Opensubtitles.org is one of the best-known and most widely used subtitle sites on the Web. There you can find subtitles for movies and series in a wide range of languages. SubCampus Subtitle Downloader offers you a simple interface that you can use to connect to this online database in order to search and retrieve standard subtitle files in the language of your choice.
Regrettably, this open-source program fails miserably in providing such functionality. You are asked to select the video file of the movie in question, so that the program can connect with opensubtitles.org, find the movie, all the available subtitles for the language you selected and download them for you. This is the exact same functionality that opensubtitles.org offers for free in its own site to anyone interested in finding subtitle files, except that here the search does work. The program’s search engine offers you three options when it comes to looking for the right file – use the original file name of the selected video file, use the name of the subtitle file you’re looking for, and use a custom file name of your choice. After trying all three methods with two different video files (one was a full movie, while the other was a chapter of a world-famous series), different video codecs, and different subtitle languages, nothing worked. The program managed to locate that specific chapter of the series in the database (and displayed a synopsis of it and a picture), but it didn’t manage to find any subtitle files for that (or any other) chapter. I then performed the same searches directly in opensubtitles.org and the response was immediate and highly satisfactory – the site did manage to retrieve and display a long list of subtitle files available in a plethora of languages and formats (both for the movie and for that chapter in the series) for me to choose from.
It is a pity that I couldn’t make this promising open-source program work, as I couldn’t find out if there are any objective advantages in using this tool over the functionality of the site itself. I couldn’t stop asking myself why building a program that connects to an existing website to (apparently) reproduce the same functionality offered there. I have to admit I couldn’t find any reasonable answer.