Lightroom for desktop: High sustained CPU usage from dynamiclinkmediaserver

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  • (Edited)
While the Lightroom app and Adobe Lightroom CC Helper themselves are relatively good with CPU usage on macOS, I've been having serious issues with the dynamiclinkmediaserver daemon (AFAIK a sync daemon?) going crazy with CPU usage continuously.

This is so bad it can drain a full 15" MacBook Pro battery in a matter of a few hours *with Lightroom CC closed*. The CPU pegging is clearly out of control because it impinges the operation of Lightroom CC itself (basics like moving through photos, not even editing) instead of intelligently throttling itself while the app is under usage. 

Worse, perhaps by design dynamiclinkmediaserver (a very unfortunate name that makes it seem like a malicious binary) remains active even *after* Lightroom CC has been exited. This means even without a user actively wanting Lightroom to operate background syncing, massive battery drainage still occurs with no obvious way to limit this behavior or disable it. 



I've even tried kill -9 but this is a persistent daemon which systematically springs back up. This also makes sense, by design, but it's extremely bothersome when used on a laptop without easy access to power to counteract the massive energy inefficiency of this daemon. 

Is this intended behavior or a bug? If it's intended behavior, please tell me the Lightroom team is considering throttle controls to limit the daemon to 10% of its CPU usage when Lightroom is inactive. Or better yet, prevent it from directly damaging Lightroom CC performance when it's used concurrently. 

I can provide process samples if that can help debugging.
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Olivier Lacan

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Posted 2 weeks ago

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rachalmers

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Have a look here.

https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2552879

It’s been a problem for years and years...
(Edited)
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Olivier Lacan

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I’ve already been through these instructions. None of them had any impact.

The instructions are for Lightroom Classic or at least were made for it. All the directories listed had the appropriate read & write permissions, although the Adobe docs didn’t specify at all which groups these permissions should be enabled for.

I’m not sure if Lightroom CC uses this daemon differently or causes it to spin out of control.

My entire library is synced and up-to-dare, there should be no syncing activity unless some other process is happening without Lightroom CC reporting it.

Regardless, fixing permissions by hand or with a script is not really something I expect from a paid subscription service. The app itself should detect these issues by running a health check at launch (I’ve relaunched it several times since this started occurring) and offer the same kinds of solutions it appears the older Lightroom versions offered.
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rachalmers

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Yes, it’s disappointing that such a problem persists without resolution after so many years. It also appears to be random as it doesn’t affect all machines all the time.
Is it only Mac? Or Windows as well?
Is it older machines?
Newer machines?
I wonder what the commonality is between machines with the problem?
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G0apher, Employee

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The said application is used by Lightroom to play videos and slideshows.

Are you using any video/movie files in your catalog? Is there any problem while playing the videos/slideshows?
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Olivier Lacan

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Yes I am. There are many videos in my catalog. They're often late to display a thumbnail and I can't remember the last time one played or even offered me playback options in view mode.
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Olivier Lacan

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Just ran the LightroomCorrectPermission.sh script from https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/kb/user-permissions-issues.html#Solution3Useascripttorestorepermissions to see if it would have any effect and at least now I get a playback interface displaying on top of videos and a large play button in their center. However, clicking that play button or skipping around still doesn't result in any playback occurring.

I've exited Lightroom CC, and killed the dynamiclinkmediaserver process from Activity Monitor prior to restarting Lightroom CC. Is there a step I'm missing? 
(Edited)
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rachalmers

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Just a thought.
As it seems to be isolated to videos, is it worth shifting all video files and slideshows to a spare drive and removing them all from LRCC?
LECC can’t do anything with them anyway, and can’t make its own slideshows either, so it’s a bit of a waste having those files in LR.
Store them in iMovie’s media library perhaps.
The thing being. If you remove any and all videos from LRCC and it starts to behave. Then you know where the culprit is.
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rachalmers

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Just took my own advice and moved all Video files out of the Desktop, selected the Video filter at the top, moved them all to a spare folder, and deleted them from LRCC.
Also, I don't appear to have dynamiclinkmediaserver  even running on my Mac? I have both LRCC and LRClassic. Neither one starts up that daemon.
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Olivier Lacan

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I hope this doesn't sound harsh, but Lightroom CC is a paid product from Adobe. Lightroom has handled video for years. This edition is no different. I have thousands (if not tens of thousands) of videos that I organize alongside photos because they're part of the same events and I want to be able to find them without using an entirely separate library system with its own syncing process.

