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I have about ~40,000 files (~200 GB) of photos on the hard drive (JPG with metadata, from different cameras). I used to use Picasa before, but when I had to switch to a new computer a few years ago, Picasa couldn't handle the move. I therefore lost all my manually created tags (albums, faces, etc.) and with it any desire to ever use Picasa again.
A decent fraction of the files are duplicates.
Some files are in their original camera-created folders (e.g., DMC TZ5/100_PANA, DMC FZ150/100_PANA, etc.); others are in the folders I created by hand (e.g., Europe2010, Mexico2009, etc.) as I was trying to organize photos without the help of software.
In the long run, I'd prefer to keep photos in the original camera folders, since it requires the least amount of manual work. (Unless I'm missing something.)
What software would you recommend for getting all this stuff organized?
I don't need any editing features. I just only the basic tagging (assign groups of photos to an album, add comments, and be able to search by tags).
My main concern is that the tags I create may be lost again in the future. Also, I wouldn't want the software to touch the actual photo files (again because I don't trust it). Therefore, ideally, I'd prefer a separate index file in a non-proprietary format, so that I can easily move to another computer / software in the future.
I don't mind paying anything up to $200-300 for the software. I don't mind using multiple apps (e.g., one for initial tagging/removal of duplicates; another for searching/viewing/minor re-tagging).
Any suggestions much appreciated!