I upgraded to iLife ’09 today just to mess with the face detection in iPhoto and for some of the new editing features in iMovie. The face detection works OK, it definitely missed a lot of faces, but I don’t know how it works. It does one pass on all the photos in the library after install and then I don’t think it does any more on the existing photos. So maybe when I import some new images it will be better at classifying faces. I’m interested to see how well it learns, I’m trying to get it to recognize my bulldog Cookie. I really like the “places” feature, except the only GPS camera I have is my iPhone, booo! Come on Canon, Sony, Nikon, and Pentax, put a GPS receiver in your cameras!
The stabilization feature of iMovie is nice, I remember when I paid a few hundred bucks for a Premiere plugin to do that. It turns out the new AVCHD importer doesn’t read the files directly from a hard disk folder, but it reads “camera archives” which are disk images (but not standard .dmg files, wtf) that iMovie creates instead of transcoding. To edit the videos transcoding to Apple Intermediate still has to happen at some point, bummer. But still it should save a good deal of disk space on my NAS. Once I use it more, I’m sure I’ll have a few more things to say.