Visual Similarity Duplicate Image Finder Review
Review Date: November 20th 2008
Author: Jon Canfield
It's not unusual to find that you have multiple copies of an image on your computer. Unless you're obsessive/compulsive about organizing and tracking photos, it's a pretty safe bet that you have duplicates. Finding them isn't always easy though, especially when you have tens of thousands of images spread across any number of directories. Many people just ignore the issue, assuming that if disc space isn't an issue, then why worry about it?
I confess that there are many other things I'd rather focus on than searching for multiple copies of a photo on my computers, so any tool that promises to do the grunt work for me is well worth a look. Visual Similarity Duplicate Image Finder is such a tool. It's Windows only, so Mac users will have to look elsewhere for a program to handle this task.
Ease of Use
Visual Similarity Duplicate Image Finder has a simple screen layout with a toolbar across the top for common tasks, and selection and search options along the right side. The bulk of the window is dedicated to showing the results, both in a list format and with previews to visually compare suspected matches. You can search based on Visual Similarity, CRC32 Checksum, which will only find images that are 100% binary identical to each other, and File Size. With the Visual Similarity option, you can select how similar images must be to be considered duplicate candidates.
To get started, you'll select the folders you want to search in. Multiple folders can be searched, or if you prefer, entire drives, along with the option to scan subfolders. Be aware that large searches can take some time. In my case, a scan of 2300 files took about 12 minutes on a Core 2 Duo running Vista 64.
Once your scan has completed, a list of all matching files will be shown in the Results panel. Matches are sorted by similarity, with suspected duplicates checked for deletion or moving. This is a nice feature, saving you the trouble and possibility of selecting the wrong file, and the ability to move files to a new location rather than just deleting them adds a level of safety to the operation that I find reassuring. Each set of possible duplicates is organized into groups to further help with the reviewing of images.
Below the Results panel is an Images Preview panel. This will show the primary image in a duplicate group. The primary is always shown in the left preview while the other images in the group can be displayed in the right preview. This panel can be resized to view images in more detail.
A final method of finding duplicates is through the search option. This lets you perform searches for images based on your own criteria. You can select images to search for by selecting them in a standard File dialog and thumbnails will be shown. Searching now looks for only those images in the Sample Images you selected, helping to narrow down your search results for specific images rather than everything in a directory structure.
Projects can be saved for future use if you find yourself frequently performing the same searches, but it's fast and easy to create a new search from scratch. You can also use a cache file to speed up subsequent searches of a folder.
The Options dialog lets you control basic behaviors of the application including some advanced comparison options such as detecting images that are identical other than rotation, and what file types you want to scan for.
Ratings (out of 5)
|Value for Money||
While the Results panel can be confusing to understand at first, Visual Similarity Duplicate Image Finder works very well and accurately. The ability to visually find duplicates, rather than just by filename will be useful to anyone that saves multiple versions of a file and needs to find all of them. The Search by sample image option is especially useful. A more extensive Help would be a welcome addition to the program. Visual Similarity Duplicate Image Finder is available in two versions. The standard version is $24.95, while the Pro version is $39.95 and adds support for scanning RAW formats from a number of different manufacturers as well as the DNG format.
Visual Similarity Duplicate Image Finder can be downloaded from http://www.mindgems.com