Drag And Drop Subtitle Downloads With SolEol [Mac]

Simon Slangen 07-05-2012

download subtitlesThe wait for subtitle downloads has become a far too common annoyance. Everyone is ready to get watching, and I’m still looking for the proper subtitles. Foreign films aside, you may still consider those subtitles a way of reassurance; a place to fall back if you didn’t understand a certain dialect or a mumbling extra in the movies.


There are apps galore that will help facilitating this simple task; on Mac OS X as well as Windows. Most prominent of these is SubDownloader, but I’ve found the GUI version to be painfully slow and taking almost as long as firing up your browser and searching for subtitles manually.

Last week I set out to find a better tool. Queue SolEol, an application that can be set up in such a way that downloading subtitles takes but a meager few seconds.


SolEol is a simple, light-weight application despite its 24 MB download. It was developed on and for Intel Macs, but can be downloaded for Linux and Windows as well, albeit without being thoroughly tested by the developer.

download subtitles

As you can see in the screenshot above, the interface is a no-brainer. Once running, you can drop your files on the download button to search for movie or series subtitles. You can also use the application to share your own subtitles by dragging the subtitle files on the upload button after adding your user credentials in SolEol’s preferences.


Downloading Subtitles

You can set the preferred subtitle language, or languages in the SolEol preferences. SolEol can search subtitles for individual, or a large batch of video files. For the latter, simply drop the entire folder in SolEol. First select the video files for which you want to search and hit ‘Search Subtitles’.

subtitle download

After a few seconds, SolEol will have finished searching and (hopefully) matched subtitles to all of your videos. After SolEol has finished searching, select the subtitles you want to download. If you’re searching subtitles for a more obscure language or release, it’s a good idea to preview the subtitles before downloading. To do this, right click on one of the subtitle results. When you’ve refined the results, press download to add the subtitles to your video folder.

Tip: Drag And Drop On The Go

Using SolEol as outlined above works like a charm. However, if you’re often downloading subtitles on the spot, there’s a better way; you can configure SolEol to search and download subtitles instantly upon drag-and-drop.


subtitle download

First, go the the SolEol Preferences pane and make sure the options ‘Search immediately on drop‘ and ‘Download chosen sub automatically‘ are selected. If you haven’t already, you might also want to check ‘Rename Subtitles as Movie‘, or ‘Rename Movie to “Proper” Name’, which will do the same in reverse.

download subtitles

Now, drag and drop the SolEol application icon to your Finder bar. That’s it. The next time you want to search for a subtitle, just drag and drop your video file onto the SolEol icon in your Finder bar, and the primary search result will automatically be downloaded to your video folder and renamed accordingly.


What day-to-day things do you automate on your computer, and how? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. said elgoo
    May 17, 2012 at 10:25 am

    how to doxnload it ? .and is it free ?

    • Simon Slangen
      May 26, 2012 at 10:56 pm

      You can download it from here. And it's free to use, although you can support the developer with a donation.

  2. said elgoo
    May 17, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I absolutely love this.

  3. eduo
    May 8, 2012 at 7:20 am


    I'm the developer of SolEol. So happy to see it covered in a site I have known for so long. The first version of SolEol actually came about around the same time MakeUseOf debuted (end of 2006), although named differently and only as a way for me to help friends get their subs :)

    Habib: What "bottom bit" you're referring to? The "Donate!" link? If it's that I would probably move it away if donations actually happened at all but in over 5 years the total amount of people who have donated is not even half a dozen, I pondered hard at whether to include a nag screen but decided against it as I myself don't like them.

    I may still include in the future a "I have donated" checkbox that gets rid of the link in the interface, though.

    I'm currently developing a new version that mostly brings the whole thing up to date.

    By the way, the size of the download is due mostly to the programming environment I used but almost half of it is the "helper" video previewer. I could make it optional but when searching by name instead of hash it's vital so the right sub is downloaded.

    Again, thanks for the review and kind words.

    • kadeer
      May 8, 2012 at 7:49 am

      after this article, and trying out your AMAZING software, you can expect lots of donations soon! :) + added this to my 'must--have' list of programmes.

      Thank you so much, and wish you all the best :D

      • eduo
        May 8, 2012 at 9:12 am

        Thank you. I'm really glad the software is useful. It's funny that I've seen it downloaded and used tens of thousands of times yet feedback about it has mostly come from friends over twitter :)

        The point was to make something useful that closed the gap of the cumbersome and inefficient process of getting subs for stuff. I'm really happy you find the program easy to use as it was the goal.

        • Simon Slangen
          May 26, 2012 at 10:54 pm

          Then I guess you've succeeded. I've tried a lot of different apps, but few have the ease of use that SolEol has. Kudos. :-)

  4. Habib Alamin
    May 8, 2012 at 5:33 am

    Thank you so much! You don't understand how useful this is going to be for me. Loving the simplistic design too, although the bottom bit could have fit in the about window.

    Awesome tip as well.