Every Mac Loves Toast!

If PathFinder is a cult application in the Mac community, then Toast ($99.99 or $149.99 Pro) is truly iconic.

I have mentioned before how much I love Toast but with Toast 10 Pro they have certainly raised the bar even higher!

The latest version helps greatly enhance and extend Mac OSX and iLife applications with a broad range of additional capabilities for creating, sharing, and enjoying personal digital media content.

Toast 10 Titanium Pro, to give it its full and rather grand name, is the Rolls Royce offering with some rather intriguing third-party applications included over and above the Toast 10 Premium product (see below for full feature list). The Pro version is very much targeted at the advanced user, with a heavy bias on the photo & video enthusiasts, designers and creative people, and …… High Definition and Blu Ray users; as Pro includes a very handy plug in which allows you to authour HD video content on to standard DVDs and Blu-ray Discs.

Take high-def (HD) video footage from AVCHD camcorders, TiVo and EyeTV and create Blu-ray Discs or even standard DVDs with HD content that can be played on any standard Blu-ray set top box or PlayStation 3 game console.

Toast 10 Titanium Pro also includes a number of applications valued at around $300:

  • SmartSound Sonicfire Pro – Orchestrate the perfect sound track to accompany videos and slideshows. Use Sonicfire Pro’s unique automatic “Mood Mapping” feature or select from a library of included music tracks and adjust the mix and feel of the score to perfectly match your videos and slideshows.
  • BIAS SoundSoap – Remove unwanted noise like wind, hisses, scratches, and pops from LPs, cassettes, or almost any audio, music or video soundtrack.
  • LightZone – Produce striking photos in a simple and intuitive way. Sophisticated features such as zone mapping and relight give you the control to achieve professional quality results.
  • FotoMagico – Turn pictures into spellbinding slideshows with a few simple clicks, and then present them in high definition. Innovative text, transition and alignment tools ensure astonishing results. Burn your slideshow to DVD or Blu-ray Disc for easy viewing and sharing.

I will look at these in future reviews, although I have used LightZone and FotoMagico before, but a long time ago and these new applications have changed a LOT since then!!

The impression that one is left with having used Toast 10 Titanium Pro for a while now is how far it has come since it was effectively ‘just’ a means of burning a DVD (I know that is a over simplification, but the reality is that is what most of us used it for back then!), and how well it now compliments the current digital world that we live in. By way of explanation let me give you three examples of features that I have really liked:

Simple to use interface, and a very useful means of getting some of the Spanish CD’s onto the iPhone …… if only it could make it as easy to learn the language!

Great for backing up Video

Integrates nicely with Web video content.

That said, the prime use I have for Toast, and I imagine yours as well, is for movie conversion, and with that in mind I got my friend Mac to do some comparisons with me. We both like Toast, but have tended to use the now defunct Visual Hub in the past (still do to be honest!!)

Here are the results:

The ‘test’ was done on a 30 min divx AVI with Toast set to Apple TV Profile and Visual Hub to iTunes optimised for all device settings.

  • Toast took 15 minutes
  • Visual Hub took 5 minutes
  • Toast movie size was 512Mb
  • Visual Hub movie size was 298Mb
  • The original divx file size was 205Mb

Mac also commented: “Either by luck or some other means…. Toast correctly marked the video as a TV show, Visual Hub did not. Also the Visual Hub copy will play on both Apple TV and iPod Touch, the Toast version will not play on the iPod Touch. If I wanted a iPod Touch version I would have to encode the video again!!!”

Of course I think that for most people it will still primarily be a application for burning a DVD, but with the amount of digital material we all now have, it has some very handy options as well, all wraped up in a great, easy to use interface ……. still very much an icon of the Mac community.

Toast 10 Titanium Features

With the focus on expanding on the iLife application to offer enhanced creation and sharing of your digital media, the main new features are:

  • Audiobook creator for converting audiobook CDs into files compatible with portable devices
  • Capture streaming audio and automatically split captured songs into tracks, tag them with title and artist information, and then send them to iTunes
  • AVCHDT Archive for quickly backing up original content from high-definition camcorders onto DVD or Blu-ray Disc (BD)
  • Stream and watch television programs, such as EyeTV recordings on your iPhone or iPod touch over Wi-Fi with the new iPhone native application Streamer
  • Mac2TiVo for sending home movies and other video content from a Mac to a TiVo DVR
  • Web video file capture and conversion tool that allows Web-based video to be enjoyed on DVD or mobile devices
  • Synchronize folders bi-directionally between multiple computers, network volumes or external hard disks.

4 thoughts on “Every Mac Loves Toast!

  1. Wayne LeFevre

    I think that Toast Titanium 10 Pro is one of the greatest 3rd Party applications you can get right now. For the money, it has an incredible amount of software included in the package. I’ve been really getting into Sonicfire Pro 5. The more you delve into that app, the cooler it becomes. It’s definitely the “sleeper” app for me. The rest of the Pro apps are just as cool, and a real bargain considering the cost between the regular and the pro version.

    The regular version, however, I would probably not bother if upgrading from 9. As far as the basic features, I can’t see any difference from 9. Some of the other features could possibly be worth it. If I had a series 2 or greater TiVo I’d probably get it for the Mac2TiVo app. In fact, if you didn’t have an Apple TV, then this app could possibly kill any chance of even needing an Apple TV. How cool would it be to simply move your shows right to your TiVo without having to mess with converting it to MPEG 2 and all that crap. It’s like Streamer. Really cool program, if you can get it working right. I had to jump through some hoops and mess with my router a bit, adjust the NAT, open some ports, that kind of stuff. But once I did, it’s pretty nifty.

    So all-in-all, if you have 9 and only want to copy and burn, save your money. (Unless you have TiVo!) Otherwise, I think the Pro version is pretty “sick” (as the kids these days say…) 🙂

  2. Chris Marshall Post author

    TiVo …… there is a world outside of the USA you know 🙂

    Am looking forward to seeing if SonicFire Pro is as good as you say it is now!!!

  3. Wayne LeFevre

    [quote comment=”124804″]TiVo …… there is a world outside of the USA you know 🙂

    Am looking forward to seeing if SonicFire Pro is as good as you say it is now!!![/quote]

    ??? They say that there’s a world outside my window! I’ve no clue what they are talking about! 😉

    I would go over to http://www.smartsound.com/sonicfire/tutorials/index.html. There they have some really fantastic tutorials by one of my favorite instructors, Larry Jordan. He makes it so you can just jump right in and be an expert. I’m not sure if the DVD has it, but did you get the extra SonicFire music tracks? Anyway, a really quick way to add the perfect music to a video with perfect timing.

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