I'm glad you brought this up. I meant to touch upon it in my original post.
For me, a cataloging system was always the technically correct way of doing it (i.e. what a professional librarian would do). The benefits of this are big (i.e. searchability), however, as much as I would have liked to implement a catalog, I went in another direction. The two deciding factors for me were the additional time I'd spend to maintain the database and, more importantly, I couldn't just hand off files to my relatives without them learning the cataloging system. Even though a catalog is how a library or museum would do it, after weighing the pros and cons based on my personal preferences, I chose not to do it.
Seems there are always trade-offs in life.
Thanks for the quick response.....
I also found the idea of changing my system to be pretty onerous....Instead I've settled on the following:
Rather than trying to change everything (RM & Windows directory) all at once, I'm taking a two part approach.
Step 1) Adopt the following on all new media adds to my data base immediately
Name the file per this model (attempting to link all media to a person)
Last Name, First Name, Middle Name (Maiden Name), (bxxxx) - Description
(example - Jones, Mary, Elizabeth, (Smith), (b1800) - 1850 US Census)
Step 2) Follow step 1) if renaming any existing media in Windows directory. Change file name in RM properties to match. If an Ancestry.com file ID was part of file name, save the ID in the Windows file comments to preserve the link. (example - @Ancestry.com 12345678910)
Step 2 is used anytime a person's RM profile/media is being reviewed/revised. It can also be used if campaigning through the data base to review all persons' media. However, until a review/revision is accomplished, the old existing file names will work just fine. The status of the media files will just be mixed until all files have been reviewed/revised.
This naming syntax seems to be working well. It has the same advantages that you mentioned in your post, and seachabilty is very good in both the RM Media Gallery and the Windows Media Directory. Other family members have no problem following the naming on the media files. My main concern with what ever process I would choose to use is the simplicity of adding and updating file names, and maintaing the synchronization between RM and the Windows directory. Obviously, it may take a while to get through all my existing media files and revise them to this model.
Live and learn.....
Wished I had given this a lot more thought before I started using RM