Most Mac users will be satisfied with the disc-creation tools that come standard in the Mac OS. After all, OS X and the iLife suite have long made easy work of creating data, audio, and video discs. Luckily for Roxio, however, Apple leaves a lot of room for improvement. If your needs go beyond the basics, Toast 7 Titanium is the package for you. That's easy to say, since Toast has no serious competition. Luckily, it's still an excellent, full-featured product.
This latest version of Roxio Toast doesn't add new areas of functionality, but it does manage to improve every part of the existing app to keep up with current technology (such as DivX video) and new demands (working with larger files). Incredibly, it does so without complicating the Toast interface, which is a model of intuitive design.
Installing Roxio Toast 7 Titanium is a simple drag-and-drop operation from the CD. It should take only a few minutes. Check the initial startup preferences carefully if you don't want the program to automatically open when you insert a blank CD or DVD. Once you've registered the software, you'll want to update it, since Roxio has already posted a point upgrade that fixes some problems that we noticed with the help system (files were missing for a couple of helper apps).
The Toast 7 Titanium interface remains pretty much the same as always--and that's a good thing. It's far simpler than the burning programs created for Windows, such as Nero 7 Ultra Edition or Roxio's own Easy Media Creator, and the interface is so perfectly Mac-like that you'd think it was designed in Cupertino. It also manages to bring a wide variety of controls to the surface without sacrificing ease of use or intuitiveness.
Four tabs along the top of Toast 7's main window lead you to the four main disc-creation areas: data, audio, video, and disc copying. A drawer to the left of the main window offers contextual controls for each area. It also holds the new media browser, which lets you quickly find iLife audio, photo, and video content for burning.
Because Toast can't do everything, it comes with a suite of helper apps, including Motion Pictures HD (for creating slide shows), CD Spin Doctor (for recording and editing audio), and Discus RE (for creating cover art).