The ninth incarnation of Toast brings the renowned £70 Mac burning software into the high definition era with support for Blu-ray burning (though disappointingly only via an optional plug-in for another £14.99) and even allows burning of "normal" DVDs in a Blu-ray format.
But Toast 9 Titanium is a remarkable piece of software because despite the remarkable feature set, the interface is so easy to use that Toast seems, well, so simple that it cannot do the things it can.
Not so though and some of the other new features on offer include the ability to pause and restart a burning job, should you need to free up some processor power during a big burn and you also get disc burning support for streaming video to your iPhone.
During data burning during, say, a large backup session, data can now be split (or spanned) across multiple discs without breaking it up. If you have unknown audio files you can automatically tag them using their audio “fingerprint” and you now get support for recording internet audio streams as well.
Although Macs don’t currently have Blu-ray disc burning hardware, Roxio are anticipating its introduction in to future models and that aforementioned additional £14.99 Blu-ray plug-in lets Toast 9 Titanium burn DVDs in a format suitable for playback through a Blu-ray player. However a downside to this is you can only burn clips like this of around 20-minutes since that’s all you can fit on a standard DVD.
In use Toast is very user-friendly since the interface provides a large content area, add or subtract buttons for, adding or subtracting content from, say, your hard disk you want to burn by clicking Toast’s signature big red button.
You get an easy visual confirmation across the bottom of Toast’s window for how much room (or not) you have left on a disk you’ve got inserted to burn. Duplication of unprotected DVDs you own is possible now to boot, so you can easily back-up old iMovie projects that you might have littering your hard drive or rip unprotected DVDs for playback on a PSP or iPhone. Natty fit-to-DVD video compression is in there that helps to squeeze larger video or media files onto a DVD that would not normally fit.
Other cool kit includes video conversion for an Apple TV or iPhone and when used, it’ll quickly drop the converted files into iTunes for you if you wish. A separate – floating – media browser allows easy searching and inclusion of your media to be burned be it video, audio or still image content for inclusion in a burning task.
And even funkier is the new Roxio Streamer feature that can stream video from your Mac over a Wi-Fi network to another suitably connected Mac or iPhone. Just like the rest of Toast, the Roxio Streamer feature is very simple to set and use.
Additional bundled software (together with the Streamer software) includes automatic back up software Get backup RE, CD Spin Doctor (for digitising old vinyl records), DiscCatalogMaker RE, TiVo Transfer and Disc Cover 2 RE for creating and printing labels onto compatible CDs and DVDs, plus you also get Toast Video Player thrown in too.
Add in the more usual features such as disc copy functionality and simple data burning for back-up purposes for example plus cross-platform photo disk creation, using full-resolution images and with fully featured slideshow creation, all makes Toast 9 Titanium pretty much a must-have software item for all Mac users.
Toast 9 Titanium updates Roxio’s famed burning software for the Mac and plays host to a raft of new features and improvements over most of the others in Toast 8. If you need to burn discs and you have a Mac it’s pretty much a must-have piece of software.