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chas_m

 
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Member Since: Jan 22, 2010
Location: Victoria, BC
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Both of the programs you suggest also use a "vault" system (similar to iPhotos but handled somewhat differently), and are unlikely to give the OP the busy-work micro-management capabilities he desires.

Picasa is one option, ACDSee Pro for Mac is a better (albeit more expensive) option IMO. (full disclosure: I used to work for them).

The thing people like about ACDSee Pro (for either platform) is that it catalogs, but does not move or collect the actual files. They stay right where you put them, even on other drives, and you organize them however you like. The program does other stuff that photo pros appreciate as well, but for those obsessed with file-level management, that's what you are looking for.
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