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Faces shows incorrect thumbnails

2123 Views 49 Replies Latest reply: Sep 19, 2013 9:47 PM by Supra_User RSS
  • Tom Ritch Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
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    Jul 12, 2013 1:07 PM (in response to LarryHN)

    LarryHN wrote:


    Ok  --  you do understand that this is strictlhy a user to user forum with volenteer iPhoto users helping other iPhoto users

    Yep.  I came here to see if others have issues similar to mine.  Dan does.  I posted my experience, Dan said it helped.  You and Terence read this forum a lot and observe that this issue is not common.  I would say "not commonly reported" might be more accurate.  Dan and I both see problems in about 5% of our found faces.  In my library I have 565 named faces found among 12,703 photos, so roughtly 635 photos with problems.  For a smaller library with the same rate of problems the user might not think it worth mentioning.  Reading our discussion here may help others recognize that they have this same problem.  If they do, hopefully they will report it to Apple an maybe to us here to confirm our observations. 


    Manually removing incorrect found faces seems to lead to less issues, althought some problems seem to remain.  I have been chasing this problem pretty hard for a while.  I don't see a solution, but I miss things.  If you or Terence or anyone else can recommend something to try, please do. 


    I have filed several bug reports with Apple, as well as about 5 crash reports in the last week. 


    posting your personal needs here accomplishes nothing

    What?  Perhaps I miss your point. 


    How can I ask my fellow users for help other than to describe my needs, observations, my system, and the steps I have already tried to resolve my problems?


    Posting details of my background and system was intended to indicate I pretty much know what I am doing and have made an extended effort to find a solution, with no success on found Faces issues.  To help other users understand that sometimes following operating instructions properly does not solve all software issues, I posted my experience of since January helping track down major bugs in 10.8 which interferred with iPhoto, Mail, Contacts and other applications.  


    I welcome your comments.  Do you see anything I have missed?  Can you recommend anything I might try? 

  • Tom Ritch Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 12, 2013 6:35 PM (in response to Dan Connors)

    Sounds worth a try.  I just crashed while reviewing a set of photos with found faces. 

  • Tom Ritch Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 12, 2013 7:44 PM (in response to Tom Ritch)

    Nope, I still crash.  Here is what I wrote in the report sent to Apple.

    Going through a set of photos deleting found faces that I dod not want to be found.  As I clicked the right arrow key to move to the next photo, iPhoto crashed. 


    I should note that in addition to the files suggested above for deletion, in my


    I found and removed Cache.db-shm and Cache.db-wal in addition to Cache.db.  Looked like more cahes so it seemed the right thing to do.  Also present but not deleted was folder config which containined



    After deleting the files I launched iPhoto.  It did not have a library to open, so it created a new empty one.  I used File > Switch To Library to open my main library.  In the library I noticed a type of corruption which I think we have not discussed.  For some of my events, a few (3 to maybe 10?) photos are duplicated (I think) and put into a new event next to the existing event.  I merged these back into the event holding the large majority of photos for that day so later I can check for duplicates.  I set a key photos for a few events.  I split one event which contained unrelated activities which occurred on the same day into two events.  I opened one of the events and began going through the photos manyually looking for duplicastes or Faces corruption.  After a minite or two, when I clicked the right arrow key to move to another photo, iPhoto crashed. 


    After the crash i reopened iPhoto.  I looked at the new event I created which contains two photos.  In the iPhoto window which displays events, the new event is listed without a key photo, and the text says it contains 0 photos.  When I open the event, the two photos are there. 


    I think it is time to rebuld my library again. 

  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (55,075 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 13, 2013 12:30 PM (in response to Dan Connors)

    Your post is not clear - but if you are suggesting that users delete any thing from the content of the iPhoto library using the finder then you are recommending that they destroy their library - you must NEVER make any changes of any sort to the content or structure of the iPhoto library - doing so will corrupt your library and cause data and possibly photo loss


    And note that iPhoto ALWAYS maintains the original of every photo - if the photo is edited then there is a preview of the edited version too as well as a thumbnail for each photo - that is the way it works - if that is not what you want then you need to use a different program



  • Tom Ritch Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 14, 2013 7:00 PM (in response to Dan Connors)

    To keep the current discussion up to date, I have copied below my comments on two crash reports I sent to Apple after two crashes this morning.


    After a full rebuilt of my main library intended to remove all library database corruption, I opened an event and opened the first photo, then paged through all the event photos removing corrupt found faces when I saw them.  After reviewing all photos in that event, I selected photos which did not yet have a Place and assigned one.  Then I closed that event, proceeded to another event, and repeated the process.  I did this successfully with several events.  Then I opened an event which contained many photos with obvious Faces database corruption.  Examples of the corruption are


    1.  Two found face rectangles for the same person, where one enclosed the correct face and the other is a characteristic rectangle of H:W proportions 5:2 offset from the face location.


