How to Add Subtitles to a Movie or Video on your iPhone/iPod Touch

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Here is a cool guide I found on the iPodTouchFans forum showing you how to add subtitles to a video you have and play it with the subtitles on your iPhone/iPod Touch.

This guide was created by Moneyboi. All credit goes to him.

Soft Subtitles, what are they?

Soft subtitles () are subtitles which all generations of iPhone and all generations of iPod Touches support. You can turn them on/off and even add Multilingual.

Advantages of Soft subtitles ()

• You have the ability to turn ‘Soft Subtitles’ () On or Off.
• They are not burned onto each individual frame (Like hard subtitles)

I have recently attempted of adding subtitles to a movie (Space Buddies)
Here is an example of what the Soft subtitles () can do:


Programs Needed:

•The program you use to convert your .AVI into a iPod/iPhone compatible .MP4, I use Xilisoft Video Converter (Costs £25) But you can use whatever you prefer e.g. Videora

MP4Box (Freeware – Click on ‘MP4Box’ to download)

UltraEdit (Click on ‘UltraEdit’ to download trial)

iTunes (To sync your subtitle added Movie/Video to your iPod/iPhone)


1) Back up your movie/video (just in case you make a mistake)

2) Create a Folder in a drive (For this example I created the folder in the F:\) (But you can use whatever drive you want as long as you remember to change the drive letter to the drive letter you used whenever I use F:\)
Name It ‘addsubs

It should look something similar to this:

Click on the folder and go into the folder (It should be empty)

3) Extract the 3 files of the .zip downloaded for MP4Box in this folder (Extract ‘’ in this folder):

As you can see there are 3 files extracted from the .ZIP:

4) Move your converted Movie/Video file into the same folder (.MP4) (By converted I mean if it was originally an .AVI and converted to .MP4 to play on iPhone/iPod Touch). Also move the .SRT file (Subtitle File) in the same folder. Make sure the Video/Movie and .SRT have the same name e.g. Bolt.mp4 and

Your Final folder should look something similar to this:

Setting up CMD


MP4Box is a command prompt program it requires codes to be types within cmd.exe to do the conversions of the .SRT, In order for the iPod/iPhone to recognize the subtitles they need to be in a specific format – .TTXT this is where MP4Box comes in!

1) Run cmd.exe, You can either press the Windows key and R together to run the ‘Run’ feature then type cmd or Vista users can simply find this by using the ‘search’ feature in the Start menu.

This is how you find cmd on Windows vista:

2) Assuming cmd.exe is open (Do not close it till the end of the tutorial) type: F: and press enter (Just to make sure that we are on drive F: ) Remember if you have placed the folder ‘addsubs’ in another drive use that drive letter instead.

Type F: (you use the drive you used):

It should look similar to this (apart from drive letters) when you press enter:

3) Type cd\ and press enter. (To move to the root of drive F: )

Type cd\:

It should look similar to this (apart from drive letters) when you press enter:

4) Type cd addsubs and press [b]enter[b] (to go to the folder where we put all our files). Your command prompt should now look like F:\addsubs> (Remember the drive letter might be different to the one I used – F

Type cd addsubs:

Press enter (to go to the folder where we put all our files):

5) Type dir and press enter. If you see your movie file, subtitle file and mp4box listed then you are on the right drive and folder and you are ready to continue if NOT repeat the ‘Setting up CMD’ guide from step 1 till this point.

Type dir:

Press enter:

You should see all the files you put into the ‘addsubs’ folder.


DO NOT CLOSE cmd.exe

Adding your subtitle

Using the same cmd.exe continue to add the commands until told to close.

You may need to copy/paste commands, to do this highlight the command in this tutorial and right-click and click copy then to past into cmd.exe Right-click then click Paste

WARNING: You can not Copy and paste via ctrl + c/ctrl + v as command script (cmd.exe) does not support this.

