Sublight – A Hassle-Free Subtitles Download and Playback Solution

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We’ve been cutting into the subtitle topic again lately. Last week, we wrote about The 3 Best Subtitle Sites, in sequel to our How To Add Subtitles To A Movie or TV Series article. I don’t care much to admit it, but I still need my English subtitles to keep up with some movies.

What doesn’t occur to most people, is how tedious the process of finding subtitles to download still is. It’s one of the few things we do almost completely by hand.

But not anymore. In the comments section of our article on subtitle sources, MakeUseOf reader Rahul pointed us to Sublight, an amazing Windows desktop application that handles all your subtitle download needs for you.


Sublight really is an amazing application. Developed by Sublight Labs, this tool can help you to search, download, and watch your videos with subtitles on the fly. Truly, it’s the only thing you’ll ever need, and once you start using it, you’ll wonder why we’ve been doing these things manually for so long.

subtitles download

Being this versatile, we won’t be able to cover all Sublight’s features, but we’ll provide you with a sneak peek, and introduce you to the most prominent features of the application.


You’ll get a chance to specify some of the more important options in the installation dialog. Most important, perhaps, the language. The results can still be filtered while searching, so you don’t necessarily need to make a selection, but it’ll spare you a lot of trouble in the near future.

subtitles download

After specifying your default video player, you’ll also be shown a few default subtitle source plugins. Although it doesn’t hurt having multiple sources, it should be noted that DivxFinland and subdivx are respectively Finnish or Spanish language sources, and that Podnapisi.NET requires registration.

subtitles download

Finally, you’ll be asked for Windows Explorer Integration. If you enable this feature, you’ll be able to (automatically) download subtitles from the file explorer. I would advise to leave out FLV (flash video), unless you regularly download movies from YouTube, DailyMotion, or other streaming sources.

english subtitles

Please note that the Windows Explorer integration does not always work with Windows 7. This will hopefully be resolved in future releases.

Finding Subtitles

To business. Using Sublight to find subtitles is remarkable easy. We’ll discuss the manual and semi-manual searches first. To supply a whole directory with subtitles, check below.

As you can see, you’ve basically got two options; auto search, which takes its info from a video, and manual search. After specifying a video file, Sublight will try to deduct relevant information, like the title, year, season and episode, and fill in the manual search forms. It wisely ignores the release information (often being polluted with forum URLs, or otherwise irrelevant data).

Although all this can be done manually, and without much work, it’s advised not to. Using the auto search will also link video and subtitle files, sparing you another bit of work.

english subtitles

Sometimes, especially with popular releases, you’ll be flooded with unwanted results. If so, you can always further narrow down results by using the filter feature. This will allow you to filter (or revise) the language, rating, publisher and the number of discs.

english subtitles

Once you’ve got your subtitles, you can use the application bar, or right-click to download and deploy your subtitles. If you used the auto-search feature, you can already start to play your video. Other options include rating and verification, preview, properties, or searching for related subtitles.

download subtitles

If you’ve got a lot of video files, providing them all with valid subtitle files can still prove a tedious job. Alternatively, you can scan and index your video folders, and do a batch subtitle download. Eliminating this can occasionally lead to inaccurate subtitles, but overall it’ll save you a whole lot of time.

download subtitles

Aside from these features, you can also use Sublight to correct subtitle timing, or even to publish your own subtitles.

Do you know any alternative software solutions to Sublight? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below!

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Comments (16)
  • Eduard

    Its a great piece of software that i’ve used and i’m sorry that it went payware .. For the amount of strange/miss-tagged/un-synced subtitles i download to get that good subtitle (each download uses points) i can’t predict how many movies i’m gonna see for the points “i’d buy” ..

    Don’t get me wrong, the software is good and the matches are accurate most of the time but i don’t really like the ideea of buying “points” .. i’d even put off with adds in the subtitles list or similar for a “free add suported version” and in time, although unlikely, I might go with a subscription based pro version (same amount of pay no matter how many movies) but the idea of buying points .. ugh .. in the end you only buy comfort, hassle free subtitle match and download for your movies, and for some it will worth the money.

    However, right now, out of the blue sublight asked me to pay or log off.. so i uninstalled. I’d have loved to get a warning before since i had it free so far and didn’t expect the ‘disconnect’ but i guess that’s life.

    Right know i’m searching for a similar program and i remember there were a few options back when i found sublight (1,2 or3 years? dunno). I just hate it when a freeware goes payware .. :/

  • mictray

    username is mictray – if the free points offer is still valid.

    Had a positive experience using this software as the trial version, One thing that flummoxes me at the minute, is that currently I have to download multiple sub files to find the correctly synced subtitle, using needless points up. This is the only thing stopping me from up-grading to the premium version. Is there anything in place to stop pointless points being spent?

    Other than that, I love this software, it has made everything so easy.

  • mel

    Hi! my username for Sublight is softcake.

    I have been mostly downloading subtitles manually until now, and I find your software makes finding them so much easier!

  • niu

    In fact Too easy!

    download youtube subtitle for Srt.(There has many many other people favor).
    Pass transit to SRT. OK!

  • rednoah

    If you’re a Mac or Linux, check out FileBot:

    Download subs from OpenSubtitles, Subscene, Sublight or SubtitleSource. Supports subtitle lookup by MovieHash/VideoHash (called “auto search” in this article) for OpenSubtitles/Subscene respectively.

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.