Lightroom 4: Improve "automatically write changes into XMP" performance.

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  • Updated 4 years ago
  • (Edited)
By embedding Lightroom work directly into RAW files in addition to the catalog, I've found that it lessons the likelihood of disaster should someone's catalog get corrupted or their images separated from it. I've witnessed a number of disasters that could have been avoided had this checkbox been checked, and similarly, seen a number of disasters averted due to it's use.

The performance penalty in LR3 was insignificant on modern computers relative to it's benefits. For some reason, LR4's performance is comparatively horrific with the checkbox checked on the same computer. If possible, I'd love to see this resolved.
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Scott Martin

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Posted 6 years ago

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jdv, Champion

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Platform details?

Are you running real-time anti-virus or continuous backup processes?
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Scott Martin

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Thanks. 10.6.8 and 10.7.3. No anti-virus or continuous back processes during LR use.
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john beardsworth

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And have you tested with and without automatically writing the xmp? Sure it's not an unrelated difference in the performance of LR4 vs 3 ?
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Scott Martin

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Yes, of course. I've compared it checked and unchecked in LR 3.6, 4.0 and 4.1. The performance is hugely improved with this checkbox unchecked in 4.0 and 4.1 on the same machine. The difference was so minor in LR3.6 on a fast machine that it made sense to use it. In LR4 the performance when this is checked is so poor that it's unbearable to use on any machine, even the fastest, newest Macs. I have not tested this on Windows.
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Rob Cole

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Sounds indicative of a problem in Lr4, to me too. Of course, saving xmp manually is the work-around...
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Rob Cole

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Hi Scott - do you still have this problem, e.g. in Lr5?
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Scott Martin

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Hey Rob, I haven't thought about this in a few years but I think it was resolved in a 4.x release. I use some catalogs with "automatically write changes into XMP" checked and some without and don't notice a difference through causal use. The advent of SSDs could have something to do with that. The performance could still be bad but perhaps the SSD makes it acceptable? I could do some testing later this week. Are you seeing any issues here?
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Rob Cole

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Mostly just curious Scott - thanks. I never enable auto-write xmp (except for occasional testing). I like to double-check my images before saving, so xmp represents milestone (approved) edits instead of being another copy of whatever blunders I might make.. - that way I can recover from occasional goofs using xmp. Cheers, Rob.