How does Picturelife handle Duplicates?

Seeing duplicate photos in Picturelife? We hate those too. We hope this article helps you understand what you may be seeing.

What is a "Duplicate?"

There are two types of duplicates.

  1. Technical Duplicates are when the actual data of the photo files are exactly the same (same file name, taken on the same day, but possibly stored in different folders on your computer). These are the rarest duplicates on Picturelife and due to our extensive checking, almost never occur.
  2. Visual Duplicates are when two photos have wildly different file data (different names, different sizes, different aspect ratios), but your eyes look at the picture and know that the photos are the same.
  • Technical Duplicates will be identified as such and will not be uploaded.

  • Visual Duplicates will be uploaded to your account and do count towards your storage quota. 

An example of a Visual Duplicate is a RAW format file and its corresponding JPG file. Another example is a JPG from your computer and a compressed import from Facebook.

Duplicate detection is automatic - here's how it works

  1. If you attempt to upload the same actual file more than once from the same source, Picturelife will identify the duplicate and will not allow the upload. Our software recognizes that the signature of a particular file is the same as one that already exists. If you see two pictures that you are certain are exact duplicates, please send the pictures directly to me.
  2. If you import the same visual picture from different sources, but it is a different size or perhaps has a filter applied to it (such as through Instagram), then Picturelife will import both pictures. The pictures will be grouped together, but you will only see one of them (the "best" picture, based on sharpness, ratings, comments on the picture, and a few other points.)
  3. If you import different pictures that just look somewhat similar and were taken in quick succession, we recognize that, and create a similar set from the pictures. This article will tell you more about similar sets.

How does Picturelife handle duplicates?

Through a constantly evolving set of algorithms, Picturelife checks every photo you upload to see if it is "extraordinarily visually similar" to other photos you have already stored in your Picturelife bin.

Similar but different photos are those photos which look very similar, but when you dive into them you find that they are technically different. Perhaps you applied red-eye reduction to one, or perhaps you changed the brightness outside of a supported platform like iPhoto and ultimately have two separate files that are visually similar but not identical. Changing the hue or making tiny edits will usually make our algorithms assume you have two separate photos and want them to be separate photos. Still, in some cases we won't make the right assumption, and since we always err on the side of preserving your data, you may end up with photos we identified as merely visually similar (not duplicates) and you will see both in your Picturelife archive.

If I move uploaded pictures to a different folder on my desktop, does Picturelife re-upload them?

No- the duplicate detection occurs twice. Once at the upload source, and again after the photo's been uploaded. Even if you move a photo to a new desktop location, the technical information behind the photo itself does not change - and this is what we use to detect duplicates via the Smartloader. So feel free to move your photos around on your hard drive - doing so will NOT cause duplications in Picturelife!

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  • Avatar

    Since PL is pulling from various accounts; social, desktop & ios, there are way too many "visual dupes". Given the "intended" usage for PL, one major feature- Organization, will there be a better way of consolidating for deletion?

    I found that selecting a photo and choosing one of the following options; month day year etc.

    This is the only way to delete multiple pictures, however you're only given the option to deselect vs select all. This would make sense if the photos were already selected, but they're not.

  • Avatar
    Justin Sias

    Agree with Nadia. Dupe prevention of identical files is great, and grouping visual dupes is a nice start. There should be better mass selection and de-selection options though. This is where almost every photo storage service falls short. Still, great site... I hope it continues to be developed!

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