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.
There are several reasons why you might have duplicate files:
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, both a JPEG and a RAW image 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.
PhotoStructure prefers showing the JPEG over RAW, unless the RAW is substantively newer than the JPEG, assuming that the user will have saved an edit as a JPEG, or used a camera that leverages computational imagery to substantively improve the JPEG over the ungraded RAW image.
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.
PhotoStructure will prefer showing larger resolution files over these downsampled copies.
Local edits #
When you make edits to your images, some software will write to a new file rather than overwriting your original.
If the image content is only light edits (like rotation or mild color or exposure tweaks), PhotoStructure will pick your new edit as the version to show while browsing your PhotoStructure library.
If the image content is no longer similar to the original image, it will be considered a different image and be shown separately.
Local backups #
If you’ve used backup software you’ll have several copies of your photos and videos on other hard drives.
If you import your backup drive into your library, and your library already has seen those files, PhotoStructure will detect if that exact file has already been seen, and just add a pointer to the backup drive.
PhotoStructure will always prefer showing files that are in your library hierarchy over files that are not in your library hierarchy.
How this relates to automatic organization #
PhotoStructure errs on the side of caution, and copies each unique image into your library if you’ve enabled automatic organization.
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 edits to the image, though, will be copied.
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.
Photo by Erol Ahmed