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Duplicate Annihilator

State of Duplicate Annihilator

Enjoy our appreciated newsletter

Interested in getting the latest news from us including a great deal of tips and tricks related to Apples iPhoto, Photos and Aperture? Then why not subscribe to our much appreciated newsletter?

Newsletter archive

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 41

  • New features in Photos 8

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 40

  • Duplicate Annihilator for Photos v8 released
  • How to search, filter, suggest and “facet” your search in Photos.

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 39

  • How to work with People/faces?

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 38

  • Metadata, what is it and how do I use and edit it?

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 37

  • Introducing Duplicate Annihilator 7.5.0 including fix for iCloud and missing files.

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 36

  • Introducing Duplicate Annihilator v7 including copy metadata from duplicates to originals.
  • Smart albums for missing people no longer working
  • Photos 7 and Live Text

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 35

  • Preserve folder and album structure as keywords

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 34

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 33

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 32

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 31

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 30

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 29

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 28

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 27

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 26

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 25

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 24

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 23

  • Working with Duplicate Annihilator for Photos – part 3

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 22

  • Working with Duplicate Annihilator for Photos – part 2

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 21

  • macOS 10.5 Catalina, Photos 5 and Duplicate Annihilator v4
  • Working with Duplicate Annihilator for Photos – part 1

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 20

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 19

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 18

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 17

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 16

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 15

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 14

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 13

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 12

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 11

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 10

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 9

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 8

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 7

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 6

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 5

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 4

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 3

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 2

State of Duplicate Annihilator – part 1


My name is Anders and I'm the CEO of Brattoo Propaganda Software. After a break, longer than normal, it is time for another newsletter. This time we’ll focus on the Duplicate Annihilator preferences, something that has been requested for a long time. I hope that you will enjoy it. 

A new upcoming application in production

In my last newsletter I told you about an idea of a new application which is essentially a platform for various features requested by customers, and I’m happy to tell you that we have started working on it. So if you have any request for any features that you feel are missing in photos, then let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

Duplicate Annihilator – always updated

Duplicate Annihilator for Photos have had a few fixes and improvements since my last newsletter. It is always a good idea to stay updated and use the latest version. Get it from here https://brattoo.com/#photos

Working with Duplicate Annihilator for Photos – part 3

In the last newsletter we learned everything about how to run Duplicate Annihilator with the default settings just to see what it is actually doing and what all those progress indicators really mean. Now it is time to dig into this a bit deeper, and have a look at the preferences. The preferences can be daunting and most likely you don’t have to touch any of them, but there are some gems there that might be interesting for you. With that said here we go.

The Detection modes

Let’s start with the Detection modes, you find them in the top right corner of the Preferences tab in the Duplicate Annihilator application. The Detection modes decides how Duplicate Annihilator will compare the images when trying to detect duplicates.

First we have Magic mode which tries out different detection algorithms and tries to find a set that suits your duplicates, this mode works for about 95% of our customers. If you shoot photos in burst mode, i.e that you shoot many photos during the same second, then Magic mode can detect those photos that are shot during the same second as duplicates. Some customers like this and some don’t. In any case it is good to know about this. Magic mode can also catch edited versions of the same photo as duplicates.

Then we have Restrictive mode, which is exactly that, restrictive. Restrictive mode will only consider photos that are identical down to the very bit as duplicates. This is the safest but also most restrictive mode.

Perceptive mode is our newest addition to the detection modes and uses our own perceptual detection algorithm. So what does this do? Well, the algorithm tries to analyze the image as the human eye would do, comparing structural data such as relations between different zones in the images, brightness changes and more. This is especially useful if you have used a scanner and scanned a photo twice. When scanning a photo twice you’ll get different metadata and different binary data but they will still look the same and this is where Perceptual mode shines.

Custom mode use is the detection algorithms, that you select in the Detection algoritm section of the preferences.

There is one more thing that differs between those modes. When comparing the photos Duplicate Annihilator needs access to the image files. However if you use a Storage Optimized iCloud library then the actual images files might be located in your iCloud account instead of on your hard drive. Duplicate Annihilator will not be able to access the any images in iCloud. When this happens they will be listed as Missing as described in my last newsletter.

