Toast Titanium 8

Toast 8Do you still need dedicated disc burning software like Toast when the Mac OSX does so from right within the Finder? If you’ve gone from merely burning data to dabbling in multimedia, Toast might still be an essential part of your toolkit…

Some of the changes are frivolous, such as the floating media browser. It’s a palette that lists your media in categories (all your photos, all your mp3s, etc) and it’s a neat idea but very unwieldy to scroll through when dragging files from the Finder is just as easy.

The biggest change has been Toast’s expanded selection of data burning formats. You’re no longer stuck with just music and data — the familiar workspace now has a dropdown menu that differentiates between music, data, video and disc copying projects, and Toast lets you burn them from a range of file formats. If you’re burning audio for example, you can make a plain music CD or a disc of mp3 files depending on your preferred CD player. The video burning options are even broader, letting you copy from a range of sources like DVD, DivX or even your own clips and media and outputting them to DVD, choosing a menu style from the templates if you wish.

There are also several welcome usability improvements. When you’re burning, the workspace shrinks down to a small, unobtrusive progress window. You can also manage a project across several discs, where the software prompts you for the next blank disc in turn so you no longer have to make sure your data fits on only one in advance.

Together with a host of add-ons from CD cataloguing software to a label designer, Toast has moved forward when basic OS capability threatened to render it obsolete. It’s still a snap to use and great value for money.