Download Japanese subtitles as TEXT from Netflix using a Kodi plugin

Note: while this article is written from the perspective of obtaining Japanese subtitles, it should work just as well for subtitles in other languages.

Plugin updated 11/30/18 – previous verions no longer work

My journey of obtaining Japanese subtitles from Netflix has been a long one, but I’ve finally arrived at the holy grail: downloading the Japanese subs as text files. We had previously discovered that you could download Japanese subtitles as images using a script in your web browser. You could then perform OCR to turn those subtitles into text. While this worked alright, the subtitles weren’t perfect, and would contain some amount of errors that would need to be manually corrected.

This new method is a little more difficult to get set up, but lets you get the subtitles perfectly without any errors. However, there is still one caveat with this method: available subtitles are mostly based on your location. So, this means that MOST Japanese subtitles are only available for people who are physically located in Japan, or who are using one of the few working Japanese VPNs. So the other method of downloading the image-based subtitles might work better for some people, depending on your situation.

I just want the subs!

I have already downloaded Japanese subtitles from over 100 shows and movies, including most native Japanese Netflix originals, and you can grab them all here.

I want to do it myself!

This process involves installing a home theater application called Kodi, and then installing a plugin for it that will allow you to sign into Netflix and then automatically save SRT subtitles for any files videos that you try to play.

The NetflixSubs plugin and installation instructions have been moved to a GitHub page here: https://github.com/Zarxrax/NetflixSubs

Just click through to that page and scroll down for instructions on how to download and install the plugin.

Here is a video tutorial by Matt VS Japan, which shows how to install Kodi and the NetflixSubs plugin, and download subtitles. This uses an older version of the plugin, and some things have changed, but this still gives you a basic overview of how to get things set up.

 

 

322 thoughts to “Download Japanese subtitles as TEXT from Netflix using a Kodi plugin”

  1. I noticed today that when I uninstalled the plug-in, it didn’t automatically delete its folder. The user settings folder was also left behind. I was having trouble logging in after changing my password. After manually deleting things and then reinstalling it started working again. (With anonyneko’s version with the NetflixSession.py from the 13.7 Netflix plugin)

    Another issue – when I had “ja” in the sub language box, it downloaded only the forced subs (translation of the English lines in the show), not the whole sub file. Once I removed “ja” it worked.

  2. New release for Netflix Subtitles Downloader 0.13.9 ported by me.

    https://mega.nz/#!d4NDRCoC!PXqmYtQCPVXCfktNTg4LVNixwEmfMf-_zWGI82dp41g

    Uninstall Kodi and make sure to choose:

    “Yes, I am sure and grant permission to also delete the profile folder”

    when you uninstalling the program.

    https://i.imgur.com/V2ICJfx.png

    Download the latest version for Kodi from

    http://mirrors.kodi.tv/nightlies/windows/

    Install the latest version and install the addon
    and choose where you want to save the subtitles and the language of the subtitles
    and enter your Netflix email and password.

    Restart Kodi.

    If you get any error messages when you try to login just press on
    the third line

    “Video add-ons”

    https://i.imgur.com/wstTHgC.png

    Then press on

    “NetflixSubs” 0.13.9

    until you succeeded to login
    and download the subtitles as usual.

    https://i.imgur.com/oi8GW5U.png

    The login problems are from the original addon
    you can download and test them by yourself from here

    https://github.com/asciidisco/plugin.video.netflix/releases

    1. Thank you for assistance updating the plugin while I have been away for a while. I have moved the plugin to Github to make things simpler if you would like to assist again in the future. https://github.com/Zarxrax/NetflixSubs
      I’ve released a new version based on the latest release of Kodi. If you dont mind, please review and make sure I didn’t undo any enhancements or fixes that you made!

