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Roxio Toast 14 Pro review: A mixed bag of multimedia creation software

J.R. Bookwalter | July 10, 2015
Apple turned its back on optical media years ago. But many Mac owners still rely on those once ubiquitous shiny round CDs or DVDs for backups, transferring larger files, or sharing home videos with friends and family not yet hip to web streaming.

Adding multiple titles or menus is a snap, and switching to Edit Menu allows fine-grained control over individual buttons and text. There's also a play button to preview each looping menu complete with audio, but sadly no way to do the same for the entire project prior to saving a disc image or actually burning a copy.

MyDVD appears targeted at prosumers and novice filmmakers, but one glaring omission keeps it from being truly useful: Support for professional QuickTime file formats like ProRes, which can be used in the main Titanium app. On the plus side, MyDVD can also be used to create AVCHD discs, and Pro users have the option to author and burn custom Blu-rays that trump most inexpensive options currently available.

Software galore

Toast 14 also includes Toast Audio Assistant, a convenient but somewhat buggy way to capture, edit, and enhance audio. Plug in a turntable, cassette player, or microphone, and you'll be able to import it to digital format--at least in theory. Toast Audio Assistant worked erratically with the Blackmagic hardware attached to my Retina MacBook Pro, and even when I could get it working, the incoming audio level display was wildly inaccurate.

Buyers of the Pro edition also receive a suite of additional software carried over from the previous version, including Live Screen Capture, iZotope Music & Speech Cleaner for enhancing audio files, and FaceFilter 3 for retouching photos. Many of these feel out of place in the Toast roster, but are otherwise worthwhile for those on a budget.

Roxio also made two welcomed additions to the Pro lineup: Corel AfterShot 2, a very capable and user-friendly Aperture alternative from Roxio's parent company; and the latest RE (Roxio Edition) version of Boinx FotoMagico, the awesome slideshow creation software that does a more impressive job than Titanium's built-in Photo Disc option.

Bottom line

Despite its limitations, MyDVD makes Toast 14 Pro a worthwhile upgrade for Mac users who want to make custom DVDs or Blu-rays. If you don't already own them, the included Corel AfterShot 2 or FotoMagico applications add to the value of the Pro version.

 

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