Extract SRT subtitles from videos with FFmpeg

MARCH 25, 2024

I export videos from Descript, which has embedded subtitles, and Descript doesn't have a way to export subtitles by chapter markers; it only exports them for an entire composition.

Here's a command that extracts the embedded subtitles from a given video—and supports any format supported by FFmpeg, such as MP4, MOV, or MKV.

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -map 0:s:0

Here's what each part of the command does.

  • -i video.mp4 - the input file.
  • map 0:s:0: - maps the first subtitle track found in the video. (You can change the last digit to extract a different track, e.g., 0:s:1 for the second subtitle track.)
  • - the output file name and format, e.g, SRT or VTT.

If you found this useful, let me know!