Designed as a friendlier user interface for OpenSubtitles, Subtle is an open source development that will search and download for you the subtitles you need to complete your favorite movies and TV series. You just need to load in the program a video file and Subtle will connect to OpenSubtitles.org, perform a thorough search for you, and download from the hits list the file that better fits your video file.
I must confess that all these apps that connect to an existing website and provide you the same functionality the site in question provides keep me wondering why. Why this intermediate step? Why installing a new app in our already cluttered desktops when you can open your already-installed browser and access the same functionality? Subtle requires you to load the video file in order to use the file name as a basis for the search, while OpenSubtitles.org only asks you to type in some keywords. Subtle will then use keywords taken from the video file name (which you can edit if you wish) and the IMDb ID (if you happen to have it) to narrow the search, but loading the original video file first is still a requirement. However, while OpenSubtitles gives you a link to a ZIP that contains the subtitle file, Subtle will download the SRT file directly. The need to locate and select the source video file, makes searching for different chapters of the same TV series in Subtle a cumbersome task when compared to OpenSubtitles. Access to the OpenSubtitles database from Subtle requires the program to “open a session”, which tends to fail or time out occasionally, as opposed to the direct access that the OpenSubtitles page offers to any user. Besides, both the search and the download requests are prone to time out more frequently than one would expect. This forces you to cancel the error message and click on the “Search” or “Download” buttons repeatedly until the program manages to get a response – an annoying delay that you won’t have to go through when using OpenSubtitles directly.
If we add to all of these drawbacks the fact that the website provides you with useful information about the movie or the series that you won’t find in Subtle, and that English seems to be the only subtitle language that the program is capable of finding, I find this tool, cute as it is, not terribly useful if you happen to have direct access to OpenSubtitles.org.