1) Type

MP4Box -ttxt subtitle

and press enter.(Change the subtitle filename to whatever your subtitle file is called) (this will convert your SRT file to GPAC text track file, a new text file will be created). In my case I would type MP4Box -ttxt

Press Enter:

The process should start and quickly finish, it will convert the .SRT or .SUB file and convert it to .TTXT, when the process has finished it will say ‘Conversion done’

2) Type

MP4Box -add new ttxt subtitle filename.ttxt:lang=en movie filename.mp4

and press enter. this will add your text track to the movie and should take a while depending on your PC speed. Wait until the process is complete before proceeding. For example: MP4Box -add bolt.ttxt:lang=en bolt.mp4[/b]

By the way Replace subtitle filename with your subtitle name and replace movie filename to the movie name (Should be the same as the subtitles name)

By the way, lang=en is a language flag (en for English -> type mp4box –languages for a list of supported languages). If your subtitle is in another language then replace en with another language code.
for example: mp4box -add transformers.ttxt:lang=es transformers.mp4 if your subtitle is in Spanish.

Type: mp4box -add new ttxt subtitle filename.ttxt:lang=en movie filename.mp4, So in my case it would be MP4Box -add bolt.ttxt:lang=en bolt.mp4 :

The process should begin and start giving numbers out of 100:

When the process is fully completed it should look similar to this (The directory will come back to type your next command):

3) Type exit and press enter to close the Command console:

Editing your Movie’s Subtitle Track (So you can play on iPhone/iPod touch):

1) Assuming you have already installed UltraEdit, Run it

2) Open the movie (MP4) that you put in the folder ‘addsubs’, In my case I have opened the Bolt.mp4 :

Find the folder created in the early stages ‘addsubs’ open that and browse for the Movie/Video file (MP4) In my case I have selected ‘Bolt.mp4’:

Once you have opened it, it should look something like this:

3) Click on Search-> Find Or click Ctrl + F:

In the Find What box, type text and check both Find ASCII and Match Case boxes (So that they are ticked):

Click Find Next. It might take a while to find it and it should then take you to the part of the file that contains the word text. Click on the ‘T’ of the word ‘Text’ so that the letter ‘T’ is highlighted:

Start typing the word sbtl overwriting the word text:

The word text should now be replaced with sbtl.

4) Save the changes made, It should save it automatically when closed UltraEdit.


In my case I have renamed my ‘Bolt.mp4’ to ‘Bolt.m4v’

6) Last of all add the video (In my case Bolt.m4v to your iTunes library and sync with your iPod Touch or iPhone or even Apple TV

I hoped this has helped as I have spent a lot of my own time into producing this tutorial and hope it helps all ‘Windows users’. The reason this tutorial was created is for all the people asking on how to add subtitles, well now you know, If there are any questions please ‘PM’ me or just post in this thread

Picture of my Finished output (Bolt.m4v):

7 Responses to “How to Add Subtitles to a Movie or Video on your iPhone/iPod Touch”

  1. psp2468 Says:

    WE HAVE MOVED! GO TO for future updates!

  2. lucis Says:

    Thank you. It really works. Too bad that the Ultra Edit isn’t free.

  3. Jimmy Says:

    This seems like a huge exercise at first, but the end result is soo good….You rock man!! Thanks a ton!!

  4. Reshabh Says:

    Thanks for ur effort.

  5. Dan Says:

    This is giving me an error after typing in ” MP4Box -ttxt subtitle “. Somehow it says “2 input names specified – check usage”. What does this mean??? This is taking soo long. THANKS IN ADVANCE.

  6. Gökhan Says:

    Thanks this really helped me. If you get an error like Dan said , you probably use files with more than 1 word. You’ll have to change your file names like this ; (In my case) I Am Legend –> I_Am_Legend. Normally if you do this it will work.

  7. Eugene Says:

    Thanks for instruction! Works like a charm!

    I’m going to create Python script to automatize it. But it seems iPhone has one annoying bug: it doesn’t show subtitles at all if movie has more then one subtitle track (I’ve changed text->sbtl for each track). Or something should be changed in this instruction for such case?

    Anyway: instead of paid UltraEdit program you can use any free. E.g. I use Notepad++ with Hex-editor plugin installed.

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