avirecomp-logoIn one of my previous guides I have shown you How to embed/hardcode subtitles in your videos using VirtualDub. The disadvantage of this method is that you have to reencode your original video thus leading to a quality loss. In this tutorial I will describe you how to hardcode your subtitles to an AVI video file using Avi ReComp. Why would you want to embed subtitles to a movie file? If you want to watch your favorite movie or TV show in a handheld device (such as iPhone, iPod Touch, PSP, your mobiled phone etc.) you have no other option but to embed the subtitles file since those devices don't support external .srt files. So, download Avi ReComp, its freeware, install it and let's get started.

This is the main window of Avi ReComp.


Click Open AVI and load the video file you want to hardcode subtitles into. Next press Save AVI and select the folder you want to save your final video file. Of course you can select the same directory. The output file will have a _arc extension. Be careful, you must leave the New AVI Size dropdown to its default value. This way you will avoid recompression and of course the whole procedure will be faster. If you change the size you will have quality loss.


Next go to the Additions tab and tick the Enable/disable Subtitles button. If your subtitles .srt file is in the same directory with the video file and has the same name tick Auto-load. Alternatively you can load it manually by pressing the Load subtitles button. You will notice that the Settings button is disabled. Your subtitles file should be in SSA or ASS format in order to be able to change its position, color and size. If you want to know how to convert your .srt subtitles to .ass / .ssa check the note at the end of this guide.

As you can see Avi ReComp has a few other options available such as crop/resize your video file, add black borders to it and even add a logo.


Now go to the Queue tab and press Add to queue. The video file will appear in the Job's list. Once you have added your current job you can go back to the beginning and add another video file. This is very useful in case you want to embed subtitles to multiple files all at once and unattended. Just hit Start and wait for the procedure to finish!



If you want to be able to modify the subtitls font, size, position, colour, encoding etc. you must first convert it to .ssa format. To do so download Subtitles WorkShop, load your .srt file and select to save it as SubStation Alpha. If the subtitles don't appear correctly go to Settings > Charsets and select your language charset.


Now go back to Avi ReComp and press the Settings button next to the subtitles. The options below will appear. Don't forget to select your language encoding or the subtitles will not appear correctly.


Comments (72)

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Will this work under WINE ... Linux alternative?
johnny c , May 25, 2010
I have no idea. I checked the wine database but Avi ReComp isn't there. Either it doesn't work under wine at all or noone has submit it. You can just give it a try smilies/smiley.gif

In case it doesn't work I have written a guide for Linux using Avidemux. The disadvantage is that reencoding is needed in that case. Check the second part of the following guide:

How to create/edit/embed subtitles in videos using Jubler and Avidemux
axel , May 26, 2010
Windows 7 users..
If you run a Windows 7 setup, you need to run the Avi ReComp as an Adminstrator to get your subtitles up and running!smilies/wink.gif
Just right-click your Desktop Icon and select "Run as Administrator"
Lars , June 04, 2010
I thought I had mentioned it somewhere but it seems I forgot it. Thanks for the heads up Lars. smilies/smiley.gif
axel , June 04, 2010
it still recompresses the whole video
i tried using avi recomp to hardcode subtitles to an avi, but it recompresses the whole video and takes like 40 min. i just want to add subtitles nothing else.
dkritso , June 08, 2010
Hi dkritso. Have you adjusted the New avi video size? If not it's strange...
axel , June 09, 2010
sorry buddy but this does not do what you say it will. adds the subtitles, but it definitely reencodes the video smilies/sad.gif. takes like 30 minutes... i didnt adjust the video size at all.
Neo369 , June 10, 2010
Worked great for me
Followed the directions exactly, total processing time under 3 minutes. I wonder if your video files are not in Xvid to start and it reencodes them in the xvid format.
DJStumpy , June 11, 2010
Took a while
Hey much like the other comment, mine reencodes it as well. I did not change the avi size, but DJStumpy probably has it right. I recommend looking into it and updating the guide smilies/grin.gif
Jonny , June 13, 2010
That doesn't sound right
Pretty sure it's impossible to hardcode subs without re-encoding.
sal , June 28, 2010
Misinformed, misleading and misguided
The mere suggestion of what your guide claims to do shows you simply do not understand what it is you're doing.

