The iPhoto Diet : Removing duplicate pictures/photos/photographs from Apple iLife’s iPhoto

Yesterday morning I had 9599 photographs on my Apple Mac being served up by the iPhoto application.

I love iPhoto, its a great application enabling me to be very creative over how I display share and manage my photographs….

….or is it?

iPhoto is rubbish on the ‘duplicate’ front, over the years since I’ve migrated from ‘Milhouse’ to ‘SuperTed’ and now ‘Elwood’ (at Ultralab (1990-2006), we name our Macs!) with some migrations from ‘Captain Birdseye’ and even ‘Jolly Roger’ more and more of my pictures have been duplicated and imported, so in some cases, I’ve got the same picture three, or even four times in my iPhoto library.

Most of the rogue images are from my phone camera’s, where iPhoto has imported them many many times, even when I ask iPhoto not to import duplicates.

Working through over 9500 images trying to identify the images which were duplicates would have been no easy task, in fact, I’ve been looking for a better solution for about two years, to tackle that massive library and identify and remove those rogue copies…

I started by manually removing ‘thumbs’ which, had for some bizarre reason, in all the upgrades and system migrations, become photographs in their own right.

I dared not go through the rest of the library, looking for those copies, so I went looking for a software solution, prepared to even pay if need be, but I found some freeware!

I finally found and managed to do the job and now have only 7750 images in my iPhoto library.

I downloaded and installed iPhoto Diet by Martin Fuhrer, iPhoto Diet is an freeware Applescript Studio application for use with Apple’s iPhoto.

iPhoto Diet is a utility that helps to slim down your iPhoto library by manipulating your photos in the following ways:

  • eliminate duplicate photos created internally by iPhoto or imported by yourself
  • remove iPhoto’s backups of rotated or modified photos
  • strip the thumbnail icons of your photos
  • remove thumbnail photos that have become mixed up with your high resolution photos
  • identify photos which have not been added to albums
  • weed out unnecessary folders and files from the library
  • and more!

Great one Martin Fuhrer. I love the way iPhoto Diet works with iPhoto and I can visually seeing it dealing with each picture in iPhoto one at a time. I started the iPhoto diet at around 8pm, it had just finished by about 1am.

I strongly suggest everyone reads the instructions carefully before making any decisions as to photograph removal, as there is no going back once you’ve deleted them from the iPhoto trash bin!

Published by

Matthew Eaves

Matthew Eaves is Director at Creative Learning Systems Ltd

One thought on “The iPhoto Diet : Removing duplicate pictures/photos/photographs from Apple iLife’s iPhoto”

  1. Shirley
    Submitted by visitor on Mon, 10/31/2005 – 13:11.
    Hi Matt, I also put iPhoto on a diet last night – but I don’t keep a huge collection partly because I’m not that brilliant at remembering to take photos. My version of a slimdown is to create web pages, then I can share the photos but they are also stored on other servers. I also tidy some images away onto a CD from time to time. Once I’m sure that the images are stored in at least two other locations, I remove them from iPhoto – though as you say this can leave all sorts of strays around, especially the thumbnails. Your iPhoto diet looks useful too, so I might as well have a go.

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