However, since Perceptive mode “looks” at your photos it does not need access to the image files, instead it uses the internal previews generated by the Photos application, and therefore Perceptive mode can find your duplicates even if your photo files are not locally available or offline.

The Detection algorithms

It is unusual, but sometimes you might want to run Duplicate Annihilator in Custom mode and then you need to decide which Detection algorithms that should be used. When running in Custom mode all selected Detection algorithms need to match between images for them to be considered duplicates.

The SHA1 checksum could be described as a digital fingerprint that is calculated based on the binary data of the actual images file. False duplicates are highly unlikely to occur when using the SHA1 checksum. This is also the Detection algorithm that Restrictive mode uses.

Creation date is the date and time when the file was created. This can be the same date and time as when the photo was taken but it doesn’t have to be.

Exif creation date is that date and time stored by the camera within the meta data section of the image file when the photo was taken.

Then we have the First X characters in the filename detection algorithm. Looking for duplicates by looking at filenames is really a quite bad way to detect duplicates but it is there if you need it.

Width, Height and File size are easy to understand what they do, they simply compare the width, height and size of the image file.

The Actions

So when Duplicate Annihilator detects something we want it to do something about it, this is when the Actions settings decides what should happen. Duplicate Annihilator simply marks its findings in Photos either by setting the Description/Comment field of the images to something, by assigning a keyword, or by adding the detected image to an album. You decide which you prefer by selecting it in the “Mark by” popup box at the very top of the Actions pane.

Then it is time to select what Duplicate Annihilator should mark, and with what. Duplicates are always marked, that can’t be unselected. You can set Duplicate Annihilator to also mark Originals, Thumbnails, Missing images, Corrupt images and Faces. You can read about what those are in my last newsletter. The checkbox before each option decides if you want to mark your photos with that or not. The textfield for each option decides what you want to mark them with, it will be the value of the Comments/Description field, the name of the keyword or the name of the album they are assigned to.

If you decide to set the Description/Comments field you also have the option to append previous existing comments instead of replacing them. This can be useful if you use the Comments/Description field for the things. You also have the option to clear the Comments/Descriptions filed for all images where “all” means all photos that are being scanned by Duplicate Annihilator. If you use a selection only that selection will be affected.

The Thumbnails

The Thumbnail settings define what is considered to be a thumbnail. Detecting thumbnails was a big deal in iPhoto which could import its own internal thumbnails as regular photos. With Photos this really isn’t much of problem anymore but it can be useful if you want to detect small low resolution images in your library.

Finally, we have two more settings worth mention. First we have the Enable “slow mode” setting which can be useful on older versions of Photos where Photos could run out of application memory. Then we have the Keep HEIC as original instead of JPEG setting. There are several reasons why you might like to keep HEIC over JPEG, you can read all about it in a past newsletter.

There is more

Next time I will try to cover some features and practices that can be useful when hunting down those duplicates.

This newsletter and previous letters

Several of our readers have requested that we resend previous emails so that they could catch up on earlier tips and information. All previous emails are available online in our Newsletter section at https://newsletter.brattoo.com

The free apps section

As I have mentioned in previous letters we have received requests on how to automate some tasks in Apple Photos or tasks related to photos. Those tasks might be tedious to work out manually but are easy for us to solve. The apps include a tool to set the Photos Titles based on filename (with or without file extension), a tool to copy and apply GPS coordinates between photos and finally a utility to set the correct file dates on image files based on the photo date stored in the metadata within the image files. You’ll find all our free apps at https://free.brattoo.com.


Finally I would just like to tell you that our upgrade discount for Duplicate Annihilator for Photos is still available. For only $4.95 you can upgrade any old Duplicate Annihilator license to Duplicate Annihilator for Photos and for just two dollars($2.00) more you can upgrade any old Duplicate Annihilator license to the Duplicate Annihilator Toolbox including a family pack! This means that you get five licenses for you and your family for all versions of Duplicate Annihilator including iPhoto, Aperture, iOS and Photos for only $6.95.

