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The AVID DS format is a basic text (.txt) document that contains timecode and subtitle content, as well as basic header information. The advantage of this format is that it is easily shareable and editable by anyone with a text editor. This is useful for translation and content editing. However, the AVID DS file does not include any formatting or positioning, all this must be done inside the SubCap tool in AVID after importing.

AVID DS TXT is exported from AVID Media Composer using the SubCap tool as a .txt file. The default text encoding from Media Composer is UTF16. This can cause problems with certain programs, such as Belle-Nuit Subtitler, that can only import UTF8 encoded text documents.

Importing AVID DS .txt file into AVID Media Composer has to be done through the SubCap tool/effect. AVID is very picky about the import parameters of your subtitle file. For AVID to import the AVID DS txt subtitle file successfully in your sequence, the file must:

  • Have corresponding timecode to the sequence
  • Be free of timecode overlaps, AVID will import all titles until the error, but none after resulting in missing titles.
  • Be free of timecode syntax errors (only one space between timecode in/out, only one carriage return between subtitles)
  • Encoded in either UTF8 or UTF16


An example of AVID DS SubCap encoding:

<begin subtitles>

10:00:00:05 10:00:04:04
Today we’re gonna make one of my favorite
experimental dishes, it is called

10:00:04:04 10:00:10:03
Curry Coconut Stir Fry Chicken,
for this recipe we need

10:00:10:03 10:00:14:19
coconut milk, which you can get
pretty much anywhere,

10:00:14:19 10:00:15:08
and curry paste, which is pretty strong.


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