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Roxio’s Toast with Jam.

When you need to write CDs or DVDs using an Apple Macintosh desktop or laptop computer, Roxio’s Toast with Jam is the best way to go.

Completely carbonized and ready for OS X, Toast with Jam is also compatible with OS 9. Inserting a blank CD-R or RW disc into a Mac’s recordable drive pops up the familiar “disc needs to be prepared” dialog, but there’s a “Toast” button added. Clicking it takes you to the Aqua Toast 5 Platinum interface that makes burning CDs on the Mac easier than it is with Roxio’s own CD Creator for Windows XP. You can choose four different disc formats: Mac OS and PC (hybrid); Mac OS, including the HFS+ file system; Mac OS extended CD; and Mac OS extended and PC (hybrid). Files are added by clicking a large plus sign or by dragging them into the working window. Writing and verifying is smooth and (depending on your drive) fast. This latest incarnation of Toast lets you be more productive too. You can burn CDs in the background, even if you’re running Mac OS 9.

Roxio’s Jam 5 is no longer available as a standalone product and is bundled as part of the Toast package. It offers 24-bit audio support for such popular digital audio formats as AIFF, WAV, MP3, and SounDesigner II. The package includes Peak LE VST, a group of editing tools that allows you to tweak music files to your taste. Jam 5 has the capability to create 100-percent Red Book-compatible audio discs for mass replication.

As part of the Toast portion of the package, Roxio bundles a copy of iView Media, the absolute best Mac OS image thumbnail browser available. On the DV side of the street, iMovie enthusiasts can convert their video streams into Video CDs that are playable on other computers, including PCs, as well as most consumer DVD players. Need labels? A copy of Magic Mouse Discus is bundled and lets you make CD labels and jewel case inserts, although the ability to print labels for minis and business-card CDs is only available if you upgrade to the full version.

When burning CDs with previous versions of Toast (or Apple’s own CD burner), Mac OS users have discovered that invisible files, such as the Desktop Database file, are copied at the same time as the files they intend to write. If you use software such as Thomas Tempelmann’s freeware Desktop DB Diver you can see sensitive information, such as e-mail log-in information, and addresses, along with records of visits to Web sites you might prefer the disc’s recipients not know. Toast Platinum 5.1.2 solves this problem by including a check box called “Use empty desktop database,” but you won’t see it if you just drag files onto the interface. You must first double click the new CD’s name to see the dialog box containing this important feature.

If you’re a Mac OS user and need to burn CD-Rs, CD-RWs, or DVDs–and that’s just about all of us–you need a copy of Toast with Jam.

Roxio Toast with Jam

Benefits:

OS X-native for better performance, but compatible with OS 9.2. Combines CD/DVD burning functions for music, video, or data in a single package. Jam supports 24-bit audio AIFF, WAV, MP3, and SounDesigner II formats. Eliminates problem of copying invisible Desktop DB file to discs. Jam creates 100-percent Red Book-compatible discs ready for mass replication.

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