Product Review: Page (1) of 2 - 04/28/08 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page facebook

Roxio's Toast 9 Titanium

You really can't go wrong with Toast 9 Titanium By Kevin McAuliffe

A few weeks ago, I was approached to take a look at Roxio's Toast 9 Titanium (T9T), and what first jumped into my head was that my Mac can already burn DVDs and CDs so why would I need a program to do it for me? Needless to say, I really didn't have high expectations for what I was going to be looking at, but let's put it through its paces and see if Toast can impress me.

T9T's installation was very easy. If you are purchasing the software through direct download, once it is on your computer, simply double click on the zipped file, and drag the T9T folder directly into your Applications folder.

Once the software is launched for the first time, you will then be asked to enter your product registration code. If you have purchased the optional HD/BD plug-in, an actual installation is required, and you will be asked to enter your product code before you are able to install the software. To be perfectly honest, it's probably one of the fastest installations I have ever done, and you should be up and running in about five minutes.

What's New

Some pretty major additions have been added to Toast since the last version, so let's take a look at the major ones that jumped out at me right away.

Blu-ray/HD-DVD Disc Authoring & AVCHD Camcorder Support
Gone are the days of burning your HD content to regular DVDs. T9T now supports not only the burning of Blu-Ray discs, but it supports the burning of HD-DVDs as well. You even have the capability to author your disc with a menu, which is impressive. Obviously, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD recorders are NOT included, and according to Roxio's website, this addition is a "pay upgrade" of $19.99. T9T also has support for AVCHD camcorders. What is AVCHD you ask? Well, AVCHD was a video codec that was designed by Panasonic and Sony, and is primarily used in their DVD, Flash memory, and hard disk camcorders. Now, Toast users have a quick and easy way to take the footage that they shot, and burn it to a DVD or HD-DVD/Blu-Ray disc.

TiVoToGo/EyeTV Support & Video Editing
Whether SD or HD, you can take your TiVo or EyeTV recorded shows and download them onto your computer to watch. You can even burn them onto a DVD or convert them to your favorite format for your PSP or iPod/iPhone. You can even take out all the commercial breaks, so you (or your kids) can enjoy your favorite show with no commercial breaks. I'm not sure how legal this is, but hey, I'm not complaining!!!

Get Backup
Get Backup offers a good and easy way to backup files and folders (like your music or photos) from anywhere on your hard drive. You can easily set up a weekly schedule as well, so that you never have to worry about forgetting to archive those photos you just took. Mac OS X Leopard users might not see a need for this with the inclusion of Time Machine, but older Mac users will find this extremely handy, and I could see them getting a lot of use out of it.

Streaming Audio Capture
This is probably one of my favorite new features of T9T. If you can hear it, you can record it. This very easy to use feature enables you to record anything you hear on your computer, and quickly and easily have T9T burn it to a CD, or send to iTunes for you to take with you on the road.

Overall, Roxio has really put some work into adding new and very useful features to Toast 9 Titanium, so let's see how they are implemented!

How It Works
Opening the T9T folder that you dragged to your Applications folder will give you access not only to T9T, but to the other programs that come packaged with it. To be perfectly honest, once you launch Toast, you really don't need to go back to the T9T folder, as all of the other applications are accessible through the T9T interface.

Upon launching T9T, you are greeted with the interface that for any user, beginner or advanced, is very simple, structured and straight forward. If this is the first time you are launching Toast, you will be brought to the "Data" section of T9T, where you can burn different types of data DVDs from Mac-only to Mac/PC and you can even burn Photo DVDs that will play automatically generated slide shows.

One thing that I found really handy about T9T was that if you need to burn more information than a standard single-layered DVD can hold, Toast will automatically span the information over multiple discs, and you can even tell it to avoid splitting your files when it is doing it. Very nice! Roxio probably has the easiest help menu you could ever need. If you don't know what a particular selection does, simply move the mouse over the "i" icon to the right of your selection, and a pop-up will immediately appear, telling you what that particular selection does.

As well as the T9T window appearing on launch, you also have access to a media browser for quick access to your iTunes and iPhoto libraries. Another simple and easy to use feature! 

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Related Keywords:DVD authoring, DVD burning, DVD backup,

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