I'd like to ask the Hive Mind's advice on the best way to manage my photography collection in an open and resusable fashion.
I have about 7,000 photos accumulated over 6 or so years. I anticipate that these willl continue to increase.
Currently they are stored in 3 different locations. My desktop, my laptop and my netbook. These are all synced together using Sugarsync
for which I have a paid account and that all seem to work quite smoothly for keeping them all aligned and backed up.
Mainly I use Picasa for importing my photos and minor tweaks. The pictures themselves are organised into named folders based on particular events which the photos were taken at. I also have a Flickr Pro account which i don't really use.
What I'd like to do is get a lot more organised and add far more metadata to the pictures, tagging them with:-
1. Where they were taken?
2. What the subjects are
3. What people are in them
4. How I rate the picture
I'm aware that I can do all of this in Picasa but I do not want to invest a lot of time and effort in doing this and have Picasa be discontinued in a couple of years so what I'd like to do (I think) is have all of this data be stored in the EXIF of the pictures or even in data files that sit alongside the pictures so long as they're stored in an open and reusable format. I know that Picasa seems to store a lot of stuff in an internal database and I'm wary of putting a lot of effort into this plus the difficulties of syncing this between three computers.
Ideally, I'd also like the metadata to be be useable from XBMC and WMC as I use both of these for slideshows.
I'm happy to spend money on software to get this done. Is Lightroom the answer? I'm running an all Windows XP / 7 shop and although I'm happy to have the pictures backed up online I want to store them locally.
I saw this
but there didn't seem to be any really concrete answers,
Or if I'm going about this all the wrong way then I'm more than happy to listen to the wisdom of the Green.