Has this ever happened to you? … You spend hours trying to track down a decent quality download of a movie that you have been waiting for weeks (or maybe months) to watch. You try all of the free movie streaming sites on the web (using my lists of reviews, of course, because you are smart), but you cannot seem to find it. You try every premium streaming site that you have credentials for … no dice. Maybe you finally find it on Amazon, but it is only available for purchase, and you don’t have the extra money to spend on a movie.
Then, just when you are about to give up and resign to your fate of being unable to watch the movie in question, a thought shoots across your brain, and suddenly you remember … Torrenting! The thought is familiar but feels like it sprung from another era, like running into an old friend from high school. Which makes sense because, well, the last time you torrented anything or participated in any sort of P2P file-sharing was when you were still in high school.
But you got to do what you got to do, right? So, you open up the dusty, old copy of Bit Torrent and you go to The Pirate Bay and, lo and behold, you are able to find the movie. Eureka! So, you download it, pop some corn, and get ready to finally watch this movie that you have been eager to see for so long now. When it finishes downloading, you press “play,” but, no, there is yet another problem. This foreign film that you searched high and low for has come unequipped with subtitles … of course!
Are you just out of luck now? Surely, short of befriending someone who speaks the language and getting them to translate the movie for you, or taking the next few months to learn the language yourself, there is nothing that can be done, right? … Wrong! Lucky for you, there are several websites out there that are dedicated to providing people with the highest quality subtitles possible.
In fact, they are often more than mere websites that provide downloadable subtitle files. The best subtitle sites are more like online communities of subtitle enthusiasts and amateur translators who are passionate about film. Furthermore, these communities make it their mission to ensure that film as an art form becomes as globalized as possible.
Every film should be accessible in every language. It’s truly a noble thing they do, those that go through the trouble of translating subtitles into numerous different languages. Oftentimes, too, people do this tedious work for no pay. These heroes and heroines deserve all the applause in the world, utilizing their free time to ensure that films can be enjoyed by all. Cheers to you!
However, I said earlier; there are many different subtitle sites out there. And, as is the case with any kind of site, not all are created equal, far from it. This goes, of course, for the design of the site itself (how user-friendly, intuitive, organized, and responsive it is). But there are several other factors to take into account as well.
For one thing, the quality of the subtitles that are available can differ greatly from one site to the next. There are a lot of subtitles out there which are simply generated by audio to text converter. These subtitles, as you might assume, tend to be pretty terrible. For a reference of what this kind of closed captioning might look like, just turn on the subtitles on YouTube and watch how blatantly wrong the text frequently is.
The other main component of a good subtitle site to look for is how strong the community is. The best subtitles sites have plenty of social and community features available, such as forums, blogs, chat, etc. This can make all the difference because sites like these are often comprised of subtitles that members of the community either find and upload or create themselves and share. If subtitle enthusiasts, then, have an online community to discuss where they find their subtitles and various subtitling and translation techniques, the quality of the product increases!
Taking all of these factors into account (as well as a few others), today, we will be evaluating a subtitles site known as Sub DivX. This is a Spanish site that is very forum forward. So, the community is certainly not a lacking component here. However, does a strong and active community always result in a large number of high-quality subtitles? Well, let’s dive in and take a look!
My first impression of Sub DivX is not great. Okay, if I can be a little franker … this site looks just a little bit better than garbage. Have I seen worse website designs? I have, sure, but, good god, Sub DivX is in desperate need of a total overhaul.
When you land on the home page, you will be greeted by a plain white, gray, and blue theme. Instead of finding some convenient ways to browse subtitles or a sleek-looking archive of recent uploads, for some reason, you will land on a forum page first. And, what’s more, this forum is just awkwardly placed in a box just off-center with a few options for browsing posts: Home, New, Most Commented, Most Voted, Most Read. Below these options, allow the confusion to grow, you’ll find a large selection of cryptic looking icons. Hover your cursor over them to learn that they represent the various forums available on this site.
To the right is a box in which you can browse Best Comments. Another box below it marked Improve Thread. Keep scrolling down to find a word cloud (in another box) of the site’s most wanted subtitles. Then, access the latest subtitles and, finally, find a list of the users who have donated (and how much they have donated).
There is a weirdly chunky and stout search bar at the top of the page, with a dropdown menu next to it where you can search by subs, forums, or processes (whatever this means). You’ll also find the main site menu bar below this, offering a clumsy and ineffective way to navigate the site, with no decent browsing mechanisms insight.
Content and Features
So, we have already established that Sub DivX has many forums. And that they are separated by topic. Engage in whatever conversation you want on any one of the following forums: News, Politics, Troubleshoot (problems), About, General, Bizarro, Adult, Recommended Movies, Film Reviews, Other Sites, Soccer, PC Games, Software, and Subtitle Request. As you can see, Sub DivX, if nothing else, is a very large and diverse forum. And it excels at that. Unfortunately, though, it seems as if it’s traded in its powers as a subtitle site in the process.
Sub DivX, though, at the very least, offers subtitles in numerous languages for both film and TV (which is something that not every subtitle site can say for itself). And it does have a fairly large community: over 770,000 registered users. As far as actual subtitles are concerned, this site is definitely not messing around. Sub DivX has an archive of 582,876 subtitles to choose from. That is no small feat. If only there was a better way to browse this impressive archive.
Mobile and Desktop Experience
Regarding the mobile experience of this site, the good news is this: Sub DivX will load on your smartphone and tablet. Unfortunately, I am afraid that the good news stops there. The site is certainly not fully optimized for mobile devices. It is awkwardly sized, and you will have to do a ton of side-scrolling in order to even read full forum titles or subtitle names. To say that this is not the most mobile-friendly site would be an understatement. However, it is doable if necessary.
Suggestions that I have for subdivx
Please consider an entire site design makeover. I know that this site has some money, based on the surprisingly large sums of money that users appear to be donating. Sub DivX, I strongly advise that you take some of that money and hire a good web designer to just rebuild your entire site from scratch. Based on your loyal community, you have the potential to be one of the best subtitle sites on the web.