Lately, I have undergone a rather large project of converting every image of my childhood from its printed form to a digital image. Originally, I thought the hard part would be scanning the images however this turned out to be the easy part of the whole project and I will explain why now. The first complication I ran to is how to organize these pictures and how to back them up. There is no reason to spend all the time scanning the images if I do not intend to protect the time spent by protecting the digital images. Of course I keep a copy on my computer as well as an external but I also wanted a cloud storage solution. After some comparing I decided to go with Google and their Picasa Web Albums (PWA).

I went with Picasa Web Albums due to price, syncing with desktop client software, ease of use. Google offers Picasa (version 3.8 at the time of writing this) which not only is very powerful at organizing your photos but then lets you push one button to sync all of it to PWA. The sync actually allows original file syncing, face tag sync, syncing of starred photos, and much more. So all of this at the time seemed perfect! So the first thing I did was install Picasa and let it scan all my images. After it sorted it out I then began face tagging all my images which Picasa admittedly makes very easy! After I finished syncing 12GB of images I felt like I was done and was fairly excited by this development. However, after closer inspection of my PWA I noticed all my face tags were missing and instead showed ‘Unknown Person’.

Well after much research I noticed this was a wide spread problem but I decided to try my luck at several fixes. The first of which was to uninstall Picasa (and delete its database), delete everything on PWA, then reinstall Picasa and try again. Now when I did this 4 out of my 111 albums some how got face tags syncing correctly (to this day I do not know why). However, this overall proved to be an epic failure and a waste of time. The next thing I tried to do was go through my contacts and fix any duplicates and I noticed I had two duplicates but again this fixed nothing. I even tried to fix all of my .picasa.ini files by removing any conflicting data but again did not work. So, after much research I found a script written in Perl which synced face tags manually ( Now, this script had some issues with my setup but after some back and forth with the author we were able to get it to work in my situation but only on an album by album basis. The next thing I did was to modify the script a little bit to do the following: Accept the directory name as the album name since I used my folder names as the album names. After that I made a batch script to recursively run through my folders and run this script.

To modify your perl script grab the latest version of the picasa-upsync-faces script and change the very bottom of the script to the following:

Then create the following batch script and place all three files in your C:\ directory (Perl script, batch script, and the contacts.xml):

At this point just open a command prompt and change directory to your root Pictures directory then run the batch script. At this point it will take over and recursively run through all your directories/albums and re-tag the images. Very lengthy solution to something that should be so simple but this is what I had to resort to do doing to backup all the work I did. Hopefully, Google comes up with its own fix in the new version of Picasa and we can all move on past this headache!


Mesha · July 5, 2011 at 6:20 am

Thanks for sharing this solution, but when I run the batch file all that shows up is “the filename or extension is too long” repeatedly.

Clair Morence · September 28, 2012 at 1:12 am

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