First Impressions of iPhoto ’09

Got my hands on iLife ’09 yesterday as Apple shipped it out 1 week ahead of the estimated delivery date.  Yes, Apple has a way of doing that with items purchased before they officially go on sale.  Good thing, I guess.

My main interest in iLife ’09 is actually iPhoto and it’s new support for Faces and Places.

With my family version, I installed it first on my laptop (MacBook Intel) with around 1,000 photos.  First, it updated my iPhoto library in about 60 seconds.  Next, I was able to immediately checkout events and photos like before with no problems.

I went into places and immediately started to tag several events that I had with the Places I had bee over the past year or so.  I don’t have a GPS camera, so I had to manually find the places and attach to the photos.  I give the Places an A+ so far.  Very easy to use.

Next, I clicked on the Faces tab and noticed that it was going through my entire library and trying to detect faces.  It took quite awhile with the 1,000 photos.  I didn’t time it, but I believe it ran for about an hour.  Not too bad.

One it had detected all the faces across my library, I was able to define some names with the faces.  This is a very easy process.  Took me only seconds to go into a photo of a family shot and immediately identify all the people in the photo with relative ease.  Then, for each person, I had it recommend other pictures with that individual.  Wow, Wow, Wow!  This was so easy and I was amazed at how accurate.  I was able to immediately find 50+ photos with a 100% hit rate.  Now, after I start exhausting all those photos, the hit rate tails off rapidly, but that’s because I got nearly all of them.

Now, the not so great part about iPhoto ’09 and Faces.  With my iMac (iMac G5) everything installed correctly and quickly.  The initial library update worked great.  But the initial face detection is VERY SLOW.  I started the process about 16 hours ago, and it is still estimating another 12 hours.  Now, I am trying to detect faces across ~32,000  photos.  Good thing is that it does allow me to do other thing in iPhoto, like find places, but WOW it is SLOOOOOWWWWW!

I’ll soon take a closer look at iMovie and the other components, but first I need to get my iPhoto back from taking up all the CPU.

That’s it for now…



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