Picasa 3.5

September 28, 2009 at 5:43 pm Leave a comment

Picasa 3.5 has just been released to the public.

Finally we get the image recognition from picasaweb in the offline version. This is great for me as I don’t want to upload my private photos to google. But I really dig face recognition.

I have some hints and some questions about Picasa. I hope I’ll find answers to the questions somewhen.

Hints:
If you tagged a person with the wrong name, you can’t change the name in the column on the right. You can however click on the name below the rectangle within the picture. You can change the name there.

There is an “Accept all suggestions as correct”-button at the top of the person’s section. I didn’t see it for a day, so I wanted to point that out. This makes tagging much faster.

Try to get a feeling what Picasa is capable of. Fuzzy pictures make Picasa group persons together that don’t belong together. In the “unnamed” category I found it useful to open the “people”-sidebar on the right to quickly check whether all pictures within this group are really by the same person. Unfortunately clicking the text field of a person doesn’t select it. This makes selecting it an extra click. That’s annoying. [update]Google released “Version 3.5, Build 79.69 – September 30, 2009”. You can now tab from on group of persons to the next. this will simultaneously mark the person and jump to the name-field. This makes tagging much more convenient.[/update]

Maybe the “expand groups”- feature is even better for those blurry pictures, where you aren’t sure whether Picasa grouped pictures by just _one_ person. You can then select the groups in the sidebar. However, the sidebar will scroll all to often without you initiating it. That’s also annoying.

By the end of 2009 Picasa 3.6 got release and it has dramatically increased the speed of the face recognition. As there was _no_ end to see with the recognition of my 100GB photos, Picasa 3.6 did half the work within two days, where picasa 3.5 had already calculated for 2 month. (Maybe it was coincidence that pictures, scanned at a later stage, were easier to recognize, but I guess 3.6 really got faster)

——
Questions:

Multiuser scenario.
I read that the face information isn’t stored in the IPTC field. I had hoped that this would go in a special google-IPTC field. google has/had(?) those for keywords. Keywords would always be stored in the database, in the IPTC keywords field and in the IPTC google keyword field.
Anyway, I read that face information is stored in the database and in the picasa.ini file. There is a picasa.ini file within every directory.

What happens if I move a folder (together with the picasa.ini file) to a new location? [I want to copy photos older than too years to my external harddrive]

What happens if I copy the folder to a different computer? Can I somehow make this work by copying the contacts.xml which contains the names and the emailaddress for the unique identifier number that is listed in the picasa.ini file? (Picasa 3.0 doesn’t have a subdirectory “contacts” within the Local App Data. Picasa 3.5 has a subdirectory containing the contacts.xml file.)

Can I merge my contacts.xml file with the contacts.xml file of some person I give my photos to?

What happens if I sync my picasa contacts with my gmail contacts (default behaviour) and I merge too contacts within gmail?

Anyone having answers to this questions?

In search for an answer on comes across this information:

  • jaysiej, a Google Employee, replys to the question “How to Back up Name Tags” with Google’s standard answer you can find in several threads regarding this topic. One of the ways jaysiej says you can back your name tags up, is by copying the whole folder including the picasa.ini. I’m not sure what happens when you copy this to a computer with a different installation of picasa.
  • Some guy proposed: SOLUTION PROPOSAL: People Tag Sharing
  • Andreas Vogel wrote a program that copies all information from picasa.ini into the XMP field. I don’t know whether he does this in a private format or whether he tries to emulate Microsofts XMP person format in the best way he can. Further reading suggests, that the program is saving the information using the XMP tag system created by Adobe with the addition of Microsoft XMP namespace Microsoft Photo Region Schema. This should be readable with the Windows Live Photo Gallery. Go to AvPicFaceXmpTagger and read for yourself.

When will there be a German version? I want my friends to use it. I guess the German changelog is supposed to be this, but I can’t click the “Änderungen”-link.  [UPDATE: There is a German version with 38 languages since 25th of February 2010 🙂 ]

The english changelog can be found here.

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