Portfolio stores media files in a customizable, searchable visual catalogue, letting you share these databases over a network or publish them on the Web. Version 7 attempts to provide a more relevant offering to the power user, with several workflow enhancements and automation features
such as a Watch Folders (system or network) facility.
It has greater support for attaching file information in the form of metadata, which is extracted by Portfolio while cataloguing. You can also embed keywords and other information as metadata into the original files, able to be read by other applications.
Galleries are Portfolio’s way of displaying subsets of the items in the main catalogue. These can now be organized, viewed and created in the interface in a similar way to the playlists in iTunes. The Smart Gallery uses ‘saved find’ criteria to perform a search for matching items each time it is opened. There’s also a one-click facility to burn a Gallery or selection of items to a CD or DVD from the application. If you choose to archive items on to a CD/DVD and later click on the item thumbnail, the application prompts you to insert the disc. Portfolio can create a new catalogue on the disc as well as including a copy of Portfolio browser to view it.
Another welcome feature is batch-conversion of images to JPEGs and TIFFs, in a similar fashion to GraphicConverter. Parameters such as resolution, size and location can all be changed, all embedded metadata is transferred to the new file, and the converted files can be automatically added to a disc.
Screen-resolution previews can be generated during the cataloguing process – twice the size of previews previously offered. You can also specify low-res previews when emailing to clients or archiving. However, when assigning file types for cataloguing there’s still no way to deselect all types first then choose the ones you want.
Portfolio is a highly usable tool. Steadily adding features such as NetPublish or Burn to Disc with each release keeps it ahead of the competition. Digital asset-management applications tend to suffer from the same progressive user neglect as backup software, but there are enough significant features and new automation here to keep Portfolio a vital part of the workflow.