Bananapoop ~ The "How to be less stupid" tutorial ~ This is not a banana tree!

Facts of Life ~ Technology ~ Playing videos

cccp-logoTo be able to play videos you need a program but also the right codecs to turn the data into images and sound.

"The Combined Community Codec Pack is a simple playback pack for Windows with the goal of supporting the majority of video formats in use today."

CCCP - Combined Community Codec Pack at cccp-project

In the mkv format you sometimes have audio and subtitle choices. You can change the settings by default. I'm using an old version so the icons might look different, and my window XP is in classic mode... but it will give you an idea.

How to change audio and subtitles

You can do it temporarily with the right click menus, or permanently and fix problems in the double click menus.

When you play a video, you get icons in the bottom right corner, near the clock. I never play with the first two but feel free to explore.

When the green arrow and/or white square appears, sometimes you can choose different audio languages and subtitles, when they have multiple options available. They have different menus and options, but they're all similar.

Green arrow: DirectVobSub

A right click looks something like this. A is for Audio, S is for subtitles:

A left double click opens the program's options. In the general tab, you can change the subtitle's "Loading" options. But when I selected "never load" DirectVobSub stopped loading completely, even when I needed it. The icon can be found in your start menu, it's added to the program list when you install the codecs. It's probably best to avoid messing with that one. But if your subtitles won't load, this could be the reason.

Get back up ^

White square: Haali Media Splitter

A right click looks something like this. A is for Audio, S is for subtitles. You have less confusing options and can find chapters:

This is the icon to double click to change your audio and subtitles by default:

  • Select the "Options" tab
  • Open "+ Languages"
  • Select "Audio and Subtitle languages" to make the text field appear
  • In the "Value" field, you write what you want:
    Audio,Subtitle separated with ;
You get an explanation when you point at "Audio and Subtitle languages":

"A semicolon separated list of audio and subtitle language pairs. The splitter will try to select one of these pairs first before trying separate audio and sub lists. The splitter recognizes the following special language tags:
  • *: matches any language tag and selects the default language using Audio and Subtitle language priority
  • off: available for subtitles only, matches any language, and turns the subtitle off.
  • none: matches when there are no subtitle tracks"

In my own example I wrote:

I changed it to this to avoid getting English subs with English languages, but if there's no language specified (asterix means all) the priority will be to give any subtitles:

The priority is what you put first:

*,* = it's useful when the audio and/or subtitles are undetermined. I had problems making the subtitles show up for some videos. Telling the program to just give me any solved my problem.

jpn,* = for animes that might have unspecified subtitles.

= I'd put that first if I wanted animes with dual audio to be in English without subtitles by default.

*,off = Any languages, no subtitles.

jpn,eng = that's what I'd use if the anime sounds better in its original Japanese language. It's hard to voice utter cuteness as well as a Japanese girl can.

eng,eng = Sometimes an english movie whispers so much that I like to have the subtitles anyway, it helped me to learn it better. Also useful if the Japanese audio track was called English by mistake.

Get back up ^

SRT external subtitle files

The settings that you choose by default might not work to turn off the files, or you need to change the settings to make them appear by default... or the name of the file.

Maybe there's a setting to load them no matter how they are named, but as far as I know: the subtitle file needs to have the exact same name as the movie; but with a different extension (they're probably invisible).

If you have more than one external file, you can add a dot and a name; but after writing the same name as the movie (and before the invisible file type ".srt")

Example of a movie with two subtitle files, English and Japanese:


If I want only the foreign dialogs for a movie by default I call them "eng", but it can be useful to also have subtitles for "all".


If "eng" isn't selected first, try "en" and "eng-all" or something to trick the alphabetical order. It can happen if only the green arrow appears, because the priority is specified in the white square, and they usually select the subtitles in a ".mkv" file and isn't needed for external subtitles...

I like to have the subtitles on by default for my animes, but I want them off for English movies. Here's my trick to have both:

English movies often have an external file. I rename it by adding ".all" and make a copy called ".eng", in it I write only one word that lasts one second at the beginning of the movie, to remind me that there are subtitles available. I open the srt file with note-pad and I write only:

00:00:01,000 --> 00:00:02,000

Then I enjoy~


Lisa Of Shades
4 February 2015
Right to be ©razy 2013 and beyond!