I tried running Rasbmc for a while on a model B with 512 ram and found the whole experience very frustrating. I had similar issues with photos. Mine took ages to load but I could view them eventually. Does XBMC cache photos in advance or on the fly?) Personally I don't think the PI is up to running something like XBMC.
So it looks like I'm back to LinuxMint again. Why you ask? Because my machine smell nicer.
I'm not too sure I'd want a Mint and Cinnamon muffin with my brew though. Guess I'm lucky they don't run my local bakery.