Compatibility • OS X 10.6.6 or later
Learn more… photosweeper.com
Available from… Mac App Store
If you deal with thousands of images, at some point you’re going to have some superfluous ones. A duplicate you made for some reason long forgotten, a backup copy, numerous similar shots, and so on. Wherever you have extra images that you don’t want, PhotoSweeper will clean them up.
The process starts by adding photo folders either directly from Finder, or by using the Media Browser to find them in Aperture, iPhoto and Lightroom libraries. Whichever source method is used, drag a folder into the files area in the middle of the app. Fortunately, this process is quick. Adding 22,000 photos took under a minute.
The trick then is finding those images that are duplicates or close matches that you may no longer want. This is where the search settings come in, with six different types of search and compare. These start with Bitmap for those images that look pretty much the same, Histogram for those that have the same exposure, and Time interval for those taken within a specified period of time from each other. The final option is duplicates only. When everything is ready, click on Compare. Although this process is fast, dealing with thousands of images will take time. For those 22,000 JPEG and RAW files it took around 15 minutes.
Click Image to Enlarge
Then there’s the clever, time- saving part. Having found duplicates and similar, these are then marked according to the preference rules. These dictate the priority of marking – and this is adjustable – so that low DPI, resolution, hidden, low-rated or rejected rated images are marked before RAW files for example. You can adjust the rules at this point, then either let the Auto Mark do the work or go through them manually anyway. Now, you can click on Trash Marked to finally delete those that you don’t want. Given that you probably will want to exercise some user-intervention and have a final look, it’s advisable to only do one folder at a time.
The key to PhotoSweeper saving you time is the marking preferences. You have got to get this in the right order, otherwise you’ll spend more time checking and undoing the actions. What it is good for regardless is finding duplicates, and the automated process is a real time-saver.