Duplicate Annihilator

I am sure you have been reading about the beta release of Apple’s new Photos app which is supposed to replace Aperture and iPhoto. There are tons of articles on the web about it. In preparation for migrating my photo library to the Photos app I started doing some research on how to clean up the library, kind of get a fresh start so to speak.

In my travels I cam across a very cool little app called Duplicate Annihilator by Brattoo Propaganda Software.  Here is how Brattoo describes Duplicate Annihilator:

Duplicate Annihilator takes on the time consuming task comparing the images in your iPhoto library using effective algorithms to make sure that no duplicates escape. When found the duplicate will either be marked with a description of your choice to make it searchable or simply moved to iPhoto’s trashcan.

I read several reviews of this software prior to purchasing it for $7.95. It gets very good reviews. It is very thorough and not too difficult to master.

When you startup Duplicate Annihilator (hereinafter referred to as DA) it takes you to the main screen, but you have to set the search parameters first so just click right into Preferences:

These screenshots are rather large so be sure and click on them for a better view. The settings in the above photo are pretty much default. The Magic and Restrictive “Detection Modes” use parameters set by the app itself, they do not us the manual settings to the left side of the window. They work pretty well and would be sufficient for many people. Down below on the left you can see the “Actions” area. DA finds duplicates and then marks the duplicates (or corrupt and missing files) with a descriptor in the “Comments” area of the photo. Then, you can go into iPhoto and search for the descriptor word. iPhoto finds the duplicates using the descriptor word and you can move the photos to the trash.

Once you have your Preferences setup go into the Find Duplicates tab and hit the Scan for duplicates button:

The app then goes through all of it’s scanning procedures like so:

If at any time you have questions just read the info in each window. DA provides a great deal of descriptive information on what each function does. You can also access the Online help area.

When you hit the Scan button DA provides this explanatory warning:

The program is reminding you it is using it’s own spiffy, really smart detection algorithms to find duplicates in iPhoto. Also, DA warns you not to mess with iPhoto or the DA app during the scanning process. Just set it and forget it. My first scan using the Magic automatic mode found over 1,000 duplicates. All I did was go into iPhoto and search for the term “duplicate” and then move them to the Trash. I have not done any kind of clean up on my library in quite some time to the first scan took quite a while, maybe 30 minutes or so.

One more thing before I close. Before undertaking anything with DA I recommend going into iPhoto and emptying your trash:

Why should you do this? After you run DA and put the duplicates in the Trash, you can still go into the Trash in iPhoto to have a quick look at them just for peace of mind.

Speaking of peace of mind, the first time I ran DA in Magic I did some photo comparing between the ones in the Trash and what was left in iPhoto. As far as I can tell DA is a very smart app and does a great job at determining what needs to go. I think your photos will be safe.

There is a more “Custom” mode of using Duplicate Annihilator, but I did not feel I had room in this article. Therefore, I will do a followup article in a few days.