Handbrake, subtitles, and blu-ray backups from MakeMKV

I started backing up my Blu-Ray discs to my Mac this month so I can play them on my AppleTV. It’s nice having 1080p files available without stupid DRM or having to find & load discs into the player.

I’ll write up my workflow once I’m satisfied with it, but you can probably guess it: MakeMKV -> Handbrake -> iTunes + iFlicks. I have an inexpensive Blu-Ray drive for my Mac that’s working pretty well.

The one thing I’ve found that kind of sucks is that Blu-Rays use their own subtitle format (called PGS) that the current version of Handbrake doesn’t recognize. The key there is “current version.” After a lot of searching, I found that the nightly builds of Handbrake have preliminary support for the subtitles in Blu-Ray.

It’s not perfect yet, as you still have to select the right subtitle track. I usually do low quality, fast encodes of a single chapter to test out the subtitle track if I’m not sure which to pick. Not sure if there’s a better way.

Hope this saves someone else a few minutes or a few bucks since you don’t need the MKV tools that are out there for subtitles.