SRT is the most common subtitle file format that you can easily import into a media player. However, this file format isn’t compatible with all media players and playback devices, which can prevent you from watching a movie or a short video because you cannot load its subtitles.

How to Merge SRT and MP4 Files

How to Merge SRT and MP4 Files

Merging SRT and MP4 files will hardcode the subtitles into the video file, meaning that subtitles will be displayed over the video in all media players. The only downside is that this process isn’t reversible, so you can only use subtitles in one language, which makes hardcoding a poor choice for situations where you have multiple SRT files in different languages.

We’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to merge SRT and MP4 files with a transcoder like HandBrake, Windows Media Player, or VLC Player.

Merging SRT and MP4 Files with HandBrake

Besides merging SRT and MP4 files, you can use HandBrake to change a video’s file format, aspect ratio, and dimensions or split it into chapters. You can download the HandBrake open-source encoder for free and install it on your PC in just a few minutes. It’s compatible with Windows, MacOS, and Linux, so make sure to download the version suitable for the OS you’re using.

The software will prompt you to install the codecs it needs to function normally, so simply follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process. Also, you should place the MP4 and SRT into the same folder before launching HandBrake to save time. Here’s what you need to do to hardcode subtitles into a video with HandBrake.

Step 1 – Launch the software, click the File icon to import the video file, and hit open. You can also drag and drop the MP4 file into the HandBrake’s Source Selection window.

Import The Video File

Import The Video File

Step 2 – The software won’t let you import the SRT file from the Source Selection window, so you must do so from the Subtitles tab in its main window. After you add an MP4 file to HandBrake, the software will show you its preview thumbnails in the Summary tab, so proceed to choose one of the ten available options.

Preview Thumbnails

Preview Thumbnails

Step 3 – Go to the Subtitles tab, click on the Tracks menu, and choose the Import Subtitle option. The software will display the SRT file along with its language and char code. Click on the checkbox next to the Burn In option to enable it.

Click on The Tracks Menu

Click on The Tracks Menu

Step 4 – Click the Browse button to select the destination where you’ll export the file, and click the Start Encode button to merge the video file and its subtitle.

The software will generate a new file, so the process won’t affect the source MP4 and SRT files, and you’ll still be able to use the SRT file to soft code subtitles into the original video file.

How long HandBrake will need to complete the encoding process will depend on the video’s duration. You can keep track of the remaining time at the bottom of the software’s main window and pause or stop the encoding process at any time.

Step 5 – Once HandBrake merges MP4 and SRT files, you should preview the video to see if it contains any mistakes and repeat the process if you don’t like its outcome.

Merging SRT with MP4 in Windows Media Player

Like all popular Windows-based media players, Windows Media Player supports SRT files, which is why there’s no need to hardcode subtitles into a video if you want to watch it in this media player.

The player will display subtitles automatically if they’re located in the same file as the video you’d like to watch since this option should be enabled by default. Moreover, Windows Media Player will also search for subtitles online so you can easily download them before watching a movie.
In case Windows Media Player doesn’t display subtitles after you play an MP4 file, you can load the subtitles using the CTRL+L keyboard shortcut. In addition, you can download or save an SRT file by navigating to the Subtitles submenu located in the File menu.

However, you can only use Windows Media Player to soft code subtitles into a video since it doesn’t offer the option to merge MP4 and SRT files permanently, but you can still adjust the subtitle settings. Go to the Play menu, expand the Subtitle Track submenu, and click Options.

You can change the subtitle’s font, size, or color and choose how Window Media Player displays subtitles or looks for them online. VLC player is your best option if you want to merge MP4 and SRT files permanently. Let’s go through the steps you must take to hardcode subtitles into a video file with this media player.

Step 1 – Go to the Media menu after you open the VLC player and select the Stream option.

Select The Stream Option

Select The Stream Option

Step 2 – Click the Add button in the File Selection segment of the Open Media window, and click the Use a subtitle file checkbox below it. Click the Browse button, select the SRT file, and click Open to import it into VLC.

Step 3 – Hit the Stream button at the bottom of the Open Media window, and click Next in the Stream Output window. Click the Add button in the Destination Setup window to specify the location on your hard drive where the file will be saved, and click Next.

Hit The Stream Button

Hit The Stream Button

Step 4 – Enable the Activate Transcoding option by checking the tick box next to this option in the Transcoding Options window. Click the Edit Selected Profile (Tool icon) and go to the Subtitles tab in the Profile Edition window.

Enable the Activate Transcoding Option

Enable the Activate Transcoding Option

Step 5 – Check the Subtitles box and then enable the Overlay subtitles over the video feature by clicking the checkbox next to it. Don’t forget to insert the profile name before clicking the Create button and hitting Next in the Transcoding Option window.

Step 6 – Click Stream and wait for VLC to merge SRT and MP4 files. The player will add a new file to the destination folder you specified, and you should preview it to check if the video contains subtitles.

Frequently Asked Questions About Merging SRT with MP4

1. Can I Merge Multiple SRT files with an MP4 File?

Combining several SRT files with a single MP4 file isn’t possible since you can only add one SRT file to an MP4 video file.

2. How Long Does It Take to Merge SRT with MP4?

Merging these files can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to over an hour, depending on the video’s duration.

2. Is Soft Coding Subtitles Better Than Hardcoding Subtitles?

Hardcoding subtitles mean you’ll merge SRT and MP4 files permanently, which can make using other subtitles for that video difficult. Hence, soft coding subtitles are usually a better option unless the playback device or media player doesn’t support the SRT file.

Final Thoughts

The videos you create will have a broader audience if you create subtitles for them. Still, hardcoding a subtitle track into a video is only a good idea if you know which language its audience speaks or you want to create a video with built-in subtitles you can watch on a smart TV that doesn’t support SRT files.

Merging SRT and MP4 files isn’t difficult, but you’ll need encoding software like HandBrake or a media player like VLC to combine them permanently. Most media players, including the Windows Media Player, allow you to add a subtitle track to a video but don’t offer the option to hardcode subtitles into an MP4 file. Was this article helpful? Let us know in the comments.


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