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picty - A photo collection manager


picty is a photo manager designed around managing metadata and a lossless approach to image handling.

metadata: descriptive and other information about images (created by you, your camera or the programs you use) that are embedded inside image files alongside the pixels.

lossless: by only ever writing information about images, including image processing instructions, as metadata, the original image pixels are never altered allowing you to preserve the images as they were taken on your camera.

Key features:

  • Supports big photo collections (20,000 plus images).
  • Open more than one collection at a time and transfer images between them.
  • Collections are:
    • Folders of images in your local file system.
    • Images on cameras, phones and other media devices.
    • Images on photo hosting services you use (Flickr currently supported).
  • picty does not "Import" photos into its own database, it simply provides an interface for accessing them wherever they are. To keep things snappy and to allow you to browse even if you are offline, picty maintains a cache of thumbnails and metadata.
  • Reads and writes metadata in industry standard formats Exif, IPTC and Xmp
  • Lossless approach:
    • picty writes all changes including image edits as metadata. e.g. an image crop is stored as any instruction, the original pixels remain in the file
    • Changes are stored in picty's collection cache until you save your metadata changes to the images. You can easily revert unsaved changes that you don't like.
  • Basic image editing:
    • Current support for basic image enhancements such as brightness, contrast, color, cropping, and straightening.
    • Improvements to those tools and other tools coming soon (red eye reduction, levels, curves, noise reduction)
  • Image tagging:
    • Use standard IPTC and Xmp keywords for image tags
    • A tag tree view lets you easily manage your tags and navigate your collection
  • Folder view:
    • Navigate the directory heirarchy of your image collection
  • Multi-monitor support
    • picty can be configured to let you browse your collection on one screen and view full screen images on another.
  • Customizable
    • Create launchers for external tools
    • Supports plugins - many of the current features (tagging and folder views, and all of the image editing tools) are provided by plugins
    • Written in python - batteries included!

Get picty

Nightly builds for Ubuntu 12.04 and above are available at the launchpad ppa:

Experimental Windows builds can be found at:

Or run from source...

Running picty from source

Get the source

git clone


The python packages required to run picty are (available in most linux repos):

python (2.5 - 2.7)

recommended packages:

dcraw (basic raw processing support)
totem (video thumbnailing)
python-flickrapi (flickr collection support)
python-osmgpsmap (geotagging support)

Run picty

Run the following commands in the terminal:

cd <pictysourcedir>

or see the INSTALL file for installation information. The benefits of installing are media support, desktop menus, and file manager integration (right click, open with picty for any image).

Documentation and Support

A very incomplete draft of the user documentation is contained within the source code and can be viewed on GitHub.

Support and other information about picty is available at google groups:

Or file an issue on GitHub:

License Information

(c) 2013 Damien Moore

License: GPL v3

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see <>.