  3. Sorry i found error with the modification of the plugin makes it download the subtitle with wrong numbers.

  4. Still not working.
    Here’s my log.
    Can U help me?

    12:36:27.831 T:43356 ERROR: XFILE::CDirectory::GetDirectory – Error getting plugin://plugin.video.netflixsubs/
    12:36:27.836 T:40044 ERROR: CGUIMediaWindow::GetDirectory(plugin://plugin.video.netflixsubs/) failed
    12:37:33.140 T:43428 WARNING: Invalid media type “”
    12:37:40.131 T:40044 WARNING: Previous line repeats 6 times.
    12:37:40.131 T:40044 NOTICE: VideoPlayer::OpenFile: plugin://plugin.video.netflixsubs/?action=play_video&…;start_offset=1366
    12:37:40.133 T:21824 NOTICE: Creating InputStream
    12:37:42.101 T:21824 ERROR: AddOnLog: InputStream Adaptive: Unable to load widevine shared library (C:\Users\Astlath\AppData\Roaming\Kodi\cdm\widevinecdm.dll)
    12:37:42.101 T:21824 ERROR: AddOnLog: InputStream Adaptive: OpenDRMSystem failed
    12:37:42.102 T:21824 ERROR: CVideoPlayer::OpenInputStream – error opening [plugin://plugin.video.netflixsubs/?action=play_video&…;start_offset=1366]
    12:37:42.102 T:21824 NOTICE: CVideoPlayer::OnExit()

    1. Uninstall Kodi and make sure to choose:

      “Yes, I am sure and grant permission to also delete the profile folder”

      when you uninstalling the program.

      Download the latest version for Kodi
      and choose where you want to save the subtitles and the language of the subtitles
      and enter your Netflix email and password.

      Restart Kodi.

  5. And to minimize the chances of getting any error messages, after opening Kodi
    wait a minute before you press on the add-on.

  6. Hi I can’t seem to log in to Netflix, no matter what I do.
    I’ve selected logout. Then I tried switch accounts. I exit’ed from Kodi and restarted. I uninstalled the Netflix addon and reinstalled it. I logged out of my Netflix account on my computer and iPad, and also selected “log out of all devices”.
    I was able to log in the first time, but I then went to my iPad to add a movie to My List.
    Since then I’ve not been able to log in again on Kodi.

    Any ideas on what to try next?

    1. Use this new version 0.13.9

      https://mega.nz/#!d4NDRCoC!PXqmYtQCPVXCfktNTg4LVNixwEmfMf-_zWGI82dp41g

      Uninstall Kodi and make sure to choose:

      “Yes, I am sure and grant permission to also delete the profile folder”

      when you uninstalling the program.

      Download the latest version of Kodi

      Install the latest version and install the addon
      and choose where you want to save the subtitles and the language of the subtitles
      and enter your Netflix email and password.

      Restart Kodi.

    2. If you getting any error messages when you try to login just press on
      the third line

      “Video add-ons”

      Then press on

      “NetflixSubs” 0.13.9

      until you succeeded to login
      and download the subtitles as usual.

      1. Hey! I do it like your video and now work but dont download all the subs! When i login from Firefox or Chrome show all avaible languages!
        From KODI donwload only Germans!

    1. You should first uninstall Kodi and make sure to choose:

      “Yes, I am sure and grant permission to also delete the profile folder”

      when you uninstalling the program.

      Download the latest version of Kodi

      Install the latest version and install the addon
      and choose where you want to save the subtitles and the language of the subtitles
      and enter your Netflix email and password.

      Restart Kodi.

    2. Where are you from?
      And what is name of the show you are trying to download its subtitles?
      and in what language?

        1. For Greek language write
          el
          in
          “Only download subtitles with language code”

          If you left
          “Only download subtitles with language code”
          empty, Kodi will download the subtitles with all the available languages.

          1. I think Netflix detected your VPN, you need to change your VPN to one that Netflix can’t detect.

          2. I can’t tell if ExpressVPN is better than NordVPN or not, as NordVPN is blocked in my country.
            But i can say that ExpressVPN is great for downloading the subtitles from ExpressVPN
            without being detected by Netflix.

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  8. Is this method working also for Romanian lamguage?
    I was trying, … I didn’t get any error but still I can’t find where the file was stored on my Raspberry PI 3 running Kodi on OSMC

  9. I have an idea for a way may make us able to download a full season at once.
    If you used a version of the plugin modified so it can play the video
    and download the subtitles at the same time
    and right clicked on the first episode of a TV show
    and selected “Play from here”, the plugin will play the first episode and
    each episode after it automatically (this is has nothing to do with Netflix Auto-playing),
    if anyone has any idea of how to
    modify the plugin to skip forward each episode without playing it
    this will be a step for downloading a full season at once,
    see this video.

    https://mega.nz/#!YhNBCCiQ!dk2rAb0MVKpDsycsHaO6aHf_GIOWGLktWDB5Kw8fFm8

    1. And Instead of choosing “Play from here”, we can open Kodi
      and from “Settings” choose “Player” and from “Player”
      choose “Video” and choose “Play next video automatically” and
      choose “Episodes” and press on “OK”
      This will lead to when we press on the first episode from
      a season of a TV show the player will play the rest of the Episodes
      automatically.

