Monday, January 07, 2013

How to extract vob subtitles from an mkv file and render them as png files

Posting this because I spent far too much time figuring this out from various scraps here and there. I got a bunch of Japanese DVDs recently and ripped them to mkv. As part of learning Japanese, I want to be able to see the subtitles side by side, and use them in flash cards etc. I found recipes for extract subs from a DVD but it's not quite right for mkv. I also found tools that worked except but output distorted images.

There is also the very impressive subs2srs which will generate an anki deck with images and audio snippets and it works under wine but it actually is a little bit heavy for what I want.

First, you need to know what track has your subs. mkvinfo will tell you that. Then after that you can use the following bash script (you'll need to install mkvtoolnix and transcode).

You can invoke it as e.g. foo.mkv 4 and you'll have a bunch of .png files generated from the 4th track of foo.mkv in the foo-sub-4/ directory. There will also be a .srtx file which gives the timings for all the subs.

My next step will be to use these timings to line the subs up and output a HTML page with them side-by-side.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Ice skating

We went skating on Thu and Fri and the kids got some lessons in the mornings. Sean was able to skate but his technique is funny. He's nt skating so much as walking while sliding. I knew when he was behind me because I could hear the stomping sound.

I saw several people watching him, a couple of people following him on the ice and videoing him(!) and at 1:05 in the longer video, there's someone mimicking him.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Fuck you Irish newspapers

The story of how Irish newspapers are performing ballistic amputation of their own feet is gathering steam. They think they can charge sites to link directly to articles on their websites. A good summary is here

Of course the story (and their attempted change to the copyright law in 2012) has not been covered at all in these papers.

Meanwhile one of the major papers carries an article titled, "Venomous and toxic social media out of control" which includes this gem: "Free speech and democracy are far better served by a regulated system of commentary, which insists on basic civilities, foremost among which is that participants identify themselves before contributing."

Right, good one, this regulated system is right now demonstrating that it cannot be trusted to report fairly and accurately (or even at all) on certain subjects - the internet and copyright law being two rather important ones.

Of course I'm not linking to this article or even saying what newspaper, not because I'm afraid of a bill but because I have no intention of ever sending another bit of traffic to one of these newspapers if I can avoid it.