Roxio Toast 17 Pro
£139 inc VAT from fave.co/2O72fPN
With the release of Toast 17 Pro (as well as DVD-only sibling Toast 17 Titanium), Roxio is sending a clear message that optical media is here to stay. Following last year’s purely cosmetic overhaul which added a dark UI, the latest version sports an under the hood tune-up. The application is finally 64-bit, in time for the release of macOS Mojave this fall, the last macOS to support 32-bit apps. That means Toast will continue working when macOS
goes 64-bit only, but users won’t have to wait that long to reap the benefits.
Aside from initial post-installation problems with the application refusing to launch after the first time, Toast 17 Titanium is the snappiest it’s ever been. I’m not sure if my issue was caused by the new, sleeker Internet-based installation (which downloads content as needed, rather than as a standalone installer), but I resolved the problem by first purging everything related to Toast – including preference and support files – then reinstalling the latest version.
Toast 17 addresses a long-standing annoyance I’ve had across multiple versions of the application when switching to the Video tab from other modes
(Data, Audio, Copy, or Convert). I’m not sure if
Roxio’s engineers got tired of me bringing it up in reviews or the bug was finally squashed in the move to 64-bit, but there’s no longer any lag or spinning beach ball when clicking between tabs.
Aside from the aforementioned fresh coat of paint, the core Toast application is otherwise largely the same as it’s been for years. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, although I’d love to see at least the Pro version adopt the same kind of comprehensive Blu-ray and DVD authoring tools found in Adobe Encore, which was discontinued in 2012. It’s worth noting that Blu-ray support is no longer activated when installing the Pro version; the option is now tucked away in the Help menu instead.
Over the past few releases, Roxio hedged its optical media investment by bundling Toast with a suite of like-minded creative software. Some additions make sense, such as MyDVD (introduced in Toast 14), which supports slightly more advanced disc authoring options including custom menus and chapter stops. Others like photo-centric Painter Essentials 6, Corel AfterShot 3, and FotoMagico 5 help justify the cost of the bundle, but most users will already own similar (or superior) tools for such tasks.
After adding MultiCam Capture to the Toast 16 line-up, Roxio has gone a step further in this version, beefing the up software with editing capabilities as well in both the Titanium and Pro versions. The newly christened MultiCam Capture and Editing makes it a snap to create training videos and other presentations for posting on YouTube or elsewhere.
The standalone app allows users to record from up to four sources at once, including the FaceTime HD Camera, your Mac display, and other attached audio or video hardware, which are automatically enabled by default.
MultiCam is easy to set up and use, with familiar Source and Preview windows at the top, multicam and PiP in the centre, and timeline across the bottom. There’s even a built-in title maker and multitrack picture-in-picture; users can switch between sources on the fly by pressing the number keys that correspond to each.
In addition to live sources, MultiCam also imports image, video and audio files to use as part of a presentation, and the app does an admirable job of helping get this media synced up alongside everything else. I was disappointed to discover how limited the app’s post-recording skills are – you can’t just record four sources, then edit between them, this is really designed for live recordings or adding sources one at a time.
As with any new release, there are a few bugs that need squashed. In the case of MultiCam Capture and Editing, I was able to consistently cause the app to crash and log out of my user
account by deleting either source screen from my dual-monitor setup. That meant webcams can’t be used as one of the first two sources. Toast 17 also crashes when using non-ASCII characters in a filename, sometimes during a disc burn.
Macworld’s buying advice
There are not a lot of new features here, but owners of previous versions will need to upgrade ahead of next year’s macOS update anyway, so there’s no reason not to reap the rewards of a 64-bit application right now and get a decent software bundle thrown in as a bonus. J.R. Bookwalter
• Internet connection required for installation, registration and updates. Registration required for product use
• Mac computer with an Intel processor
• 2GB RAM recommended
• Mac OS X 10.11 and above
• Approximately 5GB of free space to install all components
• VideoBoost requires a compatible Nvidia card and 4GB of RAM for optimal performance
• DVD drive required for installation
The streamlined Toast 17 installer now downloads as a smaller file, then grabs remaining content from the Internet as installation takes place
A darker, more responsive user interface, and no more usability bugs, Toast 17 Pro makes the venerable disc authoring software ready for macOS Mojave and beyond
New in Toast 17, capture and edit video from you Mac, webcams, and other sources while recording