When you are using a hybrid distribution strategy in combination with subtitles, you should think carefully about how to go about it adding them. If you are distributing online consider using a video service that utilises Amara (formally known as Universal Subtitles). Amara allows you, or anyone else, to easily add subtitles in any language, to your video. The user-interface for adding subtitles to a video makes it very easy. These subtitles appear as text as a separate layer on top of your video in the video player on your website, they do not become part of the video itself. The disadvantage is these subtitles are not included when the original video is downloaded.
However, Amara allows you to download the subtitles in the commonly-available standard format (.srt). These can then be played by video players like VLC and Miro along with the original video, just like it does on the web.
Another option is to “burn in” your subtitles to a digital file you want to share on a USB stick. This means to go back to your editing program and add the subtitles into the video itself, so these will appear wherever the video is screened. The disadvantage here is that if somebody – a TV station or film festival for example – wants to add subtitles in a different language, they have no easy way of getting around the text that is already “burned in” to your video. If somebody makes another copy or “rip” of this DVD into another video format, it will have the subtitles burned in also.