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All That You Survey

If you're losing track of all the multimedia information on your hard drive, there's an easy solution: Organize it with catalog software.

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If you've a business to promote, you probably have a dark vault on your hard drive bulging with pictures, sounds, animation, slides and video clips for use in your marketing materials, reports and Web pages. But when your digital vault becomes so crowded and disorganized that you dread looking for the file you need, it's time to get a professional multimedia cataloger like Portfolio. And if you've given up on slow, crash-happy, freebie catalogers that lack sophisticated options, you'll find Portfolio well worth the price ($200, street).

With Portfolio, you simply click Catalog/Add Items and choose the files or the file formats you want to add to a particular "portfolio." The program then pops smaller images onto a page you can scroll all at once; you can view a larger image with a double click. You can also look at just the images in Thumbnail View; at an index of names with the thumbnail you select in List View; or a single record with image, keyword and description in Record View. The Customize button lets you decide what additional file information (such as height, width, and color mode) you'd like to display with each type of view. When it's time to create output using multimedia graphics, sound, video, animation and so on, scripting options in AppleScript or Visual Basic help you publish to the Internet or other venues. You can even tap into other companies' digital image banks by clicking hot links right from Portfolio.

Rebecca Frances Rohan has been a computer and Internet journalist since 1988. She is the author of Building Better Web Pages (AP Professional).