      1. And after pressing on the first episode, every time you press on “>”
        the add-on will download the subtitle of the next episode.

    2. I have created a workaround to download a full season.
      It requires using AutoHotKey and running a script to automate the keypresses to download all of the episodes.

      1. Get AutoHotKey: https://autohotkey.com/
      2. Run this script: https://pastebin.com/wRshKN5i
      3. Open kodi and browse to the season you want to download
      4. Press Ctrl+Shift+S to execute the script.
      5. A dialog box will appear asking how many episodes there are. Type in the number of episodes and press enter.
      6. Don’t touch anything until it finishes. Moving the mouse can change which episode is selected, causing it to choose the wrong ones. After it selects an episode, it will wait 10 seconds before attempting to move to the next episode. This ought to be enough time, but if not the script can be modified to allow more time between episodes.

        1. To use the Esc key while the script is still running, you need to right click on the program icon in the task bar and choose “Suspend Hotkeys”

        2. Are you sure ESC wasn’t working? It was working for me when I tested it, you just have to wait up to 10 seconds.

          I don’t think there is any way of converting this to a kodi addon, but I still think it might be possible to achieve this a different way through kodi. I didn’t compile it to an exe so it would be flexible for people to still make changes (for example, F12 is already reserved for another purpose on my computer).

          1. I mean after finishing downloading the full season (and before it) i can’t go back to the previous windows by hitting on Esc key, i must first right click on the program icon in the task bar and choose “Suspend Hotkeys” to restore the functionally of Esc key.

          2. I replaced Esc key with F11 which has no use for me in Kodi and in Windows 10 (but not in this modified script below), and to avoid any problems comes from accidental mouse movement i added lines to the script that disable the mouse movement during the downloading of the subtitles and restore the mouse movement after the downloading finishes, it would be great to modify the script to disable mouse movement only in Kodi window, and to make the script works only in Kodi window, so anyone can use the computer during downloading the subtitles in case they needed to.

            https://pastebin.com/63pr4uSa

            In another mater, NetflixSubs-0.13.10-1 still has one problem, please check my final comment in this post.

            https://github.com/Zarxrax/NetflixSubs/issues/2

  10. I have the netflix plugin and the.latest subs plugin. I managed to download Japanese subs for Suits. But how to I show the subs in netflix? Netflix plugin doesn’t give an option to choose local subs file.

    1. I have found a way for how to choose the subtitle file from your hard drive,
      after the installation of Kodi and the add-on go to this path

      C:\Program Files\Kodi\system\settings

      and open “settings.xml” with “Notepad++”

      search for “subtitles.custompath” and after the line change it to
      2
      1
      write “1” between “”

      and save the file.

      Open Kodi and from the main window press on “Videos”

      then press on “files”

      and “add videos”

      press on “browse” and choose the location of the subtitles

      and press on “ok”

      return to Netflix add-on
      and play the episode

      then press on “subtitles” icon

      press on “browse for subtitles”

      then press on “..”

      and choose the location of the subtitles

      and choose the subtitle file.

    1. Try to download the subtitles without using VPN first, Netflix could have detected the VPN, and sometimes after using VPNs for many times Netflix changes the password of the account, check your account to make sure that its password still working.

      1. The plugin works perfectly , the problem was in my account it had payment issues so i couldn’t tell with kodi. Thanks man.

  11. I have followed the steps on this blog post/on MattvsJapans video and set it for traditional Chinese subs (I think it’s the one that shows up in the URL right? [zh-Hant])

    For some reason when I log into kodi it comes up with the message “Login failed, please check your credentials”

    I tried rebooting Kodi, and reentering my details a few times and it doesn’t seem to work for some reason. Any suggestions?

  12. I just followed the steps in the github link you provided to the letter by first uninstalling the previously installed Kodi version and then using the latest nightly windows x64 build and addon version 0.13.10. I logged in and was able to browse etc. – The only setting I changed was to place the subtitles in a new folder. I still run into the issue of the addon never actually writing anything to the folder. I’ve tried a few folders and I’ve only ever managed to get this to work once about a week ago for just a few episodes of a TV show. I’m not running any VPNs currently.

    https://pastebin.com/fsRtTgr5 Here’s a paste of the Kodi log. Any ideas as to what’s going on? Last I looked a few others were having similar issues with the files not being saved to disk.

