My wife's computer has probably 100 GBs of photos--thousands upon thousands of photos. We've been using Windows Live Photo Gallery (Windows 7) and things have been pretty good. The features and capabilities are there. The problem is that, as the library has grown, WLPG insists on rescanning all photos in all directories. We're at the point where even working with the application takes 100% CPU on her dual core machine for 5-10 minutes.
I've looked at Picasa but I didn't like it because it stored tags and other metadata alongside the photographs in a Picasa-specific database file instead of embedding the tags and other kinds of metadata inside the photographs where they belong.
Does anyone know of any photo software, preferably Windows based that can handle tens of thousands and possibly hundreds of thousands of photos well and not suck the life out of a decent machine?
Ideally everything would always be in the photo library, because the point of having them their is for them to be accessible. If we have to "archive" them or move them somewhere else outside of the library, it kind of defeats the point of being able to tag them for quick retrieval.
I'm not opposed to paying $ for some good software, but I want to hear about your experiences before plunking down cash.