Saturday, September 18, 2010

SNAFU - Toast 10 Titanium Pro's Addition Problem

For Macintosh-based content creators, there aren't many options for Blu-Ray disc creation: Toast 10 Titanium Pro is the least expensive alternative that has an option for Blu-Ray conversion and burning. It clocks in around $110 on Amazon compared to several hundred dollars for Adobe Encore (and a downloadable version of Toast 10 Titanium Pro offered by Amazon is even less expensive).

Yet, for all the Toast goodness we've seen from Roxio over the years, this Blu-Ray version of Toast 10 Titanium is a dud: it can't calculate storage space in any meaningful way.

I found this out the hard way, having chosen the "Blu-Ray Video" setting and then spending 8+ hours digitizing standard-definition (SD) miniDV content into Toast 10 Titanium Pro.

Once my content was all digitized, I let the system choose its own automatic encoding, which yielded a pleasantly spacious additional 777.1 MB left on the theoretical Blu-Ray disc:

Except that's Toast Math, which means it bears no semblance to reality. While the Toast calculation tells the user that only 22.55 GB will be placed on the disc, the reality is that this number already exceeds the amount of space on a single-layer Blu-Ray disc!

How's that? Don't Blu-Ray discs have 25 GB of unformatted space (or 23.31 GB of formatted space)? Yes, gentle reader, you are correct. But in the world of Toast Math, 22.55 GB is greater than 23.31 GB.

To fully understand the equation, you must allow your computer to crunch data—lots of data—for more than 36 hours. At the end of this time, your computer will then generate the following error:

Cross-check the Toast Math: Toast calculates 22.55 GB out to be equal to 23.76 GB. The latter is the amount that Toast says it needs to burn the same disc that started with the original amount of 22.55 GB on disc (and 777.1 MB of free space!)

I thought this was an anomaly, so silly me, I re-ran the same scenario for another 36 hours, and used a different Blu-Ray (BD-RE) writer.

Guess what? Same exact issue.

Then,  foolishly, I tried making a stand-alone Toast image (ending in .toast) and burning it via the Copy "Image File" option in Toast 10 Titanium Pro.  The .toast file ended up at almost 25 GB, almost 2.75 GB higher than the original Toast calculation of 22.55 GB).

Yet, when I chose "Image File" under Copy, guess what happened? You are right, gentle reader, I received an error telling me that 23.76 GB of disc space was required on the Blu-Ray disc, the exact same amount that Toast 10 Titanium Pro had calculated in error during its initial bad math day (we're now over 100 hours into testing Toast Math).

What about just removing one of the miniDV files from the Toast layout?  That seemed like a natural conclusion, but due to Toast's automatic encoding, it's not so simple: rather than just taking away the 3.1 GB +/- for each of the miniDV tapes, Toast 10 Titanium Pro does another round of Toast Math, and comes up with less free space on the Blu-Ray disc than before.

Perhaps I don't understand new math, or Toast Math, but apparently the re-calculation is based on Toast 10 Titanium Pro changing the compression rates to "fit" on to the Blu-Ray disc.

In theory this makes sense, since fewer minutes of video being compressed to the Blu-Ray disc could yield a higher-bitrate-per-minute scenario. But not in Toast Math.

In the world of Toast Math, 1+1 doesn't equal 2, 3 or any standard calculation.  It equals Toast Math.

Please, Roxio, teach your program to add before sending it out in to the world!

1 comment:

mgg said...

YES!!!!! I have the same problem and after a couple of weeks, Roxio's Support (not) is completely silent other than bouncing me a clipped out portion of their useless manual.....