Put Your iPhoto Library on a Diet with Duplicate Annihilator

My mom’s hard drive was crammed to capacity and the Mac OS was starting to whine to her about it. It didn’t take long to figure out that the major disk space hog was her iPhoto library, which had somehow blossomed to over 12 GB (on a 60 GB hard drive, that a significant portion).

And she noticed that, for some reason, she had a lot of duplicate photos in there. So she started the painstaking process of finding and eliminating them. Hours later, she was barely through half of her library.

That’s when I discovered Duplicate Annihilator from Swedish developer Brattoo Propaganda. This little application is designed just for finding duplicate files in iPhoto and then, well, annihilating them (though in its default state it just tags them with a keyword).

But the world annihilate can make a seasoned computer user a tad antsy, so I volunteered to be the guinea pig. My iPhoto library was fully backed up and I thought that, despite the fact I managed it very carefully, there might be some duplicates I’d missed.

Running quietly in the background with only minimal impact on the performance of my iMac, Duplicate Annihilator took a little over 13 hours to work its way through my 77 GB iPhoto library that contained more than 39,000 photos.

Much to my surprise, it identified over 1100 duplicate files that were hogging almost 2 GB of disk space. I spent some time verifying the application’s results. There were no false positives. Indeed, it had identified every duplicate file in my library.

To manually cull through 39,000 photos manually would have taken me days. In fact, I probably would never have bothered, the labour and time toll would be just too high. However, it’s an act I value, as my iPhoto library is now slim and trim. And I no longer have to worry about duplicate files.

The total cost to me? 8 bucks and change. That’s the licensing fee for Duplicate Annihilator. Do they eat a lot of borscht in Sweden? Because that’s cheap for such a valuable service.

So, mom, go for it. Run Duplicate Annihilator on your iPhoto library. Because I can say with confidence that it’ll work. Even better, it’ll save you tons of time.