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Tech-savvy question: hiding hardcoded subtitles on videos


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I didn't really know where to put this since I don't think we have a subforum for tech-related questions. Kindly let me know/move it otherwise.


So: the other day I was watching Thomas阿福, who creates daily and very diverse content in chinese, and I noticed my eyes were constantly trying to read the hardcoded english subtitles, instead of just listening or reading the ones in chinese. Now, I know that our brains will automatically go the easier route, specially when we are not focused, but it bothers me because I am perfectly capable of following this type of content without subtitle support. This very same situation happens to me every time I am watching a chinese-made movie at the theater, but I let it slide because, well, 没办法·. 🙃


Therefore, I was wondering if someone here with an IT background has some idea on how we could solve this?


So far, my solution would be to create some kind of chrome/firefox extension that is basically a resizable, floating black box you can drag anywhere on your screen... but I wouldn't even know where to start. Either way, It sounds so useless that I don't think anybody has ever done something like this, but for language learners could be a great tool!


Thanks all!



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  • 2 weeks later...

In the end I've resorted to what @roddy recommended, but I am using a VLC window set to "always on top" instead. SubtitleHider seems like a good idea, but it's not a portable app nor is able to stay on top in full screen, unfortunately.




PS: The screenshot is not in fullscreen mode since it's a pain to take screenshots that way 😅

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Actually, I just thought of a different idea: playing a youtube video via VLC and then cropping the aspect ratio or fiddling with in-built options.


This is how it looks like at an aspect ratio of 2:21:1(you can go "higher/lower") - In this video the result isn't perfect because of where the subtitles have been placed, but it may work better in others.




But wait, there's more!


What if we play with VLC's cropping effects? By going to Tools > Effects and filters (ctrl+E) > Video Effects > Crop, you get to choose how many pixels you want out the picture from any margin. Admittedly this takes a minute to do, but if you are planning to watch a long movie or don't mind a slightly longer set-up, it then may be the only solution to achieve the best ratio of picture loss / quality of learning.



(No English subtitles / Without subtitles)

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8 hours ago, Flickserve said:

If you have gone to the trouble of downloading the video


I am actually not downloading the video: instead of youtube, I am simply playing it from VLC as a network stream, which only takes an extra 20s to do.


To do that, just open a new VLC window and drag&drop a youtube link inside. The video should start playing automatically. (More on this here)





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