...On fairly large amount of info, 8TB of 12 over 6 servers how would LR run? Would the perfomance degrade at all? Switching thru folders, and files?
To avoid degrade in performance, I make a catalog for each client. I also make catalogs for personal and multiple subjects, arranged by date.
Using at least 2 raw developers.
Who expects LR to run fast and nimble on large catalogs? I haven't tested it, but I am sure there is a threshold when performance drops?
I don't know if I have much faith in my software to put 8TB of content and all my sorting organization in ONE proprietary "basket".
Raw developers are always getting better. I use LR along with C1. I also want to use DxO, when they support my Camera(regardless of lens support)...
...So when you use LR by making 50+ catalogs, I don't know if it works so well as it replacing Explorer or Finder.
Am i doing things the right way? I honestly don't know, but I think NOT knowing what and where files are on your system is a MAJOR limitation.
I don't see how LR can manage what it doesn't know exists...
Phil, it is absolutely true that Lightroom might allow many different ways to approach digital asset management but some approaches are very far from best practise.
I would suggest, with respect, you are attempting to use a powerdrill (Lightroom) like a hammer.
It sorta works, sorta some of the time, but it is a klutzy and frustating experience.
Far better to really learn how Lightroom is best used and lever that knowledge into an organisational and workflow strategy that really works.
Many of your lamentations have a limited basis in fact.
Complaining about the fact that Lightroom does not support the diversity of file types you want it to - well maybe some may be included in the future - so lets see.
Having dozens of catalogs, even for the purposes that you describe, is a sure recipe for confusion. I personally do not have multiple terabytes of photographic images in my catalog but I am approaching a terabyte. Others that I correspond with do have multiples of terabytes of image storage contained in one catalog with no performance issues. If there really is a performance limit to a catalog size no one currently appears to have found it yet.
Catalog optimization makes a massive difference to performance so it is worth doing this regularly.
Using complicated folder systems to organize images is not the way Lightroom is designed to optimally function. Far better to use a simple and logical folder system. (I personally organize folders under camera type, then year, then date.) For you I would rename to date_........ to include perhaps a client or job identifier.
On import I would rename image files date_identifier_control number. The identifier would again be the client or job identifier.
This way both the folder and the individual files are self-identifying.
Also, having a simple and logical folder system where a single image file can only be found in one place (so is never duplicated in other locations) is paradoxically the easiest way to ensure image files are not lost or misplaced.
(I am not refering to backups and archives here.)
Smart collections are by far and away the best way to sort and find images within a catalog.
Having one catalog will allow Smart collections to shine since the entire image collection is searchable.
Once set up a smart collection will continually and automatically add any and all images that fulfill the criteria.
Appropriate keywording will allow the smart collections to keep track of all important aspects of the characteristics of your images, not just subject matter, but client or job status, and workflow status.
I use public keywords to denote exportable characteristics of my images.
Private keywords are used to organise the keyword hierarchy in general but also importantly to allow characterization of images for internal organizational utility only, such as job or client status.
These sorts of private organizational keywords can be appended to images automatically via import presets so potentially thousands of images from a single job will be automatically tagged with these keywords. Subsequently creating a smart collection with the appropriate criteria means all the images are instantaneously grouped - this will occur even if the images are physically located in separate folders on the hard drive or even if they are located on different hard drives. As long as Lightroom knows where the folders where originally Lightroom will keep track of the images. If folders need to be relocated on a hard drive do all the relocating from within Lightroom and there will be no issues.
Your complaint about Lightroom not being able to manage what it doesn't know exists is enigmatic. If it does know it exists it can manage it. It is your job to make Lightroom aware of those files and folders (import). If you subsequently fiddle with their location ouside of Lightroom then, yes, Lightroom will lose track, but no fault to Lightroom. If you are referring to file types not recognized by Lightroom currently then that is another issue.
The import dialog needs to be learn't.
Once you know what you want to do create presets to automate the process.
If you have a job that needs a slightly different approach modify a previously created preset and save it before use. It just takes seconds.
The import dialog is designed the way it is to accommodate many different workflows.
As you mention not all of these workflow approaches are my cup of tea either - thats why I use the presets - that way everything is predictable and repeatable.
In summary Adobe has taken a particular philosophical approach to digital asset management. Some of the results are readily identifiable by individuals well versed in other DAM applications and some are bit different and take some familiarization.
Apart from the issue of Lightroom not supporting all the file types that you desire none of the issues you have raised in several posts over the last few months are insoluble in Lightroom.
Hopefully the OP also gets some resolution from this post as well.