To put it bluntly: Roxio’s Toast 8 Titanium rocks.
My team lead put in for a couple of copies of Toast 8 shortly after it was announced at Mac World and we have been enjoying them ever since. While it is, at base, a program for burning CDs, DVDs and now Blu Ray discs, version 8 adds a lot of functionality that makes Toast Titanium an ideal hub for all of your multimedia tasks.
While the TiVoToGo functionality is perhaps the most ballyhooed addition, I think the video transcoding capabilities are far more exciting. You can create traditional data discs, useful for backing up data otherwise stored on hard disk or audio discs suitable for play in any CD player. You can also burn video discs from very nearly any video media type – DVDs, VideoCDs, Super VideoCDs and even DivX Discs. The transcoding engine behind these burning capabilities also allows one to convert any supported video type to one suitable for use on your video iPod, PSP or any other hand-held video player.
I have been taking full advantage of this ability, as I am sadly over a full season behind on my Battlestar Galactica and thus have been converting the unwatched DivX AVIs I have laying about into iPod-ready .m4v’s. I am then able to transfer them to my iPod and catch up on BSG at a rate of roughly two episodes per day. I should be just about caught up within 20 days or so, barring unforeseen interruptions.
Is the package worth the $80 Roxio charges for it? I’m not quite sure about that. There are ways to accomplish each and every one of Toast’s capabilities with free alternatives (Burn and Mencoder come to mind immediately…) and I could see $80 as being a very steep price for a home user. When it comes right down to it, it’s a very attractive package for managing all of your media that’s worth the money as long as someone else is doing the buying. *grin*