Browsing with PhotoStructure is designed to be fun and fast.
If you’ve got a bunch of files that are of the same photo or video, and you have to click “next” several times to see something different, it’s irritating and decidedly not-fun.
When PhotoStructure synchronizes your photos and videos, it automatically detects these image variations, and only shows you the “best” variant.
Why you may have duplicates #
There are several reasons why you might have 2 or more copies or variations of any given photo or video:
RAW+JPEG pairs #
Most current digital cameras and even some smartphones support “shooting raw.”
These raw files encode higher sensor fidelity than JPEGs. This can allow you to “post-process” files to get better dynamic range, restore highlight and shadow details, and adjust color balance, with much more flexibility than an JPEG.
Unfortunately, raw images are slow to process, and lots of image software doesn’t handle these files. Most cameras allow shooting in “RAW+JPEG,” where each time you push the shutter button, a JPEG file as well as a RAW image file is written to your memory card. If PhotoStructure didn’t know that these are actually the same image, you’d see two photos with the same image while browsing your PhotoStructure library.
Cloud backups #
Several photo cloud backup services downsample your photos and videos, and strip much of the metadata from your files, as well.
If you download a local backup from your cloud service, these photos and videos will be duplicates of your original files.
Local edits #
When you make edits to your images, some software will write to a new file rather than overwriting your original.
Local backups #
If you’ve used backup software you’ll have several copies of your photos and videos where the backup destination was configured.
How this relates to automatic organization #
If you’ve enabled automatic organization, PhotoStructure errs on the side of caution, and copies each unique image into your library.
If exactly the same file is found (i.e., precisely the same stream of bytes on disk), it won’t be copied into your library again. All other variants to the image, though, will be copied.
As an example, in the above cases, both the raw and JPEG files will be copied into your library, as well as any unique files from cloud service backups, and local edits.
How files are determined to be the same or different asset #
A number of metadata tags are examined in each file, and if both files have a value for a given tag, and they substantively differ, the files are considered to be different assets.
If the captured-at time matches, but an insufficient number of other metadata tags match, PhotoStructure will compare the actual images of the files. If they are substantively different, the files are considered to be different assets.
You can use the
info tool to compare files
and see if PhotoStructure considers them eligible to be associated to the same
How does PhotoStructure pick which file to show? #
PhotoStructure picks the “best” image or video based on:
Coarse image resolution. Substantively larger image variants will “win” over smaller image variants. To break ties, it then looks at:
The most recently updated file. More recently edited variants will “win” over originals. To break ties, it then looks at:
Where the file resides. Files in your PhotoStructure library are preferred to files on other volumes (as those can be unmounted and subsequently unavailable). To break ties, it then looks at:
The filename. If there is a “count” associated to the filename (
IMG_1234 copy 2.jpeghas a “count” of 2, for example). The lowest count wins. To break ties, it then looks at:
The mimetype. If the browser directly supports the mimetype of the file, that means it’s easier to stream that file to the browser to support “zoom.”
If there are still ties, the least asciibetically-valued file wins.