MacDirectory Magazine

Marc Madnick

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 59 of 99

reVIeW Though Apple has evicted optical drives from its current hardware lineup, the medium is still alive, well and, for many people, one of life's little necessities. With building and burning CDs and DVDs its bread and butter, Roxio continues to develop Toast, its best- of-breed recording software for the Mac. The newly released Toast Titanium 12 has added several new features, going a few steps beyond better burning. Some of Toast 12's best new features actually have little to do with optical media. One is Live Screen Capture. It is actually a separate application that offers a quick and easy way to record all or part of your screen. It allows you to record at a rate of 15, 30 or 45 FPS and at a variety of resolutions. It is definitely more useful than QuickTime's less than obvious screen recording trick that can only capture your entire screen. If you're planning on combining the footage with other clips, you may find yourself a bit limited by the available frame rates and resolution settings. Though you wouldn't expect it, Toast Titanium has become a talented video conversion tool. Toast has added iPhone, iPad and Apple TV support, including the option to move the converted files directly into iTunes, ready to sync with your devices. It's not exactly a lightning fast process, but it does run quite comfortably in the background, not interfering with other work while you're waiting. One handy feature shared by nearly all the video tools is a built-in clip editor. With out leaving the application, you can set in and out points for a clip, trimming the beginning and end or just plucking out the few minutes you're really interested in. Another nice built-in feature is the connection to Fujiwara Software's DiskCatalogMaker, a limited edition of which is included with Toast Titanium 12. The program allows you to build a catalog database of your data files as you're burning them do disc. The included copy of the application will also allow you to scan the music CDs you've created into the database. These days, just about any video recording device you pick up can record high-definition (HD) video. Sharing HD video has never been particularly easy. What we believe is Toast Titanium 12's top new feature is the ability to burn HD (AVCHD- format) video to a standard DVD, playable on any Blu-ray player. The process is quite easy. Just drag the files onto the Toast window from the Finder or the program's Media Browser. Toast lets you trim them with in and out points and even choose from a variety of DVD menus. We tested this with some video recorded on a Nikon DSLR. The process was easy and the results were impressive. If you do have a Blu-ray recorder handy, Toast 12 will be more than happy to burn to that, as well. Full Blu-ray authoring is available with an optional $19.99 plug-in. At a full-version price of $99.99 (upgrades from a previous version are $59.99), Toast is a fairly expensive piece of software. In fact, we can't avoid noting that it's $20 more than Apple's USB SuperDrive.) Toast 12 Pro ($149.99) adds six useful third-party applications but they are not necessary the full or most current versions of these programs. One other point is that Titanium 12 no longer includes BeLight's very useful disk labeling program, Disc Cover. Still, for working with CDs and DVDs, simple media file conversions, it's hard to beat Toast Titanium. It has all the tools you need bundled up neatly and conveniently in one place. Apple's support of optical media may be waning, but thankfully we have Roxio, who still sees it as a fulltime job. roxIo ToAST TITAnIum 12: kEEPIng oPTICAL rELEvEnT By rIC gETTEr 58 MacDirectory Product: Roxio Toast Titanium 12 Made by: Roxio ( Price: $99.99 (full version); Upgrade: $59.99 system requirements: Intel CPU, OS 10.7 or later for some features Pros: A one-stop shop for your disc burning needs; video conversion tools; ability to burn HD video on standard DVDs cons: A rather pricey program; Screen capture has some limitations MacDirectory rating: **** (four stars)

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