Optimizing Lightroom for Best Performance: Top Ten Lightroom Speed Tips | TheLightroomLab.com | Written by Scott Rouse

Optimizing Lightroom for Best Performance: Top Ten Lightroom Speed Tips | TheLightroomLab.com | Written by Scott Rouse.

Tip #9 – Watch Your Catalog Size recommends no more than 50,000 pictures per catalog. That’s a rule-of-thumb, not a hard number.

I guess I was very naive to think that I could keep on adding pictures to Lightroom and the technology will keep up. I have over 35,000 since November 2008. My catalog is 761MB. Thus Lightroom is storing about 22K of data per picture, excluding the previews.

I’ve read elsewhere users saying that Adobe should move to a more scalable database. There’s a cost in complexity but an open source database like MySQL would hold metadata for millions of pictures on a large drive without problems.

Good old ThumbsPlus used the Access database as native but allowed users to substitute any database with an ODBC driver. Years ago I actually tried MySQL and it worked fine. Of course ThumbsPlus did not (and still doesn’t) work on the Mac.

I think professional photographers who do assignments have different needs. Maybe they rarely need to revisit completed assignments or do searches across assignments. I am constantly adding to my collection of, for example, vehicle photos and often want to see other photos of the same or similar vehicles. I want them all in the same catalog.

Subject based catalogs would be such a pain to administer that I discard that notion. Maybe I will have to go the “one catalog per year” route and accept the consequences.

That’s annoying in the 21st Century.

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One Response to “Optimizing Lightroom for Best Performance: Top Ten Lightroom Speed Tips | TheLightroomLab.com | Written by Scott Rouse”

  1. BKKPhotographer Says:

    As of 20th October 2009 I have 47,409 photos in my catalog and it is just over 1GB.

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