Toast Titanium 10
Roxio has long been in the game of producing optical burning software, first for CD’s then DVD’s and now Blu-Ray. I’ve been spending some time using the latest version of Roxio’s Toast Titanium 10 package which is an all-in-one suite of tools for getting your media and your content on to a disc.
Made exclusively for Mac’s, Toast Titanium is a Universal Binary application which means it’ll work with the PowerPC G4 generation running at least Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and it costs about £90 for the Pro version and about £60 for the standard version. This review covers the features that are available in both versions with an overview of the extra goodies you get in the Pro version.
Burn data, audio and video to CD and DVD
Burn home movie DVD’s using over 20 new DVD and Blu-ray menus
Copy non-encrypted DVDs to your computer and copy disk to disk
Audio and video conversion for a number of formats including playback on your portable media player, Xbox, PS3, etc.
Burn data to Blu-ray
Index your DVD collection – allows you to store and manage your collection of DVD archives, backups, etc and search through them without the disk in the drive
Taps in to your system indexes, including Spotlight, Aperture and iLife media library
Extras in the Pro version:
Includes SmartSound Sonicfire Pro, BIAS SoundSoap SE, FotoMagico, LightZone
High Definition plug-in for creating HD videos to Blu-ray
Convert HD video to fit on DVD
My main contention and probably the issue that many other people have is that why spend the money on this when every Mac for the past few years has come with burning software for data and your media.
Where Toast adds value is the integration of physical and digital media. In this one application, you have access to all of your optical media burning needs catered for.
At it’s most basic level, Toast will allow you to burn your files to a disk. The magic happens with its ability to handle nearly any video or audio format and then convert it for you automatically to the appropriate format in the best quality. You don’t have to know what bit-rate or resolution or encoding type you need to format your media in, Toast takes care of it all for you. That’s something you won’t get from the bundle of apps included with OS X.
For those who are looking for the reverse of burning your data to a disk. Toast also handles that as well. You can take unencrypted media from your disks and convert it to a format to fit your portable devices and it will choose all of the settings for you. This is great for converting your media from disk to say your iPod or iPhone.
Toast 10 has got improved high definition support for formats such as AVCHD for burning videos you’ve recorded from your high definition camcorders. Another great feature of Toast is the ability to capture streaming Flash-based media and streaming audio tracks. It takes one step further as well by tagging your tracks after conversion by looking at its audio signatures to identify what song it is you’ve just captured.
The Pro version comes with some extras for editing audio, scoring your DVD videos with soundtracks, photo editing and creating high definition photo slideshows. These are apps that you can purchase separately, so if you’re not looking for the entire collection, you might save some money by purchasing them separately. Don’t forget that the Pro version of Toast 10 also comes with the High Definition Blu-ray video-burning plug-in that costs $19.99/£14.99
I’m glad that Roxio has decided to not cut out features in the standard version and instead bundle extras with the Pro version – a smart move that will hold well with their customers.
The application itself is clean and simple to use, it just works. The presets are actually useful and will help a variety of users in making their media available on the device and format you want to burn or extract to. Roxio have even included an internet streaming service as part of the package that allows you to access media stored on your computer over the internet entirely for free – and it’s the simplest thing to setup. You just load the Streamer app, enter a username and password, hit continue and that’s it. You’re given a URL to access, just log on and you can start streaming that you’ve added.
Toats Titanium 10 is the most complete and full-featured burning application available for the Mac today. It’s great if you want to work with digital media or you’re distributing data on physical media. It’s even better for those who own high-definition camcorders and want to be able to play back their content on their big-screen TV using their Blu-ray player.