I brought the pro version on the stength of the reviews below and on account of the fact that iphoto has caused me so much grief of late (esp after the transfer to Tiger - and yes I tried all the documented fixes).
It is advisable to play around with Shoebox for a while and create a couple of catalogues to get the hang of it. I too noticed that it occasionally crashes but this is not a problem as unlike iphoto there is no data loss and never any spinning ball the bane of iphoto life.
Generally I think it is a very good practical application and achieves the objectives I need it for, namely an image cataloguing application to combat the problems associated with Iphoto 5 v Tiger.
I did have an intial problem and I commented on this to the support desk who were very helpful. My reported difficulty was:
"I have essentially two main libraries - one comprising main library held in iphoto 5, 21,000 photos over approx 23Gb; the other a hobby library also in iphoto comprising 20,000 photos over approx 3gb.
I intend also to keep these two libraries separate for cataloguing in Shoebox.
The 'hobby' iphoto library has loaded perfectly and it working like a dream. The other 'main' library loads albums and imports keywords and but fails to recognise the photos - the thumbnails are jagged and won't open and there is a message that it can't find files. I have used a iphoto library manager (quickphoto) to ensure that the correct iphoto library is recognised (that can't be the problem though as Shoebox downloads correct albums and keywords). I am stuck and don't know what to do next. I have tried trashing the Shoebox application and re-loading everything but the same problem occurs.
I have tried to create proper thumbnails and also made sure no filters are on - but the actual photos just don't seem to be capable of recognition though they are there. Is the main library just too big - it is the same size in number of photos as the other (but not in file size).
I could of course extract all the photos from the iphoto library, put them in a new folder and re-catalogue but I'd lose my albums and key words - so this would be a time consuming process to get me back to square one."
Support commented: "Each Shoebox catalog has a Pictures folder that you can set in the "Catalog" preferences. Shoebox stores the paths to files relative to this folder. Therefore, you can move the pictures folder to a different location, and then tell Shoebox where you've moved it to in the preferences, and then it will be able to find all your photos.
So, here is what you can do. For each iPhoto library that you want to import:
1) Use QuickPhoto to make the library the current one.
2) Create a new Shoebox catalog, open the Catalog prefs, and set the Pictures folder to Home > Pictures > iPhoto Library:
3) Choose File > Import from iPhoto.
4) Use QuickPhoto to switch to a different library. This should move or rename the iPhoto Library folder to something else.
5) In Shoebox, select the Pictures folder that was moved/renamed.
This should allow you to create several catalogs from your exiting iPhoto libraries, while preserving your albums and keywords. Let me know how this works for you."
Well I followed these instructions and hey presto the iphoto library was improrted into Showbox along with the keywords intact. I also imported other pictures from another file and upon requesting the pporgramme to create categories from keywords it found data in the photos tol add further keyword categories. All I need to do now is to created more categories to enhance the seach hit facility - the more data I imprt the more this program will rock.