Voody Blue Subtitler

Voody Blue Subtitler (aka VBS) is a suit of programmes that allow you to:

  • manually synchronize a text file with a video stream, thus creating a subtitles file;
  • play back a subtitle file
  • relay the subtitles through a small server to multiple clients

VBS consists of several pieces:

  • vbsm – the “master” client which can do the timing of subtitles, with or without video playback
  • vbss – the “slave” client, which can play back a subtitle file (with or without sending them to vbsd server) or can receive subtitles from a server and display them in real time
  • vbsc – a configuration utility for vbss.
  • vbsd – the server which relay the subtitles.

VBS runs on Linux and Windows (vbsd is only available for Linux).

vbsm is the main- GUI-driven part where you do the actual synchronization. It imports text-only files or SubRip. You can either import a video file or simply watch the motion picture in parallel (on computer screen, TV etc.). The output is a SubRip file and the current subtitle can be sent to a repeater server vbsd. You can run vbsm on a workstation (for in-studio work) or on a laptop (for live performances in theatres etc.)

vbss can read subtitles from a local SubRip file or pull the current subtitle from vbsd (by polling it few times a second). When the subtitles are read from a SubRip file, the current subtitle can also be forwarded to vbsd (like vbsm does). You would typically run vbss on a small PC or laptop, connected to a projector which either overlays the subtitles on top of other projected motion picture or displays them on a dedicated screen.

vbsd is a simple daemon that stores the current subtitle. Because it is very light-weight, you can have dozens and even hundreds of vbss clients working simultaneously from one vbsd server. Also, because a subtitle is just a few bytes of text, the bandwidth required is less than 1 kbps for each connected vbss client. You can run vbsd on any Linux distribution o- not only on bare metal, but even in a virtual machine on your Windows PC or server.


For video processing on Linux VBS uses either GStreamer (preferred), VLC or MPlayer. On Windows only GStreamer is supported and VBS comes bundled with it.

On Linux, VBS requires GTK+ 2.24 or 3.x (chosen at compile time). On Windows VBS comes with GTK+ 2.24 bundled, but can also be built with GTK+3.

For detailed usage instructions, see the README file.

For version history, see the ChangeLog file.

A list of planned, but still pending features, is in the TODO file.

Known issues and bug reporting are found in BUGS file.

This software is released with hope that it will be useful, but with no warranty of any type at all. Use it at your own risk. You are free to distribute it as well as to modify it as long as you preserve the original code. See LICENSE file for details.


  • Total Physical Source Lines of Code (SLOC): 3,821
  • Development Effort Estimate, Person-Months (Basic COCOMO model): 9.81
  • Total Estimated Cost to Develop: 110,389 USD
  • Generated using David A. Wheeler’s ‘SLOCCount


To install from source:

./configure && make && make install


Download current version:

Older versions (of archaeological interest only):

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