AnyDVD and Forced Subtitles

This is a quote from the feature description of AnyDVD on the Slysoft site: “Removes features such as forced subtitles and warnings”

I had a problem with missing ‘forced subtitles’ on my backup of “Syriana” that I never got around to investigating - I’m talking about the subtitles that show when non-English is being spoken, not the normal, selectable English or other-language subtitles.

My question is - does AnyDVD really strip out or defeat forced subtitles? How would I disable that if I do want the ‘forced’ subtitles but not the regular subtitles?

Also, never got around to watching the backups of LOTR I burned a long time ago - are the forced subtitles (like when the elves are speaking) not there??


I backed up Syriana [R1 WS] with all available English subtitles. There is a primary subtitle and a secondary subtitle track, and to my surprise both included everything said in English. There doesn’t seem to be a subtitle track with only the words spoken in Arabic. Perhaps there was such a subtitle track and it was not labeled as being English, as I always have CloneDVD copy all subtitle tracks.

I don’t think your problem is with AnyDVD but rather the fact that you didn’t choose English subtitles when making your backups. A “forced” subtitle is one which you can not disable. This is a protected user operation, similar to the “forced” studio logos that play before the menu loads on most commercial DVDs. AnyDVD simply removes this protected operation, allowing you to disable the subtitle if you choose. If you back it up, it will still play by default.

For example, when I backed up “Goodbye Lenin” [R1 WS] I made sure to include the English subtitle as the entire movie is in German. When I play the movie from my backup disk, the English subtitle is used automatically. If the subtitle was forced, I wouldn’t be able to 't disable the subtitle. In this case, I had the choice of playing the movie with or without the subtitle track.

However, if you don’t include the subtitle track in your backup, there’s obviously going to be no to play it, let alone for it to be forced upon you.

As for the LOTR Trilogy, at least on the Extended Edition DVDs, the "forced " subtitles are actually part of the video. If you watch the ending of The Return Of The King, you’ll see English subtitles in small lettering as part of the video while the Elves speak.

Thanks, jasonwc - to clarify: If I make a normal backup of Syriana with English subtitles included, the Arabic translation will appear even though I don’t select English subtitles during playback. Is that correct?

That’s what should happen. However, as I stated above, I backed up all the English subtitle tracks shown in CloneDVD and it seems I have the option to A) Use subtitles for everything (English and Arabic) or B) No subtitles. I haven’t seen this problem before. There may have been another secondary English subtitle that wasn’t labeled as English which has the translation for Arabic ONLY. If it wasn’t labeled as English, this would explain CloneDVD not including it in my backup copy.

Thanks. I’m going to give it another try this weekend with the AnyDVD options turned off and poke around in it with VOBBlanker. I’ll let you know what (if anything) I find out.

There is a small English subtitle track on Syriania that only displays English subtitles when non English dialog occurs. This track seems to be forced on the original DVD but I had to select it on my DVD player to get it to work. As far as I can determine AnyDVD does NOT remove any subtitle tracks. I think that the statement on the Slysoft site is incorrectly worded; “AnyDVD is capable of removing unwanted movie features, including subtitles and prohibition messages such as copyright and FBI warnings.”. I think that they are referring to the option in AnyDVD to; “Remove annoying adverts and trailers”, an option on the Video DVD Navigation page in AnyDVD.

The actual selection of subtracks is done in CloneDVD2 or other authoring/encoding program being used (for example DVDShrink).

BTW IMHO backing up this movie is a waste of time and DVD media. The subtitles you desire won’t help much in understanding this jumbled up movie. It could have been quite good but it wasn’t due to directing/editing etc.


Damn, I feel like an idiot now. I checked my backup of Syriana again after reading Kringles post and I realized that the reason I thought that both subtitles were identical was that I was playing both at the same time. Since the second English subtitle only translates the Arabic, for most scenes it plays as if only one subtitle is on.

When I tried again with JUST the second subtitle track, it worked as expected- translations for Arabic and some locations printed in the top letterbox at the beginning of scenes, but no text for the English dialogue.


So, make sure to backup at least the second English subtitle track, or better yet just set CloneDVD2 to backup all English subtitles by checking the “English” option on the right panel in the Language selection. This will make sure that you won’t run into this problem again.

I backed up my Syriana using 1click and anydvd. I let subtitles in, and when I tried the backup it showed the subtitles throughout the whole movie.I have a sony dvd player… so I went to subtitles and it was on english 1. I switched it to english 4 and THE MOVIE ONLY SHOWED SUBTITLES WHEN ARABIC WAS SAID!!!

OK- redid Syriana with the 4th subtitle stream selected (the second English one) and all is well. Like Kringle, I have to select ‘English subtitle’ on my DVD player, and it works as it should.

Thanks to all!

