Despite the fact that has built-in CD- and DVD-burning capabilities, many Mac users have long found Roxio Toast to be an easier and faster solution. Toast 6.0 Titanium offers a number of improvements, including simplified data disc burning and new audio, image, and video features, as well as the ability to share a CD or DVD burner with other Toast users over the Internet or a local network. Unfortunately, some of the individual tools lack the polish and sophistication of the iLife applications (iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD) they enhance. Most casual Mac users won't need to spend $80 to duplicate some features that are built into the OS, but we recommend Toast 6.0 Titanium for anyone who routinely uses earlier versions of Toast, wants more options for sharing digital assets, or itches for more control over the burning process.
Installing Roxio Toast 6.0 Titanium is easy: just insert the disc, drag the 167MB folder onto your desktop, and launch the application. Upon the software's initial run, you're required to accept the license, personalize your copy, and choose whether to install a few optional utilities. The whole process takes only a few minutes. Toast 5.0 users, take note: If you still boot into Mac OS 9 and want to be able to burn discs, don't delete the older version; Toast 6.0 runs only in OS X.
Toast's interface hasn't changed much, but there are a handful of refinements that are described in the 121 pages of included printed documentation. Unfortunately, the documentation describes the mechanics of features--"click this to do that"--instead of explaining why they're important or what they're intended for; it also often defers to online help.
Toast's interface is divided into four functions: Data, Audio, Video, and Copy--an improvement over the previous version, which inexplicably lumped many unrelated disc types into a catch-all Other tab. This simplified categorization conceals a wealth of additional features and options accessible in the Disc Settings drawer. We wish Roxio had gone one organizational step further and eliminated the somewhat arbitrary distinction between basic and advanced settings.
Toast 6.0 offers an improved, extremely streamlined approach to copying data.
The most welcome improvements to Toast's interface are the ones you don't see. Toast 5.0 always verified data before and after writing, which needlessly extended the process; it also annoyingly insisted on prompting you to set the write speed, eject finished discs, and save changes. These functions and more are now controlled via preferences, greatly streamlining the user interaction necessary to create discs. If you're a heavy disc burner, these refinements alone justify upgrading.