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Jan
02

An Age-Old Debate…

Karaoke. Hard or Soft?

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Fansubbers just can’t agree on which way is better. So what do the viewers think?

 

61 comments

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  1. Bob says:

    Ignore the Karaoke..

  2. Costanza says:

    >2012
    >hardsubbed anything
    ISHYGDDT

    1. Alex says:

      Agreed

      1. sapphire says:

        He didn’t actually say anything.

        1. fro says:

          Agreed

  3. sapphire says:

    I prefer hardsub because the karaoke is potentially sexy and nice to watch. But if groups aren’t capable of making sexy kara or are in a time crunch just softsub or leave it out.

  4. jlk says:

    Karaoke as a rule is kinda unnecessary, but hardsubbing it? All you’re doing is making it ‘flashy’ which most people reeeally don’t care about (or at least shouldn’t). It also means we can’t screen-cap a clean image from the OP/ED, which I probably care about more than having the text do all these craaazy things.

    You’re making more work for yourself by having subs that need to be hardsubbed, it makes encoding more of a hassle, and it negatively effects the picture quality of the video to boot.

    Basically: hardsubbing the karaoke is fucking retarded.

  5. Ginko says:

    There should be no karaoke. It just clogs up the screen during the OP.
    So, I guess softsub is the best alternative since I can disable the subs during credits.

  6. Marina says:

    I know as a blogger I like to have a clean OP/ED for screenshots–so softsub or none at all–but when push comes to shove I appreciate whatever the subber is able to do.

    1. Sutai says:

      The post is not about what’s better for bloggers, it’s about hardsubbing or softsubbing karaoke. If you want a clean screenshot just download a raw.

      IMO, karaoke is an extra, and i really like it {singing is fun ;x}, and i don’t really care if it’s hardsubbed or not, because i won’t turn the subs off anyway.

      1. KuroLoli says:

        Actually, it’s about each persons personal opinion on the matter…which may or may not be influenced by outside stimuli…such as being a blogger…

        Hard subbing = why bother? I don’t want to come back 20 years from now and have to watch a troll translation when I could have just got subs elsewhere if need be…

        I like them soft…like how I like my tits.

      2. Daniel says:

        As someone who only watches with the subtitles off I much prefer softsub to hardsubs.

        Going for a “real” raw is substandard to fully softsubbed mkv’s. I generally trust fansubbers to pick good raws and to encode them well. Raws are not geared to general consumption they are often enough meant to feed encoders.

        This is a positive for everyone involved. It means healthier spawns that last longer.

  7. Erunno says:

    I love karaoke subs, especially when the group puts some effort into it. I remember that Commie did a splendid job on Level E’s karaoke subs where the text color dynamically changed to fit each scene in the OP. Anyway, superior subs is one of the reasons why my DVDs are collecting dust and me preferring my, err, preview versions.

  8. MissedThePoint says:

    Last time I saw fancy karaoke that honestly left a lasting impression on me was back during that one show where 4 bishi guys got tasked, in exchange for rent, to get some shut-in girl out and and pretty, “Something Shichi Henge.” I think it had roses wrapped around the text, or maybe that was another show.

    1. MissedThePoint says:

      I know there were other ones with animated basketballs, Slam Dunk maybe, or animated flying saucers, Denpa Onna maybe? But those didn’t really impress me. They just made watching the OP more fun. I skip it if it’s just boring. I’m hoping that rose text wasn’t from something like 0-7 Ghost or something I dropped like that anime with the dolls with Ali Project doing the OP. I’d like to erase those from my memory… LOL.

  9. DeadlyOats says:

    I read the karaoke the first two or three episodes, and then I don’t care anymore – if it’s a song I’m not so interested in. But for op/ed songs that really grab me, I really like reading the karaoke, both in English and Japanese throughout the whole season of that anime series. I also like the artwork put into the karaoke – if it’s done well and without taking away from the look and feel of the op/ed. If that could be done by soft-subbing, then I say go for it. I can turn on the art and watch and read the karaoke, or turn it off and watch the op/ed. But if soft-subbing the karaoke means the end of the artwork, then I say keep hard-subbing the karaoke. I would NOT like plain text, non-dancing karaoke.

  10. Anon says:

    Softcode all the subs!