By "Adding Hardcoded Subtitles" to a video file, you modify the video frames. You actually modify the picture itself. There is no way whatsoever to modify the actual frame - picture - pixels without reencoding

There is nothing "magical" about subtitles which differ it from any other change to the frame. The subtitle-rendering engine takes the text & timing, and renders it, that is, to actual pixels, effectively changing pixels which are "under the same position" as the letters are now, to those those of the colours of the chosen font colour/outline/shading/what-have-you. At the end of the road, it's a change in pixels, a modification to the overall frame - just as it was if you've added a logo to the frame or if you've played around with levels settings or changed the hue.

There are methods to embed the Soft-coded subtitles into the same file, as a separate stream, which then can be turned on or off. It's very common these days to find such MKV files, and it's also possible to be done with OGM files, possibly with WMV & MP4 files and possibly even with pretty uncommon settings for AVI files - but no matter how it will be done, it will still always be done as a second stream, which actually contains the texts and timings from the subtitle file and with the option to turn its display on or off, and never hardcoded into the video stream.

Your method relying on "no change to the video file size" is similar to attempts to re-encode MP3 files "with no quality loss because we've chosen the same bitrate as the original MP3", or even "because I've converted it to WAV first". This shows a most basic and fundamental misunderstanding of how does video, audio, or any data is stored, and what does it mean in the first place to have such data "not re-encoded" - You cannot, simply cannot, have permanent changes into data - any kind of data, for that matter – without "re-encoding" it – that is, saving it with modified data, which basically means "re-encoding it".

For the sake of all the newbies arriving at this page, please at least change its title and add a clarifying comment, that this was, at best, an unsuccessful attempt to achieve the impossible.

-- Ofer
Ofer Sheinberg , July 05, 2010
first pass
i have windows xp . The process stops and says "1st pass failed" .i dunno why,can u help me?
ash , July 07, 2010
It may be misleading, but it works, and that's all I care about
After using the guide, I have movies running with subs on a smart phone video player that does not support subs. Whatever Ofer says it did, it did the job I needed it to. Thanks for the guide!
Shwiggie , July 30, 2010
Definitely re-encodes the file
I used this for a copy of Babel which is 2 1/2 hours long and it took 45 minutes on the first pass and over an hour on the second pass. It did keep the quality the same but definitely re-encoded everything which took forever!
jon , August 02, 2010
thnx buddy you guides really helps me alot smilies/smiley.gif
ahmed222222222222 , August 11, 2010
Of course it recompresses,
The title of the app is called AVI RECOMP!!!
Lol , September 02, 2010
Man really thanx, you helped me so much.
Kadus , October 14, 2010
just awesome, pretty easy, last time i tryed, i dont knoe what i did that the resulting file was a 500 Gb movie o.o
Horus , November 09, 2010
failed for me
whatever it do, re-encode or not or whatever, but it still takes hell lot of time to demux the streams first then first pass n blah blah.. who has this much time.. let's withstand without subs for now, until some app i know that simply hardcode subtitles over video without any mess. so sadsmilies/sad.gif
abhi , November 19, 2010
failed for me
whatever it do, re-encode or not or whatever, but it still takes hell lot of time to demux the streams first then first pass n blah blah.. who has this much time.. let's withstand without subs for now, until some app i know that simply hardcode subtitles over video without any mess. so sadsmilies/sad.gif
abhi , November 19, 2010
I thought I had mentioned it somewhere but it seems I forgot it. Thanks for the heads up Lars.

Ffs you just cost me over an hour and it didn't even work!
Amea , November 22, 2010
Awesome but time consuming
It does recompress so it's quite time consuming however it worked excellently for me and I created my subs myself so I was a bit worried but it's the only program that worked for me. both AVIAddSub and VirtualDub gave me errors on Windows 7 and did nothing. This Program supposedly has a turbo mode which probably creates the file in one pass making it much faster though I haven't tested Turbo Mode yet.
Scorpio , November 24, 2010
No way to hard code without re-encode.smilies/shocked.gif
islatur , November 28, 2010
Re encoding is not necessary.
"No way to hard code without re-encode" this is not true. I havent tried this software but AviAddXsub adds subs without re-encoding, Im surprised no ones mentioned this. It takes less than a minute to add the subs.
matt , December 25, 2010
Great article. Resources such as the one you mentioned here will be extremely helpful to myself! Thanks once again for the push!

burberry , January 04, 2011
Problems with this program..
I followed your instructions to the letter, leaving avi size at its default value, and selected the enable/disable, autoload for the subtitles options.
Both the avi file and the subtiltles file are stored in the same folder on my computer and have exactly the same name, with the only difference being that one file ends with.avi and the other with.srt
Anyways, the process took almost 2 hours and when the status at the jobs list said done, I opened the file.

