Hi guys -
tomos, the catalogues are stored diffferently by both programmes. Photo Collector creates a folder in my documents called "Photo Collector" and places subfolders in this, one of which contains all of the thumbnails it generates. The folder also contains *.phc files, which are the catalogues themselves, and subfolders called templates and backups (where backups of the catalogue files are contained - I moved mine to a different location). My catalogue file is 9.8MB and holds info on 14GB (19000 images) of pictures. The thumbnails subfolder is 425MB. exifPro creates a *.catalog file that it places by default in "My Documents". The files are specific to each folder or drive that you index (kind of nice) - not unlike the way WhereIsIt? catalogues media - and are self-contained, ie the index and the thumbnails are all contained in a single (wrapper?) file. I did play around with the thumbnail sizes (compression) and found that the quality of the image reproduced in exifpro's image viewer suffered noticeably as a result. NOTE: I negelected to mention earlier that the degradation was most evident in files that I had compressed in the past (e.g. I created smaller versions of jpg's to use as my screensaver) BUT that these same files do not exhibit any perceptible degradation as indexed by Photo Collector. Note, too, that my Photo Collector catalogue was created using it's low thumbnail quality setting (it only offers two, that I can see, low and high).
Jeff - thanks for checking that, it confirms, to a point, my experience in terms of cataloguing speed and size of catalogue produced.
I've been trying to think over the last view posts how to slip this comment in and haven't succeeded so, baldly, let me state that I still think exifPro is AMAZING. I haven't composed a coherent note to the developers yet but am off to try that right now. Because I am a lazy sod, I'll probably direct them to this thread!