“What are the best Handbrake audio and subtitle settings for Plex? Hi all. I have been trying to convert my DVDs to digital, and having no problems on the initial rip using makemkv. But when I encode using Handbrake, I seem to lose Surround Sound audio options as well as losing English Subtitles on an English language audio where foreign language is being spoken. An example is Oceans 13 and the mexican scenes. Can anyone tell me what is the best HadnBrake audio and subtitle settings for Plex media player playback? Any advice is helpful.”

We all know that with a free VLC media player or libdvdcss plugin installed on your computer, HandBrake could easily convert both copy protected and non-protected DVD movies for Plex media player. However, many people have reported problems of audio and subtitle selecting issues during HandBrake encoding. What are the best HandBrake audio and subtitle settings for Plex? If you also have the questions, check the below content to learn how to set audio tracks and subtitles within HandBrake for Plex.

Part 1: Best Handbrake Audio & Subtitles Settings for Plex

When you try to encode DVD/video files with HandBrake, HandBrake enables you to freely select subtitles and audio tracks from source DVD/video files. The Audio & Subtitles tab in HandBrake is the means for choosing which audio tracks you’d like to encode as well as placing subtitles on your encoded movies. To enter the Audio & Subtitles tab, after adding source DVD files, you need to go to the frame below the Preset option and open “Audio tracks” and “Subtitles” tab.

How to set the best audio tracks and subtitles for Plex? Many commercial DVDs contain multiple language tracks - English, French, and Spanish, for example. You can reduce file size by stripping out the tracks you don’t want. HandBrake will choose the English track by default and exclude others, but you can optionally add them back by selecting additional language tracks from the Track 2, Track 3, and Track 4 pop-up menus.

Within the Audio Codec pop-up menu you can choose the codec used for the movie’s audio - the default is AAC, but you can maintain the source movie’s existing audio encoding by choosing AC3 Passthrough from this menu. File size will be larger, but the sound will exactly match the quality of the original. Even if you go with the default AAC (faac) setting, you can choose the output format - Mono, Stereo, Dolby Surround, Dolby Pro Logic II, or 6-channel Discrete. Choose Dolby Pro Logic II and the audio will play on both stereo and surround-sound systems (though it’s not true surround-sound). The setting you choose should match the gear you intend to play the movie on.

If you don’t mind the larger file, you can add both Pro Logic II and AC3 pass-through tracks using the Track 1 and Track 2 pop-up menus so that you have a movie that will play in stereo on your iPod or in full surround-sound on a device such as an Apple TV.

With HandBrake you can add subtitles to your encoded movies if they’re available on the original source DVD. Note, however, that you can’t turn them off when viewing the movie - they’re burned into the movie.

You could then freely determine the audio track and subtitle settings according to Plex media player to get the best settings.

Part 2. Best Handbrake Alternative to Set Audio & Subtitles - Leawo Prof. Media

We know that HandBrake could let you determine the audio tracks and subtitles for encoding DVD movies within HandBrake. However, there are some disadvantages of HandBrake. For example, you need to install free VLC media player or libdvdcss alike plugins to help HandBrake process copy-protected DVD movies. Also, HandBrake only outputs DVD movies to MKV and MP4 video files, which is not enough for some media players and devices. Therefore, we would like to recommend you a HandBrake alternative to help you enable media files with the best audio track and subtitle settings for Plex. That’s Leawo Prof. Media.

Leawo Prof. Media is the best alternative to HandBrake to help you enable Blu-ray, DVD, video and ISO image files with high quality, allowing you to select subtitles and audio tracks during encoding. Compared to HandBrake, Leawo Prof. Media offers much easier operation for you to set audio tracks and subtitles. Meanwhile, Leawo Prof. Media gets disc decryption feature inside to help you decrypt, rip and convert Blu-ray/DVD movies regardless of disc protection and region restriction. You could encode nearly all Blu-ray/DVD movies released in the market.