The subtitles did not show when I played the file!!!!!! All this work was for nothing????
Marianna , January 06, 2011
MORE INTERESTING , Low-rated comment [Show]
Very well written, easy to understand and most and foremost -- it works! smilies/smiley.gif I didn't know this was possible, so I did some research to ... find out if it even was remotely possible, then found this page.
Olof Antonsson , January 29, 2011
Great guide & software but didnt work!
The guide was brilliant to follow. The software was easy to use. But, like some previous users, it didnt work. Im on windows 7 so ran it as an administrator, didnt change the video size. All I got was an output folder with 8 separate files in it. None of thse were a subtitled video. Can anybody help? Can anybody recommend anything?
mark , March 26, 2011
Piece of shit
This is a load of shit. Dont waste your time. Doesn't work
jeansy , May 09, 2011
Worked for me
I used an .avi video file and .srt for subtitles; second pass was almost 40 mins...but when it finished I uploaded the file on my USB drive and it plays on my tv with the subs, so I am happyyyy :-) Thanks!
Jak , June 11, 2011
Obviously matters how the avi is encoded. Some work, some don't. Don't criticize the writer of the post. It worked for him. Find an avi that works using this method and look at the method of encoding. Should work for any other similarly encoded avis you try it with.
Avatar 59 , July 19, 2011
Yes, It reencode the files, but add a nice subtitle with the movie.... We must thanks the people who work for this program to make it available and free for people. again, Please do not say (Without encoding) because this is wrong
FireWork , July 22, 2011
No Audio ??
Hi I put a French movie w/Eng subtitles throught his. It got to the 1st pass completed and didn't go any further so Ipresumed it had finsihed. I tried to play the film but there was no audio. It seems to have separted the movie into an mp3 audio track and a video track. I can probably burn the two together w/DVD Flik but is that supposed to happen?? Did I do something wrong...??
Kate49 , July 24, 2011
Hi Kate49, no this wasn't supposed to happen. I don't know what could have gone wrong. Have you tried running the whole procedure one more time just in case?
axel , July 24, 2011
No Audio ??
Hi again yes I did it again and it appears I was jumping the gun a bit and it hadn't finished the 2nd phase of it. But from start to finish the whole procedure took nearly 5 hours! Thats for a 2 hour movie. However, installing this software on my computer seems to have corrupted the software I had NCH Prism file converter so until I have THAT sorted out I have had to uninstall this. Perhaps the 2 aren't compatibile. Anyway the movie is hardcoded w/the subs and there doesn't seen to be any reduction in the film quality. When I get it all sorted it might be a good thing to have.
Kate49 , July 24, 2011
asian subtitles
hi there! got a question. does it work with asian subtitles? (never been able to hardcode asian (more exactly chinese) subs, no matter which way i tried.) anyone ever had any luck??
thanks a lot for any answers!
greetings from hungary
sany , July 25, 2011
mine keeps on failing on first pass...
i really need help... i dont know why it alway fails on first pass... HELP PLEASE
ren , August 07, 2011
i have a 1.4 gb file with an srt file.. its taking me 6 hours have just a dual core processor.. this is taking tooooo long
uliber , August 14, 2011
Good guide,best I could find. App works well too for me trying to add Thai subs.
robwer , September 04, 2011
takes long but works on my xbox360
at last a guide with a programm that takes the subs re-encodes the whole movie from the beginning(takes about an hour to mesmilies/tongue.gif) but sets again the movie in to .avi form and not some other like mpeg-4..I can now see movies with adjusted subtitles(Subtitle Workshop) on my xbox 360.appreciate it!!smilies/cheesy.gif many thanks again!!smilies/wink.gif
givingpain , September 06, 2011
You don't need .ssa subs to modify. You can do it with VobSub that comes with the install. Just open "DirectVobSub Configure" and make the changes. Changes will apply also when using WndowsMediaPlayer with subtitles, so it's easy to check the effects of the changes you've made.
BigJ , September 24, 2011
It did recompress!
Thanks, Ofer Sheinberg, for the accurate and educational information! It did recompress, turning the defaulted 113mb to 54mb when rendered, with a slight quality loss.
share , October 20, 2011
As matt said, AviAddXsub does the job in 2 minutes. With Avi ReComp it took me 1 hour!
mike , October 24, 2011
Mike indeed AviAddXsubs does the job in 2 minutes. I've written a guide on How to use AviAddXsubs although it is a pretty simple program to use. However the video files produced by AviAddXsubs can't be played on all devices. Here comes Avi Recomp or VirtualDub
axel , October 27, 2011
i cant find my avi recomp app?
adrian , November 29, 2011
adrian you can download it from http://avirecomp.com/news.php
axel , December 02, 2011
Omg thank you SOOOOOOOO much!!! I've been downloading programs & codecs all bloody day & this is the ONLY one that was worked for me! This program is easy to use, the encoding process is quick & the size & quality of the end result is just as good as it was before I started! AND the avi file plays on my TV with the subtitles perfectly! Seriously, this program is a dream come true!
Phoebe , December 10, 2011
.idx and .sub
can .idx or .sub files be used instead of .srt?
hoosi , December 31, 2011
hoosi yes it's possible to use .idx and .sub subtitles with AviRecomp.
axel , January 02, 2012
Pretty Easy To Comprehend
AVIAddSubs only softcodes - does not hardcode the subtitles to do that the video must be reecoded all the way as already mentioned.
This works fine, just takes time to reencode, only way to "hardcode" subs onto AVI file period!smilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/cheesy.gif
The Rake , January 07, 2012
does the second pass has to finish for preview? bcuz than its not a preview! or else this thing just doesn't work, no subs in preview and i spent 2 1/2 hrs.
richie , March 04, 2012
thanks for this! for some reason i couldn't get virtualdub to work (maybe it was because of the utf-8 encoding?) but this hardcoded it fine smilies/smiley.gif avi was originally xvid encoded and .ass was created in aegissubs and the final video was just as i wanted!
-- , March 10, 2012
first pass error
i get the first pass error. what should i do? when i try it again without loading the subtitles it doesnt give the first pass error. plz help
omaid , April 07, 2012
New CPU, 15 minutes.
I run a core duo, 2.1. Takes about 15 minutes to complete a 700mb file.

