Monthly Archives: February 2013

Find Similar Files and Similar File Names

Find Similar Files

Find Similar Files

The problem behind finding similar files

The process of finding similar files or similar file names is much more complicated than finding duplicate files.  Most duplicate file finders that analyze file content and do not rely on file dates or sizes will find duplicate files easily, while rarely duplicate file finders include features for finding similar items. The problem is that there are billions of file formats that a tool should support in order to be able to open and compare them. That is why there are dedicated duplicate mp3 finder and duplicate image finder applications. The process behind finding similar file names is not quite easy too. Finding file names that contain certain word can be easy, but finding ones that contain two or more words not in the same order can be tricky.

Solution for finding files with similar names and files with similar content

Fast Duplicate File Finder is a popular FREE tool developed by MindGems Inc. It is well known for its accurate results and outstanding performance. Along with the duplicate finding features,  there is an option for finding similar files or similar file names. This works by specifying a percentage of similarity that will be used as a threshold. FDFF differs from the common duplicate finders that claim to utilize fuzzy search or the so called fuzzy matching. While a fuzzy match will rarely reveal proper results FDFF can find similar files even if the data inside is scrambled. If two text files for example contain the same text with scrambled paragraphs or slightly edited sentences they still will be matched and displayed as duplicates in the results list with information regarding the percentage of similarity between the two files. FDFF is free and can be downloaded here: Duplicate File Finder

Find Similar Files

Find Similar Files

Image Search – Search Images With Image

Image Search

Image Search

Image Search – How to Find Similar Images

Issues related to image search

While searching for similar images is  something simple for every human being it is not something that a computer can easily do. Computers are based on exact sciences like math and physics and  comparing data the way a human does is something that requires comprehensive algorithms.
An image in computers is represented by small dots named pixels. The pixels are formed by three color components – red, green and blue the combination of which determines the actual color of the dot. The count of the pixels determines the resolution of the image. Due to the high quantity of data necessary in order to represent a photograph using pixels most of the file formats utilize different compression methods. This means that the actual data stored on your hard drive for the same image in two or more file formats is completely different. This makes it impossible for a duplicate file finder that compare file data to recognize even images that are 100% identical. While it is relatively easy to decode and compare images in different formats, recognizing an object in two different images requires advanced algorithms and a dedicate duplicate image finder.

How image search applications work

The first most important thing for an image search application is to be capable of recognizing and loading of multiple image formats. As already mentioned, in order to extract the real information regarding a photograph the file should be firs decoded and decompressed. Once the images are loaded comes the heavy lifting part. Advanced algorithms are required in order to determine the similarities between the images. Even if the images are slightly edited or re-sized  makes it impossible for a computer to compare and match them.

Best image search application

Visula Similarity Duplicate Image Finder is designed with the sole purpose to search and identify similar or duplicate images. It supports more than 500 image formats which includes 300+ RAW camera formats. This guarantees that it will most likely recognize all images even in the largest image collection. VSDIF uses advanced image analysis algorithms in order to detect similarities between images and can recognize the same person on different photographs. The tool can save gigabytes of disk space by removing redundant data. It provides an image search feature that will take one or more sample images and find all the similar images inside an image collection. VSDIF provides highly accurate results and can scan thousands of images within a minute.

A free download is available here: VSDIF Download

Image Search

Image Search

Windows 7 Duplicate File Finder

Window 7 Duplicate File Finder

Window 7 Duplicate File Finder

How to find duplicate files in Windows 7

Finding duplicate files is important not only in Windows 7, but in all operating systems and Windows versions. Finding duplicate files will not only increase your free disk space by performing a disk cleanup, but will also improves system performance by getting rid of useless files. The count of files impacts performance while searching for files. This is an operation that is performed also by the operating system and the applications and improving its speed impacts the overall system performance.

Issues Related to Duplicate File Finders

While duplicate finders can save valuable disk space and improve performance they can lead to total disaster if an unreliable tool is used or important system files are deleted. There are plenty of such tools on the market and one should carefully choose which one to trust.  In next section a description of the key features that a duplicate file finder should have are listed.

Choosing a Reliable Duplicate File Finder

There are plenty of features that one should consider while choosing the best duplicate file finder application. Here is a small list:

  • A duplicate file finder should compare the file content. While there may be an option to search for duplicate file names or files with same size, these are not the measures which qualify two or more files as duplicates.
  • Protection for system files and folder. While it is not advised to remove any files from the system folders a protection inside the application should prevent such possibility by default.
  • Stable performance without crashes.
  • Comprehensive reports with detailed file/folder information.
  • Reliable mechanism for automatic selection of files preserving at least one copy.
  • Filtering option with features to include or exclude certain files or folders in the scan process based on various properties.
  • Option to make a backup of the duplicate files by moving them to a certain folder.

