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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 wrote about Duplicate Annihilator for Photos v7, and the new features that allows you to merge the metadata between duplicates into one original. Since then we have added even more features that I will describe in more detail later in this newsletter. I also have some interesting things about Photos and iCloud, our free apps section and news about Duplicate Annihilator for Finder. I hope that you will enjoy it.

Take care and stay safe.

Duplicate Annihilator for Photos – even more things

When we gave you the option to merge metadata from duplicates into the originals, we decided that perhaps it is a good idea to stop marking the found duplicates by setting the description field. If you made multiple runs, those marks would also be merged and create a mess. So in Duplicate Annihilator for Photos v7.1.0 we changed the default method of marking found duplicates from “Set Caption Field” to “Assign to Album”. I know that many of you have missed that option, but it has been there for quite some time and you’ll find it in the Duplicate Annihilator preferences:

I had a 1 on 1 Training Session with Rick in New Mexico, and discovered something new. Rick scans a lot of photos and he stores them in really low compressed JPEG versions. But then, he decided to recompress all his scanned photos and instead use HEIC (which I had written about in a an earlier newsletter). He used Duplicate Annihilator to get rid of duplicates and keep the HEIC versions instead of the JPEG’s. Well as it turns out, the JPEG photos had such a gentle compression that it fooled Duplicate Annihilator into keeping the JPEGs instead of the HEICs. That has now been fixed in Duplicate Annihilator v7.1.2.

Duplicate Annihilator – iCloud and missing files

We have also added some additional features that we have been working on. When running Duplicate Annihilator in Restrictive or Magic mode, the original image files need to be located on your hard drive. Otherwise, Duplicate Annihilator can’t access them and thereby not compare them. That seems fair enough, right? The problem is that many of us use a Storage Optimised iCloud Library, meaning that most of your full resolution images are located in iCloud and not on your hard drive. This resulted in Duplicate Annihilator recognizing those images as missing. Missing means that the photo is represented in the Photos database but not on your hard drive.

Well, that has now changed. With the help of some clever fixes, and a little bit of magic we have a solution! Duplicate Annihilator can now look for duplicates among photos, no matter if they are located on your hard drive or only in iCloud, when running in Restrictive, Magic or Perceptive mode. While doing this we also implemented some speed performance updates at about 2X as fast in Restrictive mode and 2.5X as fast in Magic mode. These fixes and features are part of Duplicate Annihilator for Photos v7.5.0 which is available for download today!

Our free tools – optimizing things.

I have often mentioned our free tools section. Here you find small applications built based on customer requests. Until now, we have released them as free tools. However, we get more and more requests, and it is becoming more time consuming to keep them all up to date. So, we have to make some changes. We love to be able to provide our customers with custom tools based on their needs, but we have to be practical. So the plan is to create a new application where we implement all those tools. This will make it easier to build new features, add new functionality and keep things up to date. This will also make it easier and faster for us to implement your requests. This new application will be a payed for app and we hope that you are OK with that.

The first new feature that will go directly into this new application is this: You might have experienced that sometimes Photos seems to never finish downloading photos from iCloud. You might have tried different things such as preventing your computer from going to sleep, making sure that Photos is up and running and leave the computer running over night. Sometimes nothing seems to work!. Well, we have found a way to force Photos into downloading all photos from iCloud, and make sure that all your originals are safely on your computer within your Photos Library.


Large Photos libraries and iCloud – a word of advice

I recently discovered something that can occur when you have a large Photos library which is synced with iCloud. I would like to make you aware of this, since it may affect you when doing things such as merging libraries by using iCloud (as I wrote about in an earlier newsletter). My library is fairly large, just around 1TB and contains about 150.000 photos.

I have a 2TB iCloud account so that is not a problem either.


So I created a new empty library, made it the System library and enabled iCloud for it. Photos started to sync the empty library with iCloud. So far, so good. Then, after just a minute or so I closed the newly created library and deleted it. I reopened my old Photos Library which is previously fully synced with iCloud. I made it the System Library again, and checked the iCloud Library checkbox in the Photos preferences. Now I had a problem.

Photos noticed that my library is over 1 TB on my hard drive, and I only have 840 GB left in iCloud. Photos does not care about the fact that my local library and iCloud contain the same library and the same photos. So what happens? Photos helpfully opens a dialog box and asks me to upgrade my iCloud storage, since it thinks that I need more than 2TB although I don’t. The only problem is that there are no options larger than 2 TB so I can’t continue.


