Lightroom Review – v 3.4.1
It’s time to continue the tradition of ripping on Adobe Lightroom. The latest release is 3.4.1. The 3.4 release was replaced pretty quick. I think I only had 3.4 installed for two weeks and it was nothing but trouble. Onward and upward.
Also I will be soon writing a post talking specifically about troubleshooting these and other Adobe Lightroom problems. In my attempts to figure out why Lightroom sucks (other than poor programming that is) I have gotten some good advice and some comments from some real idiots, most of whom are beta testers for Adobe.
I’ll be jumping off from my Adobe Lightroom 3.3 review (which jumps off from from Lightroom 3.2 review) first. Some of this will be copy and past from the previous review as nothing has changed. Which is to say nothing has improved. Let’s start with the problems from last time and where they stand now.
1. Lightroom 3.2 places the index file of the MP4 files exported from the slideshow module at the end of the file not the beginning. I have not tested the MP4 files from LR 3.4.1 to see if they finally changed this or not. If they haven’t – the solution is still the same. QTIndexSwapper from will fix the files for you. Send Adobe a bill for your wasted time fixing their mistake.
I will also mention that I haven’t used the slideshow module since before Lightroom 3.3 was released. I still think it’s a great way to display photos but I’ve been doing fusions (a mix of video and photography) so I simply haven’t been using the slideshow module. That’s why I can’t tell you (without a test) if this has been fixed.
2. Lightroom 3.3 kept having problems finding files that were right where they were suppose to be. I’ve not had this problem in 3.4.1.
3. Crashing. Lightroom 3.4.1 has been mostly stable. Mostly. I decided to try enabling the automatically write metadata to files function. After doing that LR crashed twice in less than four hours of editing time. I disabled automatically write metadata function and no more crashing.
4. Micro$oft has the Blue Screen of Death (BSD) so I decided that Lightroom needed a name for this major screw up. I’m talking about that bug where you zoom in on an image and the screen goes black. This is now officially called the Lightroom Black Screen of Development (BSD).
I’m still getting the BSD but at least I’m getting it less often.
5. This is the file moving error. I’ll copy and past the original write up of this problem to refresh your memory.
Just as in LR 3.0 when moving files from one folder to another in the library module I get the following error for one of the files I’m trying to move when I move multiple files.
There was an error copying files to the destination you selected. The following files could not be copied:
File could not be moved to the selected destination. (1)
Once I hit “OK” (and no it’s still not ok) I can then move the file individually with no problem.
I’ve figured out a work-around (tho I shouldn’t have to find a work-around, the software I paid money for should work correctly) for the problem. The file that can’t be moved is always the “first” file selected. By first I mean this – when looking at the files in the grid mode and selecting a series of files to move the file most to the top and left is the “first”, the file most to the bottom and right is the “last”.
Got it? When I select a series of files by clicking on the first file, then holding down shift and clicking on the last file, I will subsequently get the error message about when moving the files. I’ve discovered however that if I first click on the last file, then hold down shift and click on the first file, the move process will execute without any errors.
This still appears to be . . . wait for it . . . fixed. Yup. Haven’t seen this bug in a while.
6. This one is/was about Lightroom being slow as hell. Well, sometimes LR runs really well. Sometimes it runs blinding slow. What’s interesting is that nothing is changing. It’s on the same computer with the same hardware and software configuration. Why it works fine at times and at other times runs slow as hell still eludes me.
7. Lighroom running out of memory when exporting files and not giving me an error message to let me know all the files have not been exported. This one is still happening though I will say it’s happening less often. I’ll talk about this a bit more in the troubleshooting post but let me say this, when there is 1.2G of free RAM and Lightroom runs out of memory attempting to convert one 30M DNG file into a jpg that tells me something is wrong with Lightroom and it’s ability to manage memory.
Lightroom has some serious memory management problems. I’ve been watching my memory use while running LR and it kills memory like no other program on my computer. I can edit 1080p video in Adobe Premier Pro and it uses less memory than LR. I can open five 600M TIFF files in GIMP and it uses less memory that LR uses trying to convert one DNG to a JPG. I can play Star Wars Battle Front II with all the settings cranked for maximum resolution and detail. Totally lame.
Here’s a nickel Adobe. Hire yourself a programmer.
8. The famous “an unknown error has occurred” is still with me. Again, credit where credit is due – it’s been happening much less often than with previous 3.x versions of Lightroom. So there has been some improvement there, but the problem still crops up.
It has also added a new level which is more annoying. Sometimes when I get “an unknown error has occurred” (and this only happens in the develop module) all of the controls for developing the photograph will remain greyed out. I have to select another photograph then select the photograph I wanted to work on again so that the develop control are available.
I’ll write more about this in the post about troubleshooting but it was suggested to me that this error was happening because my DNG files were on an external drive connected via USB. I could buy this as a possibility. However I have had the error occur when editing both DNG and JPG files which were on the local C: drive. That eliminated that idea.
9. Now hold on to your socks. The collapsing of the folder tree when creating a new folder has been fixed. Yes, you read that right. A bug in Lightroom has been fixed. And they said the rapture didn’t occur.
New things to bitch about.
Now on to a new observation. This isn’t something new with Lightroom 3.4.1, in fact it’s been around for as long as I can remember.
When using two monitors, select grid view in the main window. Select all images. Then execute a “save metadata”. It will save metadata for all selected photographs.
Now, select grid view in the secondary window. Select all images. Execute “save metadata”. I will not save metadata for all photographs. It will only save metadata for the image which is selected as active (displayed in the loup view on the other monitor).
Is this a bug or this intentional? If it’s intentional I have to wonder why? Why should I have to swap my grid from one monitor to another simply to save metadata? This is dumb.
And here’s a new one for you. It’s hard to describe but I got a screen shot of it. When using the gradient tool sometimes (not always) this will happen.
The image is rotating and filling in where the gradient effect is suppose to be happening. This is – shall we say – slightly annoying?
Finally there is random window behaviour. By this I mean the second window will randomly close and need to be reopened. I will minimize Lightroom and it will pop back up to the foreground on it’s own. I will bring another window to the foreground over Lightroom and Lightroom will force itself back into the foreground over the window I’m trying to use. This crap gets really old really fast.
Why do I use Lightroom?
This is a good question. I bitch about it enough, so why do I keep using it? Because when it works it works really well. Other than the POS file selection dialogue you see when importing photographs the user interface is in my opinion really well thought out and arranged. There are a few UI things I’d change if I could but overall it’s really well designed.
For all the bugs and all the problems I still manage to get many photos developed using Lightroom. It would be nice if it worked better. It would be even better if there was a Linux version. Still it does the job.
When it’s working.
Post regarding troubleshooting is coming soon. I’ll link to it from this post as well.