and straightforward interface. Subtitles are organized according to shows and movies, so all you have to do is type the show or movie you want in the search bar and select the right one from the results.

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Nearly all of Subscene’s subtitles are in SRT format. You can set a search filter to limit results to certain languages (up to three maximum), and you can decide whether or not you want to include “hearing impaired” subtitles (for sound effects).

You may also find the forums to be a nifty feature. There you can request subtitles for shows and films — perhaps there aren’t any in your native language or none that are correctly synced for your version of the media.

2. SubtitleSeeker

SubtitleSeeker is basically a metasearch engine for subtitles. Rather than tracking its own database of contributed subtitles, it pulls in and combines results from over 20 different subtitle sources. You won’t find a more comprehensive search tool anywhere else.

Perhaps the biggest selling point of SubtitleSeeker is its clean interface — arguably cleaner and easier to use than Subscene’s interface. The main page has a search bar, a word cloud based on most-searched terms, and lists for most popular subtitles (one for films, one for shows).

SubtitleSeeker also has pages for Newest Movies, Newest TV Shows, Newest TV Episodes, Popular Movies, Popular TV Shows, and Popular TV Episodes. If you only watch movies and TV shows as subtitles are released (as opposed to when the movies and TV episodes first release), then these pages can come in quite handy.

The five most common languages on SubtitleSeeker are English, Spanish, Romanian, Turkish, and French, plus dozens of other supported languages with thousands of results each. I recommend this site for foreign language needs, since most subtitle sources are English-centric.

3. Open Subtitles

Open Subtitles is where most people go for their subtitle needs. While the selection is good and there are some convenient advanced features, there are a few things about this site that are disappointing and push it into “difficult to recommend to others” territory.

For starters, the interface is cluttered, noisy, and hard to navigate. Furthermore, every single subtitle download redirects you to the Open Subtitles MKV Player, which is shady at best. I don’t trust them enough for that. The user experience is lacking, to say the least.

But there’s a reason why Open Subtitles is so popular: it’s the largest subtitle database with support for dozens of languages. If you can manage to find your way around the site, you’ll see that there are subtitles here that don’t exist anywhere else.

Other useful features include the dedicated Request Subtitles page, the surprisingly in-depth advanced search filters, the embedded third-party information (like IMDb details), and relevant links that show where you can buy or stream online.

A Faster Way to Download Subtitles

The above three sites are great, and I absolutely recommend them when you need subtitles for whatever you’re watching. However, if you’re like me and you prefer subtitles for everything, then downloading them by hand can get cumbersome after a while.

So what if you could cut out the website visits? A handful of free media players support searching for subtitles directly within the player, and some can even look up subtitles automatically based on the filename of what you’re watching.

  • Media Player.NET — Built-in support for auto-downloading subtitles using either XySubFilter or DirectVobSub. It’s unclear which sites they’re sourced from.
  • BS.Player — Built-in support for auto-downloading subtitles, available in both the Free and Pro versions. It’s unclear which sites they’re sourced from.
  • Media Player Classic — Built-in support for auto-downloading subtitles. By default, they are sourced from Open Subtitles.
  • VLC Player (with VLSub addon) — Can search Open Subtitles and download matches to the current video, either by name or by hash (the latter is more accurate). No longer works with VLC 2.1.x, requires VLC 2.2.x series.
  • PotPlayer — Can search for subtitles within the player and download the ones of your choosing. You can add your own source sites if you wish.

Even if your video player app of choice 8 Best Mobile Video Players for Android 8 Best Mobile Video Players for Android Every smartphone needs a video player -- let us help you find the best one for your needs. Read More doesn’t support subtitle downloads, nearly all modern video players support automatic subtitle loading as long as the filenames match. Even though downloading by hand is inconvenient, it’s a small price to pay for clarity.

Which subtitle sites do you use? Know of any good alternatives that we missed? Share your thoughts and finds with us down in the comments below!

Image Credit: By TypoArt BS via Shutterstock

Originally written by Simon Slangen on Feb 16, 2010

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  1. Greg
    September 6, 2017 at 2:24 am

    opensubtitles.org is a scam/spam site

  2. Ali Qadar
    August 15, 2016 at 1:25 am

    i need english subtitles for Karadayi season 3 (turkish drama) but these are not available anywhere. is t possible to create my own subtitles from scratch if i do not understand the language.

  3. Mohammad
    February 25, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    I use 1sub.org for get new subtitles.

  4. DSpider
    February 9, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    OpenSubtitles can suck it. There's a window popping up everytime I click the search bar, and after I close that one, it redirects the previous tab with the actual website to another website about penile enlargments that looks like a blog (wtf?) which CANNOT be closed. After I click the tab's "X" button a poppup appears with "Really leave this page" or some kind bullcrap. No. NO, THANKS. OpenSubtitles is rubbish.

