Thanks for posting that, it was a cool read.
Drew_Sutton wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:35 pm
I'd never heard of Sub Station Alpha, so I looked it up. Sub Station Alpha is a Windows software released sometime about 1996, per this archive.org
link.Given its vintage, the software probably was designed with Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 in mind but going through the archive, it looks like NT was the last OS it was developed for. It is also, a dead project. Compared with JACOsub, JACO is indeed older since it is tied to the Commodore Amiga, which was niche but a popular niche in the 1980s. JACOsub was prolific in the fansub community in the tape days, probably because of the Amiga's dedicated following at the time.
Where the real longevity lies, is that the subtitling formats generated by SSA and JACOsub can both be encoded and decoded by most modern video players and codec packs. ASS was a format used very heavily in the early digisub days but not on systems generated by the SubStationAlpha software. Most folks I knew (which is hardly a large sample) used AegisSub or Adobe Premier.
This article (https://cinemathread.com/culture/a-brie ... to-the-us/
) mentions that Sub Station Alpha had been in use since the 1985 with VHS. Maybe the author mistook it with JACOSub?
So, I may have been off on JACOsub's vintage. I usually associate Amiga computers with the wave of PCs in the 1980s, so I figured that JACOsub came out of the same time, but according to this post on rec.arts.anime by it's author
, was in beta in 1992 and I think was out of beta by 1993. From the context in that post, the subtitling software that JACOsub was influenced by was called TurboTitle and also for the Amiga. There is another post to rec.arts.anime by Matulich (I think in response to William Chow) about certain advantages the Amiga had over IBM 486/MS-DOS and Macintosh computers of the time why it was chosen to develop JACOsub.
I tried to dig deeper for Sub Station Alpha on rec.arts.anime, since I was able to get close to a genesis of JACOsub and all I could really find was this post
from ~1997, which still confirms what I found before. I leave it open that it is within the realm of possibility that this is a different software by the same name that came later but I'm fairly doubtful of that. I think it's safe to say that the subtitling software referenced in Ms. Chak's article certainly wasn't JACOsub but also wasn't SubStationAlpha.
William Chow's Arctic Animation fasub group pre-dated JACOsub and he describes how the group started in this video
but he doesn't name which subtitling software they used (I don't think they ever used JACOsub).