Researching file formats 8: PDF Portfolio

This blog post is part of a series on file formats research. See this introduction post for more information.

Update: The official format definition is now online here: PDF Portfolio. Comments welcome directly to the Library of Congress.

PDF Portfolio files! PDF is already such a tangled spaghetti mess of a format, and this format is just taking a whole bunch of them and making them into a mega-pasta dish.

Here’s an overview

And Flash is required to make these files! Or at least some of the time!

I won’t be attempting it but seems like it could be fun to try?

Just some statements I find terror-inducing:

“There are 2 different file formats for adobe portfolios. The old format used Adobe Flash technology. The new format doesn’t use this technology.” (ref)

“You can convert multimedia files, such as MP3 to PDF within a PDF Portfolio. You can also convert these files to PDF if they are encoded in H.264 (with AAC audio): MOV, M4V, MP4, 3GP, and 3G2.” (ref)

“Always saves as a PDF Portfolio do not want this “ (ref)

If you were me, would you consider a PDF Portfolio to be unitary or a container-wrapper format (based on the GDFR classification guidelines here)? I’m going with existing practice to keep things consistent, but it’s a complicated question for a complicated format.