Works well. Does re-encode. But does so easily, and without having to switch between programs.

Thanks a lot.
None , April 16, 2012
This Worked!
It took about as long as I expected (30-40mins), but unlike some other programs, I didn't have to convert the srt file to ASS or SSA - and it actually worked! (some other hardsubbers make you wait 40mins and then you get no hardcoded subs smilies/sad.gif ) It produced a nice hardcoded video (Game of Thrones in this case) that is great! Now I just have to hardsub a bunch of videos, then batch convert them to .MP4 using Total Video Converter. The hardcoded MP4s play great on my Windows Phone and iTouch!
*For PS3 you don't need hardcoded subs. You can quickly make softsubs using AviAddXsubs smilies/smiley.gif
Kyle Johnson , April 29, 2012
sweet cheers , now the little box i plug my portable harddrive into that plugs into the tv can play films with sub titles yuss!!!
think on this; everytime you dl a foreign language film and its got the sub titles in your language already hardcoded someone, somewhere, has saved you bout 20 - 40 minutes smilies/cheesy.gif
churburgers , June 02, 2012
How to DECODE subtitle from an .avi file?
Thank you for this, really! It helped a lot!
You explained how to encode the subtitle to the video, but I want to know how to decode the subtitle from the video please!
This is needed because I have some videos with foreign language subtitle encoded to it, due to which neither do I understand the subtitles nor can I encode English subtitles to it also can't even use .srt file as it all gets mixed up!!
Please help!! smilies/smiley.gifsmilies/smiley.gifsmilies/smiley.gifsmilies/smiley.gifsmilies/smiley.gif
Samiksha , June 21, 2012
Changing subtitle language.
I have avi movie with title int one language and srt file with subtitles in target one. Can I in the first pass somehow get rid of the first subtitles and then apply proposed solution to get avi with second language subtitle? Maybe this subtitle 'delete' is not possible or i I have to use different methodology?
Dusan Gibarac , October 21, 2012
just used this to hardcode "Thats My Boy" For a friend worked perfectly with .sub files. Thanks smilies/cheesy.gif (Only 9 mins per .avi, if your is re encoding it then you done something wrong)
cj65476 , October 29, 2012
works perfectly
It works perfectly for me smilies/smiley.gif. Yes, it's time consuming and the sharpness is a bit reduced, but it's absolutely fine, especially if you want to watch the video on iphone or ipod, even after you convert it into .mpeg format.
iin , December 04, 2012
You gotta be freshh ...
fresh , January 24, 2013
You gotta be freshh ...
fresh , January 24, 2013
Autoload substitles did't work for me.
After it's was done, i opened my avi file, but with no subs.
Did the whole procedure again, without autoload substitles option on (selecting the subtitle file) and it works.
It did take about 58 min for 1,4 GB file.
All things considered, Avi Recomp is easy to use en works file, no quality loss.
... , April 07, 2013
It worked perfectly but i had to load the subtitles manually. Autoload didn't work for me. Thanks for the guide, appreciated smilies/smiley.gif
Pink Floyd , May 14, 2013
Failed on 3 attempts
Followed your instructions to the letter. It seems to fail right at the end of the 2nd part. In the folder I save it in, the video and audio are separate files. Can you think of any reason why the program isn't getting the job done?
IBG , August 04, 2013
thank you :)
Thanks for this guide dude, been looking for a decent program as the previous one I used was terrible!

