My Mac burns CDs and DVDs. So, why do I need Roxio’s Toast 9 Titanium? If you burn CDs and DVDs for a living you’ll need Toast 9. Maybe.
If you collect Mac utilities that collect features, you’ll love the new Toast 9. For sure. Now with more buttons. More features. And Ultra Marine Plus.
Alright, there’s no Ultra Marine Plus in Toast 9 Titanium. It’ll probably show up in the next version. Along with email. Why not email? Toast has everything else.
Not only does Toast 9 add more features, but it added some weight, too. It’s up to $100 retail, $60 upgrade price from previous versions (so long as you’re registered).
What does Toast 9 do that Toast 8 didn’t do? Not much, except for a few extra buttons and full-on video to Sony’s Blu-ray Disc. Wait! Didn’t Toast 8 also burn Blu-ray Discs? Yes. And no.
Toast 8 could burn data but only with a non-Apple third party Blu-ray DVD burner in your Mac. Toast 9 burns video. It also burns video to HD DVD discs. Do they still make those?
The feature list is healthy and long and doesn’t include email. Yet.
There’s an old adage that says that all applications add feature after feature and only stop when email is added. I think Toast 9 is getting close.
Toast 9 has gone well beyond just burning CDs and DVDs. Toast will record streaming audio straight from the Internet to let you mix and burn either CDs or music DVDs.
Got TiVo? Toast 9 will import and create high definition video from TiVo and Elgato’s EyeTV, then let you watch your movies and TV shows over streaming WiFi or your iPhone, Mac or PC, if you have the right router or Apple’s Airport Extreme and Express.
To burn Blu-ray Disc content you’ll need Roxio’s $20 High Definition Blu-ray Plug-in, but for the time being it’s free when you buy or upgrade to Toast 9.
Got a new high definition AVCHD video camcorder? Burn high definition on standard DVDs to play back in compatible Blu-ray or HD-DVD players. Toast 9 also converts video from DVDs (the non-encrypted type) to Apple TV, Apple iPhone, Apple iPods as well as Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and some cell phones.
Toast 9 comes with a handful of cropping and trimming tools—a built-in editor so you can delete commercials and unwanted portions from television shows, movies and other video files before you burn the CD or DVD. It looks remarkably like the editor in EyeTV.
DVDs can be burned using over a dozen new menu styles, similar to what you see in iDVD. If you use iPhoto or Apple’s Aperture to store digital images, they can be placed as background images for your DVD creations.
I bought Elgato’s Turbo.264 video coprocessor for use with Apple’s iMovie (who promptly came out with iMovie 8 which doesn’t work with Elgato’s $100 tool) and it works with Toast 9 to convert video to the H.264 format in record time.
I’m impressed with the update’s ability to preview video quality with just a click or two. There’s the instant capture and conversion from the growing list of AVCHD camcorders which feature high definition resolution.
That makes Toast 9 a bit competitive with iMovie in iLife ‘08. Toast will catalog and track contents of your CDs and DVDs so you can find a file on a disc even if the disc isn’t in your Mac.
The Toast 9 Media Browser will let you view images in Aperture and iMovie ‘08. The Quick Look feature in OS X Leopard also works in Toast 9 so you can take a quick look at movie files, audio files, or digital photos—anything you’d like to burn in Toast.
CD Spin Doctor remains with Toast 9 so you can restore cherished audio and move it straight to iTunes in MP2, AAC or Apple’s lossless format. This nifty utility is a handy way to digitize tapes or vinyl albums to get really old music into your Mac.
The feature list for Toast 9 Titanium is extensive, seemingly only missing some kind of email application.
The question you have to ask yourself is, ‘What kind of burning do I really need?’ If iPhoto, iTunes, and iDVD are more than enough, then Toast 9 is probably overkill. However, if you collect features and functions, you’ll love Toast 9, as it’s loaded with both far beyond any other version of Toast.
Toast 9 isn’t bad, but Roxio needs to do something to justify the annual tax, and that means add features, add features, add features. Once email is added I’m sure there won’t be any more upgrades. Not.