Review : Toast 9-DiscCatalogMaker RE

Bundled with Toast is a wonderful disc cataloging program.

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Product Manufacturer: Roxio, A Div. of Sonic Solutions

Price: $99.99 US Bundle - $19 Stand Alone

The Good

  • Pro: Simple to use. Catalogs discs quickly. Creates small file. Inexpensive to upgrade to full version.

The Bad

  • Con: Cannot deselect file types from catalog scan.
Roxio recently released Toast 9 with Blu-ray disc support, the new Get Backup backup software, and Streamer video streaming software. While this substantial upgrade uses a whopping half a gig of hard drive space, it includes six applications, including updates to the old standards, CD Spin Doctor, Disc Cover 2 RE, and DiscCatalogMaker RE.

Toast 9 Bundle - DiscCatalogMaker RE

While we test the new Toast, I'd like to tell you about the often ignored DiscCatalogMaker RE. I've used this program for over a year and it is one of the easiest, sleekest little CD and DVD cataloging program available. Version 4.2.3 ships with Toast 9, but the full program by Fujiwara Software is up to version 4.4 and only costs $19. Toast 8 and 9 owners can upgrade to the full version for $14.00.

DiscCatalogMaker catalogs everything on your external discs or internal hard drives. If you want it to also scan compacted files, such as .zip, .sit, or even the age-old Compact Pro archives you can check those boxes in the Preferences. You can also set the preferences to open a new or existing Catalog upon launch, set a font, and choose white or horizontal stripes for the background window. You can also choose a detailed view or choose the type and creator view.

 DiscCatalogMaker screen

DiscCatalogMaker RE Preferences

Roxio probably remained with version 2.3 in Toast 9 because version 4.4 changed the catalog file format and added a comments field. These newer files cannot be read by DiscCatalogMaker version 4.3 and earlier. I'm glad Roxio stuck with the older, more compatible version, because I use previous versions in Mac OS X 10.3 too and they open in the newer version.

Keep Track of Your Files

I've not used the full version of DiscCatalogMaker, because the Toast-included version is all I need. It catalogs whole CDs or DVDs in seconds. I've tried other programs, but this one is definitely the speediest. I scanned a 60GB hard drive, with 40GB filled in under three minutes, while backup DVDS take seconds to scan. The resulting files take up little space on your hard drive too; but if you need to whittle down hard disk space, the option to compress your catalog data exists. A catalog of 17 DVDs only uses less than four MB of space, although the uncompressed hard drive scan was surprisingly large at 54 MB, but my older CDFinder database was significantly bigger, although CDFinder does include many more options. DiscCatalogMaker also catalogs folders, even on a network volume and can share a catalog file across an AppleShare file server.

DiscCatalogMaker screen

DiscCatalogMaker Catalog

According to Fujiwara's site, the differences between the full version of DiscCatalogMaker and Toast's DiscCatalogMaker RE are that the Crash Reporter and Update check are disabled. The full version is also localized for more languages. In DiscCatalogMaker RE Roxio provides technical support and it works only in Mac OS X 10.4 and above; while the full version works with older system software.

Text Your Catalog

You can also export your catalog to a text file, in case you need to print a disc label, but Disc Cover 2 RE labeling software is a better solution for disc labels. My only complaint with the program is that you cannot tell it not to catalog particular files. As I save all my Read Me documents, and other text files associated with software. I really don't need these cataloged on every disc. While this is minor, it makes the catalog text files unnecessarily very long.

I'm always looking for backed up music or photographs and without DiscCatalogMaker I would spend afternoons rifling through disc after disc in search of some obscure buried file, whose name I probably don't remember.

DiscCatalogMaker screen

DiscCatalogMaker Find Dialog

DiscCatalogMaker makes the process of finding a file painless, because the Find dialog covers every possible way you might want to look for a file. The displayed results appear in a familiar and easy to use dialog.

DiscCatalogMaker screen

DiscCatalogMaker Found Files

This is one of the simplest programs I've ever used to complete a very useful task. If you have Toast 8 or 9, you should give it a try; if you don't use Toast, buy this great shareware, you won't be sorry.

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