The forced change in dates for this year's CES means the event overlaps the San Francisco Macworld conference and also runs in parallel with the exhibition side of Macworld that kicks off today with Apple chief Steve Jobs' keynote address at 9am (5pm GMT). Watch out for our report on what the great man says and the new products he promises
The first big story to come out of Macworld is that one of our favourite programs for the Apple platform - Roxio's all-singing, dancing disc-burning suite Toast - has been overhauled, with V8 Platinum adding even more useful features.
The product is available now from Roxio's own sites selling for $100 in the USA ($60 to upgrade from V7) and £70 in the UK (£30 to upgrade). Some "special" prices and discount bundles are also available online at Roxio's virtual Macworld store (and at the show) but the dollar prices look rather more special than those in pounds.
Further good news for our US readers is that Toast 8 supports burning to DVD or DivX discs of TV programmes recorded by the TiVo personal video recorder and can convert them for viewing on portable media players, such as Apple iPods and the Sony PSP.
Also rather more relevant on the west side of the pond than the east - for the moment, at least - Toast 8 adds support for burning Blu-ray Disc blanks.
Another significant feature is disc restoration. This, Roxio claims, allows data to be recovered from scratched or damaged discs that are unreadable in Mac OS Finder. Quite what can be recovered will depend on the extent of the damage but if it's not too bad, then this feature should let you create new clean copies of some discs that had been unreadable.
Roxio has also added DVD shrinking, allowing you to fit a 9GB DVD onto to single-layer 4.7GB disc, though the tool doesn't work with copy-proteced commercial DVDs.
However, while Roxio wouldn't ever admit it, the only logical reason for adding this feature is that the company expects users to find tools on the web that let them crack the copy protection systems.
After that, they can create backup using Roxio's Fit-to-DVD compression system and Toast's customisation tools for removing elements of the DVD they don't need or are too big to include, such as additional language soundtracks, menuing or video extras.
The suite is said lets you create slideshow discs that will play on any system and includes "professional-quality" tools for creating "superior sounding" audio CD mixes and music DVDs and to allow automatic disc cataloguing and cross-platform data spanning over multiple discs.
Find out a little from Roxio press release on page two and by checking out the Toast pages on Roxio's UK and USA sites, then let us know your thoughts in this thread in the HEXUS.lifestyle.news forum .
HEXUS.linksHEXUS.community :: discussion thread about this article
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External.linksRoxio UK - Toast home page
Roxio USA - Toast home page
Roxio - home page
Sonic Solutions - home page