My Dream of a Near Perfect Photo Backup System Now in Place

Posted Oct. 6th, 2016 by Daniel J. Cox

It was a bit of a long, arduous journey, but I finally have what I consider my dream setup for protecting my precious images. Let me share some of the details so you too can think about how you might want to make sure your equally important pictures are safe.

Montana lightning storm starts a hillside on fire in the Mission Valley near Ronan, Montana. Ever worry about this happening to your photographic memories? I've got a plan to help you sleep better at night.

Montana lightning storm starts a hillside on fire in the Mission Valley near Ronan, Montana. Ever worry about this happening to your photographic memories? I’ve got a plan to help you sleep better at night.

It all began with an introduction to the photo program with the funny little name known as Mylio. Funny name but quite appropriate when you realize Mylio stands for My Life Organized.  It was probably about a year and half ago, my good friend and fellow Lumix Luminary, Keven Gilbert, introduced me to this new way of working with pictures and I was immediately impressed.

Kevin Gilbert during his time with Mylio in Seattle.

Kevin Gilbert during his time with Mylio in Seattle.

When I first became aware of Mylio I was in a bind, hoping desperately Apple was going to bring us an updated version of Aperture. Aperture users had been waiting for years hoping for features that would compete with Adobe, and as for me I had invested heavily in the Apple ecosystem. It was Aperture that inspired me to switch our entire studio over to Apple products back in 2004. To think Apple would kill Aperture was completely crazy at the time. But they did. It took me awhile to understand why, but they had solid reasons, and Mylio has proven better than even Apple’s replacement for Aperture, a program they now call Photos.

Mylio: What’s the difference?


For me, Mylio’s major benefit has been a huge increase in speed. When I say speed I’m referring to how quickly I can scroll through my photos and see batches of pictures. Photos I had forgotten I shot. With Lightroom and even Aperture, scrolling through my 950,000+ image collection was virtually impossible. Many of you reading this may have experienced the painfully slow process if you have even a moderately sized library of say 100,000-200,000 pictures. In Lightroom I

The screenshot above is what Mylio currently looks like while I'm working here in my hotel in South Africa. Not everything is synced since the hotel internet connection is not allowing Mylio to talk with each other. JP warned me about this and it's only an issue with older routers. Hoping we will find a fix for this.

The screenshot above is what Mylio currently looks like while I’m working here in my hotel in South Africa. Not everything is synced since the hotel Internet connection is not allowing Mylio to talk with each other. JP warned me about this and it’s only an issue with older routers. Hoping we will find a fix for this.

scroll, 50 images will pop up, the spinning beach ball of death appears, and I wait, anywhere from 10-60 seconds before I can get through another 50 images. Aperture wasn’t a lot better. Both Adobe and Apple have suggested I make multiple catalogs but I’ve always replied, “Are you kidding? Computers are made to crunch massive amounts of data. There’s no reason I should have to have multiple catalogs that don’t allow me access to all my images at the same time.” And we’re talking about a brand new Mac Pro–the fancy new trash can model–that was just one tier down from the most expensive Mac I could buy. And it’s stuffed with 32GB of RAM. This is a monster machine and it should be able to handle it but it can’t. So I began my search and I found Mylio. Well, not really, actually Mylio found me, so I have to chalk it up to dumb luck but I’ll take it however it comes.

Futuristic Backup

All of us, no matter amateur or professional, adore our pictures. Our photos are costly to produce with all the gear, travel, and educating ourselves to be better at our craft. A costly hobby combined with our emotional ties to our daily lives such as family events, special vacations, and our growing offspring, are all great reasons to have a rock solid backup plan.

Lysa and Suzy, my sister and her very close long time friend at a family Christmas gathering.

Lysa and Suzy, my sister and her very close long time friend at a family Christmas gathering. Mylio and Drobo are more than just for business. They work for my personal memories as well.

Mylio’s special redundancy technology—that nobody offers that I’m aware of—replicates your originals to as many places as you tell it to. In my case, I have a 40TB Drobo device in my studio where Mylio stores all my originals. I have a duplicate of

Isaac, Aunt Tanya and Isabella, Christmas 2011 at Terry and Jane's in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Isaac, Aunt Tanya, and Isabella, Christmas 2011 at Terry and Jane’s in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

this Mylio/Drobo setup in my home. Mylio at the studio can see Mylio at the house via the Internet, and through the magic of the web, Mylio places another set of originals in Mylio  home, safely offsite from the originals at the studio. All of this happens automatically, even if I’m far off in a foreign country like Romania, where I first had the experience of my originals beating me home from foreign travel.