  11. Walker says:

    Hardsub the whole shows .. flying subs are a pain
    Fansubbing should be fansubbing and not halfway raw providing

    Whatever, this here is like talking against a wall so .. forget it .. just forget it
    (people will never learn unless you burn it in them)

  12. random says:

    Hardsubbing anything nowadays is retarded.

    1. Someone says:

      Aren’t credits and kanji lyrics for songs in certain Animes hardsubbed?

  13. A. Crush says:

    I would think the reason people want softsubbed kara is so they can turn it off.

    If a group goes to the trouble of doing karaoke, especially if it’s awesome with text colors, styles, and effects, they can do whatever they want, but I don’t see many hard-coded subs or kara for H.264/.mkv releases, especially if the subs are soft already.

    I don’t really care all that much, but having cool-looking karaoke *is* nice, particularly if it’s for a catchy OP/ED. One of the things that continues to seperate fansubs from commercial releases is the better looking karaoke.

  14. janice says:

    I would never turn the subs off, so I don’t care either way as long as it works, but fancy kara has to be hardsubbed or it lags for a lot of people.

  15. Acnologia says:

    Karaoke with a shit ton of effects lags a lot for me, but I just type “s” in mpc to remove the subs the press it again to turn subs back on. It’s nice though in shows like Mirai Nikki, because typesetting that moves + dialogue gives me terrible lag; the hardsubbed typesetting is pretty nice, and it doesn’t really hurt screencaps either.

  16. Keeper says:

    Depends on the karaoke.
    If you’re gonna do insane flashy cool awesome kara, then hardsub.
    If you’re just gonna do simple stuff, hardsubbing it is overkill…

    1. fro says:

      (I think, hidden question is exactly about what to do: insane flashy, or do a simple stuff).

      When I like an OP/ED I wish to know what they are singing (kana + simple kanji with spelling in kana) and what about (eng translation). And it doesn’t matter whether it flashy or simple. When I don’t like – I don’t care, I just skip it anyway.

      Though, kanji with spelling in kana (those small kana atop of kanji – you know, for kids) is not an easy task to softsub, I think.

  17. Walo says:

    I think either soft subbed or no karaoke at all. Hard subs “dirt” the video by embedding material that’s not in the original source. I don’t care if it’s flashy stuff or normal subs.

    1. Bro says:

      And you care about the “original source” because…?

      Truth of the matter is, whatever fansubs you download are never the “original source” because they’ve been re-encoded from transport streams and had the commercials cut out. If you want a truly authentic Japanese experience, then watch the transport stream straight up.

      1. Steve says:

        I don’t know about you but my ISP would kill me if I started watching TSes.

  18. Uhara says:

    Softsub karaoke is good for other language translation group..

    1. Bro says:

      What’s stopping other groups from using their own raw? Why must we also be a raw provider?

      1. Uhara says:

        I think that for example Portuguese translator translate ainme from english. Why should he alone had the timer when he has English subtitles, which translate into your language? And just for this. You deserve the greatest thanks.

        1. Sutai says:

          I’ve been translating anime for brazilian fansubs for a now time now, and if you use your source’s {in this case English Fansubs} encode as a raw, and claim that they’re yours, you’re no better than Hadena, it’s even worse if you don’t want us to hardsub karaoke, because you want to use our encode as if it was yours.

          Learn english before translating or even talking in english, because i had to struggle to understand what you said.

          1. Sutai says:

            long time now* derp.

  19. jhkgkgh says:

    IMO karaoke in general is retarded. Commie are the only group doing it right by having a single line of English translation. Fuck covering the whole OP in a million lines of sparkly bullshit.

  20. Chris says:

    Simple KFX -> Soft

    Complex KFX -> Hard

  21. Spiller says:

    There are several reasons to use softsub:

    First of all it allows greater flexibility when making screenshots. What people want to use these screenshots to is irrelevant, however most people are not going to download a RAW just to be able to remove the karaoke. It is not too bad when it is just the OP/ED though.

    Secondly, since hardsubs are saved on the video track it often makes it more difficult to compress it well. You can also risk compression artifacts appearing around the text, with softsubs it will always remain completely sharp. Not really that big issue nowadays though.

