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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. In my last newsletter I focused on our afterlife, digital heritage and things that we might not have thought about. If you missed that newsletter I encourage you to read it online here. I’m not quite finished with that topic and I will get back to it again in a future newsletter, I will do some follow-ups in this letter as well. Both are about some very related changes in the upcoming macOS 12.0 Monterey and iOS 15, and a real-life story about Greg in California, and the importance of your photos having a working backup. This will be good.

Take care and stay safe.

macOS 12 Monterey and iOS 15 and the afterlife

On the 14th of September it will be time for Apple's next big event. Two of the expectations are the release of macOS 12 Monterey and iOS 15. With that, we will see some changes. It is expected Photos 7 will have some interesting new features (which I have mentioned in an earlier newsletter). It is also expected that a change will occur in what happens to our photos after we die. As I mentioned in my last newsletter we all happily accept the legal conditions when we sign up for iCloud, and one of the things we agreed upon is “No Right of Survivorship”. Well, with macOS 12 and iOS 15 you can add a Legacy Contact.

A Legacy Contact is someone who you trust and who will be allowed to have access to your iCloud data after your death. When you add someone as a Legacy Contact they will receive a secret access key which they, in combination with a death certificate, can use to claim your data after you have died.

macOS 12 Monterey and Duplicate Annihilator

Yes, Duplicate Annihilator for Photos is fully compatible with macOS 12 Monterey and Photos 7. There are some things that we needed to fix, but those things are being taken care of and Duplicate Annihilator for Photos v6.1.0 is available for download today from https://brattoo.com/#photos.

Photos 7 and merging libraries

I have previously written about how to merge Photos Libraries by using iCloud. This is also a reoccurring topic in my 1 on 1 Training Sessions. With Photos 7 a new feature is introduced which allows us to select from the import menu a whole Photo Library, instead of just photos. Apple states that “Now you can import original photos, including edits, from a second Photos library.” I really hope that it will be true, since it can be quite tedious to merge using iCloud.

However, I have just tried the latest beta version of Photos 7 and so far the import of photos from another library works well. The only issue I found were that some metadata seems to follow with the photos (the Title and the Description/Caption.) Keywords, edits, and albums do not import. This is a huge deal since especially keywords and albums are something that many of us have put a lot of effort into when organizing our libraries. However, Apple claims that edits will be imported, they have not been imported in my tests, so we can assume that there are still some fixes and features left to be implemented before the final release of macOS 12 and iOS 15. Let’s hope that those flaws will be fixed.

Photos and Unnamed persons

We all have them, photos with unnamed persons in them, it is frustrating and it is a common issue that I get a lot of questions about. How can I locate all photos with unnamed persons? Even the Internet is full of threads where this question is being asked, but apparently no answers.Yet.

In an earlier newsletter I wrote about how it was possible to locate photos with unnamed persons in early versions of Photos, by utilizing the fact that Photos is based on an SQLite database and we can use wildcards to locate unnamed persons. Well, that option disappeared but the question remained. How do we locate the photos with unnamed persons?

So, a few days ago I accidentally discovered a way to do it. All you have to do is create a Smart Album that searches for “person is ‘nothing’” and voila! You now have a smart album that lists all photos where there are unnamed persons.

Greg’s story – the importance of a working backup.

About a year ago I had 1 on 1 Training session with Greg from California, so when he read my last newsletter about digital heritage he thought that perhaps I could help him with a problem that he recently encountered. Greg had noticed that when he tried to edit any photo in Photos he couldn’t get it to work. Photos just replied with an error about not being able to load previous edits. When trying to export, Photos also failed with a very cryptic error. Greg noticed that the file size of the Photos Library was uncomfortably small and decided to contact Apple Support. Apple said that he was out of luck and they could not help him.

Greg's Photos Library was stored on an external SSD and luckily he had a backup on another external HDD. However, the backup had the same problem. So in desperation, Greg turned to me and we had 1 on 1 Session where I had a look at the library contents. As it turned out all files in the originals folder within the Photos Library Package were gone. Gone as in deleted and also gone on the backup. No iCloud, no Time Machine, no other backup. Greg was not very happy about this; realizing that 20 years of photos of his life, his wife, and his kids were gone.

But, who am I to give up so easily? The first thing that came to my mind was that we had to try to do a file recovery, using software to locate deleted files. The only problem was, the library is located on a TRIM-enabled SSD drive, and without going into the technical details you can’t undelete files from those. So what do we do?

Well, the backup was on a regular HDD from where deleted files can be recovered, but if the files were missing on the original drive then they should be missing on the backup as well, right? Well, luckily enough, the HDD backup drive had for a short period of time been used for the Photos Library before being moved to the SSD drive just a few months ago. The Library had then been deleted from the HDD drive, before it became the backup drive.