Jane, Judy Sonya and Tanya. Christmas 2011 at Terry and Jane's in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Tanya’s mom Jane and Aunt Judy on the left are twins in case you can’t tell.  Sonya and Tanya are sisters. This and the other family pics here are just a few of the many thousands I have backed up and relocated across all my devices with Mylio.

Not only do the studio and home Mylio libraries see each other, but it’s the same for my MacBook Pro laptop that acts as my main Mylio repository. While on the road, I load all my photos to my laptop’s external hard drive. Those images go into Mylio on my laptop, which if I’m connected to the web, Mylio studio and Mylio home also recognize. Once they see each

My little buddy Dice the South American Pygmy Wolf on the shores of Lake Yellowstone.

My little buddy Dice the South American Pygmy Wolf on the shores of Lake Yellowstone.

other, even if I’m thousands of miles away, Mylio begins copying my originals from my laptop to the studio, then the studio to the house. While in Romania I shot about 8000 images. With 3-4 hotels where I had decent Internet speeds, over a three

The beautiful designed, elegant Drobo 5d with Thunderbolt 2

The beautiful designed, elegant Drobo 5d with Thunderbolt 2. Photo courtesy of

week period, Mylio shuttled all my originals over to the two Drobos in my home and studio making all my new images available to my office staff before I even arrived home. Just to be clear, Mylio does not take the originals off my field drive if I don’t want it to. It sends copies of the originals to my home and studio.

The number of main devices you keep originals on is basically limitless and  I currently have Mylio syncing originals on three different computers. I have an additional two computers, Tanya’s MacBook Air, our office assistant Jill’s iMac, and my iPad and iPhone that all have the entire Mylio catalog, though they don’t hold originals.

All my devices listed in the right panel as well as the upper left corner.

All my devices listed in the right panel as well as the upper left corner.

The magic continues with Mylio’s ability to see all these devices which allows you to update an image on one device that replicates those changes to ALL other devices. And it does it nearly instantaneously.  So I can crop, change white balance, add a caption, keywords, or any other update and these changes get sent across to all other devices almost as fast as you can snap your fingers.

Even More Backup 

The Mylio redundancy is truly futuristic and quite simply amazing but it’s only part of my backup strategy. To be absolute sure I never lose my images, I’ve added another layer of redundancy by way of a set of G-Tech drives that are not connected to Mylio in anyway. These drives are on their own, out of the Mylio system. Why is this important? Mylio does a great job putting your images in lots of places but if you should completely screw up and delete an image or even a folder of

I have 5 of these 8TB G-Tech Thunderbolt drives that are separate from my Mylio system.

I have five of these 8TB G-Tech Thunderbolt drives that are separate from my Mylio system running on Drobos. My preferred devices are my Drobo’s but it’s important to have something completely different, outside the system, incase of a faulty firmware upgrade that could effect all devices of the same type and kind. The G-Tech above is not RAID and therefore if it fails there is no ability to rebuild the drive when a new drive is added.

images, they get deleted across ALL devices. The good news is Mylio puts them in the Trash so you could potentially recover them. But if you empty the trash you are out of luck. So having another set of drives that are used for just raw footage is a good idea. I use the G-Tech’s specifically because they’re different than my favorite Drobo’s since it’s always possible that a renegade firmware update could affect or destroy devices that are all the same brand or model. This assures a firmware update won’t take my system out.

Mylio In The Field Backup

Finally, the one last piece of the backup puzzle involves my original Field Drives. The first one is a Seagate 4TB USB BUS powered portable drive that holds my entire 950,000+ library of images in Thumbnails and Previews. This is the drive that I Import to via Mylio. I have an additional second Field Drive which is currently a Seagate 1TB USB BUS powered drive that

A product image from Seagate's web site showing the 4TB I use on my Mylio drive on the far left. The 1TB smaller drive for storing my originals is the blue drive second one from the left.

A product image from Seagate’s website showing the 4TB I use as my Mylio drive in red, second one from the right. The drive I use for storing my originals is the blue drive second one from the left.

