[Review] PhotoSweeper – Get rid of those pesky duplicate photos

15 years ago, you rarely took a 2nd photo of something, since it cost you money to develop them afterwards, and a pretty penny at that.

But now…a slightly different problems exist.

We are all too happy to just start snapping and keep at at, without fear of creating doubles, triples or even more.

While this is not a problem with development costs, it is starting to cost us hard drive space.

Having a 100GB photo library now is nothing special anymore. We don’t even raise an eyebrow at 100GB.

So how do we find any and all duplicates?
And even worse, what about photos that are not duplicates, but are 99.98% exactly the same as the handful photos before it?

Enter PhotoSweeper!

PhotoSweeper does just what you think it would; it looks for duplicate photos, and removes them.

But PhotoSweeper has a twist to it.

It uses multiple algorithms, to find duplicates in different ways.

It can do the simplest search, and find photos that 100% identical.

But what about that photos that are just under the 100% mark in similarity?
PhotoSweeper can help!

Once you have loaded your picture libraries from iPhoto, Aperture or Adobe Lightroom, you will be able to choose how you want to compare your photographs to each other.

Your choices are:

  1. Duplicates Only
  2. Bitmap
  3. Histogram
  4. Time Interval
  5. Time + Bitmap
  6. Time + Histogram
So the Duplicates-Only is the obvious one mentioned above.
The not so obvious ones are Histograms, Bitmaps and Time-Intervals.
The histogram of a photo can be used to find other photos with the exact same, or extremely similar histograms and find duplicates.
“What is the histogram?” I hear someone in the back ask?
Well, the histogram of a photo is a visual representation, like a chart, of the colour shades, tones and brightness levels found in the photo.
The far left of the chart indicates pure black, and pure white is found on the far right of the histogram.
Now that you know how bright each colour is in your picture, the height of each wave in the histogram will show you how many pixels will be found in the picture of each colour. Remember, it’s all made up Red, Green and Blue (RGB)
If the histogram is not what you are looking for, then perhaps the bitmap option will excite you.
If you have ever created reduced file-size versions of existing files, this is the option you are looking for.
Set Bitmap to the desired size of the reduced image you are looking for, from 16×16 pixels to 128×128 pixels, and let PhotoSweeper do its thing.
If you are more like me, you’ll probably have 25 photos of the exact shame shot, separated by a second or so from each other. Really unnecessary and a big waste of space.
So pick the Time Interval option, set the interval from 0 Seconds to 24 Hours, and feel the power of PhotoSweeper comparing your photos for you.
If you are feeling particularly frisky, you could always combine the Time Interval option with the Histogram or even with the Bitmap algorithm. 
So apart from comparing your photos and finding the duplicates, PhotoSweeper will automatically mark the newly identified duplicates, and if you choose to, will delete the duplicates too.
If you find a group of duplicates, or extremely similar pics, and you would like to remove them out of this particular library, but you don’t really want to delete them, why not copy or move them to another folder/drive? PhotoSweeper has you covered for this functionality. 
And a little bonus?
If you move or copy photos to a folder, you’ll be able to do a batch name change too. Awesome!
Once you’ve loaded a photo library, you will be able to Quick Look any photo you’d like to, using the native OS X Quick Look functionality, just as an extra feature.
So overall, I am extremely impressed by not only the functionality of the app, but also by the accuracy of the algorithms to find the duplicates, using your different choices of course.
Check out a quick demo of PhotoSweeper in action:
PhotoSweeper comes from the development house, Overmacs, where the team is constantly improving their apps, one release at a time. Check out them for other apps too.
Grab this app on the App Store for $9.99.
The price might seem a bit steep, but just think about the functionality you get for those measly 10 green-backs. Just try think about you manually going through your photos looking for duplicates (aannnndddd…….SOLD!)
And also, Overmacs has thought this through, and so, provides not only 2 versions of their App, but also trial versions of each.
The link above is for the Full version at $9.99, but there is also a lite-version for a very reasonable $2.99
Naturally the Lite-Version has some limited functionality, like not being able to move or copy marked photos, and also does not have intricate settings for looking for photos that are similar, instead of identical. 
But if you are unconvinced, you can get the demo of the full or lite versions, to give it a whirl, before buying. The demo can load only 101 photos, so it really is for testing purposes only.
PhotoSweeper has been featured in the “Apps for Photographers” section of the App Store, and even featured in the Top-10 in the photography category, over the last 2.5 years.
Today it is the 9th top grossing app in the photography category.
6 September 2014 Chart
I loved using PhotoSweeper, so I know you will too.
Go get it, and as always, Enjoy!

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