This is strange. I backed up Syriana with both English subtitles- Track 1 and Track 4. When I play the backup in PowerDVD I see an English subtitle track for “Primary Subtitle” and “Secondary Subtitle”. Both are marked as “English 1” but the primary subtitle track is the real track 1 from the original and the secondary subtitle is Track 4 from the original. When I play the backup in VLC, I see options for all 5 subtitle tracks (despite the fact that I only backed up 2- 1 and 4). In both programs, I can use the Track 4 subtitle. However when I play the disk in my standalone player, a Philips DVP642, I only have 1 Subtitle track. The OSD shows “1/1: English”. The only option I have is to use the English subtitle track 1 or turn subtitles off. Any idea why the second English subtitle track (Track 4) isn’t showing?

I backed up Syriania [R1 WS] using AnyDVD and CloneDVD, compressed with DVD Shrink 3.2 and burned with Nero Burning ROM.

Some players, particularly standalones, behave differently when there are “holes” in the audio/subtitle stream sequence. The track info for Tracks 2 and 3 might have been cleared by CloneDVD (I’m not sure)? The only way to access Track 4 in standalone is to go through the menu, I hope.

You can make only the 2 existent tracks show by remapping the subtitle streams. DvdShrink has an option to deal with logical remapping. But the drawback is this method is not safe when the dvd navigation involves indirect SetSTN commands that change subtitle stream via general registers. If it involves with direct STN commands then you can use logical remapping. PgcEdit has a DVDShrink plugin (that you can download at PgcEdit website) that can analyze for you whether logical remapping of streams is safe to do so.

Unfortunately, logical remapping, whether or not it is safe to do so, is not the only thing you have to do. You must modify the menu buttons, its corresponding button commands, and any references relating to the subtitle stream.

Unfortunately, in their infinite wisdom, the designers of the Syriana menu only give Subtitle options for “English, Spanish, French, or Off” despite the fact that there are 5 subtitle tracks “English, Spanish, French, English, French”, where the last two are the “secondary” subtitle tracks that just translate Arabic. If I enable the “English” option I get the primary English subtitle track which will run throughout the entire film.

I didn’t realize leaving a gap between subtitle streams would be a problem. Thanks for the valuable information. I’m pretty sure this problem was caused by the fact that I unchecked the non-English subtitles in DVD Shrink. CloneDVD2 left 0 MB subtitle tracks. I figured they were pointless, and rather than flipping through 5 selections, I could flip through 2. But rather than showing both, now I only see one. So, if I had left it alone and left the blank holders for the other 3 subtitles, it would work now?

Even if the streams are stripped, as long as the track info are still there and leave no gap, you will be able to cycle through the tracks. So, yes, to your question. I know it’s an inconvenience to flip through the selection, but it’s just how it works unless logical remapping is used.

The “secondary” subtitle tracks are common as well. I think when you select Off in the Subtitle menu, it will automatically select the 4th track (English) or 5th track (French) depending on your player’s default configuration.

I see. So, if I retained all subtitle streams, and I chose “Off” for my subtitle selection in the menu, it would have displayed the secondary English subtitle but because I left gaps in my selection it only shows nothing.

Thanks for the help. I’ll know to retain all subtitle tracks next time there’s a secondary English subtitle. Usually there’s only one English subtitle track so this is the first time I’ve run into this problem (as the English subtitle is almost always #1). Since I use CloneDVD2 to rip, the stripped subtitles shouldn’t take any room anyways.

Also, I wonder why DVD Shrink doesn’t leave the information for the removed subtitle tracks as CloneDVD2 does. If it had done so I wouldn’t have this problem.

ok, here’s my test scenario. There are 6 audios and 3 subtitles. I removed the 3rd, 4th and 5th audio and 2nd subtitle in DVDShrink. In Full mode, it does retain these removed track info in the IFO. In Reauthor mode, it logically remaps the streams while maintaining the stream ID so the removed middle tracks are no longer in the selection. In other words, the 6th audio moves to the 3rd position, and the 3rd subtitle moves to the 2nd position.

Upon testing the full mode case on my 2 standalones, I see only 3 audio and 2 subtitle selections in the display of both standalones. It seems that the players are reading the stream info in the VOB rather than IFO. What’s strange is that I cannot cycle to the last track by pressing the Audio and Subtitle button, probably because of the gaps in the stream in the VOB. This is just my guess. The only way to get to it is select it in the menu. However, my other settop allows me to cycle to the last track with no problem.

So this goes back to my first post - it all depends on how the players allow you to cycle through the middle removed tracks.


BTW, opening the movie in Pcgedit will fix this problem by re-ordering the subtitles to “fill the gaps”.

I know, that’s what logical remapping is about. Here’s one summary discussion: Even though it’s about audio, you just apply the same concept to subtitle as well.

You can do this in DvdReMake Pro as well. It’s more user friendly.