How to merge SRT subtitles with an MP4 video (4 easy ways)

This tutorial will show you step by step how to merge SRT subtitles with an MP4 video or movie permanently.

So we're going to add an external SRT subtitle file to an MP4 video file and merge them into one MP4 video file.

What is MP4 video format?

Mp4 or MPEG-4 is a digital multimedia container format most commonly used to store video and audio, but can also be used to store other data such as subtitles. Many movies you download now are in MP4 video format.

What is srt subtitle format?

SRT (.srt) short for (SubRip Text) is a basic subtitle format that contains formatted lines of plain text in groups separated by a blank line. Most subs you download now are in SRT subtitle format.

Why merge subtitles with MP4 video?

Most people merge (hardcode) subtitles with an MP4 video because their TV, DVD-player, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, media player, or other device doesn't support the SRT subtitle format. So when the subtitles don't show up while playing a movie or other type of video, you probably need to merge the subtitles with the video file.

Where can you download subtitles?

Three websites for downloading subtitles are:

How to merge SRT subtitles with an MP4 video permanently using WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe

This method isn't free, because you will need the reliable and fast WinX Video Converter and this will cost a few dollars.

But:

It will save you a lot of time, effort, and headaches.

Now:

I know that some of you don't want to convert their videos.

But converting your MP4 video file is the only way to embed (hardcode) subtitles into your MP4 video file.

I've searched for a long time on the internet for a solution to easily and quickly merge SRT subtitles with MP4 movies. And many solutions took a very long time to execute, reduced the quality, or the subtitles were not in sync with the video.

As the owner of this website, I often get the chance to try out the software for free. And one program I got to try for free was WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe.

I've found out that it's a very user-friendly video converter that supports many video formats and offers real value for your money - especially if you are going to merge SRT subtitles with MP4 videos more often.

And:

With this Video Converter, it only took me about 20 minutes to merge SRT or SUB or IDX subtitles with a full movie in MP4 video format.

That's fast!

With some free video converters, it sometimes takes longer, reduces the quality of a video noticeably, and many times the subs are not in sync with the movie (showing the wrong sentence at the wrong moment/time).

If you're planning to merge a lot of movies with subtitles, then 45 dollars (often much cheaper because of discounts) are well spent on software that can save you a lot of time, effort, and headaches.

You can find more information about WinX HD Video Converter here (this link will open in a new window and will bring you to their official website).

Visit product page

If you don't want to spend any money and have all the time in the world, then you can also use a FREE video converter like HandBrake or FFmpeg (which can take longer).

If you want to know how to hardcode SRT subtitles into MP4 videos with HandBrake, then click here to jump straight to this method.

Let's start:

1. Make sure that the subtitle file is in the same folder as the MP4 video file.

2. Make sure that the subtitle file has the same filename as the MP4 video file.

Example:

Movie.mp4
Movie.srt

3. Open WinX Video Converter.

4. Click on Video located in the top left corner.

WinX Video Converter Add video file button

A “Open” window will appear.

5. Go to the location on your computer where the .mp4 video file and .srt subtitle file are.

6. Select the MP4 video file.

7. Click on the Open button.

WinX Video Converter open video file window

A “Output Profile” window will appear.

8. At General Profiles, you select MP4 Video, and choose HQ.

HQ stands for High Quality. This will take more time, but gives you better quality. If you want to make it faster, then leave it in the middle (between LQ and HQ).

WinX Video Converter Output profile window

9. Click on the OK button located in the bottom right corner of the “Output Profile” window.

10. Click on No Subtitle and then click on Add External SRT.

WinX Video Converter Add External SRT option

A small window will appear.

11. Check the Enable Subtitle option.

12. Check the Extra option.

13. Click on the Add button.

Add SRT subtitles to MP4 video in WinX Video Converter

A “Open” window will appear.

14. Select the srt subtitle file.

15. Click on the Open button.

WinX Video Converter open srt subtitle file window

16. Click on the Done button located in the bottom right corner.

WinX Video Converter Done button

17. In the bottom right section, you check the Use High Quality Engine option.

18. When you're ready, you click on the RUN button.

WinX Video Converter Run button

WinX Video Converter will now convert the MP4 video to another MP4 video with embedded subtitles.

This may take a while.

The time it takes depends on the file size of the video file, the output quality settings you choose, your computer's hardware, and the software (e.g., video converter).

How to merge SRT subtitles with an MP4 video permanently using HandBrake

HandBrake is a free and open-source cross-platform video converter for Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS.

HandBrake website

With this video converter, you can also attach subtitles to an MP4 video or movie.

1. Make sure that the subtitle file is in the same folder as the MP4 video file.

2. Make sure that the subtitle file has the same filename as the MP4 video file.

Example:

Movie.mp4
Movie.srt

3. Open HandBrake.

A “Source Selection” panel will appear.

Note: If the “Source Selection” panel doesn't appear, then click on the Open Source button in the top left corner.

Open Source button in HandBrake

4. Click on File.

Open file button in HandBrake

A “Open” window will appear.

5. In this window, you go to the location on your computer where the MP4 video file and subtitle file are.

6. Select the MP4 video file.

7. Click on the Open button.

Open an MP4 video file in HandBrake

HandBrake will now load the video file.

8. At Format, you make sure that MP4 is selected.

Video format selection menu button in HandBrake

9. Click on the Filters tab.

10. Disable all filters.

HandBrake Filters

11. Click on the Video tab.

12. At Video Codec, you select H.264 (x264).

13. At Framerate (FPS), you select Same as source.

14. Make sure the Variable Framerate option is selected.

Video settings in HandBrake

15. At Quality > Constant Quality, you can change the quality.

A lower RF number produces higher quality video, and a higher RF number produces lower quality video.