    Thirdly, hardsubs are not scalable. If you set your media player correctly, softsubs will be rendered in the viewing resolution and not in the video resolution. This makes sure the subs are always crisp no matter which resolution you have. All scaling (except 2x, 3x, 4x and so on) is a lossy operation and will ruin quality a bit. Even downscaling normally provides poorer results than re-rendering. So hardsubs will only look crisp in its native resolution (or 2x, 3x, … upscales).
    My laptop monitor has a resolution of 1366×768 which is a slight upscale from HD. If I watch one of your releases without preventing the media player from upscaling it, the karaoke looks rather blurry. On my FullHD monitors however, subsofts starts looking really great since they are rendered in FullHD.
    It REALLY makes a difference…

    Fourthly, it can make it much easier for others to redo the series. It can be easily reused for a BD release by another group. (It also makes it possible to include several different groups subtitles in one release.) Or it could be used by a one-man group to translate your English translation to other languages, without the need of having encoders or timers (which is much harder to get when the user base is small).
    I have myself once remuxed a release with a better RAW, without having to worry about the OP/ED because it was softsubed. (It was a webcast, and the encoder did a crappy job on an already crappy source…)
    While I can understand if you don’t want other people to ‘rip off’ your work, it can make a difference to us viewers which is what you are asking about.

    Softsubbed karaoke is more limited than hardcoded, however personally I think it is good enough. While fancy karaoke effects can be nice, it is not something which will make me choose a release over another in the end. Since this is the main advantage of hardsubs, the disadvantages really outweighs it for me.

    I have sometimes heard people complaining about softsub CPU usage but not as often as I have heard people requesting SD versions because HD is too much for their computers. If those folks matters, release a XVID 480p which is completely hardsubbed, as otherwise there will always be people out there which can’t view it. Just my 2 cents…

  22. G. says:

    Softsubs, for everything. Never understood the fancy-karaoke-effects thing anyways – I mean, if you sing along you need to be able to read it quickly, and if you don’t it’s just subtitles anyways, right?

    (I am honestly surprised that hardsubbing still goes on at all, especially in this time where 10-bit video is being pushed hard. I mean, if your computer can handle 10-bit encodes, shouldn’t it have no problems with fancy softsubbed karaoke?)

    1. Bro says:

      “(I am honestly surprised that hardsubbing still goes on at all, especially in this time where 10-bit video is being pushed hard. I mean, if your computer can handle 10-bit encodes, shouldn’t it have no problems with fancy softsubbed karaoke?)”

      Not sure what you’re trying to say, but the answer to the last part is no.

  23. Anon says:

    Softsubs preserve the purity of the video. If you can’t into rendering subs, you’re SOL and gotta get with the times.

    1. Someone says:

      Purity of the video??? Is that to say that fansubbers are some sort of tainting defilers?

  24. Isaac says:

    I don’t give a flying toss about karaoke. In fact , if it only brings the release date closer one hour it’s worth dropping them.

    IF you REALLY most .. just sub them as you would do the anime itself . same font , no effects. Whatever doesn’t take time.

    Anything that delays releasing something isn’t worth it. That includes karaoke.

    IF you want to make an effort … make sure all the background texts are always translated , that’s way more important.

    1. Someone says:

      Then why not skip editing and QC as well, since it would speed up the release?

      1. Bona says:

        Someone you are just picking a fight.

        Isaac has a point , though I personally do like karaoke , I can understand it’s not all that important to some.

        Concluding isaac – who underlines the importance of having background signs and texts translated – as as being someone who wants to rush releases is just proof of your trolling.

        1. Someone says:

          No. He said “Anything that delays releasing something isn’t worth it.” which implies things such as editing and QC (which, if skipped would reduce release delay) isn’t worth doing. I am in favour of having good-looking karaoke.

    2. Bro says:

      So then it’s okay if it doesn’t delay the release?

  25. Spinarakk says:

    I for one love watching hardsubbed karaoke as I’m a fan of flashy effects and most importantly… because I’m not an idiot who CAN’T download a raw if for some godforsaken reason I see the need to take bloody screencaps of the opening and ending… which I see no purpose in except for blogs and AMV making. In fact, those people should be downloading the transport streams themselves if they want a “pure” video source so much.

    Fansubbers should really do what they want, and I actually like it better if they hardsub the karaoke with fancy effects, but no problem if they just decide to stick with normal softsub karaoke.

