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Change subtitles quickly in DVD Player Apps
I'm affected by a mild form of phonemic deafness: the part of my brain in charge of translating sound into words doesn't work perfectly. Therefore, understanding spoken language is more difficult for me than for the average human, even in my mother tongue (Italian). Nevertheless, I've been always fascinated by languages, and I have learned to read in a few of them.

With the advent of the DVD, movies and TV series in their original language have become available and I'm using them as a mean to improve my comprehension. Usually, I try to understand the dialogues without using subtitles, but sometimes I need to look at them (if possible, in the language of the audio track) for a while. Apple's DVD Player allows me to do so, but you need to issue a series of commands using the controller or the menus to turn them on. However, it is possible to automate this process, causing the video to scrub backwards a little, activate the chosen subtitles and start the playback again.

As a first step, you must create a new service in Automator with a single action: "Run Applescript" (located in "Utilities"). Input the following script:
	
tell application "DVD Player"
	rewind dvd
	delay 1  -- approximate rewind time in seconds
	pause dvd
	set subtitle to 1 -- to choose first item of available subtitles
	play dvd
end tell
Select the options "Service receives no input" and "in any application". The number after "delay" controls the amount of back-scrubbing; you may try different values to fit your taste, and "set subtitle to 1" enables the first set of available subtitles.

Save the service with an appropriate name and open the Keyboard Shortcuts tab of System Preference's Keyboard pane. Select "Services" in the leftmost section and add a keyboard shortcut that suits you for the newly created service.

You may duplicate the process above, changing "set subtitle to 1" with "set subtitle to 2", etc. to create commands that select other sets of subtitles.

As a last step, create a service with the following AppleScript:
tell application "DVD Player"
 set subtitle to 0
end tell
This will allow you to switch subtitles off.
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