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Migration from Windows Live Photogallery (reusing face detection information)

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  • Migration from Windows Live Photogallery (reusing face detection information)

    Hello everyone,

    I have a passion for taking photos, like so many of you here in this forum (nice to meet you all ). Meanwhile I have around 170.000 personal photos and my use case is very simple: most of my photos I take are from family, friends and our various pets throughout the years. When I get the question from a friend or family member: "hey, can you show me photos with us together" I want to be able to quickly do this in a very simple and fast way. As I have a bad memory (when did I do what and who was around years ago) I am tagging all my photos.

    Until 2021 I was using Windows Live Photogallery (WLP) since its launch due to the simplicity and the face detection capabilities. The best part I loved about it was that it embedded the tags and the faces detected directly in the files. Throughout the years when I switched PCs I did not need to move any database. I just started WLP and it simply read all data again from the files. Surprisingly WLP handles very well a high number of photos.

    But technology evolved and I encountered several limitations recently: hi-res photos are sometimes not read, .heic extensions are not known etc. This made me look for another software (hard decision after so many years). I read a lot about various software and the capabilities. I tested Abobe and while I am a big fan of Photoshop for editing. But Lightroom just does not fit for me. I feels awkward when trying to use (compared to the simplicity of WLP). Also forcing people to purchase a subscription for an on-premises software is even more strage. After Í read the other day that they suddenly disabled the face detection capabilities for the old version (even though customers have purchased it), I realized that Adobe is not an option anymore. Many other software providers focus on a lot of features for sharing photos on different social networks. Great, but not my focus area.

    AcdSee was a natural selection. I used AcdSee long time before WLP and it worked very nice. But I missed the face detection options. During the years I saw detection capabilities being introduced in more and more software, including AcdSee. It's, from the usability perspective, still not there yet, where I would like, but it's ok and works fine. Once I get used to it I plan to provide more detailed feedback in case the AcdSee developers are looking for improvement ideas. Now comes the compatibility topic...

    How can I reuse the Face Detection data already saved by WLP in the files?

    I purchased ACDSee 2021 Pro and I started to build the database, first with a couple of hundred photos only. The face detection works great (better than WLP) but it's not able to read the data already saved by WLP in the file. I found this thread which is great and I'd like to know if AcdSee developers are planning any migration option from Windows Live Photogallery to AcdSee?

    The reason why I am asking this is following: if I let AcdSee to scan all my photos, detect the faces and embed the data in the files, I assume that this will lead to having the face information 2 times in the files. While this is not so bad now, we do not know how the standards will evolve in the future and I assume that at one point, this double information will backfire. Also I see that AcdSee has migration tools for Lightroom.

    @ACDSee dev team: if you are interested in collaborating, I can gladly invest some time to help test this. It could enhance ACDSee's capabilities and help a lot of people out there.

    @ACDSee BDMs: IMHO having a tool which converts the face data saved by Windows Live Photogallery in the way AcdSee is saving it in the files would be a great way to attract new ACDSee customers and it would be an important positive sign for the entire community that ACDSee is listening to the customer voice.

    Thank you

  • #2
    There is some information about converting Microsoft Windows Live Photo Gallery face regions metadata to the standard Metadata Working Group format in the ExifTool forum. It could perhaps be worth looking at using ExifTool to batch convert the WLPG format metadata to the XMP regions format that ACDSee uses for its face metadata.


    • #3
      Closing the loop and documenting the 10 steps you need to do if you run in this situation:

      You used the tool Windows Photo Gallery (aka. WLP) and used the face detection option to mark all persons (and manually the pets). Now you switched to ACDSee and have the bad surprise that no person was recognized. You think about the thousands of photos to need to manually re-tag and you start sweating and ask yourself: "OMG what have I done"?
      Well, no worry. If you are reding this, you will did everything right.

      Following steps will solve your issue:

      BEFORE YOU DO this, ensure you BACKUP YOUR PHOTOS!!! Copy your photo folders on an external drive and disconnect it from your computer (yes, these is the "backup-maniac" option)

      Here are the steps:
      1. Create a folder called "Tool". I will use for this example "D:\Tool"
      2. Download and extract the file "exiftool(-k).exe" from (you can use the "Windows Executable" zip download link -> at the point of this writing it's called "")
      3. Save the file in the folder "D:\Tool"
      4. Optional step: rename the file "exiftool(-k).exe" to "exiftool.exe" -> this is just for simplicity reasons
      5. Download the file called "ACDSee.config" from here:;attach=4092 (or from this post
      6. Save the file "ACDSee.config" in your folder "D:\Tool"
      7. Start the the Command Prompt (hit "Windows" on your keyboard, type "cmd" and hit enter)
      8. Navigate to "D:\Tool" (first type "d:" and hit enter. Then type "cd Tool" and hit enter)
      9. Locate your Photos folder and remember the path. For this example I have all my photos saved in the folder "D:\Photos". I have my photos organized by one folder for each year, so "D:\Photos\2021", "D:\Photos\2020"… etc.
      10. Start the tool with following parameters: D:\Tool\exiftool -config acdsee.config "-RegionInfoACDSee<MPRegion2ACDSeeRegion" -r -overwrite_original D:\Photos\

      !!!ATTENTION: this command will update ALL photos within the folder "D:\Photos" including ALL photos in all subfolders like "D:\Photos\2021", "D:\Photos\2020" WITHOUT any backup!!!

      11. Open ACDSee and select all photos from the folder "D:\Photos"
      12. Go to "Tools" -> "Face Detection" -> "Import ACDSee Face Data"
      13. Confirm the overwrite message by clicking "OK"
      14. Wait until all faces are imported

      PS: If you wish to have a backup file created automatically, use this command: D:\Tool\exiftool -config acdsee.config "-RegionInfoACDSee<MPRegion2ACDSeeRegion" -r D:\Photos\

      THANK YOU again to the Exiftool creators and to StarGeek for providing the guidance! (;topicseen#new)
      Last edited by miweb; 07-18-2021, 10:48 AM.