Kudos to you! smilies/grin.gif
mojo , August 06, 2013
Temp file Error
Every time I try to run the process I get the below error on the first pass. Demuxing works fine.

**22/09/2013 6:26:55 a.m.** Writing the following script:

LoadVirtualDubPlugin("Csmilies/tongue.gifrogram Files (x86)AVI ReCompFiltersTextSub.vdf", "TextSub", 1)
DirectShowSource("C:UserscraigDownloadsno.(2012).eng.1cd.(4791130)No.2012.DVDRip.HardCodedSub [AVI ReComp temp]video.avi", fps=23.976, audio=false)
TextSub("C:UsersuserDownloadsmovie.srt", 1, "23.97600")

**22/09/2013 6:26:55 a.m.** Running first pass...

**22/09/2013 6:26:57 a.m.** First pass failed smilies/sad.gif

**22/09/2013 6:26:57 a.m.** First pass duration was: 0 hr 0 min. 3 sec.

**22/09/2013 6:26:57 a.m.** EXCEPTION: Error during the first pass!

**22/09/2013 6:26:57 a.m.** Error message: "Avisynth open failure:
VirtualdubFilterProxy: error calling startProc
(C:UsersuserDownloadsmovie [AVI ReComp temp]script.avs, line 4)"

**22/09/2013 6:26:57 a.m.** Temporary files have been protected against being deleted.

**22/09/2013 6:26:57 a.m.** Total working time: 0 hr 1 min. 39 sec.
Broon , September 21, 2013
video lenght
Hi!!! does anyone know why avirecomp would not produce more than 47 minutes of video? I tried a 42 min video and it worked well, then I tried with one which is 47min long, and another one 54 min long. Everytime I open those 2 videos with Avi recomp, the program says they're shorter than what they actually are (with the first one the program recognizes just 41 min, and regarding the second one just 51min). Do i have to changes something before i open the files with Avi Recomp? I really need to sort it out!!! smilies/sad.gif
Sandzzi , October 18, 2013
so far so good, thanks for the TUT!!!
m , October 19, 2013
thank you mate
thanks man,followed instructions and it worked,im stoked,it took over an hour to do a two hour movie which is fine with me,doing another one now ,its been two hours twenty minutes to do first pass,ive previewed it and it seems fine again, another success,im just wondering and waiting to see if its gonna run a second pass.but again i say thank you ,i dont really mind how long it takes just as long as it works lol, which it has smilies/smiley.gif
thomas houkamau , November 04, 2013
I have problem with AVI file after adding subtitles. Sound is fine, but video playback acceleration (maybe speedy in 2 times). How synchronize video and audio?
Dusya , January 15, 2014

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