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Author Topic: Lightroom painfully slow?  (Read 8862 times)


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Lightroom painfully slow?
« on: August 20, 2007, 08:42:52 AM »

I just posted this on the Adobe LR forum:

Here is my configuration:  a new mac dual quad core with standard video card and 8 mgs of memory.  4 internal ata drives 750megs each, 7200 rpm.  My photos on on 6 exterrnal firewire drives of various sizes and manufacturers, divided chronologically.  I've got SATA drives on order to replace them.  I have a redundant set of drives as backups - only the current year is mounted.

I have about 50,000 images all together.  I've indexed about 6,000 of them - various folders on all six drives.  I plan on indexing all of them.  

I put together a collection of about 300 images (drawn from various drives) to review with a client later this week.

The problem:  scrolling in the grid view in the collection (or actually anywhere) is painfully slow.  It more like lurching.  Hit page down and up comes the dreaded spinning lollypop.  For 30 seconds or so.  The thumbnails are all course resolution.  It takes minutes for them to come into focus.  when you page down same thing again.  If you page back up you're back to lowest rez thumbnails on the ones you just waited for - the higher rez versions don't seem to buffer.  Thiis happens whatever thumbnail size I use.

Switch to the develop view:  a long, long wait with the menus blacked out and the lollypop.    Again, 30 seconds or so.

That's enough problems to start the discussion.

What I need is for the developers to post some tips on configuring LR's options for speed.  I may be doing something wrong, but it's not clear in the documentation what it is.

If this is the best LR can do then Adobe is seriously over selling it.  Unlike PS it's not a tool for professionals - it's basically a competitor of iPhoto.



Malcolm MacGarvin

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Lightroom painfully slow?
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2007, 01:56:06 PM »


I have about 50,000 images all together.  I've indexed about 6,000 of them - various folders on all six drives.  I plan on indexing all of them. 




I have 42,000 images, starting off with a D-Lux, them a Konica Minolta A2 and then a Canon 5D and like you I found that everthing slowed to a crawl, and I was about to throw in the towel...

However I solved my problem ... by going to file>catalog settings>metadata and unchecking 'Automatically write changes into XMP'. I'm currently reorganising my keyword tags into a nested structure, so am changing vast amounts of metadata. Once I've got it sorted I may try turning it back on again, but casual observation on my mac 'activity monitor' (in applications>utilities) shows lightroom grabbing 90% of CPU time when 'automatically write to XMP' is switched back on, vast periods of cogitating silence with an occasional dramatic burst of disk writing every hour or so, but far from complete after 12 hours. If I can't solve this I'll just do the update manually in batches, and I will be inputting through lightroom in future so the issue should become less pressing.

Actually I compounded my difficulties as I had been trialling lightroom against aperture (came to the conclusion that they were both pretty good, just different - but I seem to have chosen lightroom) on an external drive, and had checked 'automatically write to XMP' as the final act before I copied the library over to the internal disk, and it was then also simultanously checking on the location of every file as well as going through the 'XMP crawl'.

Also, I was finding that creating previews for every picture (by selecting Library > 'all photographs') on the left hand strip was taking ages at 2048 image size, so I decided on a strategy of 1024 for all photos on the grounds that 90% will rarely be looked at, and then created higher resolution previews forthe perhaps 15% of total 4 and 5 star rated pictures. The catalogue and previews are now on a MacBook Pro (2.4 GHz, 7200 rpm internal 160GB drive and 17 inch screen, 2GB RAM). The Lightroom.Ircat file is just under a MB and the Lightroom Previews.Irdata file is 27GB. The photos and their backups are on external drives, some 650GB. It means that I haven't had to make a choice of which files to keep on laptop, even the 1024 previews are fine for what I need in most cases, and I don't have to lug an external drive around. Performance is fine either stand alone or hooked up to externals and working on full resolution files, most of which are RAW.

I hope this is what your problem is - ps I think others on this forum have mentioned the same issue and solution


PPS I'm idly curious as to why it is updating metadata takes so long, if anybody knows ...

PPPS I see that adobe has responded along the same lines on their forum

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I should have thought to check there before writing this!
« Last Edit: August 23, 2007, 02:07:41 PM by Malcolm MacGarvin »

john beardsworth

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Lightroom painfully slow?
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2007, 02:27:16 PM »

See if this helps.

In my experience it is best to switch this automatic writing off and rely on Ctrl/Cmd S to write metadata to selected items. The xmp output is useful if you want to work on the images with other xmp-aware programs, but serves no other use.


New Fuji-to-Lightroom plugin X-LR

Ignoring : AlterEgo, digitaldog, scyth, deejaaa
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