I have a .mkv video with SSA/ASS subtitles & I want to convert it to .mp4 so I can watch it on my iPad. The video converts without errors but the subtitles are not there. How do I fix this?

  • You might want to include details like with what software you are converting the video.
    – Gerry
    Sep 29, 2011 at 11:34
  • I'm using Miro Video Converter Sep 29, 2011 at 11:35
  • tried with iVl, same result Sep 29, 2011 at 11:44
  • best converter, and I've tried around 15, is smart converter, available on the App Store, for free, and pro version, it also adds subtitles and other information automatically, also, its super fast, mkv movies are always done within a minute on a ssd
    – Macmaniman
    May 8, 2014 at 20:22

2 Answers 2


I know relatively easy and free way that I will share

  1. Subtitles have to be converted to SRT format. You may do that with Jubler.
  2. Then I'm using Handbrake to convert to h.264 with soft subtitles. Here is the guide.

  3. Alternatively you may use MKVTools to convert video without reencoding (in case it's already in h.264) to save time and after that add subtitles with Subler. You may try to import SSA subtitles (I don't have such on hand now to check if SSA will work with Subler so please report back if it will)

  • Subler was enough for what I needed. Thx x x x Sep 29, 2011 at 12:36
  • Samantha Have a look at MKVTools it's the fastest way to convert to iPad compatible format for many .mkv files (you don't need to re-encode video usually since usually it's already in h.264)
    – iskra
    Sep 29, 2011 at 13:30

Subler is a utility designed specifically for what you want to do. It will not only rewrap, and not transcode, the video to a friendly format, it will transcode the audio from ACC to AAC if necessary, and it will optimize the location of the mpeg-4 atom in the resulting file for iTunes friendly use. It uses a friendly drag and drop paradigm. Download Subler, unzip into your Applications folder and launch Subler. Type command-n to begin, and drag your mkv file into the window, and choose from the simple available options to accomplish precisely what you are asking to do.

Alternatively, this bash script apparently uses ffmpeg, SublerCLI and HandbrakeCLI to batch rewrap, transcode or otherwise convert video files of various codecies and iTunes/iOS incompatible wrappers to iTunes/iOS friendly formats, automatically choosing a method that retains the best possible quality resultant file. It, however, doesn't, do subtitles, takes bit of reading and understanding the script to get it to install its dependencies, and will take a lot of time to complete processing if set upon a lot of HandBrake transcodes, and while doing so eventually eat up all your free memory in the process, but it is covenient once it is working and set in your $PATH, and nondestructively will place original files in your ~/.Trash so you can preview the resultant files before eliminating the originals.

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