This meant that the HDD hard drive contained a working copy a few months ago, before being replaced by the corrupted backup. It was a large drive where the backup only took up a fraction of the available space, which gave me good hopes of recovering things. So we tried it and yes! Deleted image files started to be recovered. The only problem was that they were all named with a sequential recovery name like 0000001.jpg. One might think that this is good, at least we have the photos, right? But Greg had wisely spent the Covid years organizing his 58,000 photos, adding metadata, and so on. Just importing the recovered image files to a new library would make all that work undone.

So I wrote him a custom script that compared the metadata stored in the Photos database, with the metadata in the recovered files, and thereby was able to match the recovered files with the matching posts in the database. This also made it possible to rebuild the structure of the originals folder as it was once built by Photos. Awesome!

Well, not that awesome as it turns out. The Photos Library was in some way damaged so it only worked on a fraction of the photos. The Originals were restored but Photos could only access a few of them. So probably something else was also missing in the Photos library structure.

At this time Greg had found a disk with a two year old working copy of his library. This meant that we now had a working copy but missing about 8,000 photos that had been imported, during the two covid years and of course the metadata, such as keywords and albums. So I compared the databases of the two libraries, and was able to locate the 8000 photos from the recovered photos and we imported them.

The next step was the metadata. I wrote a script that extracted all available metadata such as title, geo, description, keywords, and albums from the damaged library. It was then easy to re-import the metadata for the first 50,000 images in his old library. The problem came with the last recovered 8,000. The problem came when the 8,000 were imported, they got new IDs not matching the IDs of the old library.

So now I had the metadata of 8.000 photos pointing at the wrong IDs. What should I do? Well, Photos stores a digital checksum (like a digital fingerprint) of each file in the database. By comparing the checksums in the old library with the ones of the newly imported photos, I could match the old IDs with the new IDs and thereby also recover the metadata of the newly imported photos.

So, in the end, Greg now has a working Photos Library with all the full-size images. They each have all the metadata, and they can be edited and exported. According to Greg's wife, he is now smiling for the first time in weeks! I’m certain that Greg will have a better backup strategy and also verify that the backup is working in the future.

Greg, if I ever happen to pass by in your area you owe me a drink. 😀

1 on 1 training sessions

It is indeed great fun to meet you guys in my 1 on 1 training sessions. If you haven’t tried, it but feel that it might be something for you, please feel free to email me. The training sessions can be about anything and will be customized based on your requests. I have over 25 years of experience in the Mac platform, I have been an Apple Solution Expert and have held training in various software over the years. Training sessions are on request by contacting me at training@brattoo.com. Each session is 1 hour and costs 79 USD. If you want to learn more about something, email me at training@brattoo.com and we’ll work out a session just for you.

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 the filename (with or without file extension), a tool to copy and apply GPS coordinates between photos, a tool to copy XMP sidecars to image files 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.

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


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

Support the creation of these newsletters by becoming a Patreon!

If you enjoy these newsletters and want to support the creation of them, then please consider becoming a monthly contributor by signing up to become a Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/brattoo. Patreons gets access to videos of hints and tips from my newsletters.

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. And, don't forget to stay safe.

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

What our subscribers say

Great newsletter as usual!!”

You are the best!! Thanks again for what really is a public service.”

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

I love your newsletters, and always learn lot from them.”

I just wanted you to know I appreciate your newsletter, especially the useful tips you provided. Your tone and writing style is a refreshing change from the typical emails I get from software developers (and other vendors).”

Yours is one of the few unsolicited e-mails (Spam is such a rude term) I don't mind getting. I appreciate your casual style and the fact that you offer free software and advice. In fact, once I finish this note to you, I plan to order your upgrade even though I may never use it.”

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.”

Keep up the good work!”

Thanks Anders, That information was very helpful.”

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

I just finished binge reading all of your absolutely USEFUL and INFORMATIVE newsletters (all 19 parts)! What a great job you do informing your users and what a FANTASTIC job your Team does for your users.”

Thank you very much for your email I have wondered for some time about the different between All Photos and the Photo View.”

Hello Anders! this newsletter was very helpful, thank you!”

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. ”

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 am writing to tell you that I really appreciate these emails from you. Not because they are directly applicable to my needs, but because they are intelligent, informative, and generous.”

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.”

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.”

Thanks a lot for all those informations. Very interesting and clear!”

Thank you for your very informative newsletters!”

Dear Anders, thank you for your very thoughtful and informative email.”

I am truly grateful to you for your excellent software and extremely helpful newsletter.”