    I wonder why, in this day and age, where apparently hardsubbing is some kind of act of treason, people would still download Eclipse’s releases even though they hardsub the karaoke.

    1. Bro says:

      Because hardsubbing is the unholiest of unholy ways to defile that pristine Japanese video. Duh.

  26. wut says:

    The point is, will you do as the viewers want?

  27. nINJAkECIL says:

    I could see the point in hardsubbing karaoke OP/ED, but I don’t see the point in including Japanese along with the karaoke. Seriously, who would read them anyway? Most of us who watched subbed anime don’t really understand Japanese, let alone the writings.

    As for hardsubbed/softsubbed, I prefer a fancy karaoke, but it isn’t the end of the world. There’s so many viewer with outdated PCs so hardsubbed karaoke is a good thing for them.

  28. Embok says:

    I voted hardsub but softsub works just as well as long as there’s a separate subtitle track without karaoke. I don’t particularly like karaoke, but I don’t care as long as it doesn’t make the video run less smoothly. It wasn’t a huge deal before, but it’s a bit worse now that 10-bit is also out there to eat up CPU. (You guys are awesome for releasing 8-bit MN by the way, but I’m making blanket statements here)

  29. Daniel says:

    I heard you guys are subbing Senhime Zesshou Symphogear, if you are, will it be coming out every friday

  30. vjott says:

    Hard subs because not all media players render soft subbed karaoke properly. I’ve had VLC render the subs but not the subs’ animation. I’ve had several other media players override the embedded fonts and play the subs using Arial. I’m not concerned with CPU usage since my laptop is more than capable but the variations in media players and how they handle such subs are too unpredictable. I know the Linux users are probably ready to scream their loyalty to command line Mplayer2 but not all of us enjoy using the command line. For reference, here is the list of players I’ve used that mess up Soft-subbed karaoke and their effects: KMplayer, VLC Player, ZoomPlayer, standard Mplayer build, MPC-HC (works properly if you use the latest LAV filters) and QQPlayer. The following are almost guaranteed to render such subs properly: Daum PotPlayer, Mplayer2 and any of the players in the previous list that can be configured to use LAV filters or the latest ffdshow tryouts.

  31. Pink says:

    Since people didn’t care about the op anyways then just hardsubbed it and make it pretty

  32. ringing says:

    Softsubs because I don’t have eyes so fucked up like a lot people seems to have and can easily see the ringing around hardsubbed text. It’s fucking nasty.
    Softsubs can be rendered at your desktop resolution, with total independence from the enconded video resolution. Resizing subs rendered at a different resolution introduces nasty ringing, doesn’t that hurt your eyes? Are your eyes fucked beyond repair?

    1. janice says:

      Dunno. I have perfect vision and have never seen any kind of artifacts or ringing around any hardsubbed text.

    2. Someone says:

      Maybe its your eyes that are “fucked” and that’s the reason why you see this ringing you speak of? But if its bad for you then you should try to avoid hardsubs or, at least, avoid resizing them the way that you do.

      1. ringing says:

        Yeah, sure. Buy some glasses. I’ve used a great range of resizing algorithms, from softscaler to spline36, going thru bilinear, bicubic, lanczos, etc.

        I know what I’m talking about, if you can’t see the difference then you should still be downloading XviD SD content.

      2. ringing says:

        Look, here are some partial screenshots.
        The first one is from GotSpeed’s Mirai Nikki 02 ending, it’s softsubbed.
        The second one is from GotWoot’s Mirai Nikki 02 ending, it’s hardsubbed.

        Both are rendered at a 1920×1080 resolution, and scaled with a Lanczos 3 tap algorithm via madVR 0.78, making ringing even more apparent.

        The detail frames in each shot are scaled using a nearest-neighbor algorithm, that in spite of being pixelated and nasty for normal use, it does not introduce ringing, making it useful for this comparison.

        1st. http://i.imgur.com/KePSO.png
        2nd. http://i.imgur.com/ADvbG.png

  33. Whatever says:

    bd softsub
    tv hardsub

  34. Piotrbov says:

    hardsub. Sometimes with this soft sub the video is lagging.

  35. The handsome stranger with the hairy balls says:

    Well, if you care about anime music, specially karaoke., you’re a massive weaboo and you must take a serious look upon yourself and your wrong ways.

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