    2.  Obvious clearly shown faces which are not detected.  I know sometime this happens, but I believe some of these had been found before but now are not.


    3.  A found face is listed in the Info panel with the name of the person in the photo, but no found face rectangle shown.  Running Detect Missing Faces does not show a found face rectangle. 


    4.  In a photo which shows two faces, one is found and labeled with the correct name, the other not found.  On running Detect Missing Faces the face which had been unfound becomes found and the face which had been found becomes unfound, and the name is moved to the found face to label it incorrectly.  After correcting the name and running Detect Missing Faces a second time, the second face becomes found and can be assigned the correct name. 


    I proceeded from the beginning of the exemplars for this Face, stepping to the next photo by the right arrow key and corrected found face errors such as these in about 20 photos.  When I click right arrow to advance from photo 80 to 81, the last photo in the group, iPhoto crashed. 


    This experience, combined with a lot of earlier similar experiences, leads me to believe there are bugs, probably multiple bugs, in the Found Face part of iPhoto.  One set of issues seems to be in the system  which detects and labels faces.  Perhaps another issue may involve iPhoto's management, specifically updating, of the database of found faces.  Issues with finding faces are described above. 


    I believe this crash, and many similar iPhoto crashes in the last few weeks, may be caused when I switch from one photo to another as iPhoto is updating its found face database in the background.  IIRC the crashes all have happened after I have edited found face data in a number of photos in fairly rapid succession, with the apparent proximal trigger for the crash being switching to a new photo.  This seems fairly reproducible on my system since it has happened numerous times, although not "click this button and crash" reproducible. 


    I reopened the library after the crash just reported.  The edits I had made had not been recorded, so I stepped through again, reediting the photos.  When I clicked to go from the next to last to last photo, iPhoto crashed again. 


    Now I will reopen and repeat.  I expect the edits have not been saved.  This time before I get to the last photo I will quit iPhoto, hopefully getting the library to write the updates to the database on disk.  Then I will reopen and see if the edited and been saved, and if I can then proceed through the rest of the faces without crashing.


    Another edit, another crash? 


    I launched iPhoto and found the edits had not been saved when iPhoto crashed an hour ago.  I reedited and stepped through almost all the photos, then Quit iPhoto.  On relaunching I found the edits had now been saved.  Being saved now tells us that iPhoto can be edited successfully.  Not begin saved earlier tell us that iPhoto can accumulate a stack of unsaved edits.  I wonder what the limits are on this accumulation of unsaved database edits, and how they interact with one another. 


    Although I did not edit much, I did run Detect Missing Faces a couple of times, so an unsaved edit may have existed.  When I clicked to move from the nest to last to the past photo in the event, iPhoto crashed. 


    Also worth noting is that when I started reviewing photos this event, the event contained 81 photos.  Two crashes back it contained 80 photos.  Now 79.  I don't know what photos are missing or why. 

    This time I opened iPhoto and the same library and event.  Instead of starting with the first and stepping through all photos, I selected the past photo and pressed the space bar to open it.  iPhoto crashed.  Although other photos certainly had corrupt found faces, this one photo seems to have something very wrong. 


    Found one problem.  I have a avi format movie with my photos.  What I discovered is crashing occurred when I tried to open this movie. I trashed that movie from iPhoto, then with Handbrake converted it to an Apple TV compatible movie.  That movie could not be imported back into iPhoto, but it could into iTunes, where I will leave it.  Going into iTunes but not iPhoto seems strange to me.  This video was taken with an older camera.  Video shot with my current camera I think is compatible, but I wonder how many more oler incompatible videos I have. 


    iPhoto should degrade more gracefully when it encounters an incompatible format.  Perhaps rather than crashing, the exception could be trapped and the photo skipped with at minimum an "Incompatible format" message. 


    I sent these comments to Apple as a folowup on the crash reports I submitted earlier today. 

  • Tom Ritch Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 14, 2013 7:52 PM (in response to Dan Connors)



    First let me thank you for a huge analysis of the issue.  Having said that, I must say I get tired just thinking about trying to carry out what you suggest.  I see it is written an a format which could easily become a conmputer script.  I can imagine that if implemented in iOhoto Library Manager it woiuld take days running constantly to carry out.  But even it the process were fully automated I think I see problems. 


    I think a lot of the problems we see are associated with automatic Face detection.  In a place or two you recommend deleting automatically found Faces, and replacing thenm with manually found and identified faces.  One problem is manually found Faces are not used as exemplars by the face search method.  But the search method needs positive examplars to function, and the more the better.  The more faces are manually identified, the worse automated search performance we can expect. 


