• Price: 60 . 36

  • Company: Roxio

  • Pros: Adds Blu-ray support, and boasts a cleaner interface and media browser.

  • Cons: Mainly focused on being consumer friendly.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 8 out of 10 We rate this 8 out of 10

Though version 8 of Toast is primarily boosting its appeal to home users, there are a few nifty features and tools for the creative professional to look out for.

These include support for Blu-ray DVDs and all the blue laser-based burners that have shipped in the past six months. The Blu-ray support in Toast is dynamic, meaning it will treat your disc just like a hard drive volume. With capacity of 50GB per disc, Blu-ray makes a great backup medium, among its other uses such as for high-definition video.

Cross-platform data-spanning is a handy feature for creative professionals who create their media on Macs but may need to share it with PC-based clients. Prior to the availability of this option, files had to be compressed to fit on a single disc, or you’d have to create a series of discs with a separate catalogue for each – a time-consuming process.

The Data Span option in Toast automatically creates a catalogue and viewer on each disc, so that no matter which disc from the series your client inserts, the entire catalogue will be available, and it will prompt them for the correct disc.

The cleaned-up user interface is instantly noticeable. The tabs that once went across the front of the UI have all been consolidated. The media browser supports the usual movies, music and pictures, plus it has added file browsing, and a spotlight search for media.

There’s an option for burning cross-platform photo discs of files from Apple’s iPhoto software, though there’s no support for Aperture or Lightroom.

The rest of the new features are similarly for consumers. These include the much-heralded ability to download and burn recorded TV programmes from Tivo PVRs across a network – though this will hold limited appeal in the UK. You can work directly with footage from Elgato’s EyeTV, too.

Despite the consumer-focus, Toast 8 is a worthwhile upgrade if you’ve been holding out for Blu-ray and data-spanning functions.