These are the key features that a duplicate file finder should provide. A reliable tool that provides all the features above and even more is the FREE Fast Duplicate File Finder:

Windows 7 Duplicate File Finder

Windows 7 Duplicate File Finder

Fast Duplicate File Finder is a free Window application for finding duplicate files provided by MindGems Inc. Fast Duplicate File Finder is on the market more than 10 years and used by millions of users. It provides accurate results in the shortest time. You can find also dedicated duplicate image finder and duplicate mp3 finder at the company web site.

Windows 7 Folder Size

Folder Size Windows 7

Folder Size Windows 7

Folder Sizes in Explorer – Windows 7

Folder size information is not present in Windows 7 Explorer and there is a pretty good reason for that. Actually folder size is not displayed in any version of Windows Explorer. While this would be  a very useful feature that helps to identify disk space hogs and help with the disk cleanup process there are huge performance issues related to it. A detailed explanation of the problem and a proper solution is provided in this article.

Windows 7 Folder Size Issue

The reasons for the folder size column to be missing in Windows Explorer is the fact that such information is not present in the file system. The  folder size data can be collected easily, but that will lead to performance decrease in the file system. While the impact may not be so big for small count of files it may be huge while dealing with hundreds or thousands of files. There are plenty of other technical issues related to this. In Windows the files and folders can be locked by certain process which will make the data unavailable at certain point leading to incorrect results. Other issue may be related to a system crash or a power outage in which case the data will not be properly updated. Overall there are plenty of issues related to this problem and using an alternative solution is the best thing to do.

Window 7 Folder Size

Window 7 Folder Size

Windows 7 Folder Size Free Solution

While there are some tools that run services in the background in order to collect this information they fall into the same problems listed above. Using a tool that integrates a column in Windows Explorer is not possible in Windows versions after Windows XP. Such tools have negative impact on the file system performance and suffer from the issues above. The best solution for this problem is to use a standalone tool.

The FREE Windows 7 Folder Size tool by MindGems Inc is designed to solve this problem. It follows the Windows Explorer design and is very intuitive to use. The tool can scan a terrabyte drive in less than a minute and does not affect file system performance while it is not in use. There is also Windows Explorer integration that adds “Scan with Folder Size” context menu for easy access.

Folder Sizes in Windows 7

Folder Sizes in Windows 7

Download the Windows 7 Folder Size tool and clenaup your system. Free up to 50% of your disk space in just minutes.

iTunes – Delete Duplicates

iTunes – delete duplicates and save valuable disk space by organizing your music collection

iTunes - Delete duplicates

iTunes - Delete duplicates

The problem with deleting iTunes duplicates

Deleting duplicate songs in iTunes , iPod, iPad or iPhone may look simple but having hundreds or thousands songs makes this task a little bit hard. If you have a large music collection, duplicate files are inevitable.

There is a built-in option in iTunes to delete duplicates in File->Display Exact Duplicates. As the name suggests this option will display the exact duplicates. This means that if your songs are tagged with different artist, album or song name this function will not help much. The other disadvantage is that it lists all files that have identical tags and you should manually review the results and remove the duplicates. While this is not an issue if you have 10-20 items it could be annoying if you have hundreds or thousands. In any case this is a helpful option provided by Apple, but it is hard to be applied on large collections.

Best way to remove iTunes duplicates

The best way to remove iTunes duplicates is to use a dedicated external application. The advantage in doing that is that such application can clean your entire music library and not just the iTunes duplicates. There are plenty of duplicate mp3 finder applications on the market and you should carefully choose the one that works properly and displays correct results. Using an unreliable tool may delete valuable data.

Choosing the best tool to clean iTunes duplicates

A reliable tool should be capable of identifying duplicate songs in ant format regardless of the ID3 tags. This will help in cleaning files that you may have ripped from CD or downloaded from various sources and are not tagged with artist, album and song name. The key factor in choosing a duplicate mp3 finder is to evaluate its search algorithm. If a tool is not properly developed it may reveal false positives and lead to loss data.

Audio Dedupe is an innovative tool that can help with the cleanup of your audio collection. The key advantages of the tool are:

  • Reliable search algorithm that can recognize audio files in any forma without the need for ID3 tags
  • High performance – can scan tens of thousands duplicate audio files in less than a minute.
  • Multiple options to filter duplicate
  • Option to compare source folder versus target folder in order to merge new songs with your existing library
  • Detailed report that includes information on the audio quality of every file in order to keep the best version of a song
  • In-application preview with continuous playback to help easily compare audio quality between duplicates
  • Comprehensive auto-check option that can immediately select thousands of files based on date, quality, location, size and other properties
  • Multiple delete options – delete to recycle bin, move to a folder preserving the source’s folder structure for a backup, permanent delete

You can remove duplicate music files from your entire computer in just several minutes and save gigabytes of valuable space on your iPod, iPad or iPhone.