  5. Anonymous
    August 25, 2015 at 2:47 am

    There's also subtitlesfree.com, way better than the others.

    • Kelsie Frey
      July 31, 2016 at 10:35 pm

      Are you trying to put a virus on your computer its a malware site

    • mhikl
      March 9, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      Site to sell movies, not a place for subtitles.

    • mhikl
      March 9, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      It's a place to sell movies, not a place to find subtitles.

  6. John
    January 25, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Opensubtitles is so, so shitty... You can never get your file and they try to send you to shaddy websites ... To avoid

  7. kimme
    March 30, 2010 at 11:21 am

    For TV subtutles there is also addic7ed.com that has the most recent TV series as srt files available. like The Pacific.

  8. Kimme Utsi
    March 30, 2010 at 1:21 am

    For TV subtutles there is also addic7ed.com that has the most recent TV series as srt files available. like The Pacific.

  9. 7g
    March 20, 2010 at 4:20 am

    http://subtitles.yedincigemi.com/ - English subtitles and movie database
    http://sinema.yedincigemi.com/ - English and Turkish subtitles

  10. 7g
    March 20, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    http://subtitles.yedincigemi.c... - English subtitles and movie database
    http://sinema.yedincigemi.com/ - English and Turkish subtitles

  11. Adam Su
    February 19, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    For simplified and traditional Chinese subs (and many times English subs as well) try shooter.cn (The site does not have an English interface, only Chinese, but searching by the English movie title works quite well.)

  12. Adam Su
    February 20, 2010 at 3:43 am

    For simplified and traditional Chinese subs (and many times English subs as well) try shooter.cn (The site does not have an English interface, only Chinese, but searching by the English movie title works quite well.)

  13. Tom Alex
    February 19, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Even i think Opensubtitles is better than Subscene

    I always check in Opensubtitles then subscene then google

  14. bubs353
    February 19, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Tvsubtitles.net and Addic7ed.com for subtitles of Tv shows

  15. bubs353
    February 19, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Tvsubtitles.net and Addic7ed.com for subtitles of Tv shows

  16. infamous
    February 19, 2010 at 7:56 am

    The best one i know is 5sub.com. it is like google for subtitles.

  17. infamous
    February 19, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    The best one i know is 5sub.com. it is like google for subtitles.

  18. Julio
    February 17, 2010 at 6:44 am

    For brazilians, the best is the Legendas.TV

  19. A2f
    February 17, 2010 at 6:00 am
  20. Rahul
    February 17, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Come on guys!.
    A lot of good websites have been missed out.
    http://www.podnapisi.net/
    http://www.allsubs.org/

    And how can you miss out the Sublight software when you discuss subtitles?
    Check http://www.sublight.si/

    Buckle up!

  21. Rahul
    February 17, 2010 at 1:37 am

    Come on guys!.
    A lot of good websites have been missed out.
    http://www.podnapisi.net/
    http://www.allsubs.org/

    And how can you miss out the Sublight software when you discuss subtitles?
    Check http://www.sublight.si/

    Buckle up!

    • Simon Slangen
      February 17, 2010 at 4:39 am

      Sublight looks awesome, thanks!

  22. dan
    February 16, 2010 at 5:08 pm
  23. WhACKO
    February 16, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    For TV subtitles, the obvious choice would be http://www.tvsubtitles.net/ it's a little weird not seeing it on the list. One of the best things about it is that you can download the entire season subtitles in one zip!

  24. dan
    February 17, 2010 at 2:08 am
  25. Liface
    February 16, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    OpenSubtitles is superior to SubScene, IMO.

  26. WhACKO
    February 17, 2010 at 1:45 am

    For TV subtitles, the obvious choice would be http://www.tvsubtitles.net/ it's a little weird not seeing it on the list. One of the best things about it is that you can download the entire season subtitles in one zip!

  27. Bonui
    February 16, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Hi,

    I'm french and I'm looking for one website where I can watch movies with english subtitles directly in the video.

    Do you have any adresses like that ?

    Thanks ;)

    • Bonui
      February 16, 2010 at 12:18 pm

      PS : I'm looking for a website with streaming videos

    • Simon Slangen
      February 16, 2010 at 7:02 pm

      Use one of the above sites to find your subtitle file, and use this article (first mentioned in the article) to lay it over your video.

  28. CGA
    February 16, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Subtitleseeker.com fetches results from almost all subtitle sites, very good.

  29. CGA
    February 16, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Subtitleseeker.com fetches results from almost all subtitle sites, very good.