In this example, I'm using a 720p video, so I'm setting the RF to 20.

Video quality settings in HandBrake

Begin by making small adjustments. Plus or minus 1 or 2 RF is usually noticeable.

Recommended settings for x264 and x265 encoders:

16. Click on the Audio tab.

17. Set the bitrate to 256.

HandBrake audio settings

18. Click on the Subtitles tab.

19. Click on the Import Subtitles button.

HandBrake subtitle settings

A “Open” window will appear.

20. In this window, you go to the location on your computer where the MP4 video file and subtitle file are.

21. Select the subtitle file.

22. Click on the Open button.

Open a subtitle file in HandBrake

23. Make sure that the Burn in option is checked (enabled).

Burn in option in HandBrake

24. Click on the Browse button in the bottom right corner of HandBrake.

Browse button in HandBrake

A “Save As” window will appear.

25. Select a location on your computer where you want to save the video file.

26. At File name, you type a name for the video with .mp4 at the end of the file name.

27. Click on the Save button.

Save As window in HandBrake

28. When you're ready, you click on Start Encode located at the top of HandBrake.

Start Encode button in HandBrake

HandBrake will now convert the MP4 video to another MP4 video with hardcoded subtitles.

This may take a while.

The time it takes depends on the file size of the video file, the output quality settings you choose, your computer's hardware, and the software (e.g., video converter).

You can see the progress at the bottom of HandBrake.

Progress bar in HandBrake

How to merge SRT subtitles with an MP4 video permanently using MKVToolNix

MKVToolNix is a set of tools to create, alter, and inspect MKV video files on Microsoft Windows and Linux. But you can also use it to merge SRT subtitle files with MP4 video files.

MKVToolNix website

For Windows, MKVToolNix is available as an installer and as a portable 7zip archive.

You can download MKVToolNix for Windows here.

Note: If you've downloaded the portable version of MKVToolNix, then you will need to unzip the .7z file first. You can use 7-Zip for this.

1. Make sure that the subtitle file is in the same folder as the video file.

2. Make sure that the subtitle file has the same filename as the video file.

Example:

Movie.mp4
Movie.srt

3. Open MKVToolNix (mkvtoolnix-gui.exe or mkvtoolnix-gui).

4. Click on the + Add source files button at the bottom of MKVToolNix.

MKVToolNix Add source files button

A “Add media files” window will open.

5. In this window, you go to the location on your computer where the MP4 video file and subtitle file are.

6. Select the MP4 video file and the subtitle file (.srt, .sub or .idx).

7. Click on the Open button.

MKVToolNix Add media files window

8. At Destination file located at the bottom, you can see and change the location on your computer where MKVToolNix will save the new video file.

MKVToolNix Destination file section

9. When you're ready, you click on the Start multiplexing button at the bottom.

MKVToolNix Start multiplexing button

MKVToolNix will now convert the MP4 video to an MKV video with embedded subtitles.

This process usually goes fast.

The time it takes depends on the file size of the video file, the output quality settings you choose, your computer's hardware, and the software (e.g., video converter).

You can see the progress in the bottom right corner of MKVToolNix.

MKVToolNix progress bar

How to merge SRT subtitles with an MP4 video permanently using FFmpeg

FFmpeg is a free and open-source cross-platform solution to record, convert and stream audio and video on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS.

FFmpeg website

On Linux, FFmpeg is easy to install because it's available in the default repositories and software centers of many popular Linux distributions such as Arch, Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Manjaro, MX Linux, Fedora, and many other Linux distro's.

I've made a tutorial for installing FFmpeg on Windows 10, here (link opens in new tab).

Steps

1. Make sure that the subtitle file is in the same folder as the video file.

2. Make sure that the subtitle file has the same filename as the video file.

Example:

Movie.mp4
Movie.srt

3. Open the folder where the MP4 video file and subtitle file are.

4. Open a Command Prompt window (Windows) or Terminal window in the folder.

On Windows 10, you click on the address bar of File Explorer, type cmd, and the press the [Enter] key on your keyboard.

Open a Command Prompt window in a folder in Windows 10 File Explorer

On Linux, you right-click in the folder and then click on Open Terminal Here.

Or you click on File in the upper left corner and the click on Open Terminal Here.

5. In the Command Prompt or Terminal window, you type (or copy and paste) the following command:

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -vf subtitles=video.srt video2.mp4
Merge subtitles with an MP4 video using FFmpeg

Note: Replace video.mp4 and video.srt with the file name of your video and subtitle file (e.g., Movie.mp4 and Movie.srt), and replace video2.mp4 with the desired name for the new video.

Example:

ffmpeg -i Movie.mp4 -vf subtitles=Movie.srt Movie2.mp4

6. Press the [Enter] key on your computer's keyboard.

FFmpeg will now convert the MP4 video to another MP4 video with hardcoded subtitles.

This may take a while.

The time it takes depends on the file size of the video file, the output quality settings you choose, your computer's hardware, and the software (e.g., video converter).



Maybe you're also interested in:

How to merge an SRT subtitle file with any video file

How to merge an SRT subtitle file with an MKV video file

How to remove hardcoded subtitles from an MKV video

How to convert srt subtitles to sub and idx subtitles


References:

HandBrake Documentation

Wikipedia: MPEG-4

Wikipedia: SubRip

FFmpeg.org: How to burn subtitles into video