Subtitles can be essential to enjoying foreign language media, but it can be difficult to get the perfect set. The Plex Media Server lets you add subtitles you already have, or can try and fetch them automatically from the internet. Subtitle sources include:

  • Subtitles embedded in the media file
  • External subtitle files
  • Subtitles fetched automatically by the Plex Media Server via subtitle Agents

How it works

Automatic subtitle fetching and selection is handled by the Plex Media Server. To do this, you specify your preference for audio and subtitle language - for example, you're a German-speaking person and prefer German audio tracks and German subtitles. You have a media file that has a Spanish audio track:

  • If the media file has a German external or embedded subtitle file, Plex will play that with the media
  • If a media file has only (for example) English subtitles, the Plex Media Server will look on the Internet for a matching German subtitle track and automatically use that with the media.
  • If no external, embedded or matching internet based subtitle file with the correct language is found, subtitles won't be played

Note: These steps are only performed when the media is scanned into your library or when being force refreshed. Playing the media will not trigger a search for subtitles.

Related Page: Plex Media Server > Server Settings > Languages

Subtitle Agents

The Plex Media Server uses an Agent - by default - to fetch subtitles. There are additional Community contributed agents available, most available from the Plex Forums. For example:

Related Page: Plex Media Server > Server Settings > Agents
Related Page: Using Subtitles > Fetching Internet Sourced & Using Your Own Subtitle Files