This is another product that I wish Amazon would allow us to give half (1/2) stars because I would rate the Toast 8 at four and one half stars as opposed to a perfect five.
For someone to give a product 5 stars, it is presupposed that the product is outstanding with no unrealistic flaws. There a few that you should be aware of. First of all...
Toast 8 is a bundled software package. Until now, it was just the premiere cd/dvd burning software for the Mac. Period. And, it is still the most economical and best multi-platform burning software for the Mac, only this time
Roxio has decided to combine several little add-ons to make Toast 8 a more attractive buy. Indeed, it does. We've used earlier editions of Toast in various functions such as in providing the local print shop with our files for advertising and promotional material for our theatre. Never a problem. We've used Toast to back up files on the harddrive and archived them. Never a problem. Making crisp clean copies of audio cd's, excellent, except in the version we had, one could not go back to I-Tunes to burn files once Toast was installed. It seemed as if Toast "bogarted" the cd-burning ability from I-Tunes.
The cd/ dvd functions, excellent as always. But, you're (we're) now able to use I-Tunes to burn files we have on file without having to go to Toast. Great. Roxio kept a perfect software in tact.
Unless I'm wrong, but I think Roxio has used their "PC" name for the Mac-version of their audio filtering software "Jam". That created just a little confusion, they should have just said "Jam," because they marketed it as being included in Toast 8. With that being said, you should know that THERE ARE NO INSTRUCTIONS FOR ANY OF THE OTHER FREE SOFTWARE INCLUDED EXCEPT FOR THE ORIGINAL TOAST SOFTWARE. The booklet that comes in the box has instructions for only the cd burning, Toast. If you're not familiar with the other software like I was "CD Spin Doctor ("Jam"), Disc Cover Re, Disc Catalog, Motion Picture HD or TiVo to Go, then you'll have to find instructions on-line. Spindoctor/ "Jam" is excellent for what it does. I've used several times to restore and back-up old cassettes that I worried would break. This particular software used to come as a stand-alone software about 6 months after the latest version of Toast would appear, bringing the combined cost of Toast and Jam to about $150. It's now free! (I spoke to a rep. at Roxio concerning some directions on using Spindoctor and she told me afterwards that Roxio was discontinuing "Jam" and decided on adding it to Toast.)
Spindoctor instructions-- you'll need to have in addition to the audio device (ie, turntable/cassette deck) an RCA 1/8 audio input jack. The 1/8" input goes directly into the MacBook/ PowerBook or MacPro etc. jack. The red and white (right and left) channels goes into the "Line Out" of the audio device. Once you open Spin D, you'll have to decide if you want to record from the computer's internal mic's or the input module. Unless you're recording a discussion in the room, I'd suggest the input. Once you do that, you'll notice in the bottom section, right, the time remaining on the computer's harddrive for recording. *It doesn't give you the file saving option yet, as it automatically saves it as an uncompressed WAV file.
After you've done your recording, you'll have to engage the "wand" device to see the spectrum. Spin will automatically break the recording into sections. You'll move the triangle to the spot where you'd like to make some adjustments. Correspondingly, you'd have to look to the bottom where the numbers correspond to the colored sections, if you would. Hitting delete removes that section of the audio file. Beware... when editing, only the audio in the colored (red, yellow, blue, etc) will be transfered to Toast for burning and/ or I-Tunes for storage. It's not always easy to determine what's been deleted as the background is a pale grey.
When finished, you can either add equalizer enhancements (a small tab in the upper right-hand corner) or send to Toast and or/ I-Tunes. There's a box in spin that says "Path". This is important, because if you want to delete the uncompressed WAV file, you'll need this information to find it to delete once you've archive the uncompressed to cd/dvd and the compressed file in I-Tunes. Both, you'll have to engage from the drop-down menu.
*Disc Cover RE-- You can use this, if you have a disc that allows for burning images on the top.
*Disc Catalogue-- This is great if you'd like to know what you've burned and when, but it won't tell you where the file is if you've followed the Path and deleted the original file.
*I haven't used Tivo-to-Go, but a friend said the resolution left something to be desired.
With the exception of the lack of supporting instructions for the free, bundled software. This is absolute worth upgrading to. If nothing else than for software that you'd probably buy separately.
on 20 November 2007
Having made the jump from Toast 6 to 8, the animated interface was the first improvement I noticed. Sadly, it was also the last. Toast 8 does nothing faster or better than Toast 6. I guess all the improvements have gone into video and Blue-Ray - neither of which interest me. I still wouldn't be without Toast but cannot urge any existing user to upgrade.