Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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Over the years, I've accumulated a lot of pictures, across a bunch of different machines.

I think I've mostly kept them in a yyyy/mm/ directory structure, but especially with some of the older pictures, there seem to be a lot of duplicates.

What's the best way to identify the duplicates? Are there good tools to do this, or am I going to have to write something on my own?

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2  
Are you looking to find approximate matches (say, same image, different metadata), or is finding exact matches good enough? –  mattdm Jan 3 '11 at 2:21
    
Exact matches will be good enough. –  chris Jan 3 '11 at 16:31

5 Answers 5

A number of programs can find duplicates based on image contents. Some asset management apps will do it and there are also dedicated programs. If you Google 'detect duplicate images' you'll see quite a few options. See which ones are available for your platform.

Another solution is to simply import the files with the 'ignore duplicate option'. Picasa, which is free, can do it.

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Google detect duplicate images actually works as promised. There is a good number of such software to be found. Can you recommend anything else than Picasa? –  Esa Paulasto Mar 20 at 6:48

Picasa has a duplicate file finder but it's hard to tell what you are looking at: Run Picasa; click Tools > Experimental > Show Duplicate Files. It works but be careful about what you are deleting.

Another option is the free "Fast Duplicate File Finder":

Fast Duplicate File Finder

What I liked about this is it allows to you preview the picture before deciding you don't need the duplicate.

alt text

That works fine as long as the files are identical, but if you are looking for similar photos (e.g. same photo but resized, rotated, or manipulated), you may want to look into their upgraded version:

Visual Similarity Duplicate Images Finder

I haven't used this program but I used a very similar program (no longer made) and I found it very useful. They have a free download so it might be worth checking out.

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I tried the picasa dupe finder, but it seems to be matching similar images, not identical files. –  chris Jan 4 '11 at 22:55

Acdsee is a simple/popular photo browsing app that has this feature (Tools -> Find duplicates).

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For Linux, try FSlint. It's a bit slow, but it will definitely find duplicates.

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dupeGuru Picture Edition is a customisable duplicate image finder for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

There's a few versions of dupeGuru (standard, music & picture editions), and the picture edition allows you to find visually similar images via a bitmap blocking comparison algorithm, among other methods (like EXIF original image timestamp, or the files being simply identical).

It has a variety of other useful features like excluded folders, support for iPhoto/Aperture libraries, and considerable customisation of how it detects duplicates and what it does with them.

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