COMMANDER in the timestamp field makes the query slow. How to optimize it?


I'm working on a MySQL database that stores "Facebook-like" images: every user follows a set of "artists", and these artists upload images.

I wrote a query that, for a given user, returns the images of all the artists he follows, that are more recent than 30 days, sorted by date:

SELECT, img.url,

FROM (SELECT artist FROM user_follow_artist WHERE user = <USER_ID>) AS f -- need to work only on the followed artists
JOIN artistimage AS img ON img.artist = f.artist -- join on the table that contains the images (8.000.000 rows!)
JOIN artist AS a ON = img.artist -- join on artist table to add details on image's owner

-- following: where + orderby that slow down everything
WHERE img.uploadDate > NOW() - INTERVAL 30 DAY
ORDER BY img.uploadDate DESC

The query tooks an average of 30 seconds, the more the user follows artists, the more it takes. Here are some details:

  • As written, the artistimage table is 8 millions rows big
  • If I remove the ORDER BY clause, the time drops to 2-3 seconds
  • img.uploadDate is a TIMESTAMP and it's INDEXED
  • The engine is InnoDB

I hoped indexing uploadDate could increase the speed, but nothing changed. How can I solve this problem?

EDIT: Table structures

id (integer, primary)
name (string)

user (integer, foreign key on, indexed)
artist (integer, foreign key on, indexed)

id (integer, primary)
artist (integer, foreign key on, indexed)
url (string)
uploadDate (timestamp, indexed)


id      select_type     table               type        possible_keys       key         key_len     ref             rows    Extra
1       PRIMARY         <derived2>          ALL         NULL                NULL        NULL        NULL            327     Using temporary; Using filesort
1       PRIMARY         img                 ref         artist,uploadDate   artist      9           img.artist      36      Using where
1       PRIMARY         user                eq_ref      PRIMARY             PRIMARY     8           db.img.artist   1
2       DERIVED         user_follow_artist  ref         PRIMARY,user        user        8                           327     Using index

If I remove the ORDER BY, the EXPLAIN is the same but without Using temporary; Using filesort in first row.

I think your "Limit 50" is confusing you. It's getting you the first 50 rows with no criteria, which will always return fast. When you add the where and order by clauses, it will require MySQL to fetch all rows and then sort and filter to get your results.

I think if you took out the WHERE, ORDER and LIMIT 50, you will see your query takes a long time to fetch all rows.

To speed it up, you can try re-writing your query.
You can make a temp table for your "(SELECT artist FROM user_follow_artist WHERE user = )" set.

You can move the WHERE clause to the JOIN like this:

JOIN artistimage AS img ON img.artist = f.artist AND img.uploadDate > NOW() - INTERVAL 30 DAY