Get the upgrade from: https://upgrade.brattoo.com

Thank you for your time, I hope that you found this email informative. If you have any feedback, suggestions, questions or ideas then please reply to this email. I read all emails and reply to them in person.

Best Regards,
Anders, CEO and Founder, Brattoo Propaganda Software

What our subscribers say

Love your newsletters, most informative and helpful!”

I actually read this whole message and appreciate the time you took to write it!”

Thank you for your email and taking the time to write a few tips on using Photos. I did actually learn a few new features from your list, which are quite useful.”

Great email! I appreciate that you appreciate the Photos difficulties.”

"Donner pour recevoir" as we say in french! I like the way you give advices. I read your email up to the end.”

Thank you for your ever helpful newsletters. I archive them all as a future reference.”

Thank you for such and informative update and reviewing previous questions especially the deleting photos.”

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Keep up the good work!”

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Thanks for the note. I found it very informative. It answered several question I was wondering about. Please continue these updates.”

Thank you Anders for your recent email; wow, what comprehensive detail about everything! I have saved it for future reference, but I applaud your desire to inform all your customers about the changes. Thank you.”

I really enjoy reading your informative and personable emails, and no, I'm not just a saddo geek who doesn't have a real life ;) but I do find your occasional emails useful and entertaining.”

I just wanted to email and say that I really enjoy these detailed emails you send out. I will definitely use you again in the future. Thank you Anders.”

Thank you. Useful info. ”

thanks for this infol! and thanks for developing great software.”

Great newsletter as usual!!”

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Just wanted to say- I enjoy your email newsletters. I get so many that I delete immediately or unsubscribe but I almost always enjoy yours and find at least one nugget of info I didn’t know.”

Thank you too, for the newsletters and the in-depth information you find for us about how our photographs live and change on our devices and across all their various networks: I feel the time when this was a simple thing to understand has long passed, and your messages make a huge difference to our understanding. You write clearly, concisely, and with authority, and I really appreciate the effort that you and your team put in.”

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It’s always a pleasure reading your update emails. Very few people write with such clarity and simplicity. I find myself enjoying the writing even if the subject isn’t immediately relevant.”

I am a loyal customer, and follower of Brattoo newsletters. I always look forward to getting your updates, and I am amazed at how brilliant you and your staff are at problem solving. ”

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I am impressed by the fact that you have spent time and effort to explain in simple terms what it will do and how to do it in such a way that we don’t have to sit scratching our heads when we first come across it. Let other developers take note and imitate.”

Thank you, Anders. Interesting and helpful information - as always!”

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Anders - I treasure your emails! Thank you for keeping us informed.”

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Thank you for yr very informative e-mail. Becoz you composed it so well, i gained a lot by reading it. ”

Thank you. This was very informative. I appreciate the help.”

Thank you for explaining the definitive aspects of Photo and iPhoto and for the pointing out the various sidebar settings. With much appreciation for keeping us users informed.”

Thank you, Anders, for your informative newsletter. I have to admit that I haven’t read any of the newsletters before this one. I didn’t understand that they were full of information - and not just advertising. Now, I wish I had the previous 4 newsletters to read through and learn about Photos.”

Much appreciated, Anders.”

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Thank you for your informative emails. They are always good to read and the tips within are valid and very useful.”

I just wanted to say thank you for your newsletter and all your tips and hard work with the apps.”

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Bortsett fra Apple, er vel du den som kan Photos best. Takk for kjempeflotte nyhetsbrev og uerstattelige funksjoner. ”

I just wanted to compliment you and your company on how you conduct business. Your letter to your users is most welcome.”

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I wanted to say this was the easiest and best 'read' on iPhoto/photo I have seen yet. As a community college president, I don't have time to read most secondary mail. However, once I started, I finished yours. And BTW, love your sw/apps. Thank you.”

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From Bogota, Colombia I just wanted to thank you for these very thoughtful news letter.”

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