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How can I turn subtitles on & off when playing an MP4 movie?

haggis999

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I bought an iPad Air three days ago and I am a total newcomer to the Apple community. Some of my Blu-ray and DVD collection has been ripped to MKV files and I have used Handbrake on my PC to create iPad-optimised MP4 conversions of some of these files. On one of these conversions I included an English subtitle track set as the default. On another, I also included an English subtitle track but did not click the Default option in Handbrake.

Both these MP4 files have now been transferred to my iPad via iTunes. I can play these videos but I cannot find a way to suppress the default subtitles in one case or turn on the non-default subtitles in the other case. I have tried both the standard iPad 'Videos' app and the latest iPad version of VLC but cannot find an on/off switch for subtitles in either app. Am I missing something or do I need a different app?

BTW, I was surprised to find that loading an MP4 file into my iPad's 'Films' library made it visible to the Videos app but not to VLC. A second copy of each video had to be transferred to the iPad specifically for the use of VLC, which seems like a pointless waste of the limited space on my 64GB iPad. Is this normal or have I misunderstood something?

David
 

twerppoet

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I have no idea if it will work, but worth a try:

Settings > General > Accessibility > the Hearing section. Subtitles & Captions can be turned on/off there.
 
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haggis999

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I tried turning on that option, which is actually named 'Closed Captions + SDH' and is described as "When available, prefer closed captioning or subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing", but it made no difference. I have also confirmed that my MP4 without any visible subtitles on the iPad does indeed contain them. I played it using a video player on my PC and had no problem turning the VOBSUB subtitles on and off.
 

Fred Garvin

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When you rip a movie from DVD using HandBrake, you are creating a single file. At the time of the rip, whichever soundtrack you choose is the one that will be in the file.... Be it secondary audio in another language, subtitled, stereo, digital surround (will be converted). Once chosen and the rip is created, that's the soundtrack for the file. You can't change it.

Solution: Rip it again with another soundtrack.

iPad Air 32Gb Wi-Fi; 17" MacBook Pro; 24" iMac; iPhone 4; iPod Nano 6th Gen; iPod Shuffle; Apple TV 2
 
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haggis999

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When you rip a movie from DVD using HandBrake, you are creating a single file. At the time of the rip, whichever soundtrack you choose is the one that will be in the file.... Be it secondary audio in another language, subtitled, stereo, digital surround (will be converted). Once chosen and the rip is created, that's the soundtrack for the file. You can't change it.

Solution: Rip it again with another soundtrack.

Hi Fred,
I'm actually talking about subtitle tracks, not soundtracks, and subtitles are something I can turn on or off in every other movie player I have ever used on a Windows PC or hardware player, when using a single MKV file (I have no prior experience of MP4 files). If your comments also apply to subtitle tracks, please clarify if you are trying to say that Handbrake is the limiting factor or that iPads simply cannot handle optional subtitle tracks, no matter what video format or player is used.

David
 

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