Tools for Grabbing Captions: DVD Decrypter, CC Extractor, & SubRip

I’ve not been able to actually do any research with captions and caption files for a while: term has come to a close and all my caption focus has been on reading Zdenek’s book and working on the caption studies conference. Fortunately, I now have time to go look at grabbing some of the files so that I can work with them. I keep on doing searches for guides and tips, so I wanted to share a few things here.

Important note: All the files I’m grabbing are so that I can access the captions. If studios made their caption files public and accessible on the web, then I would not need to rip videos in order to get the content I am researching. As an academic researcher, I am focusing on captions. Since they are not provided on way, I will access them another. My description below is meant to document my experience with and development of a research methods and tools in the field of caption studies.

I have a Mac with plenty of processor¬†(32 GB), so I’m working with a VM since a lot of the caption capture programs are written for PCs. After a couple of hard and problematic starts with my VM and settings, I was finally able to DVD Decrypter and CC Extractor installed. There is a great guide on how to install both programs here at Sourceforge.

Previously I attempted to work with SubRip a number of times, and I followed the instructions which seemed pretty clear at Doom9, but things just did not work very well. I think this is my own failure and not that of the software. My working understanding of IFOs and VOBs is still pretty thin, and there’s some work to do on that. In order to make a lot more progress, I’m definitely going to need to improve that understanding.

In the mean time, though, I have DVDs coming in for the different movies and series I’m researching.¬†I need to grab them while I can so I am not spending hours ripping in the future. To do this, I have been using the free version of DVD Smith. I have also been using Handbrake to grab videos, but Handbrake seems to crash once or twice out of every three efforts–when it’s nearly 99% done. I can’t tell you how frustrating this is.

In the future, I hope to explore other tools like Avidemux. However, I need a deeper understanding of the captions before I move in to working with more complex tools.


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