    1. To be honest, I ran into the same issue and I’m not sure what the fix is, it just eventually started working for me. All day yesterday, I kept uninstalling/reinstalling, and I was having similar issues as you. Today it worked, no changes from yesterday.

      I would recommend after installing and logging in, just exit if it doesn’t work. Let it sit around for maybe a half hour and then try again. I suspect it might be something on Netflix’s server side that is causing the issue, but I still don’t know for sure. Let me know if you eventually have success or not.

        1. Never mind, it only worked once after, probably coincidence. my PR does actually address a bug but seems unrelated so I’ll leave it up – I’m going to follow what you say and see if it magically starts working again.

  13. I seem to be missing WideVine: AddOnLog: InputStream Adaptive: Unable to load widevine shared library(…). The dll isn’t in the location it is expected.

    1. Try using this version 0.13.10

      https://mega.nz/#!0wU0zYCJ!GSCYcpzaNsaVVKYttUiUVEHnYARG1dgt350C6XYheZg

      Uninstall Kodi and make sure to choose:

      “Yes, I am sure and grant permission to also delete the profile folder”

      when you uninstalling the program.

      Download the latest version of Kodi 18, install Kodi and the plugin
      and choose where you want to save the subtitles and leave “only download subtitles with this language” empty, and enter your Netflix email and password.

      Restart Kodi (This step is a must or you will not download any subtitles).

      and what is your operating system?

  14. Errors start with these lines (not all errors). Using 0.13.9
    14:58:29.628 T:14004 ERROR: XFILE::CDirectory::GetDirectory – Error getting
    14:58:35.048 T:1912 ERROR: Previous line repeats 6 times.
    14:58:35.048 T:1912 WARNING: CPythonInvoker(2, C:\Users\…\AppData\Roaming\Kodi\addons\plugin.video.netflixsubs\addon.py): the python script “C:\Users\…\AppData\Roaming\Kodi\addons\plugin.video.netflixsubs\addon.py” has left several classes in memory that we couldn’t clean up. The classes include: class XBMCAddon::xbmcaddon::Addon
    14:58:35.057 T:7852 ERROR: XFILE::CDirectory::GetDirectory – Error getting plugin://plugin.video.netflixsubs/
    14:58:35.066 T:7832 ERROR: CGUIMediaWindow::GetDirectory(plugin://plugin.video.netflixsubs/) failed
    14:58:59.651 T:6704 ERROR: XFILE::CDirectory::GetDirectory – Error getting
    …(a whole bunch of lines)…
    14:59:51.353 T:19332 ERROR: File “C:\Users\…\AppData\Roaming\Kodi\addons\plugin.video.netflixsubs\resources\lib\MSL.py”, line 634, in __encrypt
    14:59:51.353 T:19332 ERROR: return json.dumps(self.crypto.encrypt(plaintext, self.nx_common.get_esn(), self.sequence_number))
    14:59:51.353 T:19332 ERROR: AttributeError: ‘MSL’ object has no attribute ‘sequence_number’
    14:59:51.353 T:9808 ERROR: CCurlFile::FillBuffer – Failed: Server returned nothing (no headers, no data)(52)
    14:59:51.353 T:9808 ERROR: CCurlFile::Open failed with code 0 for http://localhost:51471/manifest?id=80049285&dolby=true&hevc=false:
    14:59:51.353 T:9808 ERROR: AddOnLog: InputStream Adaptive: Cannot download http://localhost:51471/manifest?id=80049285&dolby=true&hevc=false

  15. Do you have any plans to update the subtitles that you’re sharing on Google Drive? Specifically for the newer episodes of Terrace House OND. I Would love to grab it myself with this method but I always get a login error with that Kodi plugin :/

    1. Use this modified version 0.13.10.6
      the login problems should be fixed in it

      https://mega.nz/#!JptnhYJQ!ZEGgbTZ578zPaWREj3-DMKSQTEM_X2OyDf8BRcn7p18

      Uninstall Kodi and make sure to choose:

      “Yes, I am sure and grant permission to also delete the profile folder”
      when you uninstalling the program.

