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Posts: 5005
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:26 pm
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[ADMIN] API Requests limit

Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:24 am

Hi all,

recently we send this mail to all developers:
Dear developer

we are sending this email, because you registered an OpenSubtitles API UserAgent. There are a few upcoming changes which can affect your application.


We started to monitor the usage of API and the results are impressive. The most used method is SearchSubtitles() which is requested 1000 times per second on average. We also found bad bots hammering our servers with random full-text requests at 50 requests per second. To provide faster responses and avoid DDOS's we need to implement API rate limiting.

Starting September 1st, 2017 there will be an API RATE LIMIT of 40 requests per 10 second per IP Address.

We think this is more than enough for every thinkable usage of our service. If this is somehow not enough or this doesn't work for you, please email us so we can discuss your situation. 

In the http response, we will include a new header: X-RateLimit-Remaining which indicates how many requests you have left for period of time (token bucket algorithm). Once there were too much requests, our server will respond with HTTP code "429 Too many requests".

Also, we highly recommend to add your http xmlrpc requests 'User-Agent' set to your registered OpenSubtitles UserAgent.


Many applications don't link to us properly. Regular usage of the OpenSubtitles API is free but one of the conditions is a back link to OpenSubtitles. Basically, that's all we ask for. We will start to check regularly if there are actual back links to us and if we can't find it on your website or in your App, your UserAgent can be limited. Please provide a proper and visible link to

If you think we cannot find the link on your site or in your App directly or the link is somewhere else, please email us the reason and URL where we can find the link.


- Recently we developed our new Subtitles Tools API ... tle-tools/ with features like: convert subtitle formats, change encoding, synchronize (time shift, change FPS), detect language, detect encoding and many more. 

- We've implemented automated monitoring of our services which means less downtime.

- We've implemented a ticketing system for support emails

- Interesting statistics: 

1700+ User Agents registered in total
4.700.000 subtitles uploaded in total
700.000 subtitle downloads per day
5.000 user registrations per day
5.000 new movie hashes per day

We are giving you enough time to reflect the changes in your application and website. We are trying our best to keep our service online and lowering latency. Very soon, we are going to do a major server upgrade in order to give you even better service. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. We are happy to answer them.

Q: If I send in SearchSubtitles() 3 parameters, this will be considered as 3 requests ?
A: No, as request is considered only HTTP request. So one request is LogIn(), another one is SearchSubtitles() (can be with many params), another one is NoOperation() and so on.

Q: will be status codes 5xx counted as request?
A: we will do everything to NOT count http 5xx response codes as request

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