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Creating hybrid PC/Mac CD's of your case with Toast

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(Parts are borrowed from Brian Aslaksons revised version at:http://www.roxio.com/en/support/toast/toasthybrid.html)

The Temporary Partition

You may not need to create a Temporary Partition to create your case, but you must have some such volume on the desktop of the mac to be used for CD burning if you plan to make a hybrid, because that's what Toast requires, and as far as I know, Toast is the only program that makes hybrid cd's.

I call my Temporary Partition (TP) 'Case'. It is on my desktop as a Volume just like my hard drive 'Macintosh HD'. I created it with Toast. I have never used DiskCopy, and I am very happy with Toast, but I did have one unfortunate incident a few years ago when I 'toasted' my mac hard drive by creating a TP; it froze and was unrecoverable and had to be reformatted. Good thing I had backups! :-)

Recently, version 3.57 would simply crash in OS 9 when I tried to write a hybrid cd, forcing me to upgrade to version 5. Toast 5 has worked great! (so far...)

The file structure

Here is the file structure I use on my TP 'Case':

  • Three folders named mac, pc, and movies inside the main 'Case' volume
    • Inside the mac folder are: CreateCase, RunCase, and the case folder
      • Inside the case folder are: cc.dxr, rc.dxr, import.cst, and the temp folder
        • Inside the temp folder are: temp.mov and tempsm.mov
    • Inside the pc folder are: CreateCase.exe, RunCase.exe, and the case folder
      • Inside the case folder are: cc.dxr, rc.dxr, import.cst, and the temp folder
        • Inside the temp folder are: temp.mov and tempsm.mov
    • Inside the movies folder are all of my digital videos with a .mov extension.

More on filename conventions

Using the 3 letter extension may not matter on a mac, but it is critical on a pc. It tells the Windows operating system which application to use to open the file. If you change the 3 letter extension to a different application, you will see the icon automatically change, and you will get a warning that the file may not work properly. On a mac, there is internal information in the file that determines which application will open it, and you can use a free simple utility called ResEdit to change the 'resource' type.

Creating the Case and moving it to the pc

I create my case initially on the mac. I create it on the hard drive named Macintosh HD, but if possible, you might want to create the case right on the TP.

When I am happy with my case on the mac, I ftp the import.cst file to our server and download it to my pc to replace the pc version. I then re-import the videos to be sure the paths are functional. I check everything by running my case. I work right at the root level of my pc hard drive, so my case files are all in a folder C:\pc\ and all of my videos are in a folder C:\movies\.

Moving your pc case back to the mac to write a cd

I then create a pc.zip file from the pc folder and ftp that back to the mac with Toast and the Temporary Partition. I unzip the pc folder and copy it to the TP which is named "TestCase" and is a volume on my mac desktop. There is already a movies folder on the "TestCase" TP, and there is the mac folder as well. There is no way to test the pc programs on the mac, you simply need faith that you've done everything correctly so far.

Now launch Toast. Here is a brief set of generic instructions for buring a hybrid cd, an Easy Way and a Controlled Way, by Brian Aslakson. I elaborate on the Controlled Way.

A hybrid CD is a CD that has both a Mac and a PC part in the same session. The PC part is in the ISO 9660 format (also used on Unix CD-ROMs). This can be handy for companies that create cross-platform software, but it is also handy for folks who want to write a CD for friends and family some of whom may have (gasp!) Windows machines.

Although Macs can read ISO 9660 discs, without the free Joliet extension from Thomas Tempelmann they will only see the ancient MS-DOS 8.3 filename. Even when possible, it isn't easy for PCs and Unix machines to read Mac CD-ROMs. But a hybrid disc shows up Mac in Macintosh computers, and ISO 9660 in everything else. And they are easy to make (you may have already made one and not known it!).

There are two ways to make a hybrid CD in Toast. One method is easy, but doesn't allow a lot of control. The other way is a bit more complex, but allows a great deal of control over how the disc will look on both Macs and other computers.

The Easy Way

The easy way requires either the Standard (sometimes called OEM) version of Toast or Toast 4 Deluxe, version 4.0 or later.

  1. Select "[Mac] Files and Folders" as the format.

  2. Drag in the files you want to appear (all files will show up on both Macs and PCs, so you may want to organize separate folders for Mac-, PC-, and Unix-specific files).

  3. Write the disc.

Although this method is easy, it doesn't let you hide Mac files from PC users, and PC files from Mac users. Also, each operating system uses different line endings for text files (CR for Macs, LF for Unix, CRLF for PCs) so you'll want to use a program like Tex-Edit Plus to convert the readme file to several versions. Messy. See below for more information on line endings.

The Controlled Way

Toast 4 Deluxe has a feature not in Toast 4 Standard called "Mac/ISO Hybrid". It lets you set up the Mac side of things exactly as you want it, then set up the ISO 9660 side of things exactly as you want it, and files chosen for both sides get written once but show up on both sides!

  1. Find or create a Mac volume. This is as easy as selecting "Create Temporary Partition" from the Utility menu, or using Apple's free DiskCopy, or using a hard drive partition (read more about the use of Temporary Partitions for your case creation process below)..

