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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Toast 9.0.2 Observations

Not a review, just some annoyances and a fix.

1. I choose to burn a DVD movie. 1x burn speed is selectable until you put a disc in. Then it's either 'Best' or in my case, 2x. The discs are some old stock I have, stamped with 1X near the spindle hole. Guess that's why I get coasters about 50% of the time huh? I want to be able to select less than what the recorder thinks it is, and I don't know what 'Best' means, really. Is it 1X or is it the 2x that's in the dropdown menu? Can't tell if the recorder thinks it's a 2X disc by mistake. Plus I get command errors and the burning fails.

Actually this was a lot worse at first glance in Toast 8 vs. 9. 9 appears at this moment to be using the average burn rate of 2x. 8 used to report like a 3x average or something silly for a 1x rated disc.

(Hey, I KNOW there are cheaper/faster discs, but I already had these. Waste not and all. Same reason I just put a 40 gig drive in a new 2.4 Ghz machine. It was free and Spinrite reported as faultless. Plus it plays games and accesses the Interweb just fine.)

2. I burned a 1.5 hr movie to a single layer 4.7 gig disc. 'Automatic' bit rate selection only used 1.59 gigs. Huh? Why not make it fill the DVD? TiVo source file, so I guess it only used the original standard def bitrate I recorded at the basic TiVo setting. I wonder if something with a higher bit rate would use the entire disc?

Answer: nope. I put an HD .TiVo file of 11.5 gig size on to a DVD. 1:55 length, still had 300 megs left over. It appears Roxio uses CBR encoding. Drag, dude.

A plus though, is that the output is pretty nice. Not quitecommercial quality, but pretty darn good. Of course, I can't use Grab to post a shot since Grab is disabled during DVD playback. Thanks Apple! So I used VLC. Click the image below for a Normal sized view. Some jaggies along edges, but pretty nice.

3. The audio sync issue I got on the same .TiVo source file in 8.0.4 has gone away in 9.0.2. Woohoo! Nice if they'd make 8.0.4 work right too.

4. Under 8, DVD video burns weren't verified like CD's. I just copied a DVD from my mounted DVD image of a .TiVo show, and it's now verifying. Nicer!

BUT when you just author a DVD, it doesn't verify it. So, hope your burn went well. No way to really tell I guess unless you get errors when viewing the DVD.

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