Image Comparator is a nifty little program that lets you search for, identify, and manage duplicate images on your hard drive or drives. It searches for similarities on a pixel by pixel basis so it can discover duplicates even if they have different file names or formats.
With a program like this one, my first impulse is just to jump in and try it. However, since I keep my images pretty well organized on my system, I knew there weren’t going to be any duplicates to be found. Therefore, in the interests and tradition of science, journalism, and myth busting everywhere, I set up an experiment.
I took a few different pics from around my system, created copies of them, and then modified the file names so they didn’t match. In some cases, I also changed the file format. For example, I had a picture of a spider that was in the .gif format, and I made a copy of it in .jpg format with a different file name.
I even went so far as to modify the tags so the files have no way of showing they were originally copies. This, I thought, was a good set up to test the pixel by pixel recognition system that Image Comparator uses.
So, I put all the files into the same directory, and ran Image Comparator. One of the first things I like to do with any bit of ‘ware is to look at all the available options before actually doing anything with it. While Image Comparator is not flush with excessive amounts of options, the ones that are available look as if they would be useful, like limiting the size of images to be scanned. Once I checked all the options out, it was a simple matter of selecting the test folder and seeing what came up. There are two ways you can add a directory to be scanned. You can either press the button and browse to the directory, or you can just drag and drop a folder into the workspace at the bottom of the Image Comparator window. In either case, you will have the option to add as many directories as you want. When done, just hit the Find Duplicates button and away you go.
The program was able to quickly and easily find all the duplicates I had set up and displayed them in a list on the right side. Additionally, a small button marked with two arrows >> opens a preview pane so you can see what each individual image file is before deciding to remove it from the list or delete it from storage. If you want, you can select all the results on the right side at one time and delete them all from your hard drive with a single button click. Just for grins and to compare on a folder that wasn’t pre-designed for testing, I ran the program on my Game of Thrones directory and sure enough it found the dupes and displayed them, ready to delete or ignore them as I choose.
Image Comparator is a simple program. One would think, naturally, that simple is easier to make high quality, but that’s not always the case. There’s a disturbing tendency for simple programs to often be frustratingly poor quality in both function and form, with annoying or incomplete UIs and other problems. Image Comparator suffers from none of these and does exactly what it says it will do. No more, no less, and it does it quite well. I would personally recommend it to anyone who wants to clean up their image directories with a minimum of muss and fuss. Until next time, my friends.
Get Image Comparator here.