Zixue player

ZiXue player

This video player is built to facilitate study of Standard Chinese and Chinese script. It accepts local video and subtitle files and transcribes simplified or traditional Chinese subtitles to Pinyin. Together with autopause and replay based on subtitle timing Pinyin will make it easier to understand the spoken language. To assist in the translation of the subtitles the player offers a straightforward machine translation and performs on demand dictionary lookup of individual characters and words.

Using the player

Basic usage: click the top-left movie icon and select a video and matching subtitle file from your device. This content will be played locally in the browser. Hover your mouse over the subtitles to translate characters and words. Use the replay button (next to play) to repeat and pause the last subtitle. See advanced usage for using traditional Chinese and multiple subtitles.


The player works best in a recent version of Chrome. Other browsers work with issues or not at all, depending on your system configuration and the video format. See Browser Support for more information and hints to resolve video, audio and subtitle issues.

Demo video

Click the demo link below to load a demo video showing the numbers 0 to 9. To return to this screen, press the info icon in the header. The audio in the video was taken from Chinese Phonetics by John Jing-hua Yin, University of Vermont


The CC-CEDICT dictionary

This player uses the CC-CEDICT dictionary by MDBG. To use it, it must be downloaded and processed. This process will take a moment and starts the first time a subtitle file (other than the demo) is loaded. The processed dictionary will be stored locally and is available for this player until the browser local storage for the player is cleared.

Privacy and source code

This player does not log or upload any information. Although the player is loaded from a website, your local content is played locally and no information leaves your device. The code used for this player is unobfuscated, inspectable in the browser and listed on Github

Advanced usage

Use the player by selecting a video and one or more subtitle (*.srt or *.vtt) files on your device. Use the top-left movie icon to open the local file browser. Select all required files in one go, or select a video file and add subtitles later. The last subtitle file recognized as Chinese will be used for transcription. All loaded subtitles (Chinese or other languages) are displayed in the movie frame after activating the "show subtitles" option top right

The subtitle language is taken from the file name. Subtitle files with names like themovie.zhs.srt and themovie.zhs.vtt are recognized as simplified Chinese, while themovie.zht.srt will be recognized as traditional Chinese. Aside from zhs and zht the following language identifiers are recognized: cn cns zhs zs chi chs or no identifier for Simplified Chinese and cnt zht zt cht for Traditional Chinese.

Browser Support

The video and audio formats and codecs must be supported by the browser. If the video doesn't play or no audio can be heard try another browser or check if your system or browser needs to be configured to play the content. It might be necessary to convert the video using a tool like the opensource VLC. A safe bet is conversion of video towards MP4 using the H.264 or WEBM codecs, audio to stereo AAC, MP3 or Ogg and running Chrome. Other browsers will run, but might need additional configuration. If you encounter these issues, please don't blame the player or the browser. The root cause is a patent mess around about everything and anything that is needed to get content to people.

Subtitle character encoding is automatically detected. If subtitles look garbled, try to open the subtitles with a text editor. Check the encoding (GB-2312, GB-18030, Big5). If the subtitles are readable in the editor, try saving to UTF-8. Firefox subtitle transcription works, but the timing is less exact than in Chrome due to the way Firefox handles subtitle changes.


This software is publised under GNU GPLv2. The dynamically loaded CC-CEDICT dictionary by MDBG uses a Creative Commons Share-Alike license. The license for the 10 audio samples in de demo video is unspecified, defaulting to old fashioned copyright.

My contact information can be found at Github
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