After years of trying to download quality Dutch-language online videos and matching subtitles, I have finally found the holy grail.
This works for me using Windows 7 and Chrome, for videos on NPO.nl. The techniques may work for other systems, languages and sites, but I do not know.
Here are some interesting Dutch-language TV series and documentaries, all from NPO.nl.
Floortje Naar Het Einde Van De Wereld - Travel
De Fractie - Political fiction
Flikken Maastricht - Police drama
Droomhuis Gezocht - Searching for a dream house
Blauw Bloed - Royalty
Vroege Vogels - Nature
All of these are Flash videos and can be downloaded very easily with Flash Video Downloader for Google Chrome:
Install. I think you need both the download and the Chrome Extension.
Set the directory where downloads will be saved.
Start playing the video.
Click on the blue down arrow at the top right of Chrome.
Select the option that has numbers, which is the size of the download screen (like 1024x576). There are normally several choices of decreasing resolution.
You may be able to download even if you cannot actually play the video in your browser.
Subtitles, or as the Dutch say: ondertiteling.
You do not need Flash Video Downloader for this to work. It works for me in Windows 7 and Chrome.
Play the video (or try to play it, as above).
Click on the three little vertical dots at the top right corner of Chrome (Customise and Control).
Select More Tools ---> Developers Tools
In the window that opens, select the Network tab.
Press function key F5.
Lots of lines will scroll up the page.
Stop the scrolling after a few seconds by clicking on the scroll bar on the right side.
Slide the scroll bar up and down to inspect the various lines of garbly-gook.
About three screens-full or more from the top, find the short line that ends with ".m3u8"
The very next line will be the same thing except for the ".m3u8" ending.
Hover your mouse over this line. It will show a pop-up something like this:
The tt888 is the code that indicates "ondertiteling".
Right click on this line.
Select Copy ---> Copy link address
Paste that link into your browser. It will bring up the complete subtitle file in .srt format.
Save or copy-and-save this text with an extension of .srt or .txt.
You can use it like this or (using various means) edit it down to just plain text.
I find it most useful to just read along with the text file, rather than actually importing the subtitles back into the video.
Note: The downloaded videos have an ".mp4" extension, but they are not pure mp4. They are actually H.264 Transport Stream.ts. If you plan to use the ".srt" file as a subtitle input to the video as you play it with something like VLC media player, you probably will have to convert the video files from the current ts ".mp4" format to a pure "H.264 MP4" version, still with an MP4 extension. You could use something like VideoReDo.
For the NPO.nl videos, the ondertiteling is an excellent match to the audio.
Good luck with it. It seems complicated at first but it becomes very easy. It is well worth the effort to get excellent subtitles for good quality TV series for use in language learning.
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- Blue Belt
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