  2. Set up the partition to be exactly as you want it to be for Mac users. You typically don't worry about Windows or Unix users at this point, but in order to avoid uncertainties in this complex process, your naming convention for folders and movies should adhere closely to the 8 character maximum, no spaces, with a 3 letter extension identifying the filetype, such as .mov for your movies (you don't need an extension for folders, of course).

  3. Select "Mac/ISO Hybrid" as the format.

  4. Click the "Data..." button, and select the volume you have set up. If comment is "shared", you'll need to turn off file sharing. You can select options like Autostart here if you want. Click "OK" when you're done.

  5. Click "ISO..." and select the files you want to appear on the ISO 9660 side of things. Here is the trick: If you select a file that is on the Macintosh volume you chose in the previous step, the file (or folder) will be written only once, but will appear to both Mac and PC users. You can set up options such as writing Joliet filenames by using the tabs at the top. Click "Done" when you're done.

  6. Write the disc.

It really isn't very hard and the results are as professional-looking as you want them to be.

More details on the Controlled Way as they apply to your case

When you choose Mac/ISO Hybrid from the Format menu in Toast, the window will change to relect this selection. You then position your windows so that you can drag the "TestCase" TP into the Toast window. If you do this successfully, you'll see "TestCase" identified as having been imported into Toast as a mac volume. You then open the "TestCase" TP and click and drag a rectangle around both the pc folder AND the movie folder. Be sure to drag both of these folders simultaneously into the Toast window. If you drag them one at a time, the second ends up inside the first. This will mess up your relative movie paths.

You must then click the Options button, select the last tab, and choose 'Joliet and Windows 95' filenames from the popup menu. Click 'Done'.

Once you complete this, you are ready to burn your CD. Once the CD is burned, be sure to test it on as many different platforms and OS's you can (Mac OS 8,9,X, Windows98/2000/XP, etc.).

The need to share your movies folder across platforms, but your video file sizes are too large to duplicate

If your video files sizes are so small that you can burn two copies of them (one set for the mac case folder, one set for the pc), then you may put your movies folder inside your case folder for both the mac and the pc. Then you will only have two folders, mac and pc, on your Temporary Partition.

However, when I create my case for a hybrid cd and my digital videos are so large that there is insufficient space on the cd to duplicate copies for both mac and pc versions, then the movies folder containing the videos must reside outside of either the mac or pc folders so it may be 'shared' between the executable applications for each platform.

Therefore, you must modify any cases already created by structuring your folders like this and re-importing your videos. You must do this on both the mac and the pc for any cases already at least partially created. It may be possible to structure your files using aliases on the mac or shortcuts on the pc in order to keep your videos inside the case folder you originally use on the mac, but I have not tested this and don't recommend trying at this point. I know the above method works.

It should not matter where your case files are on your hard drive when you create the case, only that the movies folder is outside of both the mac and pc folders and at the same level in the directory heirarchy. This is not truly required, it is just one way of doing that I know works, but those who gain an understanding of the cross-platform issues involved may figure out their own way.

More Tips and Tricks from Brian Aslakson

Line endings are simply what you get when you hit return when typing up your text file. Macs use a Carriage Return (CR), Unix systems use a Line Feed (LF), and PC's use both! If you've ever used a manual typewriter, you'll understand where these distinctions came from. If you look at a Mac text file on a PC, you'll see really long lines (because Macs will word-wrap automatically) with funny boxes between paragraphs. If you look at a PC text file on a Mac, you'll see hard-wrapped lines that start with funny boxes. There is no One True Format for simple text files, so making one for each platform that the disc will be used on is often best. Or possibly creating an Adobe Acrobat (pdf) document, as they are cross-platform.

Some files, notably JPEG and GIF graphics, are the same no matter what computer they are on. HTML files are the same. So web pages can be a great way to distribute information, such as pictures, to your friends and family. Toast 4 Deluxe comes with a program, Photo Relay, that will create web pages from pictures.

Some programs save their files in the same format for both Macs and PCs. Others may have a PC format under "Save As".

When Toast puts a red !!! next to a filename on the ISO 9660 list, it means that the name isn't legal for PCs. When you rename the file, make sure that anything that refers to it (say a web page) is changed to reflect the new name.

Most PC users will be able to see the longer "Joliet" file names. But PCs rely on a 3-4 digit extension on the file name to identify it. So although Macs and Unix computers will gladly handle "KittyDrawing", PC's would need to see "KittyDrawing.gif".

If you write a QuickTime movie, make sure it has been saved to be playable on non-Macintosh computers (this is sometimes called "flattening"), and that it has the .mov extension.

If you have taken the trouble to make a really nice disc, you might want to get a disc labeler and make a really nice label for your really nice disc.

If the disc has files on it that require a special program to read them (for example, movie files), either include the program (if you legally can) or give a location for getting the file. For many things you may be able to get permission to include an installer (e.g. for QuickTime) or a special "reader" program.

For help from people like you, and for lively and informative discussions, join the Roxio Discussion List (currently it is mostly about CD recording).