iSubtitle 1.2 review
iSubtitle simply works and works brilliantly
Review Date: 5 May 2009
Price when reviewed: (about £13)
Reviewed By: Tim Danaher
iSubtitle is a companion product to Bitfield's excellent Submerge application.
The main difference is that Submerge is a 'hard' subtitler - the text is burned directly into the movie file itself, so it can't be changed. iSubtitle is a 'soft' subtitler, made to interface with Apple TV, iTunes, iPods/iPhones, and other QuickTime players. Like other Bitfield products, it can make use of every subtitle format.
The program uses a new Apple API (Application Programming Interface) for handling subtitles. This means it has some neat features, one of which is resolution-independent rendering, so your titles will look as good on a 50in plasma HDTV as they would on an iPod touch.
Adding and rendering the subtitle sets is simplicity itself: either drag-and-drop the set to a field in iSubtitle's interface or use a standard dialog box. Rendering of the set is almost instantaneous, and you can layer as many different language sets as you want. Movies and programs will still need to be rendered out for final viewing and this takes a little longer than for hard?€'coding in Submerge, but iSubtitle also has its own batch queue built in, so you can have unlimited numbers of renders going simultaneously. You can also greatly speed up encoding, as iSubtitle has full support for Elgato's Turbo.264 HD encoder.
The application allows you to add metadata to any content. This ensures that the content will work in iTunes and other information, such as director, season or artist, will correctly show up.
Because this is an Apple API, all Apple products can use it from the off. In QuickTime Player there's a preference for 'Show subtitles when available', and any content on Apple TV and iPhone or iPod touch will automatically have access to the titles.
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