TEDTalks are great. Sometimes fascinating, sometimes funny, always inspiring. You may
want need to play them offline. Either you'll watch it on a plane or display it for an audience without taking the risks that come with an Internet connection.
No problem. There's a button for that. It's called "Download" and it's right under the video player of any talk on ted.com.
But what if you need subtitles? Maybe you're not comfortable with listening to English. Or your audience isn't. Or you want to make sure it isn't. ;-) There's no button for that. And TED doesn't publish subtitles. For some unclear reason (at least from my point of view), they ask you to provide them with your email address so that they'll "email the subtitle files to you within 72 hours." Plus they'll do it only for "TEDx Licensees", e.g. people who officially organize TED talks on their own. How's that? Is that innovation?
Since I had a hard time solving this, I'd like to save you a few minutes.
- Find the talk on TED.com.
- Find out if the language(s) you want is/are available as subtitle(s): at the bottom of the video player, look for "Subtitles available in" and drop down the menu. Now you know.
- Download the talk: under the player, click on the "Download" button, then right-click on "Watch high-res video" and "Save link as". Choose a place that you'll find easily in the future. (just like any file on your computer is properly stored, isn't it?)
- Copy the page's address: in the address bar (the field with this "http://" and/or "www" thing), select everything in this bar, then right-click and "Copy".
- Go here and thank Esteban Ordano who's making your day happier. Paste the talk's address in the dedicated field: right-click on the field next to the "Go!" button, then "Paste".
- Right-click on the language you want to add to your video, then "Save link as". Type any name and add .srt at the end of it. Make sure you save this file in the same folder as the video.
- Repeat step 6. for every subtitle language you want.
So now you've got a folder on your computer with the video as well as the subtitle in it. Let's merge them.
To do this, simply follow TED advice. You'll see that there are two ways of playing a video with its subtitle: one for the Mac and one for the PC.
The one for the Mac is great because it allows you to define the delay between the moment the video starts and the moment the subtitle begins.
My first video had a subtitle beginning about 4 secondes too late. Using TED's how-to, I typed "-4500" for "minus 4,500 milliseconds" in Subler. Now it's perfect.
You can type positive as well as negative numbers to make your subtitle perfectly fit your video. Then you've got to use Quicktime to play the video. VLC seems not to be able to understand this parameter.
Please comment on this post to get details: I'll be delighted to improve it.