    Automated face detection and labeling (when it works) is intended to save labor.  Manual review and documentation errors for each photo and each face, for multiple passes even, does not seem like it would save effort. 


    While iPhoto contains one of more bugs, as I think we both believe, the task of cleaning up libraries will be not just Herculean, but also Sisyphean.  Better minimize repair efforts, but not cries for help, as we wait for a fix. 


    Redoing everytning would be a task so huge I do not want to think about it.  Although I do have problems with some parts of my pibrary, many parts seem OK, at least mostly.  For now, I prefer to manually repair little things, and hope Apple will present a clear and correct and as fully as possible automated soluion. 


    I see now that reliably updating the database after repairs apparrently requires quitting and restarting iPhoto.  That may help in preserving work done, so cleanup progress can be more steady. 


    Another "trick" I found is revealing found face rectangles which are hidden behing one another.  I put trick in quotes because this is standard Mac user interface so it should have been obvious, but took me a while to catch on.  <Tab> tabs between selected objects.  So click on one face, then tab to successively select each other found facee.  The name is selected, so when you want to delete the rectangle click it, then you can click its close x. 


    In some cases a name is listed as being found but no rectangle is shown.  I have found no way to deleted such a found face.  I suspect the rectangle has been assigned to an area not in the visible part of the photo.  I suspect we will have to wait for Apple to provade a fix for this. 


    Hope this helps. 

  • Tom Ritch Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2013 2:44 PM (in response to Tom Ritch)

    I found a solution to the numerous crashes I was experiencing: reinstall Security update 2013-003 and restart.


    I went to my crashing video in the Finder and tried to open it with Quicktime, which also crashed.  I tried several more videos, all of which used to work, all now crashed.  I searched Apple Quicktime forums for crashes and found several threads, as well as reports that other video and photo apps such as Aperture are crashing.  In one Quicktime thread the solution descrbed was posted.  It also worked for me. 


    Now I can return to looking for problems which are only in iPhoto.  That should keep me busy enough. 

  • Tom Ritch Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2013 3:23 PM (in response to Dan Connors)

    I have gone through the most common faces and manually removed corrupt found Faces as described above. I have found that iPhoto does not write edits to disk until it is Quit.  If too many edits accumulate not written to disk, iPhoto crashes and all edits done in that session are lost.  By rmembering to periodically Quit and relaunch iPhoto I have been able to remove most obviously corrupt found Faces.  Before beginning to manually remove corrupt found faces I first rebuilt the library using iPhoto's repair tool.  After a crash or two I suspected problems, so I ran iPhoto's Repair Database tool. 


    On photos where the Face thumb was obviously wrong (turned at a right angle, wrong face, grey instead of photo image, etc.) I ran Dected Missing Faces.  Sometimes DMF would run quickly, sometimes it would take a couple of seconds.  Sometimes running DMF caused the photo displayed to advance to the next photo in the set, usually not.  I suspect when DMF is run part of the photo's metadata assoociated wtih Faces is replaced.  My hope is that the metadata replaced contained the corruption.  After all this manual cleainging I ran iPhoto's Rebuild Faces.  The rebuilt Faces seem much more correct. 


    This is a long slow process, but it seems I am making progress.  Much remaining corruption may be things I did not see and remove earlier, which may be removed by another iteration. 


    In 563 photos it seems I cannot manually remove the corruption.  One example is a photo where I know the face was found earlier but no face is found now.  In some such cases the Info may list the name of the formerly found Face even though there is no found Face rectangle.  Another common example is the Face thumb is rotated 90 degrees.  If rebuilding the Faces thumb database does not fix this I will export the photos, open them in some other application, perhaps QuickTime and resave a copy which I hope will bestripped of corruption, then reimoprt into iPhoto.




    I appreciate you comments on Aperture.  I have wondered about going over to it.  However, while the Aperture grass may look greener, all software has bugs.  Better stick wiith the devil I know.  I have sent lots of bug reports and feature requests to Apple.  For now I will stick with iPhoto, continue cleaning manually wtih periodic rebuilds, and frequent backups.  It seems fairly usable now. 



  • Tom Ritch Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 11, 2013 1:25 PM (in response to Dan Connors)

    FYI other aspects of Faces database corruption and partial solutions are discussed in this thread. 


    Clicking to confirm doesn't actually confirm

  • mark_from_briz Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 11, 2013 1:41 PM (in response to Dan Connors)

    From Dan,...



    We need a repair tool that actually repairs.


    My preference would be a photo library that doesnt spontaniously corrupt in weird ways ;-)


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