I make a copy of my originals to, images that are copied from the main 4TB drive that were imported with Mylio. This drive is basically a Field Backup, just in case Mylio doesn’t’ have the ability to connect to the Internet. When I return from my shoot this drive is then deposited in a pelican case that’s kept offsite separate of my other Drobos and G-Tech’s.

Does it all sound a little paranoid? I agree. But like I often say about digital capture, “Easy come, easy go.” I don’t want to be left high and dry the day one of those drives fail. Having quality, EASY, backups of my photos is not only good business sense but good for my heart as well knowing all my family pictures are protected as well.

Mylio’s Ease of Use, Speed, and Omnipresence is Great Business

As I’ve mentioned above, one of the huge benefits of this new software is it’s ability to have my pictures available on many different devices. Why is it important you might ask to have access to almost 1 million images on a moment’s notice? For me it’s all business. More than once Tanya and I have been flying from one Invitational Photo Tour destination to the next.

Tanya with her trusty MacBook Pro in Vietnam, always working. Would you tell this beautiful lady no when she asked you for a picture. Mylio makes me lots of points:)

Tanya with her trusty MacBook Pro in Vietnam, always working. Would you tell this beautiful lady no when she asked YOU for a picture? Mylio makes me lots of points:)

During our our long flights or hotel days, she often works on planning and building the web page highlighting an upcoming tour. It’s been very helpful to have access to all those frames when she asks if I have a certain photograph that might help show the beauty of a coming destination.

I also mentioned Mylio’s speed. Another good example of how speed pays off took place a month or so ago, just before our last trip to Iceland. I was scrambling getting ready to leave for a month’s shoot when we received a call from a production company doing a film for National Geographic. They had seen a video I shot and produced of an amazing fight between

hyenas and lions in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. The film was on my YouTube channel. At this point I‘m not actively marketing my video work so it’s not well organized but this was a nice opportunity.  That said, I knew finding that footage and editing it for them to look at was going to take at least several days and I didn’t have days, I had hours. I told them I could put raw footage together but it would not be edited and if they were willing  to sift through it all I could make it happen. They agreed and I went to work with Mylio finding all the lion footage I had shot in the Mara that season. It took less than 30 seconds to find it all, then another 15 minutes to copy it to a small hard drive, and a final five minutes to pack it up and ship it via Federal Express. None of this would have even been possible using Lightroom or Aperture. It was only because of Mylio I made a nearly five figure sale.

Why so speedy?

Mylio’s speed, based on what the guys I’ve worked with tell me, is all due to its so called “gaming engine.” This sounds kind of boring, but it’s the basis of why we saw Apple kill Aperture. Gaming software, as many of you may know, runs faster than anything I know of on a computer. It’s made for speed and the newest gaming engines are years ahead of what Aperture and Adobe’s Lightroom were and are written on. Now you know why Apple killed Aperture. They knew Aperture was using 10-15, maybe even 20-year-old technology and there was no way it was going to make it into the future. Like Apple’s known to do, they scrubbed it. Out with the old and in with the new. Anyone heard about the missing headphone jack on the iPhone 7? You get the idea, but to see how much of a difference there is between Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, and Mylio, take a look at the comparison video I shot below.

What about Adobe’s Lightroom? Don’t get me wrong, Lightroom is a very sophisticated, powerful program that overpowers Mylio when it comes to making changes in your pictures. But to get through tens of thousands of images or even worse, hundreds of thousands of images, Lightroom falls on its face with a horrible thud. Adobe is often slow to fix such issues. They get entrenched and they’re content to go with what got them there, seemingly unwilling to tear something completely apart. Some folks don’t mind that but me, I’m impatient. I need access to my images and the faster the better. Lightroom’s other obstacle is it’s lack of ability to share across numerous devices. They recently released Lightroom mobile, but from what I’ve seen it’s not ready for primetime since it doesn’t even have the ability to add a watermark to your photos. Why any serious photographer would send an image out without a watermark from a mobile device is beyond me. You would think Adobe would feel the same, but it’s been over two years since I first brought the subject up on the Adobe forums. And Lightroom Mobile is the extent of Lightroom’s ability to share across your iPhone or iPad. There is no option to have access to the Lightroom library on other computers across the office as we’re currently doing with Mylio.

Mylio Support

When I first started working with Mylio I was no different than anyone else who had found them on the web and I had a few questions I needed help with. Mylio has a great tool on the left panel labeled simply HELP. When you click HELP you get several options but the one most interesting is Contact Mylio Support. Up comes a screen requesting more information than any program I’ve ever used.

