I am a Canon camera fan and there was a software package in the box called "ZoomBrowser EX". It worked well and allowed me to save my photos on a file server that had mirrored disks. Then they upgraded the product and disable networking. I then copied my photos to a local drive and copied them with Beyond compare to the server. Then I tried adobe elements and it came with management software so I began experimenting. But it seems the adobe doesn't support audio attached notes on my pictures and throws it away as garbage. It seems I have to go back and revisit ZoomBrowser. My conclusion: Create folders for each year, and sub folders for each moth or special occasion (like 2005-01 Death valley trip). That way no watter what you are using to manage the photos, you can find what you are looking for. Oh and those tag features, who has time to tag pictures anyway, I'm clicking off so many.
Sorting out the choices, options and pitfalls of committing to a management application for your digital camera photographs would make a great topic for "The Real Deal". There is allot of trepidation around choosing a package because once you start key-wording your photo library it is difficult to jump ship without loosing some of your indexing (and in some cases editing) effort.
There is a fair amount of conversation around iPhoto, Picasa, Adobe Lightroom, and other packages. Is there a characteristic that raises one of the choices to the top of the stack? What about no choice. Is archiving and managing photos with an application flawed as a solution for the need.
And just to continue my earlier entreaty; what choices in selecting a package and managing my photo library would make retrieving these photos easiest for my children when they are grown.