Price: Studio £1,395; Professional £4,545; Portfolio Server Enterprise £11,995; all prices exclude VAT
Pros: Cross-platform; intuitive to use; supports many file types
Cons: Licensing stingy for the price
It’s a fact of life: as a studio grows, so does its collection of networked digital resources. Finding exactly what you need to finish a task can make the working day pretty daunting, if not frustrating.
If you include its previous incarnation as Aldus Fetch, Extensis Portfolio has chalked up fifteen years of digital asset management, so this is a product that has attained maturity, and more. However, Extensis hasn’t been resting on its laurels, as version 10 demonstrates with useful additions.
We were pleased to note that LDAP directory services integration has been added in the Professional and Enterprise versions. This saves administrators of larger studios the hassle of creating yet another set of logins for Extensis Portfolio Server. Instead, users can simply log in with their normal network credentials.
Another feature of this new release is the ability to preview movies in a variety of formats (flv, m4v, mov and mp4 among them), pretty much essential for most studios.
You can send that all-important artwork update to your client quickly with NetPublish, an optional module for the Portfolio Server Enterprise and Professional versions
The Professional or Enterprise versions are also capable of batch file conversions. Unfortunately, most – apart from conversions to tif or jpg – require the optional NetMediaMax module. This costs an eye-watering £4,267 plus VAT, so it isn’t going to be for every studio.
Setting up is a matter of launching the appropriate installer and following the onscreen instructions before, in the Server application, setting up users with the required level of access.
If you work with digital media and don’t already use Portfolio Server, you really should, while existing users should strongly consider upgrading.