Product Watch: Toast Turns 5 And Gets A Face Lift To Celebrate!

Toast 5 'Titanium" From Roxio
Most Mac users are probably familiar with Toast. After all, an OEM version comes bundled with most third party CD-RW drives out there. Roxio, a subsidiary of Adaptec, has recently released Toast 5 Titanium, which sports a number of improvements and has possibly been carbonized for OS X (see OS X Ready? below). At its heart, the Toast application serves as a pre-mastering environment for audio or data CD's. This is far from the whole story though. Other whistles and bells include an application to create photo albums, slide shows or "video postcards," a CD label creator, and an "Audio Extractor" for pulling music off CD's or an analog source. Toast 5 adds several welcome features, including an MP3 application, DVD support, Video CD format with automatic MPEG encoding and, at last, background burning. Toast 5 also works with iTunes and Disc Burner, although the iTunes extension apparently disables Toast. Some of Toast's advertised features are listed below.

  • Easily create data, audio, multimedia, video and hybrid CDs or DVDs
  • Burn CDs in the background while you continue working on your computer
  • Convert iMovies into Video CDs that are playable on most DVD Video players
  • Turn MP3 files into standard audio CDs or burn them onto MP3 discs
  • Convert any analog source (LPs, cassettes, even live music) into CDs
  • Clean up your old recordings by filtering out the unwanted noise, hisses and pops
  • Organize, sort and store digital photos, multimedia files on virtually indestructable CDs
  • Design and print your own custom CD labels, covers and inserts
  • Toast supports virtually all USB, IDE, SCSI and FireWire CD-Recorders and all Power Macs with Mac OS 8.6 or later
  • Burn CDs simultaneously on multiple CD recorders
  • Burn CDs directly from iTunes or Disc Burner

OS X Ready? As of this writing, Toast's level of OS X support is unclear [see 4-11-01 update below]. On this page, Roxio states that "Toast 5 has been fully carbonized and will support Mac OS X when Mac OS X is officially released and functionally complete." On their FAQ page, however, they state that "The current version of Toast will not work in Mac OS X. A future version of Toast will fully support Mac OS X. The Mac OS X version will be a free update for Toast 5 Titanium owners."

OS X Update: 4-11-01 We received the following note from Victor Nemechek , Toast with Jam Product Manager, clarifying the current status of Toast 5 and OS X.

"I'll clear up our web pages to make sure they have a consistent and accurate message about OS X support. Sorry about the confusion. Here is the official and 100% true story:"

"We have Carbonized Toast 5 Titanium. It looks awesome on OS X and runs perfectly with one minor problem: you can't burn a CD or DVD. The reason you can't burn a CD or DVD on Mac OS X is because Apple released version 10.0 with an incomplete I/O Kit. The I/O Kit allows products like Toast and Retrospect to access and write to storage devices like CD Recorders and tape drives. We have done all that we can at this point. We are waiting for Apple to finish the I/O Kit and release it to us developers. Once they do, it will only take a short time to finish off the OS X version of Toast 5 Titanium and release it as a free download."

System Requirements:
OS 8.6 or newer
12MB RAM (24 recommended)
100MB drive space
QuickTime 4.0 or later

MSRP: $89.95 (use the search box below to check for lowest price and availability)

MacNN Review of Toast 5 and Discribe 4