Review: Which Face-Tagging Software Is Best?

Suddenly, facial recognition software is everywhere. So, Tom's Guide pitted the software titles against each other in a review published today. Apple's iPhoto '09 is the oldest of the bunch--it was launched back in January. Since then, four competitors have arrived.'s Photo Tagger and Microsoft's Windows Live Photo Gallery showed up in July, then came Cyberlink's MediaShow 5 in early September. Finally, Google added photo tagging to its desktop application Picasa 3.5 just a couple weeks ago.

The ability to scan and recognizes faces is fast becoming a must-have feature in all photo organizing and editing software. So, which one should you get? They each excel in different ways. We rated the software titles on these criteria: features and innovation, user interface and ease of use, analysis speed, and accuracy.

You'd be surprised at the false positives some of these software titles think are actually faces (ears, elbows, dogs, and worse). Overall, however, we were impressed with how far this technology has come, and how much easier and more fun hunting for and viewing photos can be when your computer knows who is in them.


If you’re on Facebook and enjoy tagging your photos, you might want to check out’s Photo Tagger tagger application first-hand. We’ve described what the program is and how it works in our feature story, but Photo Tagger is currently in public alpha and only accessible on an invitation basis. Fortunately, for the first 50 Tom’s Guide readers, we’ve got your invitation right here! Just click this link and try out this great tool right now.

This thread is closed for comments
    Your comment
  • wildwell
    So.... which one was the best!?
  • claudeb
    I am a current apple looking to switch to a pc. But, i can say that iPhoto is pretty dope. It's facial regonition is almost 99% effective. It kinda even recognized my pug in a few pictures. Fail when it said a bookcase was my girlfriend.
  • tomsguiderachel1
    wildwellSo.... which one was the best!?

    It depends what feature is most important to *you.* For me--Picasa is best because it has lots of features, a natural interface AND accuracy. I also like that I can save my photos to "the cloud" via the same desktop app, and it remembers the tags. None of the other solutions have that. But, it also takes a long time to scan and upload...