user3630290 user3630290 - 2 months ago 32
Python Question

parsing a .srt file with regex

I am doing a small script in python, but since I am quite new I got stuck in one part:
I need to get timing and text from a

file. For example, from

00:00:01,000 --> 00:00:04,074
Subtitles downloaded from

I need to get:

00:00:01,000 --> 00:00:04,074


Subtitles downloaded from

I have already managed to make the regex for timing, but i am stuck for the text. I've tried to use look behind where I use my regex for timing:

( ?<=(\d+):(\d+):(\d+)(?:\,)(\d+) --> (\d+):(\d+):(\d+)(?:\,)(\d+) )\w+

but with no effect. Personally, i think that using look behind is the right way to solve this, but i am not sure how to write it correctly. Can anyone help me? Thanks.


Honestly, I don't see any reason to throw regex at this problem. .srt files are highly structured. The structure goes like:

  • an integer starting at 1, monotonically increasing
  • start --> stop timing
  • one or more lines of subtitle content
  • a blank line

... and repeat. Note the bold part - you might have to capture 1, 2, or 20 lines of subtitle content after the time code.

So, just take advantage of the structure. In this way you can parse everything in just one pass, without needing to put more than one line into memory at a time and still keeping all the information for each subtitle together.

from itertools import groupby
# "chunk" our input file, delimited by blank lines
with open(filename) as f:
    res = [list(g) for b,g in groupby(f, lambda x: bool(x.strip())) if b]

For example, using the example on the SRT doc page, I get:

  '00:02:17,440 --> 00:02:20,375\n',
  "Senator, we're making\n",
  'our final approach into Coruscant.\n'],
 ['2\n', '00:02:20,476 --> 00:02:22,501\n', 'Very good, Lieutenant.\n']]

And I could further transform that into a list of meaningful objects:

from collections import namedtuple

Subtitle = namedtuple('Subtitle', 'number start end content')

subs = []

for sub in res:
    if len(sub) >= 3: # not strictly necessary, but better safe than sorry
        sub = [x.strip() for x in sub]
        number, start_end, *content = sub # py3 syntax
        start, end = start_end.split(' --> ')
        subs.append(Subtitle(number, start, end, content))

[Subtitle(number='1', start='00:02:17,440', end='00:02:20,375', content=["Senator, we're making", 'our final approach into Coruscant.']),
 Subtitle(number='2', start='00:02:20,476', end='00:02:22,501', content=['Very good, Lieutenant.'])]