      Download the latest version of Kodi 18 nightly install Kodi and the plugin
      and choose where you want to save the subtitles and the language of the subtitles, and enter your Netflix email and password.

      Restart Kodi

      1. Thank you for your help. I’ve since managed to get it to log in, not sure what the problem was before… Just updated to the latest version successfully too. Great work!

  16. Dear Alan,
    For a long time now I am desperate to get subtitles in Japanese and was quite thrilled when I came across your website. And I am always eager enough to work myself through unknown systems and be able to get things done myself for the future use.
    This is the second time I am here and I really tried to go through the process and get the subtitles myself, but since I am using a macbook I can’t install the plugin properly, there is always an error popping up. I know the problem was already solved by changing the username, but I am not doing any programming nor am I experienced to know where I can change my username inside this plugin. I would if I could but I just don’t know where to do that.
    So my questions:
    1 Would someone mind to share a foolproof way on how to change the username thing for Macbook-Users, or just share how to install KODI on Mac?
    2 I notice that there is a bunch of Japanese subtitles already available, but most of them are English produced movies, as for a language learner I would like to prevent using translated subtitles and just go for the original formats with Japanese subtitles. So here is my question: Is there a way to get also subtitles of original Japanese movies?
    I know that’s a lot to ask and would be extremely grateful if someone could share information.

    Lelo

    1. Unfortunately I can not provide any support for Mac, as I don’t own one, and even if I launch one in a virtual machine, I struggle to figure out how to accomplish even the most basic of tasks.

      I have posted numerous subtitles for Japanese programs. If there is anything in particular that you were looking for, and it is available on the US Netflix, I will be glad to try to get it for you.

    2. With the new releases of the plugin thanks to Alan you can choose where you want to save your subtitles after installing the plugin right click on the plugin icon and choose settings then subtitles after that choose subtitle folder and choose where you want to save the subtitles, so no need for changing anything inside the plugin files manually anymore, use this new release 0.13.10.8

      https://mega.nz/#!Nw8E1a5J!iJ3EGu9ApmQ7rWb_Fa35pAUujfkRPQz7_i9X6rE188w

    3. First you need to uninstall Kodi and make sure to choose:

      “Yes, I am sure and grant permission to also delete the profile folder”
      when you uninstalling the program.

      Download the latest version of Kodi 18 nightly from here

      https://mirrors.kodi.tv/nightlies/osx/x86_64/master/

      Install Kodi and the plugin
      and choose where you want to save the subtitles and the language of the subtitles, and enter your Netflix email and password.

  17. Hello, I am getting “Invalid Credentials” or “Failed to login”. The plugin used to work when I was using an older version about a month ago. I am positive that I am using the correct credentials and that I have the newest version of the plugin and Kodi (as of September 1, 2018). Does anyone else have this problem or know how to fix it?

    1. Still working for me. I do get some weird error when I try to launch the plugin sometimes, but then I restart kodi and it works. I’m unsure what could be causing login issues only for some people.

        1. Thank you, everything working fine, Is it possible to add an option to subtitle menu for deleting the subtitles with the extension vtt, and Subtitle_urls.txt after converting the subtitles to SRT?

          1. Thank you so much, It worked exactly the way i was looking for, just a small observation the switch of “Convert subtitles to SRT” and “Delete VTT files after Conversion” are not working, you can not turn them off, to fix them you need to change them to:

            if self.nx_common.get_setting(‘convert_to_srt’) == ‘true’:

            and

            if self.nx_common.get_setting(‘delete_vtt’) == ‘true’:

  18. Hi Alan,

    Thank you so much for crafting and sharing NetflixSubs.

    Your programs and documentation are a breath of fresh air on the web.

    Do you accept donations? If so, please let me know how to send.

    Aloha,

    Miles

    1. Thank you. I don’t have anything set up for donations because I never expected that I might receive anything. Also, this is also built on the backs of many other people, I have really only done a small part. I am just happy that some people are able to find it useful.

  19. I am trying to access your already downloaded japanese fifles from gmail but i am not able to open them. I click the tv show name ‘mischievous kiss’ then i click the next file so the episodes pop up but i am unable to go further than that. How can i access them?

  20. Hello!

    I tried to download the subtitles that you have already downloaded but couldn’t. It said restricted…. Do you know what happened?
    Thanks.

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