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iPhoto 09's amazing face recognition

I picked up my copy of iLife 09 the day it came out, eager to try out iPhoto's face recognition feature. After launching iPhoto for the first time, it took under an hour for it to process all the photos in the library, searching for faces. Once it identified most of the faces you start tagging them with names. As you are tagging names, the process becomes simpler because iPhoto appears to learn from what was being tagged and makes recommendations which you can accept or reject. It's not perfect and at times suggests the wrong person, especially when it comes to toddlers and infants, but does a fairly good job. An example of an accurate suggestion:

iphoto-summer-suggestions

An example of an inaccurate suggestion:

face-recognition-wrong

iPhoto is also Linux friendly, well at least in terms of recognizing Tux:

iphoto-face-recognition

iPhoto also likes to play Where's Waldo:

iphoto-face-recognition-2

Overall it is an impressive feature. I can't speak to how it compares to the face recognition feature of Google's Picasa, other than iPhoto does all the work locally whereas Picasa only provides face recognition on Picasa Web. I'm not about to upload my entire photo library to the web (with the exception of my Amazon S3 backup) so the local face recognition with name tagging is perfect for me.

Posted by Al Degutis