First of all thx very much for your precious newsletters. I have sent them to friends as example of perfect Newsletter, how it should be and is of most value to readers.”

Thanks for all those clarifications.”

Thank you . very useful information!!”

Thank you for good info!!”

Dear Sir, you have not idea how “happy” I am to receive your recent email.”

Very useful comments and tips which I have taken on board.”

Thanks for these very useful explanations”

I just wanted to say, of all the emails I get from all the different companies I’ve bought software from over the years, yours are my absolute favourite, and I always read them all the way through because I know I’ll learn something useful. ”

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

Thanks a lot for your highly informative newsletter.”

This letter letter was very interesting. If not too much work would you send me Parts 1 and 2, please?”

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

Your tip on dragging to email is terrific, i was exporting to new email and then dragging…… 👍”

I have always learned from your newsletters and appreciated the personal voice you give them. I encourage you to keep sharing with us.”

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

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

The Search information was very helpful. Thank you.”

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

I found this email most informative, very! Perhaps you should consider doing more of these in the future...good advertising and helpful.”

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

Great newsletter.”

Much appreciated, Anders.”

Excellent informative letter. Well written. Very useful. A breath of fresh air in this impersonal world.”

Thank you for your work. Very helpful. ”

Thank you. Useful info. ”

Thanks for your updates on Photos, it does help to get another perspective on the use of the program.”

Thank you for your fantastic support of your products and especially your State of Duplicate Annihilator email series. You set an example that very few developers come close to matching. ”

Thank you these are very informative newsletters!”

Thank you for sending me this information.”

The data you have surfaced and the explanations are fantastic!”

Wow! Thank you for writing a clear and concise review and status of your software update and beyond! Well done!”

I wish other software companies were as helpful and friendly as Brattoo Propaganda Software.”

Thanks, Anders. Very helpful indeed. ”

Absolutely love getting this newsletter. Thank you for all the invaluable Photos info and keep up the great work!”

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

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.”

Thanks for your excellent series of newsletters.”

I just wanted to thank you for your newsletter. It is so genuinely helpful and positive. A pleasure to read.”

As always, I look forward to your next newsletter.”

Love your newsletters, most informative and helpful!”

First of all thanks for your very informative mails - I do enjoy them and have learned one thing or the other in almost every mail.”

I just want to thank you for your email updates.”

The Photos tips are a big help - we own so much tech with our Apples and use so little of it.”

I really appreciate the effort you put in to these messages: you answer questions that I hadn't thought to ask yet, and inject a bit of wonder back into my daily interactions with my computer.”

Thank you very much for all that information! It is very useful.”

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.”

Thanks for your newsletter! Old skool but delightfully filled with wisdom!”

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.”

Thank you so much for your newsletters and your efforts to destress my life!!”

I really enjoy your newsletters and appreciate the helpful information you provide.”

I love your emails they are short and fascinating full of straight talking, awesome.”

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

Many thanks for your continued communication. You must be the most communicative CEO who ever existed and I, for one, greatly appreciate it.”

I can't thank you enough for your programs and your news letters. They are invaluable to me.”

Finally got into your excellent and especially informative newsletter.”

I just want to say thank you for sending me all the updates, I appreciate it, It's a great example of good service.”

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

Thanks. Very informative and well written.”

Very useful information. Thank you.”

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

Thank you very much for your informative emails. Highly appreciated!”

Thanks so much for this email. I read every one of your messages (I am a major Apple Photos user) and find so much value in your emails. ”

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

Thanks very much for all the info!”

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

Very much appreciate the newsletter.”

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.”

This e-mail was very useful.”

I always enjoy your breezy, friendly letters and appreciate so much the way you get back on issues.”

As always, a fantastic newsletter!”

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

I appreciate the unusual quality and personal touch of your newsletters.”

I have to thank you for this specific news letter as it is way above and beyond any previous one in my estimation!”

Thanks for your email regarding the trials and tribulations of living with iPhoto and its new mother Sierra MAC OS.”

These emails are great. They would also make a good video series!”

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

Your emails are excellent. Thank you.”

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.”

hi anders, GREAT informative email, thx.”

I really appreciate these emails - I read every one, and I thank you for writing these, and for your great software!”

I have been using Annihilator now for some time, and I have always found it very impressive that you personally write and answer all your emails. I get hundreds of emails, many from companies like yours, but yours are always so well written, with a real personal touch, that I try and make time to read them!”

Thank you Anders, for all your useful information”

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 for this email !! I do hope it's part of a series that will continue, as it's the clearest, most direct and concise software explanation I've ever read. You're writing in a voice that I TRUST.”

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.”