Roxio Toast 9 Titanium review

Welcome improvements to the daddy of disc burning,but is it worth upgrading?

Toast Titanium 9's smart new interface also includes useful information about each format, and you can hide legacy and HD options

TechRadar Verdict

A great suite, and still the burning king, but think carefully before buying the relatively expensive upgrade


  • +

    Superb bundle of software

  • +

    HD video burning (with plug-in)

  • +

    Interface improvements

  • +

    Welcome upgrades to companion apps

  • +

    Bundled backup application


  • -

    Expensive upgrade

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Another day, another new version of Roxio Toast.

Ultimately, our verdict tends to be consistent: it's the best disc-burning app, it's pricey but bundles well-designed and useful software, and it's not a particularly compelling upgrade if you already own the previous version.

But there are some things worth noting in this new release, so let's delve in.

Touched-up interface

The main app itself, Toast Titanium, has had a lick of paint, and the tabs for different types of burning have been ranged horizontally along the top.

A new tab has joined the Data, Audio, Video and Copy options, called Convert. While this ability to transcode video files and prepare them for devices such as the iPod, iPhone and Apple TV existed in version 8, a dedicated tab is handy.

Exports take advantage of Elgato's Turbo.264 hardware encoder dongle if you have one plugged in. One nice touch is the ability to preview the settings you apply when creating customised export presets, just by rendering a few seconds of video for playback.

Burning HD video

There are other little usability and cosmetic tweaks.

Particularly welcome are the floating tooltips that give some useful information about each format, and the ability to hide legacy formats such as Video CD and SVCD and, if you don't have a high-definition burner, one or both of the high-def formats, HD-DVD and Blu-ray.

Ah yes, HD. That's Toast 9's Big New Thing. While the previous incarnation boasted the ability to burn data to the new high-capacity discs, Toast 9 can burn high-definition video to the now-dominant Blu-ray format or HD-DVD.

At least, it can courtesy of an optional plug-in; if you want this ability, you'll have to shell out another £15. Blu-ray burners are, of course, relatively rare and expensive, but Toast can 'fake' Blu-ray and HD-DVD on standard DVDs.

You'll only get about 20 minutes of footage on the disc, but for family holiday videos and showreels, that's enough.

Burning other formats

Even more welcome is the ability to burn straight from camcorders that save footage in the new AVCHD format.

This H.264 format is becoming the standard for flash and hard disk-based DV cameras, so being able to squirt footage directly onto high-definition disks is great.

It's the suite of companion products that helps make Toast such an irresistible purchase, though, and this has been beefed up.

CD Spin Doctor bolsters its credentials as the essential tool for importing analog audio from cassette and vinyl; as well as its traditional strengths in cleaning up dirty audio, this version includes an audio fingerprinting service which, once the software has auto-detected track breaks, can query a Gracenote service online to find metadata for your tracks so they're ready to go straight into iTunes.

It's not perfect - we'd rather it had the ability to look at entire albums as a whole - but if it finds multiple matches, you can pick which fits best.

Other bundled apps

Disc Cover RE has been updated to version 2, and while it lacks the full range of templates and features of the full edition, it's still a beautifully designed tool for creating CD labels and case inserts.

There are a couple of new apps included. Streamer runs a little web server on your Mac, which allows you to stream prepared video over a network to your iPhone or iPod touch. It works well, but it's not that pretty.

There's also a backup app that offers the ability to create full, incremental or versioned backups to hard disk or CD/DVD. It's nicely done, and its inclusion rounds out the package nicely.

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