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iPhoto 8.1.1 Fixes Face Recognition Bug

Apple has released iPhoto 8.1.1, a maintenance update to iPhoto ’09 that addresses accuracy and performance issues with the Faces feature, improves the book-ordering process, and enhances iPod touch support.

A month ago we covered reports of the widespread bug that prevented the Faces recognition feature from working properly (see “iPhoto ’09 Faces Bug Awaits Apple Update,” 23 October 2009). Many users found that the program was unable to recognize additional matches for already-identified faces; iPhoto was either taking an inordinate amount of time to do so or suggesting inaccurate matches. At the time, Apple support representatives informed some users that they were aware of the problem and that a fix was underway. We’re pleased to see the fruits of that labor in a timely fashion.

Apple says that iPhoto 8.1.1 addresses the problem of slow performance when displaying suggested matching faces and improves accuracy to prevent mismatches. For users who have imported photos with iPhoto 8.1, an extra word of advice can be found in Apple’s full release notes. The company suggests that, after installing the update, users should select any photos originally imported with iPhoto 8.1, Control-click a selected photo, and choose Detect Missing Faces from the contextual menu that appears. Doing so will supposedly re-detect the faces in those photos and correct any issues introduced by the previous version.

According to reports on the support thread that first identified the issue, installing the update and following Apple’s advice for rescanning appears to have solved the problem for most users, although some people have had to delete the face.db and face-blob.db files from the iPhoto Library package first.

iPhoto 8.1.1 also corrects a problem that caused book order panel information to be displayed incorrectly in some languages. An issue that prevented the icon for the second generation iPod touch from being displayed correctly in the source list is fixed as well.

The update is recommended for all iPhoto ’09 users, is available free via Software Update or the Apple Support Downloads page, and weighs in at 12.31 MB. iPhoto ’09 is part of iLife ’09, which retails for $79 new or is included free on new Macs.

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