The Support Help window that gives you easy access to the Mylio support team. They typically responce in minutes sometimes an hour or two but they always get back with answers.

The Support Help window that gives you easy access to the Mylio support team. They typically respond in minutes— sometimes an hour or two, but they always get back with answers.

It starts at the top with Subject of the help request. Below that you have the ability to add Comments and further down is a list that starts with Send Screenshot, Include Catalog, Include Logs, and Send Additional File. Wow, they take support seriously, getting a ton of info from you about your specific situation and the machine you’re running on that helps

Matt, Raiza and Neo in the Mylio Control Center solving the worlds Mylio problems one call at a time. Seattle, Washington.

Part of the Mylio support team, Matt, Raiza, and Neo in the Mylio Control Center solving the world’s Mylio problems one call at a time. Seattle, Washington.

them nail your problem down. When I first sent a Help request it was less than two hours and I had one of their terrific support staff contact me. If they can’t figure it out via email exchanges, they have the ability to hook up your computer and actually see what you’re looking at on your machine. It’s a huge time saver and takes a ton of guess work out of the support exchange

Captain Cool, Mylio software engineering guru JP Duplesses working his Mylio magic on his Mac keyboard. Mylio headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

Captain Cool, Mylio software engineering guru JP Duplessis, the most patient man I think I’ve ever met, working his Mylio magic on his Mac keyboard. Mylio headquarters in Seattle, Washington

As time went on the Mylio support team realized how large my catalog was and elevated my support issues to international status. Well sort of. Actually they connected me up with the Mad Man Coder from Canada, JP Duplessis. JP’s Canadian, but he now works in Seattle. Even so, he’s got that really cool French Canadian accent that makes me feel we’ve got international relations going on. Maybe it’s just me. I refer to myself as the Mylio “Test Dummy.” JP considers me a mega challenge. Between the two of us I would try to break the system with my massive number of pictures and he would write a few bits of code and make it all work again. My connection to JP has been ongoing for over a year and I’ve never, ever worked with anybody more patient than JP. So if the main Mylio support team can’t help you, you may get lucky and receive an email or ZOOM request from the international man of mystery JP Duplessis. If you do tell him Dan says hello.

Mylio Tools and Features

I’ve covered some of the main reasons why I’m so throughly impressed with Mylio but we haven’t covered the ins and outs of how it works. Let me give you a list of things is does and doesn’t do so you can get an idea if it would meet your needs.

The initial panel Showing the Tool Panel.

The initial panel Showing the Tool Panel.

Lets start with the basic tools all good workflow programs have and Mylio is no exception:

  • Histogram
  • Information panel showing Caption, Keywords, some EXIF, Metadata
  • Faces
  • Maps for GPS locations of photos
  • Develop tool (under the develop tool you have)
    • Crop
    • Red eye reduction
    • Brushes
    • Before and after view
    • Revert back to original
  • Develop panel includes
    • White balance
      • Temp K
      • Tint
    • Tone
      • White balance, Temp K and Tint
      • Exposure
      • Contrast
      • Shadows
      • Whites
      • Blacks
      • Clarity
    • Treatment
      • Sharpen
      • Color or Black & White
      • Vibrance
      • Saturation
    • Edits
      • Copy
      • Paste
      • Reset all edits
      • Edit using RAW

The Brush Tool

The brush tool panel

The brush tool panel

The Crop Tool

A view of the cropping tool

A view of the cropping tool

Highlights and Shadows Overlay Tool

Highlights and Shadows over and underexposure tool.

Highlights and Shadows over and underexposure tool

Share Your Pictures Protected by a Watermark

Mylio has ditched the word Export in the first window and replaced it with Share which I believe is considerably more friendly and intuitive. Export does show up for those situations that it’s most appropriate for when you get to the second window. Below is a screenshot of the many options the Share option gives you.

Share your images in a number of different ways.

Share your images in a number of different ways.

Sharing includes exporting your image for any number of reasons. If you plan to release your pictures out across the web I can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure you add a watermark. Thankfully, Mylio allows you to do this very easily. Below is screen shot of the Watermarking window.

Mylio's watermarking tool is easy and straight forward to use.

Mylio’s watermarking tool is easy and straightforward to use.

