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Digital Asset Management-On the Cheap

(May 2006) posted on Fri May 19, 2006

DAM products to help graphics producers on a budget.

click an image below to view slideshow

By Stephen Beals

Canto ( spun off its very low-end single-user
software in 2005, and this product is now licensed by Media-
Dex (, which sells it under the MediaDex
name. since MediaDex sells for $49 for the base version and
$79 for the pro version, it"?s not surprising that it is mainly good
for cataloging images on a single machine. You can extend the
capabilities to do things like catalog all the internal pages of a
Quark or PDF document"?but adding each of these two capa-
bilities, for example, will cost $995 for up to three clients. Both
MediaDex versions are available in Mac and Windows. Canto,
meanwhile, continues to offer server-based systems under the
Cumulus name"?it recently announced the release of version 7
"?at more typical enterprise pricing levels. Enterprise versions
run under a variety of operating systems.

Portfolio 8 from Extensis ( is the step up
here, and is a brand-new release of the company"?s best-seller.
It packs more power and features than the other low-end products
mentioned earlier, but it also carries a bit of a larger price
tag: $199. The new version can now read metadata in common
movie-file format, and it also allows users to take advantage
of the IPTC4XMP standard (IPTC Core), which is used by adobe
Creative suite 2 applications. This effectively extends Portfolio"?s
custom fields into the most popular creative applications,
allowing a two-way exchange of information. Portfolio 8 can
also read RaW image-format files. Extensis offers server and
enterprise versions of the product beginning at $6000.