I have a directory full of media. I would like to search similar videos and hand-remove certain copies (those that are too short, too long, have watermarks, don't have watermarks, &c.).

How can I find videos that are somewhat similar to each other?

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    I don't think you'll find such software (well, not for a low price anyway). OTOH there are duplicate file finder programs, you can check those out. – Lawand Oct 25 '09 at 12:42

What you are looking for is Digital Video Fingerprinting.

Video fingerprinting is a technique in which software identifies, extracts and then compresses characteristic components of a video, enabling that video to be uniquely identified by its resultant “fingerprint”. Video fingerprinting is technology that has proven itself to be effective at identifying and comparing digital video data.

Here are some relevant companies that support this:

All of these (which are listed on Wikipedia) seem professional paid solutions, some of them do no longer seem to exist. You might be able to find something by searching through project hosting websites...

Most of them decide to keep their algorithms private and rather provide a service than selling a product.


I too have been looking for a program like this. The closest that I have found is Thumbsplus (Cerious.com). It can make thumbnails of most video types. It can then find duplicate or even similar thumbnails of these videos. It is really made for still photos, but it does work for this too.

It helped me.

  • A thumbnail compare method? That's actually pretty brilliant. – music2myear Dec 22 '11 at 17:14
  • @music2myear: If and only if two similar videos generate a similar thumbnail. If one video if of a different FPS or starts a bit earlier/later, that might result in a completely different thumbnail. – Tamara Wijsman Dec 22 '11 at 17:33
  • Yes, it's bound to a lot of different variables. But it's probably very easy on system resources and given proper attention can result in a reasonably decent matching system that is less prone to differences in encoding or resolution. – music2myear Dec 22 '11 at 17:49
  • @music2myear: Well, I would think it reduces the problem to detecting similar images. Which can still be complex if you want to do it at a proper level like Google Images and TinEye do. idée is a starting point, which is the service used by TinEye. They do provide a free online service, but I doubt if it actually shows similar images by itself rather than just allowing one to find similar images when searching with an image. – Tamara Wijsman Dec 22 '11 at 18:01
  • If you could get it to generate multiple thumbnails for each video (maybe one per 30 seconds or so) that would probably work well. (And then you're basically grabbing 1% of the frames ( typically 30 fps so 900 frames in 30 s) – Clay Nichols Apr 24 '18 at 13:13

I found this little program, it's got a trail period, so you can give it a try. Then it cost $50


but it works, uses fingerprinting tech, by making thumbs of videos.

  • The link now takes you to a blog. – Marco Lackovic Dec 19 '20 at 9:50

You could also try to fingerprint the audio and find the videos that share a similar audio track.

AcoustId is open source and supports the generation of such audio fingerprints.

You can use fpcalc to generate a fingerprint from the audiotrack. AcoustId provides a small number seach engine called acoustid-index to search for similar fingerprints.


You can try Video Comparer (shareware).


It quickly detects similar videos with image transformations and supports split videos into multiple CDs.


One free and working program (detecting duplicate videos with the same content but different quality and size) we've managed to successfully use was SimilarImages. Although it's discontinued and really old, here are some tips to make it work on newer Windows versions: SimilarImages Reviews - AlternativeTo.net.

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