STL. subtitling tool
Thread poster: Beatriz Vidal

Beatriz Vidal  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 9, 2012

Dear colleagues,

I have been offer a subtitling assignment and I have to send back my subtitles in .stl format. As long as I know, the only program working with this format is FAB subtitler and I can’t afford such a license.
Does anybody know if there is any other program working with this file (stl)? Or do you know a file converter? Please, any help would be more than appreciated!
Thanks in advance!

Bea


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:08
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Subtitle Workshop Jul 9, 2012

It's free, and you may download it from http://www.urusoft.net/download.php?lang=1&id=sw

Though automation and resources are somewhat limited there, if you really know how to do what you are doing in subtitling, results will be at least as good as any professional's. After all, subtitles are just a text file.

Don't feel intimidated by some prima donna subtitlers, who paid a 4-digit price tag for their software, and hence have a rea$on to sneer at your work.

If you are really good at it, and the required file is one listed at the bottom of http://www.urusoft.net/products.php?cat=sw〈=1 , Subtitle Workshop will enable you to create great subtitle files.


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Natalie_GriGri  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 17:08
English to Russian
+ ...
SubtitleEdit Jul 9, 2012

Try SubtitleEdit. It is free.

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Zehavit Ehre  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 17:08
English to Hebrew
+ ...
SUBTITLE WORKSHOP, of course Jul 9, 2012

I agree with every word Jose wrote.
It is by far the best free subtitling software and I still use it.
Also, there are several websites where you can add a youtube link and subtitle it in the website including options to import or export subtiling files in various formats.
Here you can see a list I have compiled with a swiss subtitler of free online captioning (and subtitling) tools:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AiIlOOgQ0kO7dEhQb3FzZ3Y2cEZSekZ0N2liaU96V2c#gid=0

The ones in blue are my favorite.
BTW, if you have a video file, not a Youtube link, you can only use DotSub which supports stl. format.
Good luck,
Zehavit


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MartinLuna
Spain
Local time: 16:08
English to Galician
+ ...
not an option for me Jul 9, 2012

I have the same problem. I have also tried Subtitle Workshop. The problem is it has never worked, I mean, you write the subtitles, with color etc, but when you export it to STL there is no longer style. The only real solution I know is: buying expensive pro programs or applying styles by code in plain text. In my situation, none is an option.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:08
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Some clarification on subtitles Jul 9, 2012

I have never used STL myself, only made such files on clients' request for them to burn the subs, apparently with a program named Spruce.

I use mostly SSA for burning with VirtualDub (freeware), or sometimes TXT for making DVDs with overlaid subtitles using, say, the ancient Ulead DVD Workshop, which was a high-end program in its days.

Though VirtualDub is freeware, it generates the sharpest subtitles around. Yet freeware is to be considered "simple", and so it is. It uses the SSA format, where all subtitle parameters are within. The lo-level software merely implements them as they come.

The problem is that Subtitle Workshop (as I said, with its limited resources), resets all such parameters upon opening a SSA file. After I'm done with SW, I open the SSA file with Windows Notepad, and manually edit all parameters I want VirtualDub to implement upon burning. Perhaps I should do that with SubStation Alpha, the real thing, but I know my way around in SSA files.

DVD Workshop uses a very simple TXT subtitles file format from Subtitle Workshop. It only contains in&out times, and the subtitles themselves. And why? Because a high-end DVD authoring program has all the tools for formatting each subtitle individually, groups of them, or all at once.

The latter may be the case with Spruce. So either you use it as "the real thing", or you learn your way through the parameters to do it directly on the STL file. However once you began to tinker with these parameters, make sure you have all your spotting correct, because opening that file again with SW will reset all such parameters.

This is what I meant with "limited resources" in Subtitle Workshop. One can't have it all... at least for free!


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Faustine Roux  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:08
English to French
subtitle workshop vs quality Jul 9, 2012

I've seen a lot of videos subtitled with subtitle workshop. None of them have accurately timed subtitles. And these videos have been translated by professional subtitlers.

So I can understand that some people will prefer to invest a bit of money in a tool that will allow them to create a better product than the free tool would.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:08
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Quite honestly... Jul 9, 2012

Faustine Roux wrote:

I've seen a lot of videos subtitled with subtitle workshop. None of them have accurately timed subtitles. And these videos have been translated by professional subtitlers.

So I can understand that some people will prefer to invest a bit of money in a tool that will allow them to create a better product than the free tool would.


... from some "professional" recordings I've had to translate (after I fixed the audio), all this word means is that someone was paid to do it, or that the equipment looked impressive.

Subtitle timing accuracy is one thing that depends on the operator's skill, not the software. Perhaps some advanced software will do it automatically for these people you call "professionals". Maybe they are considered so for being expensive, however they are expensive only to afford that software you mention.

The situation you describe seems like a taxicab driver using an automatic transmission vehicle. He drives smoothly because of that. However if you provided him with a manual, he might struggle all his way with the stickshift and the clutch, clashing gears all the time, and giving you the bumpiest of all rides. Yet he is a professional, because he drives a cab to earn a living.

Maybe I'm biased because I come from the dubbing world. I translated video for dubbing 18 years before I got into subtitling. Dubbing is one art where machines are unable to replace human talent.

The truth is that Subtitle Workshop does all I need, convenient timespotting. All the rest I do with my art. So if SW were not free, I'd have bought it. And yet, if I had bought one of these high-priced subtitling programs, I'd probably be doing manually all the things they do automatically, wasting available resources.

Conversely, I've seen several other free subtitling programs which I wouldn't use even if I were paid to do so.

Bottom line is that *I* am the professional subtitler, not necessarily my software. If I had an accurate frame-measuring player (and most of them are), I could be making subtitle files with that and the Windows Notepad. Subtitle Workshop just makes this more convenient, though not fully automatic.


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kmtext
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:08
English
+ ...
Which .stl format did they specify? Jul 11, 2012

Beatriz Vidal wrote:

Dear colleagues,

I have been offer a subtitling assignment and I have to send back my subtitles in .stl format. As long as I know, the only program working with this format is FAB subtitler and I can’t afford such a license.
Does anybody know if there is any other program working with this file (stl)? Or do you know a file converter? Please, any help would be more than appreciated!
Thanks in advance!

Bea


There are three different subtitle file types that use the .stl suffix: open binary, closed binary and Spruce. Open and closed binary files are very similar, and are easy to import/edit on other systems, but Spruce files are a completely different format which is really a final version of the subtitle graphics with timecode.

Check which format your client wants before you go any further.


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Claramgr  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:08
Spanish to English
+ ...
Date? Aug 3, 2012

Zehavit Ehre wrote:

I agree with every word Jose wrote.
It is by far the best free subtitling software and I still use it.
Also, there are several websites where you can add a youtube link and subtitle it in the website including options to import or export subtiling files in various formats.
Here you can see a list I have compiled with a swiss subtitler of free online captioning (and subtitling) tools:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AiIlOOgQ0kO7dEhQb3FzZ3Y2cEZSekZ0N2liaU96V2c#gid=0

The ones in blue are my favorite.
BTW, if you have a video file, not a Youtube link, you can only use DotSub which supports stl. format.
Good luck,
Zehavit


Wow, this is great, Zehavit, thanks!
Is this information updated? When was it collected?


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