The Blog of Ian Mercer.

Tidy Up! for Mac, a short review, clean up missing thumbnails in iPhoto??

Recently I accidentally imported a batch of photos into iPhoto twice. With over 1,000 duplicates to clean up I went looking for an application that could do the job. I found Tidy Up! which looked like exactly what I needed. It had a professional looking UI and I was in a rush and so I skipped my normal due diligence on reviews, forums and tests and paid $33 to unlock it. $33 and countless hours of frustration later I have to conclude that it simply doesn't work as advertised.

The UI is complex and despite numerous attempts with different options it still wasn't finding the duplicates - sometimes it would spin for minutes and then declare no duplicates, sometimes it would find some but not all. I finally found a setting that seemed to find all my duplicates and I launched it into deleting them. iPhoto began flickering wildly as it did its work but it gave no indication as to how far it had progressed or when it would finish, so I left it running. In the morning it seemed to have stopped running but iPhoto would not quit. I reluctantly did a force quit and restarted it. Disaster - it had deleted the images but left the thumbnails in iPhoto for each of the duplicates it had found. Worse still, there were still lots of duplicate images left in my library. Undeterred I tried the option to find images with thumbnails but no backing files. It found 1,900 of them so I asked it to delete them all. That failed so I tried deleting just a few at a time from the list of 1,900 images. After about 40 operations it claimed they were all gone and my library was clean. Except it wasn't, I still have missing images and I still have duplicates.

Next I tried an option to find photos by similarity in the time they were taken except the developer used the date instead of the date plus time so it lumped all the photos found on a single date and called them duplicates!

At this point I emailed to get my money back. The developer send me a form which I dutifully filled in, signed, scanned and sent back. But, oh no, that wasn't good enough for him, he wanted me to mail the letter to Italy. At this point I sent a strongly worded email and contacted Paypal to get a refund which came through. The developer claimed that because it worked for thousands of other people there was nothing wrong with it and that he shouldn't have to refund me, a classic case of "it works on my machine"! It's also a lesson that "because most customers can't be bothered to call doesn't mean they are happy", for $33 most will just write it off as a failed investment. A quick look at the forum showed just a handful of people using (or attempting to use) the product.

Based on my experience with the developer I would not recommend this product. If you could try it and then pay if it worked that would be one thing, but having to pay to find out that it doesn't work and then having to deal with the hassle of getting a refund makes this not worthwhile.

So now I'm back to cleaning up iPhoto by hand to remove duplicates and fix the thumbnails that still have no backing photo.

Related Stories

Cover Image for Digital Twins are never identical

Digital Twins are never identical

Digital Twin are an online representation of a real world object, a copy of its properties in the digital world and a way to send updated and commands to it. In effect I've been making them for years but now they have a trendy name.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Why smarthomes are hard

Why smarthomes are hard

Why automated learning is hard for a smart home. The perils of over-fitting, under-fitting and how the general unpredictable nature of life makes it hard to build a system that learns your behavior.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Collinearity test for sensor data compression

Collinearity test for sensor data compression

One way to reduce the volume of sensor data is to remove redundant points. In a system with timestamped data recorded on an irregular interval we can achieve this by removing co-linear points.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Event blocks

Event blocks

Home automation systems need to respond to events in the real world. Sometimes it's an analog value, sometimes it's binary, rarely is it clean and not susceptible to problems. Let's discuss some of the ways to convert these inputs into actions.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Logistic function - convert values to probabilities

Logistic function - convert values to probabilities

Another super useful function for handling sensor data and converting to probabilities is the logistic function 1/(1+e^-x). Using this you can easily map values onto a 0.0-1.0 probability range.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for ATAN curve for probabilities

ATAN curve for probabilities

In a home automation system we often want to convert a measurement into a probability. The ATAN curve is one of my favorite curves for this as it's easy to map overything onto a 0.0-1.0 range.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Home Construction Advice

Home Construction Advice

Several years ago we did a major remodel. I did all of the finish electrical myself and supervised all of the rough-in electrical. I also put in all of the electrical system and water in our barn. I have opinions ...

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for T-Mobile home internet

T-Mobile home internet

I'm testing a T-Mobile Home Internet device as a backup to XFinity and a way to offload half our monthly traffic to avoid the XFinity 1.2TB cap

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for iBeacon meetup in Seattle - January 2015

iBeacon meetup in Seattle - January 2015

My notes on the iBeacon meetup in Seattle held in January 2015

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Finally got the 1U Atom Server racked up

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Timelapse video using the GoPro HD Hero

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

I should have created Four Square ...

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for How can I tell if my house is smart?

How can I tell if my house is smart?

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Asian Gadgets

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

A great video explaining the Semantic Web

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Interesting Twitter Posts March 15th-

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Twitter links for Week beginning March 8th

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Facebook, social gaming and points

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Useful Twitter links Feb 8-Feb 15 2010

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

When will people learn to backup?

A rant about RAID

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Future proof your home with a new conduit system?

Running conduit can be expensive but maybe you don't need one to every room

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Balloon Boy was much ado about nothing - Twitter

Some of the more witty comments on Twitter about the Balloon Boy hoax

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Shortened URLs should be treated like a Codec ...

Expanding URLs would help users decide whether or not to click a link

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Tagging File Systems

Isn't it time we stopped knowing which drive our file is on?

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

WMPnetwk.exe started using 50% of my CPU

Uninstalling Windows Media Player - the end of an era

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Introducing Jigsaw menus

A novel UI for menus that combines a breadcrumb and a menu in one visual metaphor

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Amazon Instance vs Dedicated Server comparison

Some benchmark performance for Amazon vs a dedicated server

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Agile Software Development is Like Sailing

You cannot tack too often when sailing or you get nowhere. Agile is a bit like that.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

AntiVirus Software is the Worst Software!

When your anti-virus software starts stealing your personal data, it's time to remove it!

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

It's all about disk speed

Why disk speed is the most critical aspect for most modern PCs and servers

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Giving up on Internet Explorer

Giving up on Internet Explorer

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for New Home Automation Server

New Home Automation Server

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Dell upgrades - a pricey way to go

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer