Robert Leblanc
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Arras reviewed on 11 Sep 2008
When it comes to finding duplicates in large image collections, there are two kinds of apps out there: simple apps that look for files with identical content, and more powerful tools that identify images that are slightly modified versions of one another. This app is one of the latter variety--a very powerful and effective dupe-finder that can find not only the exact copies of an image, but also resized versions, lightly cropped versions, and versions with labeling superimposed.

I've used a half-dozen other dupe-finding tools over the years, some running on Windows, some on Linux, some on MacOS, all on the same growing set of 15,000 images, and while each tool managed to find a few that the previous ones missed, dupeGuru PE identified 104 dupes that all the others had missed. Very impressive.

The one downside that comes with this level of thoroughness, though, is the time it can take to analyze large collections with any significant degree of fuzziness. The 15,000 images I threw at it took it about 45 minutes on an 8-core Mac Pro at 95% filter hardness and matching dimensions. That grew to 75 minutes when I told it to look for mismatched dimensions as well.

To use this tool effectively, you just need to know how to use the filter hardness slider, which determines how exact the matches need to be. If you just want a quick search for exact copies (i.e. what the simpler tools do), slide it up to 99% or 100% and you'll be done quickly. The default setting of 95% gets better results, but obviously takes longer. The further you reduce that setting, the more variation you allow in the matches, so you can find more extensively modified variations of an image that way, at the cost of more time.

In short, the effectiveness of this tool is fantastic, and if it were faster it would rate 5/5. Even as is, though, it rates a solid 4/5 once you learn how to use the filter hardness setting properly.
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