i am about to start a large project with upwards of a million images. i have been planning on uploading the images and storing them in directories on the webserver. then on upload it was going to index them with thier upload time, user, etc. in the database. i am wondering if with a large number of images like this if it will be more efficient to store them as blobs in the database. i am more concerned with read speed than space.
There is a tutorial on how to do this in php and it breaks down the speed of each operation. In short, storing images in directories and storing image bits in the database (and creating an image from the stream) take virtually the same amount of time. I believe if you store the images in the database on an unpartitioned disk, it will actually be much faster.