For those unfamiliar with the term watermark, it’s simply a line of text that goes on each photo telling the world who owns that image. You’ll notice on the sample below that mine is includes my name and web address with a © symbol at the head

Klipspringer, Samburu National Park, Kenya showing a watermark sample that I include on all my images sent out vial email or on the web.

Klipspringer, Samburu National Park, Kenya showing a watermark sample that I include on all my images sent out via email or on the web.

of the text. On the Mac you can create © symbol by pressing the Option + G keys. For Windows hold the Alt key down and type 0169 to get the © symbol.

Only Share With Copyright & Contact Info Added

I mentioned earlier that one flaw in the Mylio workflow is a lack of the industry standard IPTC Notepad that allows the photographer to embed all contact information that proves to the world who owns your pictures. What exactly does IPTC stand for? It’s an acronym for International Press Telecommunications Council, and these guys are a bunch of office types who’ve created a fabulous tool to help keep track of ownership of all media being produced around the world. Hey, trips to Kenya are expensive. You shot those photos, you’re proud of what you created, you should be able to mark your pictures with your own personal contact information. Here’s what the IPTC Notepad looks like in Adobe’s Lightroom.

Lightroom's IPTC Note Pad that allows you to embed your Copyright info, email address, web address, physical address and fun name. Just like any good business/calling card right. IPTC, think of it as your business card. Even iPhone shooters should be using this but unfortunately this process needs to be done in Lightroom, Photo Mechanic or the programs. Mylio needs this badly.

Lightroom’s IPTC Notepad that allows you to embed your copyright info, email address, web address, physical address, and full name. Just like any good business/calling card right? IPTC, think of it as your business card. Even iPhone shooters should be using this but unfortunately this process needs to be done in Lightroom, Photo Mechanic, or other programs. Mylio needs this badly.

All good workflow programs have this feature and Mylio should adopt it sooner rather than later. In my discussions with the Mylio team, they suggest that most people don’t care about this. “Only professional photographers care about extensive IPTC,” they say.

A mother elephant and her young calf on the plains of the Masa Mara Game Reserve in Kenya.

A mother elephant and her young calf on the plains of the Masa Mara National Reserve in Kenya.

I say Bull Hockey and I don’t mean cows on skates. Have any of you seen the ads for Apple showcasing a normal person’s images in worldwide commercials? Those images brought those photographers, most of them complete amateurs, big money. What if Apple had seen those photos or video and had no idea how to contact that photographer? Apple wouldn’t

have used them and the photographer would have been out of luck. Watch the Apple video above shot on iPhone by Tim W.  You can bet old Tim W. has an even better camera in his bag due to Apple knowing who shot this video and how to contact him.  The IPTC Notepad is a very boring title for what I call Contact Information. It’s your business card and if your workflow software supports it, which Mylio currently doesn’t, people can track the owner of that image or video down and negotiate payment. That sounds like fun right? Doesn’t everybody dream of being a published photographer, one that’s been paid for their creativity? Most people I know do. But without contact info/metadata, there is no check, no opportunity to beat our chest with pride that your iPhone image is part of an Apple commercial. I want more chest beaters. Help me push Mylio to get the IPTC Notepad added ASAP.

What’s Missing and What Needs Improvement

To be completely fair, some of the above tools are not nearly as powerful as their counterparts in Lightroom. Here’s a list of the basics I would love to see Mylio improve or bring to the program.

  • Highlight tool. Mylio can recover the highlights but not as effectively as Lightroom. It helps but it could do better and I know the Mylio team is aware of its short comings and are diligently working on improving it.
  • Noise reduction tool. There is none and that’s a huge oversight. Once again they know it’s needed and are currently working on adding it in future upgrades
  • Official IPTC Metadata Notepad for adding detailed photographer contact information that goes out with every image. Just like the one in Lightroom, Aperture, Photo Mechanic, and all other serious photography workflow solutions.
  • Keywording improvements. Mylio needs a hierarchal keyword tool similar to or the same as Lightroom’s.
  • Auto Complete in the Caption field, preferably 100+ captions remembered.
  • Auto Complete for keywords as well
  • A much simplified image numbering system. The current version looks like computer coding.

The Drobo Connection to Making Mylio Work

All these benefits of Mylio are possible on even the smallest of machines but for really big libraries a good RAID/NAS device is essential. Raid boxes are nothing more than a collection of hard drives working as one unit. In my case I’m using Drobo 5D’s which now have updated firmware and hardware that support Thunderbolt 2 data speeds. I won’t bore you with details on how fast is fast but suffice it to say that Thunderbolt 2 runs at 4X the speed of USB 3.0. That’s a big difference when your transferring terabytes of images and videos.

