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Is there any reasonable alternative to Toast for burning BD-REs on a Mac?

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billf
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Joined: 2004-02-13
Points: 0

Does anyone know of a way of burning a BDMV to a BD-RE on a Mac that doesn't involve Roxio?

I've been given the run around by Roxio's customer "support" a little too much -- just normal carelessness, like giving me instructions for Vista users after I tell them I'm on a Mac and such. The unfortunate end result is that Roxio Toast isn't usable, because the plug-in to burn a BDMV folder won't unlock.

Is there any viable alternative for burning a BD-RE on a Mac? I do run XP under VMWare, but I'm a little hesitant to try to get burning software to run under that configuration, but has anyone tried? I might be reduced to that if Roxio's support doesn't start actually reading the problem description...

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Joe Rice

A quick followup/note on this.

The device location for your burner may not be disk1, so replace /dev/
disk1 with the device location for your BD burner.

In my case, using an external USB burner, I checked the USB portion of
the System Profiler application and found that the USB-SATA bridge for
the burner had been given the device location of /dev/disk2. There may
be other ways to determine this as well.

I found that after the newfs_udf command completed, the disc had to be
ejected and re-inserted in order for the Finder to recognize it.

And then I found it froze my machine up completely after I copied
files to the disc. (UI was frozen, including the clock stopping - no
kernel panic). After 10 minutes I rebooted and used Toast to
successfully burn a disc. ;)

Maybe this was a fluke - Bill, are you using this method successfully?
I also wonder if it could be due to OS (10.6.1) or burner (which Disk
Utility shows as "unsupported" for burning).

Cheers,
Joe

On 3 Sep 2009, at 3:47 PM, bd-j-dev@mobileandembedded.org wrote:

> My learned colleague Jon Courtney pointed out this forum post:
>
> http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=362859&362859
>
> It turns out that the Mac has built-in support for writing BD
> images. No Toast required! Just:
>
> * Erase the disc (if it's new) using Disc Utility
> * Format it from terminal, with: newfs_udf -r 2.50 -t ow /dev/
> disk1
>
> From that point forward, you can read and write to the disc
> normally, just using Finder, or cp, or whatever you like.
>
> So, it turns out the Mac is a more convenient way to write BD discs
> than a PC, so long as you know about newfs_udf.
>
> Yay!
> [Message sent by forum member 'billf' (bill.foote@sun.com)]
>
> http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=362877
>
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billf
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Joined: 2004-02-13
Points: 0

Hey Joe,

Thanks for reminding me -- I've been meaning to post a follow-up. Mark just asked me about this today too; have you helped bring him over to the Mac side?

Anyway, here's the magic secret incantation for a new disc:

* Erase disc fully _using_ _Toast_, and not Disc Utility
* Quit toast. Do the Vir Koto wave (that he did to Mr. Morden on Centauri Prime), if you so choose.
* Format with newfs_udf -r 2.50 -t ow /dev/disk1 (or disk2, ...)
* I guess eject and re-insert (I don't remember this, but I probably do it unconsciously)
* Drag files over with finder
* Don't press eject too soon - give it a few seconds, maybe until the light goes out to be maximally careful.
* Press eject, and maybe wait a few seconds

Volia!

The secret is that Disc Utility doesn't completely erase the BD disc, which I guess makes a certain amount of sense. Toast does erase correctly. However, the newfs_udf command line command is good to use, because you can do incremental changes to the disc by just dragging files to it with the finder.

Once I switched to erasing with Toast, everything became reliable. I guess if I were to unplug the burner while writing or something, it might corrupt the disc and I'd have to re-erase (with Toast) and re-format (with newfs_udf).

Cheers,

Bill

billf
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Joined: 2004-02-13
Points: 0

Just to follow up on Toast for Mac...

I did finally get BD-RE burning working on my Mac, but it's not terribly pretty. I'm a Unix person going way back, so I hate to admit this, but I think that PCs are still the preferred way to burn BD disc. Hopefully burning support will get better when Apple eventually integrates Blu-ray into the OS. Anyway, here's what I've learned about Toast:

To burn a disc that will work on a player, you have to burn it as a BDMV (which makes sense). However, as far as I can tell there's no support for doing an incremental burn, where you just swap out a couple of files. This is an important feature, because it lets you write new 4MB jar files, but leave the 20GB video files intact. It just doesn't seem to be supported. If I missed something and there is a way to do this, someone please correct me!

When you go to record, the behavior is fairly annoying. It forces you to erase first, and the erase dialog has a checkbox that's on by default, "Format Blu-ray Disc for Toast Dynamic Writing". A logical person might thing that "Toast Dynamic Writing" is their name for incremental writes. A logical person would, in this instance, be totally wrong -- this turns your disc into something that only works as a data disc (and maybe only for Macs, or Macs with Toast, or some other silly thing).

So, when you erase, you need to uncheck this checkbox every time. Then you press "quick erase," and wait, and then the program ejects the disc. Then you push it back in, and Toast finally lets you burn your image. I will say that they have a very nice "machine that goes ping" sound when the burn is done.

The other gripe I have is that Roxio's support is worse than useless. Given a complete problem description, they seem to read the first third of it, then shoot off an e-mail telling you to do something you just told them you've already done. Given a two-day turnaround, this doesn't help. My initial problem was that the "Toast 10 Pro" I got had a defective CD key that wouldn't unlock BDMV support; in the end I solved it by downgrading to the Toast 9 that came with my drive, paying the stupid twenty bucks on line, and then going through my company's exception policy for not buying something through an approved vendor. Putting it all together, it comes to three days of my life I'm not getting back!

So, I guess my recommendation is to use a PC for BD disc burning if you have a choice. Personally, I really prefer the Mac for the software development part, though!

billf
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Joined: 2004-02-13
Points: 0

My learned colleague Jon Courtney pointed out this forum post:

http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=362859&362859

It turns out that the Mac has built-in support for writing BD images. No Toast required! Just:

* Erase the disc (if it's new) using Disc Utility
* Format it from terminal, with: newfs_udf -r 2.50 -t ow /dev/disk1

From that point forward, you can read and write to the disc normally, just using Finder, or cp, or whatever you like.

So, it turns out the Mac is a more convenient way to write BD discs than a PC, so long as you know about newfs_udf.

Yay!

billf
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Joined: 2004-02-13
Points: 0

The actual forum post is here:
http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=266202

It's the last message in that thread.