I love Mac tools; those applications and utilities that make Mac life so grand.
Upgrades? I cough up the money for everything from iLife to Quicken to Roxio’s Toast? $60 for Toast? What do I get for this upgrade?
Don’t get me wrong. Toast is on my Mincey’s Certified List Of Must Have Mac Tools™. For now. Just as I balked at the Quicken Tax, and other Mac taxes, I’m balking at Toast.
TiVoToGo transfers your TV shows and movies from your TiVo to your Mac, does the necessary time-consuming conversion, and you’re good to go.
Even Roxio’s web site for Toast list just four highlighted features that seem to carry Toast 8 beyond Toast 7.
There’s Blu-ray Disc Support in Toast 8. You’ll need a Blu-ray player/recorder, but that will let you burn up to 50 gigabytes on a single disk. What’s that good for, you ask?
How about 50,000 photos? Or, 12,500 music tracks for iTunes backup? Or, four solid hours of raw HD video?
There’s another feature to restore or recover files from damaged CDs or DVDs while you copy to your Mac. Discs do get damaged, though it’s been at least a year since I had a coaster on my Mac.
The question that could or should be asked, assuming you don’t need TiVoToGo support, is Toast 8 worth the upgrade, and what do you get? After all, the standard Mac these days burns CDs and DVDs right from the Finder, and in the iLife applications.
Toast 8 lets you burn Mac and PC data discs that span across multiple discs; good for that massive backup you’ve wanted to finish. Toast lets you top the size limitations in Mac OS X.
There’s a handy compression utility which lets you copy and convert DVDs (non-copy protected). That means that a 9 gigabyte DVD can be successfully squeezed down to a standard DVD disc.
If you’re not pleased with the CDs from iTunes, Toast adds value with Toast+Jam, the utility that creates DJ style tracks on a CD. Use Audio Unit filters, add crossfades, and more. That’s not available so easily in iLife.
Beauty if often in the eye of the beholder. So it is with value. If your needs for burning CDs and DVDs go beyond what you get with Mac OS X Tiger, then Toast 8’s new features (and even some old features) may be worthy and valuable.
If not, even an older version, Toast 7, can be used for a few more years.
What’s happening in the Mac world these days is Upgrade Fever. We’re all waiting for something new in iLife ‘07, in iWork ‘07 and especially in Mac OS X 10.5, Leopard.
Meanwhile, we’re getting hit with a steady barrage of upgrade costs in other popular Mac applications and utilities. Where do we draw the line?
Fortunately, all of us draw a slightly different line when it comes to upgrades. My neighbor is still running an iMac using Mac OS X Panther, and he’s quite happy. It’s dependable, doesn’t crash, gets done everything he wants, and hasn’t cost anything for nearly three years.
Toast has been a mainstay utility for many years, and I’ve faithfully upgraded every year or so. This year I’m waiting. No TiVo and no Blu-ray disc make the wait a little easier.
In the meantime, I’m saving $60 on the upgrade price.
What about you? Will you add the new Toast to your Mac? If so, why? If not, why not? What about other Mac application and utility upgrades? Are they hitting your checkbook too often? Share your concerns, criticisms, and opinions in the Comments section below.