Faces, precipitated

As I said earlier, the Faces feature isn’t terribly well-integrated into iPhoto. It’s a standalone piece of metadata that has no collection to the app’s events, places, folders, or keywords. It’s even stored separately, in a pair of SQLite databases that have no real connection to anything else; they can even be deleted without affecting the rest of your database.

At a user level, the key issue is that Faces aren’t people. You can’t use it to tag “Bob’s wipeout on the slopes”, “Mary dressed up as Darth Maul”, “Jean hiding from the camera”, or dozens of other scenarios in which the relevant person isn’t clearly showing their normal face. You could select a random portion of the picture and claim it’s a Face, but it will lower the recognition accuracy, and may not work anyway.

I’m sure a future version of the app will integrate it better, perhaps allowing you to mark out areas of a picture that contain a specific person but shouldn’t be used for face recognition, but for now, you end up with two sets of pictures, faced and faceless, only one of which is easy to browse.

The other set does have its charms, though…

Mai Satoda, not recognized by iPhoto's Faces

(given the source material, I ended up with a lot of these…)