The below guide would show you how to convert Blu-ray/DVD/video files for Plex with preferred subtitles and audio tracks selected with the best HandBrake alternative in detail. Firstly, download and install Leawo Prof. Media on your computer.

Step 1: Launch Leawo Prof. Media

Launch Leawo Prof. Media and then open the “Convert” module on the menu bar.

Step 2: Add source Blu-ray/DVD/video files

Under the “Convert” module, click “Add Video” button to browse and load video files from your computer, or click “Add Blu-ray/DVD” button to browse and load Blu-ray/DVD disc, folder or ISO image files.

Note: If you are loading Blu-ray/DVD movie files, Leawo Prof. Media offers 3 options to load source Blu-ray/DVD movie: Full Movie, Main Movie and Custom Mode. Full Movie allows you to import all titles, and Main Movie only imports the longest title by default but allows you to switch, while under Custom Mode you could freely choose any title(s) for loading. Choose the one according to your needs and load source Blu-ray/DVD movies.

Step 3: Set audio tracks and subtitles

After loading source Blu-ray/DVD/video files, in each title, you could see Subtitle, Audio and Angle drop-down options, by clicking which you could freely select or even add subtitles/audio tracks and even angles for output. It’s much easier compared to that of HandBrake.

Step 4: Set output format

Hit the button right before the big green “Convert” button and then on the drop-down panel click the “Change” option to enter the “Profile” panel. Choose output format from “Format” or “Device” group according to your needs, say MP4 video from “Format > Common Video” group since Plex is compatible with MP4.

Leawo Prof. Media enables you to adjust the output video and audio parameters like video codec, video bit rate, aspect ratio, resolution, audio codec, sample rate, bit rate, channel, etc. To do these, just click the “Edit” option on the drop-down panel next to the “Add Photo” button.

Step 5: Set output directory

Return to the main interface, and then click the green button of “Convert”. Then, set an output directory in the “Save to” box.

Finally, hit the “Convert” option at the bottom of the sidebar to start converting Blu-ray/DVD/video files for Plex media player playback within Leawo Prof. Media. It will complete the conversion quickly, depending on the source file size and computer performance.  

Actually, Leawo Prof. Media offers other powerful and practical features to improve your digital entertainment, including:

  1. Act as region-free media player to play back Blu-ray, DVD, video, audio, and even ISO image files, without being restricted by disc protection and regions.
  2. As a Blu-ray/DVD ripper to decrypt, rip and convert Blu-ray/DVD to video/audio files in 200+ file formats for various uses.
  3. As a video converter to convert video and audio files between various formats for different media players and devices, supporting even 4K video output.
  4. As a Blu-ray burner to convert and burn videos files to Blu-ray/DVD content in disc, folder and/or ISO image file, and even burn image files to Blu-ray/DVD photo slideshow easily.
  5. As a Blu-ray copy to decrypt, copy and backup Blu-ray/DVD content to blank disc or computer hard drive, in full-movie or movie-only backup mode as you need.
  6. As an online video downloader to help you download videos from YouTube, Facebook, Veoh, VEVO, and 1000+ other video sites.
  7. As a photo slideshow maker to help you turn photos into photo slideshow video for saving in various formats, and edit generated photo slideshow.
  8. As a media editor to edit Blu-ray/DVD/video files to trim, crop, add watermark, adjust effect, apply 3D effect, etc.
  9. Choose disc menu for DVD/Blu-ray burning, and even design disc menu with preferred items.

Quite obviously, Leawo Prof. Media offers you quite a great many wonderful features to make your digital entertainment more enjoyable.

Part 3. Conclusion

Both HandBrake and Leawo Prof. Media enable you to freely select subtitles and audio tracks for Blu-ray/DVD/video encoding for Plex media player. Both programs enable you to set multiple subtitles and audio tracks for output, while Leawo Prof. Media even supports multi-track MP4/MKV file as output. Simply from the disc decryption and output format support, Leawo Prof. Media is much better than HandBrake since HandBrake requires extra disc decryption tools, not even to mention the abundant powerful functions and features Leawo Prof. Media offers.