I do like my lightroom and use her a lot, but she is not behaving nicely. She has always clearly been a high maintenance lady she doesn’t like working across several computers (and a network), she is very fussy about controlling everything, very finicky about external drives and she suffers occasional memory lapses. I am very careful about saving any edits, by writing an xmp (sidecar) file and writing collections as a keyword back into the metadata (also written to an xmp file). So on my studio computer she is happy and cooperative. She also plays nicely with my other new photographic mistress Perfect Photo Suite (I’m pretty sure lightroom thinks she is in charge and Perfect Photo plays along).
The disaster I discover yesterday was letting her look after my archives (which are on an external drive on a different computer). That lightroom catalogue actually references all my photos. Sure she was slow to start up there and sometimes there was a bit of a stutter waiting for a response but she had things under control. Or so I thought! I general only use that copy when I do my monthly backup and archive and then it is generally only to import the new files that have arrived in my archive (a task over which she does take her time). So time earlier last year I had used lightroom here to prepare a couple of blurb photobooks (which I have yet to get printed; not that that will happen now) they were left partly set up as collections. I hadn’t used that computer and lightroom since well before Christmas and when I opened her up and started looking for the books she start to slow then I got a Microsoft message that she had failed BUT she valiantly asked if I’d like to make a backup of her catalogue. Bad move! It took well over 12 hours to finished and when it had finished I had only 197,494 photos showing in the catalogue only 215 photos in two collections and I could not find any rating or corrections on any photos. I actually have more like 600,000 photos and probably had well over 100 collections. Well all the files and specifically the xmp files are still there and perfect photo’s browser happily see the metadata and the simpler editing at least. Corel’s Aftershot Pro is also happy reading the files and metadata although it can’t replicate the lightroom edits.
Trying to rebuild the lightroom catalogue, from previous backups, is really too daunting a task at the moment. So she is banished from the archive for now, until I can find a workable solution. Perfect Photo’s browser mode is able to help out for the time being, but what will the future bring? I’m beginning to understand how those aperture users are feeling.