Caption simplifies the mechanical task of downloading subtitles: App of the week

Searching for subtitles of series and movies we have on the Mac is something that can be automated to some extent, but has always been too “mechanical” and heavy. It involves knowing which web pages offer the best subtitles, downloading them, naming the file… it’s completely a first world problem but more than one serial will tell you that something that simple should be simpler.

At Genbeta we saw some applications that simplify the process for us about two years ago, but for Mac the offer is decreasing. And that’s why the developer Giel Cobben decided to create an application to download subtitles automatically called Caption with something that no other application can achieve: to have an interface at the same quality level as the rest of macOS.

Caption: the subtitle you want in seconds

Caption simplifies the mechanical task of downloading subtitles: App of the week
Caption simplifies the mechanical task of downloading subtitles: App of the week

Caption is one of those applications that I like to call “utilities”, comparing them to programs like AppZapper or Transmission. Why? Because its presence in macOS is rather discreet, being reduced to a small window that fulfills exactly what it promises.

The utility allows us to dispense with subtitle searches for web pages full of ads (and in some cases misleading advertising with adware ). Just type the name of the movie or series in your search field and a list of available subtitles will appear in the results area. Giel himself tells me that those intrusive ads were what motivated him to program Caption, besides always needing the subtitles being from the Netherlands.

We can also go faster, we drag directly the video of the series or movie and the appropriate subtitle will be downloaded immediately with the same name so that we do not have to change it manually.

Some of the details you’ll notice are the automatic downloading and renaming and the fact that supports several languages , you can change them in a small bar just above the results area. In addition, Caption has its own update system with which new versions are downloaded automatically. All we have to do is restart the program when it asks for it.

Caption is capable of searching for subtitles in many languages, so don’t be afraid because it’s not all restricted to English. Those subtitles are not available, of course, which is not up to the developer.

All this, to close the positive, in a small window with a simple but careful design that will satisfy the demands of the most manic. Finally, an application whose interface does not look like one of those attacks that usually show off programs made using JAVA as a base. As a detail to be polished I would mention that sometimes it takes a while to download the subtitles if you do it manually, and while it does it there is no kind of warning or notification.

Inspired by Spotlight and with “sexy touches” added

Giel Cobben, Caption developer.
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Giel Cobben has been kind enough to contact me, stating that the application has already been downloaded more than 10,000 times and that I never expected such a large response from the user community. For the design he has based on the Spotlight interface (that big font, basically) and has always used native macOS resources and added what he calls “sexy touches” such as the blurred glass .

Caption’s future plans include expanding the list of online sources from which to download subtitles and improving stability. Considering that it is a free (and open source) application , I’m sure many of you will want to try it out right now if you don’t already know it. And as I write this I see that there is an update available, so Cobben is also happy to launch the application and then forget about it. And that’s also very important.

In Genbeta

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