I’ve been a big fan of Drobo since they were first released many years ago. Drobo has had their growing pains but I’ve trusted their products since day one and they haven’t let me down. Early on Drobo was invented and managed by a group of initial inventors who were great engineers but not so skilled business people. Those in business understand that it’s not enough to have a world-class product, you have to get that product to your buyers to make it a success. Drobo had some tough years getting quality product and equally quality support out the door, thus frustrating some early adopters. Thankfully, I never ran into the issues some folks did. But now all that’s behind them. A little over a year ago a relatively young man by the name of Mihir Shaw bought the company and they’re now back on track making quality products and upping their game on service and support.

Drobo is a big part of my Mylio backup program since Mylio runs best when all the originals are on one drive or a series of drives configured in a RAID box such as a Drobo 5D. The support crew at Mylio can get you set up if your pictures are across more than one drive, but for ease of use and speedy access, one drive/RAID box is the way to go. It took me awhile to get all my images on a single Drobo due to drive size restrictions on the original Drobo 5D. At the time I was only able to use 4TB drives in each of the five drive bays. I needed 8TB drives in those same bays to get nearly 1 million original RAW files in one place the way Mylio works best. A call to Drobo informed me a firmware update was coming that allowed for increasing the size of the drives in each Drobo 5D. That was all I needed to not jump ship to a different RAID device and eventually they came through. This was just one more part of the puzzle that was partially responsible for this project taking almost two years to finish.

How does a Drobo RAID device work? To keep it simple, it’s a box that holds five very large hard drives. Software takes all my pictures and distributes those photos across all five drives. This allows for one of those five drives to die without losing any of my pictures. If a drive fails, I simply add a new one, the Drobo rebuilds what was on the failed drive from information on the four remaining good drives, and I’m back on track with no loss of data. The 5D can also be set up for a two drive failure. The downside is that you have less room overall for pictures, but it is the way to go for absolute safety. I’m hopeful Drobo will be bringing us their 8-drive Drobo option with Thunderbolt connections. If and when they do I will then set my Drobo’s up for two drive failure.

Why Drobo you might ask? Admittedly, there are other options, including Synology, QNAP, and others that do similar things as Drobo. I tried the Synology but returned to Drobo after experiencing the horrible user interface Synology uses. Maybe they’ve changed, but Drobo has by far the most user friendly, graphically appealing Dashboard of any NAS/Raid devices I’ve ever used. There are cheaper boxes, but you don’t get the superb Drobo interface, simple setup, and drop-dead

Highly functional, easy to read Drobo Dashboard with lots of information about the status of your hard drives, space available, etc. This is one of the main reasons I prefer Drobo products tool the others on the market. You don't have to be in IT to set them up or find out what is going on within the Drobo system.

Highly functional, easy to read Drobo Dashboard with lots of information about the status of your hard drives, space available, etc. This is one of the main reasons I prefer Drobo products tool the others on the market. You don’t have to be in IT to set them up or find out what is going on within the Drobo system.

ease of use. They also have a reasonably good support call center. It isn’t Apple Care but they’ve done an admirable job helping me with issues in the past. Even better is the lack of need to call them. The Drobo’s are very reliable. They do have some inconsistencies with initial setup which can be a bit flaky at times. I would love to see them streamline the first experience, right out of the box, to be flawless. Once your Drobo is setup you can basically forget about them. It just sits on my desk at the studio, in my closet at the house, backing up thousands and thousands of images, all onsite nothing in the cloud.

Part 2 Tomorrow

Tomorrow I’ll be adding additional information about Mylio’s amazing Calendar and other tools as well as ideas about some of my favorite programs that can help Mylio when serious editing–tweaking–of images is needed.

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There are 21 comments on this post…
  1. Michael LengOn Aug. 8th, 2021

    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for sharing – this is a great piece of writing and I’m pretty much on the boat to Mylio. Just one question if I may… For Mylio to have all time access to your pics and vids, do you have to have Dropbox connected to a computer that must be always turned on (and perhaps hibernating)? I have a Synology and all my photos are simply saved in folders in there. I don’t use any software at the moment. USed to use Aperture but it’s no more now. I would like to have all my photos in one place from my devices (iPhone, iPads, MacBook, GoPro, LUMIX GH5). The problem is after a holiday and hundreds of photos and videos, and using all these devices, I don’t know where. I can put them then share so my friends are always waiting for their photos (they’re part of the holiday too LOL). Thank you!

