Locate similar images -- sort of -- with Similar Picture Find

This duplicate-image finder isn't the most straightforward we've seen.

If you have a digital camera -- or maybe even if you don't -- you know all too well how easy it is to end up with a hard drive cluttered with duplicate images. Fortunately, there are lots of programs designed to help you identify and delete duplicates, freeing up valuable hard-drive space. Similar Picture Find aims to help with this tedious task, but it's definitely not as easy to use as some similar programs we've tried.

We weren't immediately sure what to do with Similar Picture Find. While most programs of this sort simply want users to select a directory to analyze, Similar Picture Find wanted us to create a new "repository." We consulted the online Help file and determined that were supposed to add the images we wanted analyzed to the repository and then have the program search the repository for duplicates.

It took a while for the program to add all of the images to the repository, and once that was done, we clicked a radio button labeled "Show with similar found only" to see our duplicates. Similar Picture Find informed us that it had found no duplicates, which we knew to be totally untrue; we keep a folder full of duplicates just for testing programs like this one. After a bit of poking around we realized that we were supposed to have selected "Test Repository for Similar" from the Action menu. This took several minutes, but Similar Picture Find finally returned a list of suspected duplicates.

Strangely, though, there was seemingly no organization to this list, no way to compare images, and no indication of, "Hey, we think this image is similar to this other image." There was a button allowing us to "Delete All Similar," but we certainly didn't want to click it when we hadn't had any opportunity to determine if the so-called similar pictures were actually duplicates. Overall, we think that there are plenty of programs that are much easier to use than Similar Picture Find, and we recommend those instead.

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