Toast 9 Titanium
Toast 9 Titanium is an all-in-one DVD/CD burning suite designed exclusively for Macintosh computers. Few other programs on the Apple platform can match its comprehensive array of features, which include everything from audio edits to disc labelling. With added support for AVCHD/Blu-ray and HD-DVD, plus a new range of editing and streaming options, this ninth iteration of Toast is certainly worth upgrading for.
- User-friendly interface, AVCHD/Blu-ray and HD-DVD support, built-in video editor, comes bundled with oodles of useful software
- Requires a separately sold plug-in to author high-definition discs
When it comes to one-stop digital media creation, Mac owners need look no further than Roxio's latest Toast offering. From HD disc burning to in-program video editing, this comprehensive software bundle has you covered.
Price$ 179.95 (AUD)
Perhaps the most significant new feature in Toast 9 Titanium is improved support for high-definition video, including AVCHD. AVCHD is a video codec found in the majority of HDD high-def camcorders (Sony, Canon and Panasonic have all pledged their support for the format). This means you can use Toast 9 Titanium to burn your high-def movies to disc and then watch them on a Blu-ray compatible device.
However, to burn AVCHD footage at full resolution, you'll need to spring for an additional Toast 9 HD/BD plug-in. This can be purchased as a download from Roxio's website for $29.99. With the plug-in, you can use Toast 9 Titanium to create high-def videos on Blu-ray, HD-DVD or even standard DVD-R discs (this will obviously be handy for users who don't own a high-def burner). If you already own a high-def camera and want to make the most out of its capabilities, it's a small price to pay.
As reflected by its premium price tag, Toast 9 Titanium is much more than a humble disc burner. Roxio has crammed a dizzying selection of secondary software into the sales package, stopping just short of throwing in a kitchen sink. The end result is a comprehensive product that covers every possible facet of digital media creation. The list of bundled software includes CD Spin Doctor (an audio application that can be used to digitise analogue recordings), DiscCatalogMaker RE (a CD/DVD cataloguing program that can also compress catalogued data), Disc Cover 2 RE (a Lightscribe-compatible disc-labelling tool) and GetBackup RE (a backup application complete with scheduling options and control over individual files and folders).
All of these add-ons work seamlessly with Toast 9 and exhibit the same ease-of-use as the core application. We were particularly impressed by Spin Doctor's audio fingerprinting functionality, which automatically identifies untagged music files and adds the relevant data (such as artist, album and song). As for the Toast 9 application itself, Roxio has retained the tri-pane interface that previous users should be familiar with. Burning discs is a fuss-free affair, and the majority of editing and conversion options are just one or two mouse clicks away. The most noticeable change to the control layout is probably the inclusion of a 'convert' tab, complete with built-in hints and tips. This should be a boon for tech-savvy users, allowing them to effortlessly transfer their files to smart phones, multimedia players and game consoles.
Also new to Toast 9 is the video cropping/trimming feature, which allows you to shave unwanted segments from video files, such as adverts, before burning them to disc (previously this required third-party software). Naturally, the usual assortment of advanced disc burning options are also available, including burning large files across multiple discs, compressing files to create one-disc DVD compilations, and the ability to pause and resume video encoding without losing your progress.
Toast 9 Titanium also includes extensive support for TiVo. TiVo is a digital video recorder used primarily for television capture and scheduling (no doubt you've heard it being referenced in US movies and TV shows — they're quite mad for it over there). Although the device is not currently available in Australia, it is due to hit our shores later this year. (You can find out more info by clicking here.) Consequently, many of Toast 9 Titanium's TiVo-centric features are worth taking note of. These include the ability to wirelessly stream TiVo content to your computer, as well as automatic conversion for use on mobile devices, such as iPods and PlayStation Portables.
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