6 Best Free and Open Source Subtitle Downloaders

A subtitle is a text representation of the dialogue, narration, music, or sound effects in a video file. Subtitles are available in multiple formats.

Subtitles can literally make the difference between being immersed in a movie or only watching the screen, trying to keep up with developments. Good subtitling does not distract but actually enhances viewing pleasure, and even native speakers can find subtitles useful, not only where the individual is hearing-impaired.

There is a good range of open source software that lets you download subtitles. This article showcases dedicated subtitle downloaders, but some media players (including VLC and SMPlayer) also let you download subtitles.

Here are our recommendations summarised in one of our legendary ratings charts.

Ratings chart for best free and open source subtitle downloaders

Let’s explore the 6 subtitle downloaders at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, a screenshot of the software in action, together with links to relevant resources.

Subtitle Downloaders
QNapiQt-based, multi-engine, multi-platform subtitle downloader
SubliminalLibrary to search and download subtitles with a powerful CLI
OpenSubtitlesDownloadFind and download the right subtitles for your favourite videos
SubtitlerElectron-based tool to search and download subtitles
SubDownloaderPython tool for automatic download/upload of subtitles
subdlCommand-line tool to download subtitles
Best Free and Open Source SoftwareRead our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.

There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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2 years ago

QNapi is good but needs updating

1 year ago

Ho – QNapi seems unable to find anything now.

1 year ago
Reply to  Ben

Ho, sorry – my bad. I hadn’t realised it was a GUI app, there was a window hidden I couldn’t see…. however, it’s not easy to use.

Subdl hit the nail on the head.