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Use 'not a face' name to ease iPhoto '09 face tagging Apps
The new face detection feature in iPhoto '09 is handy, but it's awfully buggy. It keeps trying to tell me that various non-faces are friends or family, suggesting them over and over again for everyone. Worse, the UI to untag these non-faces is unusably slow on my G5.

There's a simple workaround: name these non-faces as Not a face. That way, they stop showing up for other names, and as a bonus, you get a big pile of them that you can share for laughs, or put in your bug reports to Apple.

Likewise, iPhoto keeps showing me some of the same pictures of people I don't know at all. I name these Stranger, so they all end up together. If you later realize who someone in this group is, you can just rename them as needed.
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Use 'not a face' name to ease iPhoto '09 face tagging | 13 comments | Create New Account
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Use 'not a face' name to ease iPhoto '09 face tagging
Authored by: mmnw on Apr 28, '09 08:09:36AM

Interesting idea. I just tried this on my library. It adds another hilarious point to face detection: who shares similarities with rocks, trees and clouds. (meaning: who is supposed to look like "Not a Face").



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Use 'not a face' name to ease iPhoto '09 face tagging
Authored by: mtpls on Apr 28, '09 09:04:19AM

Hm,

I don't know how good it is to do it this way because it might change the variable and learning face recognition algorithm of iPhoto. Assumed it has one, LOL.

However, I'm still searching for a way to make a Smart Album to find all Photos that have a supposedly found Face in it, but wich i did NOT confirm or gave a name yet.

I tried the other Mac OSX Hints post about the iPhoto face recognition but until now i was only able to let iPhoto show me every picture which has a (again supposedly) detected face, but those albums always include the pictures I already confirmed or gave a name.

I just want the ones wich I did not confirm or gave a name yet.
Anyone got a clue how to do this?



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Use 'not a face' name to ease iPhoto '09 face tagging
Authored by: babbage on Apr 28, '09 09:18:21AM

Yeah, I figure this might make the face detection get really bizarre for that "Not a face" pseudo-person, but so far it doesn't appear to be making the recognition worse for any of the real people.

As for the Smart Album trick, that's easy enough to do, and I think that this site ran example of how to do it recently. Anyway, if your iPhoto is up to date (8.0.2 right now; this wasn't available in 8.0 and I'm not sure if it was in 8.0.1), then create a Smart Album, select the Face property, then "is", then "unnamed".

Does that not do what you want?

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DO NOT LEAVE IT IS NOT REAL



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Use 'not a face' name to ease iPhoto '09 face tagging
Authored by: mtpls on Apr 28, '09 09:29:33AM

great!
yes, indeed i just toyed around with the face recognition in iphoto 8.0 and 8.0.1 but this was exactly the feature i've been missing then.

thanks!



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Use 'not a face' name to ease iPhoto '09 face tagging
Authored by: joerick on Apr 28, '09 10:13:05AM

I'm not sure naming the strangers is a good idea. iPhoto might start tagging people as 'stranger' rather than a face it does know, given that stranger covers a wide range of faces.



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Use 'not a face' name to ease iPhoto '09 face tagging
Authored by: babbage on Apr 28, '09 10:23:53AM

I'm not sure either, but so far, it doesn't seem like it has been a big problem.

It would probably matter more if the face detection algorithms were... you know... "accurate". But that's not really the case with iPhoto so far.

On the other hand, if I can at least quarantine the faces that I know are not a match for any of the people I actually do know, then when I'm trying to find matches for the people I know, it at least goes a little more quickly.

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DO NOT LEAVE IT IS NOT REAL



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Use 'not a face' name to ease iPhoto '09 face tagging
Authored by: marook on Apr 28, '09 11:27:54AM

In my experience, the best way is to delete the square detected. It should not come back automatically.
So, instead of assigning a 'Not a Face' person to the square, delete it!

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/Marook



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Use 'not a face' name to ease iPhoto '09 face tagging
Authored by: mnyman on Apr 28, '09 11:31:10AM

This would indeed be the best way if you were able to do this for many photos at one. Selecting all the stranger photos and then a right click for a "remove face from recognition database" or something like it. Clicking the x in the top left corner of every face is cumbersome.

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Mike Nyman
http://www.mikenymanphotography.com



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Use 'not a face' name to ease iPhoto '09 face tagging
Authored by: babbage on Apr 28, '09 11:39:37AM

This would undoubtedly be the right way to do this, IF IPHOTO WERE MORE RESPONSIVE.

As it is, the "not a face" trick takes me around 20 seconds per photo, just because it's so slow to respond when I'm in batch confirm/reject mode.

But if I open up each photo and try to tag it that way (or delete mistagged non-faces), then it seriously turns into like 5-10 minutes per photo, as everything just grinds to a halt for me.

I don't have the fastest desktop in the world, but I don't think of it as a slouch, either -- a last-gen dual core 2.3ghz G5 tower with 8gb of RAM and lots of free hard drive space. My iPhoto library has 40k+ photos, which is admittedly a lot, but I've heard of similar sluggishness on Mac Pros too, so it's not just me.

Really, until a version of iPhoto comes along that is responsive enough to even consider this, the "not a face" workaround I've been doing is the most expedient way I've been able to come up with to crank through a bunch of photos as quickly as possible.

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Use 'not a face' name to ease iPhoto '09 face tagging
Authored by: bhagemann on Apr 28, '09 07:17:53PM

Hey.. here's something to try for you. I have a MDD G4 (dual 1ghz g4) with 2 gigs of ram, os 10.5.6, and iPhoto 8.02 with about 20K images. I had the exact same experience you're describing about the sluggishness. iPhoto was so unusable to do any tagging for me. Using Faces, I'd get the rainbow-ball spinning for a good 5-10 seconds if i did something as simple as close a face box, add a missing face, try to move the face box, and so on. At LEAST many seconds between EVERY operation. Now iPhoto responds instantaneously with all this. The ONLY difference is that I turned OFF the feature where it shows how many photos are in an album with a (#) next to the album names. The only thing I can think of is that it recalculates the numbers after you do things, especially if you have any smart albums.

So if that is on for you, maybe try with it turned off to see? It was absolutely night and day for me. Of course now I don't quite have the justification I did before to use with the wife about why we need a new Intel iMac... ;-)



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Use 'not a face' name to ease iPhoto '09 face tagging
Authored by: Notch Johnson on Apr 29, '09 09:28:37AM

Are you talking about the "Sources: Show item count?"

I turned it off and it's still unusably slow for me. Mac Pro 2.8 GHz 8-core, 6 GB RAM, 80k pictures, iPhoto library on dedicated 2-drive stripe RAID. So, getting a new Mac Pro won't help.



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Turn off "Sources: [] Show item counts" to make iPhoto faster
Authored by: babbage on Apr 29, '09 10:53:53AM

WOW.

I can't say this totally solved the problem, but it's definitely faster this way -- things like scanning for new faces that were taking minutes before now take seconds, and things that were taking seconds like typing a name are now happening nearly instantly.

It's still more sluggish than I'd prefer, but this is a lot better than it was before. Thanks!

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Use 'not a face' name to ease iPhoto '09 face tagging
Authored by: raden steve on May 16, '10 12:35:56PM

The suck face recognition process gave my G5 run so slowly. Therefore, this trick is important for my G5 to have a smooth run in iphoto.



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