Toast 8 Titanium gets TiVoToGo, Blu-ray

Mac users of TiVo DVR now have Macintosh-compatible version of TiVoToGo; and Blu-ray

Roxio on Monday announced Toast 8 Titanium, the newest version of its popular CD and DVD burning software for Mac OS X. The new version touts a long list of enhancements including TiVoToGo, Blu-ray disc burning and more. It costs $99.99.

TiVoToGo -- at last on the Mac

Mac users of TiVo Digital Video Recorder (DVR) systems have long sought a Macintosh-compatible version of TiVoToGo, software that enables you to transfer television programs recorded on a TiVo to a computer. Roxio has secured an exclusive arrangement with TiVo to include TiVoToGo as part of the Toast 8 Titanium package. Users can transfer recordings from their TiVo then burning them to CD or DVD, watch them on the Mac, or export them using Toast to formats supported by the video iPod or Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP). And continuing a feature introduced last year, Toast still supports DivX, the digital video compression format used extensively in the PC world.

Blu-Ray comes to Mac

With new desktop Blu-Ray drives finding their way to market from Sony and other companies, Toast 8 Titanium now supports Blu-Ray Disc burning. Blu-Ray discs are high capacity optical disc that can store up to 25GB of data on a single-layer Blu-Ray disc, or 50GB on a dual-layer disc. The new format is one of two competing for the attention of consumers looking for High Definition (HD) discs for their widescreen TVs, and is gaining traction among computer and computer peripheral manufacturers.

Toast 8's Dynamic Writing feature lets you use a Blu-Ray disc as you would a regular hard disk drive; the icon appears on your desktop, and you can drag content to and from the disc without having to rewrite or burn it separately.

Roxio has refined Toast 8 Titanium's user interface to make it easier to use, and has a new Toast Photo Disc feature to burn full-resolution pictures and an auto-run slideshow that works on either Mac OS X or Windows. Toast includes drawing and text editing tools -- more than 600 clip art images and Google image search -- to create labels, cover art and inserts for your work; it also supports LightScribe, a technology in some disc burners that etches designs or text onto the tops of special-treated optical discs.

Audio improvements

For users working with audio, Toast 8 Titanium now supports DJ-style crossfades and includes volume normalization tools, sound enhancing plug-ins, track trimming and other features previously available only in Roxio's separate Jam software. Music DVDs created using Toast can include on-screen menus, shuffle play feature and Dolby Digital sound.

What's more, the new CD Spin Doctor Assistant helps users step-by-step to import, convert and "clean up" music from analog sources such as turntables, cassette decks or reel-to-reel players.

Conversion and recovery tools

Toast 8 Titanium features Disc Recovery tools that can recover data from scratched or damaged optical discs that might be unreadable in Mac OS X's Finder. It can recover some files from those discs onto your hard drive, and then creates a "clean" copy.

You can also use Toast 8 Titanium's "Fit-to-DVD" compression to squeeze the contents of an entire 9GB dual-layer DVD into a single-layer 4.7GB disc; you can customize the content of those discs with a "Director's Cut" that only uses specific video, audio and languages, or individual video files.

Data cataloging, spanning

Toast 8 Titanium now creates an offline catalog of any disc it burns, so you can track data you might have offloaded to CD or DVD. The software offers an instant search feature to help locate those files later, letting you know which disc that file you're looking for is stored on. It will also index previously burned and commercial discs, such as audio CDs.

Toast 8 Titanium features data spanning capabilities as well. It will back up data of any size, even if that data exceeds the storage capacity of the medium you've inserted, such as a large iMovie project, DV files and more. The exact file and folder structure is retained, and each disc contains an executable restoral utility that works on Mac OS X, Windows XP or Windows Vista, so you don't need Toast present to restore the data, or the individual files that you want.

This story, "Toast 8 Titanium gets TiVoToGo, Blu-ray" was originally published by Macworld.

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