This left me with a Photos library that is already synced with iCloud, but I can’t enable iCloud and continue to sync it. So now my only option is to delete my local library, create a new library and download everything once again from iCloud. I would say that this is a bug, and I hope that those of you who work with Photos and iCloud development at Apple read this newsletter and find a solution to this.  So keep this in mind if you have large libraries that you intend to merge or sync with iCloud. You might end up with a library that can’t be synced at all.

Duplicate Annihilator for Finder

Yes, it is true. We are working on a version of Duplicate Annihilator for Finder and regular files. We get A LOT of requests for this and we really would like to give you the software right now but… the thing is, writing a program that finds duplicates on your hard drives is really easy. It is about a 15 minute job. But it is also a really powerful and potentially dangerous tool! So, currently we are looking at all kinds of edge cases where deleting duplicates is a really bad idea. We are trying to find a good balance between power and safety.

Deleting duplicates, what could possibly go wrong you might ask yourself. I’ll give you some ideas of what might happen.

Let’s say that you get a lot of photos of your grandchildren in your email, you import them to Photos. When you run the duplication tool it scans through your home folder. It will probably work through it in alphabetic order so it finds your Library folder, and within that it finds your mail folders and eventually your attachments folders where it finds a lot of photos. Eventually it arrives at your pictures folder where your Photos library is located. The Photos library is actually just a folder, and in that folder it finds the originals folder. The only problem is that the files in the originals folder matches the files in the mail attachments folders, and perhaps the software. Consider the first encountered version to be the duplicate, and if so, you might start to delete photos from your Photos Library. This is bad.

Let’s say that when you scan for duplicates you want to be able to scan your whole hard drive and not just your home folder. That seems like the way to do it, right? So we run a de-duplication tool with administrator privileges. Now let’s say that you and your wife have user accounts on the computer, but you are both using the same Dropbox account. So the tool scans your entire folder and your Dropbox folder. Then it scans your wife’s home folder and her Dropbox folder. Well, you used the same Dropbox account so now all the files in your wife’s Dropbox folders are considered to be duplicates since they are also located in your Dropbox folder. Then the tool starts to delete the files in your wife’s Dropbox folder. The problem here is that when the files are deleted from her account the changes are synced back to Dropbox and down to your Dropbox folder, and all of a sudden both your Dropbox folders are empty, on all your devices!

As you can see, deleting duplicates in the Finder can be dangerous and we really want to do this right so stay tuned. And yes, both the scenarios above happened when we tried other applications that delete duplicates so be careful.

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

License upgrade - final call

In October 2016 we began to offer a discount on upgrades from earlier versions of Duplicate Annihilator to either Duplicate Annihilator for Photos or the Duplicate Annihilator Toolbox. Now after five years we are closing this discount. So if you want to upgrade your old license at a discounted price this is the final call.

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.

A personal request – penpals wanted

Every now and then I send out personal requests to you and here is a new one. My daughter, 11 years old, studies English at school and wants to have some penpals around the world, so that she can improve her English and find some new friends. Well, if you feel that you know someone who might be interested in having a Swedish penpal then he or she can send a letter or postcard to (as a precaution I won’t reveal her name here):

Saturnusv. 3b
39351 Kalmar 

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

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

Very useful information. Thank you.”

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

Thanks. Very informative and well written.”

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

Thank you Anders, for all your useful information”

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

Your emails are excellent. Thank you.”

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

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

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

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.”

Love your newsletters, most informative and helpful!”

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

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.”

Thank you for sending me this information.”

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

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.”

Thanks for your excellent series of newsletters.”

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

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.”

Thanks very much for all the info!”

Thank you for your work. Very helpful. ”

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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

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 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).”

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

Very much appreciate the newsletter.”

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!”

Finally got into your excellent and especially informative newsletter.”

Thank you for good info!!”

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. ”

Great newsletter as usual!!”

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.”

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

As always, a fantastic newsletter!”

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

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

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.”

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

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

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. Useful info. ”

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks a lot for your highly informative newsletter.”

Thank you for your very informative newsletters!”

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

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

hi anders, GREAT informative email, thx.”

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 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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for all those clarifications.”

This e-mail was very useful.”

Thank you these are very informative newsletters!”

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

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.”

Thanks for these very useful explanations”

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

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

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.”

Much appreciated, Anders.”

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

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

Thank you . very useful information!!”

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

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

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.”

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 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.”

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

Thanks Anders, That information was very helpful.”

Thanks, Anders. Very helpful indeed. ”

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.”

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

The Search information was very helpful. Thank you.”

Great newsletter.”

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.”

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

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

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

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. ”

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