In Mac OS X, if you need to burn some files or a music CD, it’s not too hard to do the basic things. However, if you need more and ask around for the application to do it, Toast will be the answer you get most of the time. When I had my Mac Mini it didn’t have a DVD burner, so I was limited to what I could burn, but with my new iMac I can burn just about anything, and I was excited that Toast would be my first review on it.
Toast 10, developed by Roxio, comes in two flavors. Toast 10 Titanium and Toast 10 Titanium Pro. You can view the comparison here, but in short Titanium Pro includes additional items like SoundSoap, Sonicfire Pro, and offers HD video burning and more. Some of these functions can also be used in Titanium with the purchase of additional plugins.
It put Toast 10 through its paces in every function that I was able to, with the exception of Blu-ray media as I do not have a Blu-ray burner. Toast 10 includes several components including Spin Doctor, Disc Cover 2 RE, Streamer, Get Backup, DiscCatalogMaker RE, and Mac2Tivo. For most general tasks I relied on the main Toast 10 window, which gives you access to most of the essential burning functions including audio, data, video, etc.
The user interface is clean, and is easy for anyone to pick right up and use. It gives you a list of choices under each section, such as Data, and from there you select which format to burn, whether it’s “Mac Only”, “Mac & PC”, DVD, photo, etc. The video section even lets you select from a list of DVD menu styles to apply to your video, along with other options like adjustable video quality. Of course burning media is just the start. If you need to copy CDs, DVDs, or even Blu-Ray disc, it’s not a problem and is as simple as a click or two.
When dealing with videos, copying them and converting them into a format that is viewable on all types of devices has always been a challenge. With Toast, just pop in a video DVD or video files, and it will be converted to your choice of formats. Another neat feature is that it can also optionally add the video to your iTunes library.
As mentioned above, Toast 10 also includes a few other very useful components. One that really stood out to me was Streamer. Drag your videos into the window, it’s exported, and then is available for streaming on your iPhone or iPod anywhere you are. Another really cool item is the CD Spin Doctor. This lets you capture streaming music or other audio you are listening to, and will then tag it and add it to your iTunes library.
Other items include Disc Cover 2 which gives you the ability to create labels for your discs. Another application that is very slick is Mac2Tivo. I unfortunately don’t have a Tivo so I was unable to test this function, but it has the ability to share videos from your Mac to your Tivo. If you are a Tivo user, this will no doubt come in handy.
Toast 10 was a pleasure to review, as it is one of the most feature complete packages I have ever used on a Mac. I really just touched on half of what Toast is capable of doing, and even if you don’t need every single item included, the overall product is a must-have for any Mac user who needs a copy, burning, and media solution that goes way beyond anything that is included with Mac OS X.
Link: Toast 10 by Roxio