Review: Take care of duplicate files with Tidy Up!
I am one of those computer users that have hundreds of icons on the desktop and stuff lying all around my user folder. I often tend to complicate my life by not organizing files, so often my iBook gets clogged. In the process of finding cool tools to help me in my "spring cleaning", I came across a piece of software that should at least assist by finding duplicate files.
Tidy Up! is a software program that, from the technical point of view, looks like a graphical GUI that lies on a set of advanced search algorithms. Its main function is to find files and packages based on your search configuration. With Tidy Up! you can find duplicate files by various characteristics - file names, sizes, creation dates, users that created them, etc.
The main screen is good for advanced users but a bit complicated for novice users. I liked having all the search configuration options open right away, but it could get a bit tough to succeed at setting up all the wanted criteria at once. On the left part of the window, user can setup disks and folders that should be included in the search. If you have a network folder shared from another computer, the software will also recognize it and add it to the options. This is quite interesting option as the software can be used from one centralized computer to scan files on the entire network. Dating directory - love and date sites for singles, personals.
On the other side of the window we have a drawer that, when opened, slides to the right and shows valuable extra information. When setting up the search, it contains the criteria descriptions and, for instance, after you do a search the drawer contains information and preview of specific files you highlight. I find this to be a really good option as the user can easily check the content of files he is about to delete.
Configure the search
As you can see on the screenshot below, the software developer was really thinking about every possible angle of searching. Besides toggling them on/off, each of the separate search criteria can be expanded and customized to the max. I really liked this approach, as the software can not only find actual duplicate names, but you can go even deeper in finding the same files that have different names or creation dates.
I had a couple of problems with the setting up of special parameters. The first thing is from a practical standpoint. For instance, if I would like to setup an item's extension, I need to write the following into the bracket: "doc". It would be much easier if I should write just doc without the quotation marks. It is the same while setting up item creator. In that screen the user must write the name inside two apostrophes (example: 'Berislav'). Quotation marks, apostrophes - developers should ditch them and let users enter just plain text. create pdf for pc
While setting the item creator, I came across a bug. Apparently the software will give you an error if you write a user name whose character count is different than either 0 or 4. Typing in Bero was OK, but when I tried Berislav I was greeted with the following error âItem Creator - INVALID CRITERIA -,â.
Besides my negative experience with these bugs, I was quite impressed to see a lot of predefined tasks for easier searching.
For repetitive tasks, the software has an ability to save scan lists including folders or disks, as well as custom search criteria.
I have done some extensive setting up of search criteria, as I tried to find all the duplicate files I have on my iBook, as well as on a shared network drive. The software performed very fast, searched about 40 GB of files in five minutes or so (my notebook is the last generation iBook G4). I was really surprised to see that Tidy Up! worked great even when it listed more than 12,000 duplicate files. Don't be upset for my well being, majority of them were files that come with Mac OS X Tiger. Browsing of the files inside the list was a bit slower, but it worked.
When I checked the search results I found a little typo - it lists GIF files as GIFf. Never mind, this is just a small bug, but I wanted to mention it because I had a feeling that the software wasnât thoroughly beta tested for this kind of low level bugs.
A nice aspect of the search result listing is that Tidy Up! Uses a set of colors for each specific folder or hard drive you searched. This way, skimming through the results is a bit easier as you know where the files were found. By clicking on each of the files, drawer opens on the right and shows you all the possible details regarding the file in question.
Exporting duplicated items
The software gives a couple of options on what to do with the duplicate files. For easier referencing, will split the options into two groups:
1) Information exporting
After a successful search, you can export the results in HTML or TXT. The software also offers possibility of setting up specific fields the report should contain, such as file path, creator, duration of media files etc.
2) File manipulation
The main point of Tidy Up! is to find duplicate files and do something with them. As you can see from the screenshot below, there are a couple of default ways of showing the results, so the result manipulation process can be done in just a couple of clicks.
Btw, I am using the term "manipulation" because besides deleting duplicate files, users can copy or move them to another place, as well as burn them on a CD-ROM (maybe also on a DVD-ROM, but because of my hardware specs I didnât check this out). The burning is done directly from Tidy Up! and works well.
Tidy Up! is a very powerful piece of software that has extensive searching capabilities for duplicate files. It can be used for removing those pesky duplicates, clearing up disk space, as well as removing potential copies of very important private files. Actually one of the things I used Tidy Up! was for the latter â I successfully found a copy of a sensitive file with a changed name that was located on one of the USB drives I use. With clever customization of search criteria you can do a lot of nice tricks. The searches are done very fast and quite effective.
Besides the bugs I mentioned, I also came across of some interface issues that could have been done much better. I am primary thinking of titles of some of the icons in the left part of the search result screen that were too long for the program window on my screen resolution (1024x768) and unnecessary alternate text that is shown when the mouse is hovering over search criteria in the centre of the initial search screen. These are just subjective issues and donât influence the programâs functionality at all.
The software is available as an Universal binary and is priced at $30. The price seems a bit too high, but if you need specific functions this software provides, it shouldnât be a problem. Tidy Up! is also available as shareware and can be downloaded from Hyperbolic Software.