  2. Portrait of David and Shiela Glatz

    David GlatzOn Apr. 26th, 2019

    Greg, I think Dan was saying – in the original post – that a (Panasonic) “Lumix Luminary” (Mr Gilbert) introduced him to Mylio. Apparently Luminar and Lumix use the same term for their sponsored pro’s. Can the industry create a few more similar sounding terms LOL???

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 28th, 2019

      Thanks for the clarification Dave. You are correct. It was Kevin Gilbert, a fellow Lumix Ambassador, that originally introduced me to Mylio. Guess I need to go back and rewrite that to make it more clear. Sorry for any confusion.

  3. GregOn Apr. 25th, 2019

    Replying to self. The basic editing is there. I could use more sophisticated tools. I just found the Metadata pop-up. I would like to be able to have some of that information showing all the time in the sidebar, ala Aperture. And be able to edit the fields that should be editable, e.g., ones I created.

  4. GregOn Apr. 25th, 2019

    You say you heard about Mylio from a Luminar Luminary, but Luminar doesn’t play well with Mylio. Mylio uses sidecars (xmp files) to store edit info and Luminar keeps its own database (I think this is how they both work). Mylio is good (can’t see or edit much of the EXIF) as a DAM and great backup software. And fast. But even for my basic needs Mylio seems to weak as an editor.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 25th, 2019

      Greg, where did I mention I heard about Mylio from a Luminar Luminary? If I wrote that I mistyped or must have had too many beers. Please share with me where you got that info. That said, you are right, Luminar does not play well with Mylio at all. It’s one of the things I love about DXO PhotoLab. Within Mylio I can do and Edit In DXO PhotoLab. When finished, the Exported image, typically a Tif, can be dropped directly into the “original folder” right next to the RAW. Mylio sees it virtually instantly and brings it up next to the RAW file in Mylio. It works beautifully. Luminar has no such option to Export to Oringal folder. I’ve emailed Luminar support asking for this option but so far nothing has happened. I should note that PhotoShop has this same capability as well as Lightroom. I also agree that Mylio is light on editing capabilities but it’s still good enough for 80% of what I process pictures for. Namely my Blog, Facebook, and other social media. I only go out to DXO PhotoLab maybe 15-20% of the time.

  5. Jeffrey McPheetersOn Nov. 3rd, 2016

    I am looking forward to studying this in depth. I have been a workflow junkie for years but what worked when I had tens of thousands of photos and added 25K yearly has now upped to 100k images yearly and even with several Mac Pros with double digit terabytes each, I am falling behind and travel work is increasing so I need something much much more better. Haha. I’m glad this article was near the top in the Google search. I will be thinking hard about your suggestions. Thanks for putting together a well laid out explanation of your processes.

  6. Graham SmithOn Oct. 18th, 2016

    Although a slightly different solution, as its not providing the backup tools of Myllio, Phase One’s media Pro would appear faster than Mylio at scrolling through thumbnails. Indeed there is zero redraw time on my 2011 Mac Mini. Photo Mechanic on the other hand, with the same image collection, performs very like the video here.

    Each Catalogue is limited to 128,000 images, and you need to allow time to let the Media Pro build the thumbnail and Preview catalogues. But for my small library of 27,000 images, on my relatively slow computer, it took less than a day to build the catalogue (640 pixel thumbnails and 1920 pixel previews) and and it only takes up about 6gb of HD space. Uses IPTC and can sync with Photo Mechanic via XMP (or LIghtroom, or Capture One).

    However, Phase One don’t seem that keen on promoting it. No up to date training videos and no proper manual. And apart from minor tweaks it isn’t really that much different from the 20 year old iView media that it evolved from. Fortunately, iView Media was well ahead of its time, and the original manuals can be googled for.

    Now, I can search, scroll, and check full sized preview with no delays at all (still on the trial).

    It might be worth looking at if speed is really important and the other features/limitations match you needs.


