The face recognition part of Picasa 3.5 made me uninstall the Swedish speaking 3.1 I had and go for the English speaking 3.5 (as it seemingly takes forever to get 3.5 translated).
Anyway – it worked for some days on my 4 core CPU computer and it did a fairly good job even if I have spent hours and hours to manually adjust things. Very few false positives but very many unidentified.
There are a few things I would like to see addressed in an update:
* When it allocates a face to a name as “Suggestion” you can select if the programs assumption is correct by two easy to understand symbols. Pressing No it tries to match the face to another name and so on. Sometimes the face belongs to a person that just happened to be in the picture even if this is unintentional and you don’t want the person registered in your list, like if you took a shot as something or someone in a public place with lots of unknown people around. In the “unnamed” category you can select “Ignore Person”, but in the named albums this is not possible. PLEASE add “Ignore Person” to the right button menu for the people added to albums as suggestions. As it it now, these unknown faces ping pong between albums, tying to find a home it will never reach.
* The the right click menu for the “Suggestions” there is an option of adding a person to an album (“Add to People Album”). I have 466 identified contacts which makes this function totally impractical for any contact that does not have a name that starts with an “A”. Scrolling the list to later characters takes forever.
* Also for the “Suggestions”, you can double click the thumbnail and add the name to the persons on the picture. Sometime naming the people there, you still have the person in the album listed as a suggestion, even if you just filled in the name manually. This only happen sometimes and I find no system in when it works or not. I get the feeling that not all changes made to the picture opening a “Suggestion” is trapped by the program.
* In the same context, opening the picture of a suggestion and clicking the “X” symbol of the identified people on the list (even all of the people on the list) the suggestion is still there. As an example; my daughter in a group of people. None identified but the program has her suggested as on of the faces, but the wrong one. I open the picture and “X” away all the people that aren’t relevant to keep (right or wrong, I use this a “Ignore people” on a picture by picture basis). I then define my daughters name to the correct face. Not the picture contains *one* identified person – my daughter – and I press escape to get back to the list. Now, the album still has the suggestion to accept my daughter as being identified in the picture but a) she is already identified and b) the definition of the face to the suggested on is not there – I just deleted it.
* If I from the “Unnamed” category has chosen to Ignore Person, I can still see the same person from the same photo as a suggestion in one of the people album. When ignored in the Unnamed category the face should universally ignored.
* Also in the context of opening the picture of a “Suggestion” the option of manually adding people is not there.
* When I enter an album, sometimes I find that there is a person that is added that doesn’t belong there (so person X is present in the album of person Y). However, opening the picture I see that the person in the album isn’t even present in the picture. So all faces are properly named in the picture, but it’s still there in the wrong album.
* Similar to my reflection above, I have cases in the album of my wife where the thumbnail shows a picture of my daughter. My wife is present in the picture so the thumbnail correctly points to picture of my wife but shows another person in the same picture in the thumbnail. I right clicked my wifes album icon as listed under “People” but the thumbnail is still wrong.
It might be that I do something wrong but the results still indicate room for improvement. I do think these are errors in the implementation.
One other thing which should be considered is differentiating unnamed and unrecognised. I found it so that pictures feature a person whom I know but do not recall the name of (class mate of the children, person on a party I don’t recall the name of and so on). I would like to be able to have a convenient mean to allocate references to “identified but unnamed person X”.