I often get questions why the albumview plugin is slow when you scroll for the first time.
Well lets try do the math, say you have 1300 albums, each album cover is 80kbyte (this is for my collection a huge underestimation as the average is around 250kbyte for me, but ok)
1300x80kbyte=104.000 kbyte = 101 megabyte.
A Samsung Spinpoint F3 harddisk reading random blocks of 64kbyte has a throughput of almost 5 megabyte/sec. (Yes reading small files randomly is slow) (Taken from a review I googled)
Then it also has to scale all the images, render the nice album image on it and display it.
GMPC load the album the moment it becomes visible.
You can see this won’t be instantaneous, yes I agree there are several ways you could probably speed this up. (Storing smaller pre-scaled and pre-rendered images, etc, etc) but doing it right is not trivial (and I do not have the time or see the need to work on this.).
So for the next release of gmpc I will probably ditch the albumview plugin.