    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Oct. 19th, 2016

      Thanks for the input Graham. I used iView Media Pro even before it was named as such. Can’t recall it’s original name but eventually Microsoft bought it, then sold it to Phase One. It was a great program at the time and it’s a shame it’s not been brought up to current standards. The limitation of a catalog to 128,000 images is a huge deal breaker for me. I agree, it does move quickly with the smaller number of images but Mylio is nearly as quick and Mylio is moving through just short of 1 million images. Not a fair comparison unless iView can take that many pictures in. Thanks again for your input. Always good to have an extra voice to sort this stuff out.

  7. Kevin LloydOn Oct. 13th, 2016

    Thanks for the information Daniel, Mylio looks great, but my first concern would be how to import existing edits from Lightroom (not possible at this stage I’m sure), keywords/tags, and file ratings/colour tags.
    These are probably concerns for anyone with a reasonably large catalogue looking for other editing options to break from the Adobe stranglehold.
    I know Capture One has been making progress in this area but it looks like quite a challenge to learn…

    The cross computer sharing is a great idea however, thumbs up!

    • Graham SmithOn Oct. 18th, 2016


      Capture One is making useful changes in their cataloguing tools with each release, but it creates large catalogues, which are slow to create and use. It seems that people who are using it need to split their photographs across multiple catalogues. e.g. a catalogue for each year. But you can have multiple catalogues open and drop and drag images between them to create additional catalogues associated wth specific projects etc. This seems to work well for some people.

      Phase one also offer Media Pro for cataloguing (I mention this in another post), but that has its own limitations in the way it integrates with Capture One, and of course adds considerably to the cost. But the two programs combined probably give a better solution than Lightroom. Assuming you think the difference in raw conversion in Capture One is worth the cost/effort.

      I disagree with Daniel about Capture 1 being difficult to learn, I have been using Lightroom since version 1, and have found Capture 1 easier and faster to use than Lightroom. But everyone seems to have different views on this. it is certainly very different to Lightroom.

      There is a lot of help around to use Capture 1, and there is a lot of help around on importing LR/Aperture libraries and settings into Capture One. Not everything is imported.

      Personally, I think Capture 1 is worth a look, but the cataloguing still seems to have a bit to go. However, the rate of improvement in the C1 cataloguing means that a lot of the criticism you read about it is often out of date.


  8. Glen FoxOn Oct. 8th, 2016

    Thank your this. I look forward to seeing the complete story.

    I was fascinated by the Lion video ..terrific footage. What sets your videos apart from many others is the excellent choice of music. Complements to whoever is responsible for that. Not only the choice but the balance and volume.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Oct. 9th, 2016

      Thanks Glen. Video production including music is all me. Thanks for the nice words. Glad you liked Lions and Hyenas.

  9. DC HeadshotsOn Oct. 7th, 2016

    Fantastic post! Joe McNally is also a big supporter of Mylio! Thanks for the informative post!

  10. TomOn Oct. 7th, 2016


    How does this system work for video files, are you doing video?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Oct. 7th, 2016

      Tom, Mylio does an acceptable job with video though it’s not quite as robust as it is for stills. I file all my video work right along side my still images. Mylio has a tool to find all video. When I sold the footage to Nat Geo for the TV program I was able to go to the Kenya folder I knew is was in, select the dated folder of the day the event took place and then asked Mylio to find all video. Which it did in seconds and I was able to copy it all, save it to an eternal drive and mail it out. Very simple. However, Mylio doe snot edit video in anyway. I do all editing in FCPX. Hope this helps.

  11. Portrait of Jay Murthy

    JayOn Oct. 7th, 2016

    Dan, no confusion here at all. I eagerly look forward to part 2 of your review. Understanding your workflow would be invaluable to make the most of these tools, especially culling through and processing a massive number of images.

  12. Portrait of Jay Murthy

    JayOn Oct. 6th, 2016

    Great review Dan!! Love your insight about data redundacy and how you manage all the pictures. I am trying to get out of lightroom because i am using it mainly as a cataloguing software … Most of my edits are done in other plugins.. This might be the solution i looking for if they can support the plugins i use..
    Dxo pro, on1, nik plugins and aurora HDR.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Oct. 6th, 2016

      Jay, amazingly, this post got “Posted” too soon. I’m not sure how I hit the post button but I was still working on it, Tanya and I went to dinner, I get back and it’s posted. Damn………Part of what I planned to add was my use of DXO Optics Pro 11. Will be adding that in the next day or so. Probably tomorrow. Sorry for the confusion.

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