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Download and process subtitle files in batch.

Project description

This script is intended to be a one-stop-shop for batch preparing freshly downloaded video files for use with subtitles.

The tool can be used from the command-line but is ideal for use via GUI file managers (i.e. Thunar Custom Actions or Nautilus actions.). With a single click of several video files: prompt to rename files, download the best subtitle file available (displaying a popup notification upon failure), then open a terminal window to scan and remove advertising (via subnuker).

If you have some experience downloading subtitles with other tools, you are in for a pleasant surprise. Not only does it pack a wicked set of features, but it makes full use your processor to download subtitles in parallel… superfast.


subsystem is compatible with Python 3. To install to the Python user install directory for your platform, typically $HOME/.local/:

pip3 install --user subsystem

If installing with the --user flag, ensure that $HOME/.local/bin is on your PATH.


A GTK dialog tool (yad or zenity) is required if you’d like to make use of the GUI renamer.

yad is the recommmended tool. It is available via tarball (at it’s homepage) or webupd8team PPA (Launchpad):

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install yad

In order to make use of subsystem, you’ll need to install a downloader. I recommend the Python 3 compatible ss. In my experience it is the fastest and most reliable tool available.

pip3 install --user ss

subsystem is also compatible with the Python 2 scripts periscope and subscope

pip2 install --user periscope
pip2 install --user subscope


>From the command line, run subsystem --help to display available options and downloaders. subsystem will use ss by default if possible, otherwise it will detect and use whatever is available.

To download subtitles for files:

subsystem FILE...

To use an alternate downloader:

subsystem -d DOWNLOADER FILE...

To rename video files prior to download of subtitles:

subsystem --rename FILE...

To scan subtitles files with subnuker upon download completion:

subsystem --scan FILE...

Executing subsystem with the --scan option from a GUI will open subnuker in a terminal window. It is configured to use xfce4-terminal. Let me know if you’d like to support another terminal and I’ll add the feature.

To silence notify-send notications upon failure:

subsystem --quiet FILE...

Note: Multiple command line options may be used concurrently


Copyright (c) 2015 Six (

Licensed under the GPLv3 license.

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