I picked Lightroom CC and paid a hefty monthly storage price not because it can handle video editing, but because it can organize videos just as well as it can organize, tag, and rate photos. To me that's not nothing. It's a feature I'm willing to pay for, and I do. If Adobe engineers need help debugging these serious issue in their software, I'm available to assist. This is why I bother to post detailed messages in these forums which seem to be the only semi-official support channel which allows other users of Lightroom to see documented defects.

As a software engineer myself, I know the value of these posts and the often magical propensity they have of resulting in a patch release because engineers are now suddenly aware of an edge case their tests haven't covered, yet. Or maybe a bad interaction with specific system versions. 

I appreciate your advice, and you're right that isolating videos would probably help me debug this issue, except that's no small task for me. I've already spent weeks dealing with syncing issues for hundreds of thousands of photos after my catalog was initially corrupted due to a loss of power. So I'm not going to shift all my videos away from Lightroom. I'm sure Adobe engineers can replicate this issue using the documentation I've provided in this thread, especially if, as G0apher explained, dynamiclinkmediaserver is exclusively used to playback videos and slideshows.

So we've successfully isolated this issue to dynamiclinkmediaserver. Even after resolving permissions issues, it still can't playback videos and it still runs at 100% as soon as it boots. This is a bug. It is present in Lightroom 2.2 and 2.2.1 on different machines running macOS Mojave 10.14.3 and 10.14.4. I hope it's fixed soon.
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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This shouldn't be an issue after our next release. I can't share the ETA but it won't be too long of a wait. 
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Olivier Lacan

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Thanks Rikk. Appreciate the heads up.
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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Lightroom Desktop (effective with 2.3) no longer uses dynamiclinkmediaserver.  Video is handled natively through the OS. You should see this issue go away now.

Lightroom Classic continues to use dynamiclinkmediaserver.
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Olivier Lacan

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Hey Rikk, thanks for the heads up.

Should this update be available in Creative Cloud? Once again I'm not seeing it even after refreshing the app. Is a whole sign out dance required still? Thanks.
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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Shouldn't be. Refresh the app then restart your machine if it still doesn't appear. 
If all else fails you can try the sign in/out but that shouldn't be necessary. 
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Olivier Lacan

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Refreshed the app, signed out, signed back in, restarted machine. No dice. I really wonder if there's some sort of cache of flag I should flip or bust because that seems really odd. I'll try another refresh, sign out and restart just to be sure.

Last time the only fix was to uninstall Lightroom and reinstall from CC and it bumped me from 2.2.0 to 2.2.1. I'd love to help engineering folks debug this issue because it's clearly not a fluke as it's happened to me on two machines with two different versions of both macOS and Lightroom CC.
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rachalmers

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I know it’s not much help, but dynamiclinkmediaserver isn’t running at all on my Mac mini. Doesn’t run, isn’t running now, and I can’t see it or find it to make it run? I’m running the latest Mojave and Adobe apps.
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Olivier Lacan

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Didn't you say you removed all videos from your catalog? Then I'm not surprised it wouldn't run since it was only needed for video playback as far as I can tell from what Rikk explained. 
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rachalmers

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Yes, I did remove all videos, but even before then I didn’t find it. I only removed all videos after Rikks suggestion.
So as I said, not much help other than the fact it’s never caused me a problem because it never seems to have been installed?
It’s not in the list of 32 bit programs is it? That might cause some issues?
(Edited)
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Olivier Lacan

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All right, had to the the whole uninstall Lightroom CC dance again but I'm on 2.3 now. By the way here are the release notes: https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom-cc/using/whats-new/2019-3.html

One note is that although Lightroom CC 2.3 did some house cleaning on first boot it did not kill the dynamicmedialinkserver utility or perhaps booted it without needing to. Regardless, I killed it by hand with Activity Monitor and even without it running video playback *finally* worked instead of hanging like it used to. 

Seems like your team might want to mention this pretty important bugfix in your list of Other Enhancements in this release: https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom-cc/using/whats-new/2019-3.html#otherenhancements

Glad this is resolved. But I really wish I didn't have to uninstall Lightroom CC for every bugfix release. 
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Julie Kmoch, Sr. Development Manager

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As of 2.3, Dynamiclinkmediaserver is no longer used in Lightroom Desktop. Thanks, Olivier, for following up to confirm this was fixed for you.