Mylio CEO David Vaskevitch Guest Post

Posted Apr. 16th, 2015 by Daniel J. Cox

Mylio CEO David Vaskevitch Guest Post. Many of you know that I’m very excited about a new software program I’m using called Mylio. There has been some confusion about exactly what Mylio is, how it works, and why you might want to use it.  It does work with the cloud, but it doesn’t save all your original files to the cloud as I had suggested in one of my initial posts. It uses the cloud to “slingshot” small thumbnails and previews to each of your devices. Unfortunately, I didn’t explain it real well, and in fact I was a little confused myself. To solve that for all of us, I convinced David Vaskevitch, CEO of Mylio, to step in and explain it to our readers. Below is a guest post by Mr. David Vaskevitch of Mylio. Keep in mind that David’s description is very thorough, all straight from his heart, in the words of an enthusiastic software developer and more importantly, dedicated photographer. In other words, this wasn’t run though any PR Department. I love that about Mylio, David actually emails me back. How refreshing, thanks David, take it away. 


Thinking About Mylio: What and Why?

Mylio is a tool and a system for managing your photos over an entire lifetime: your lifetime, but also the lifetime of the photos, which may be longer.  Mylio is a subscription based product, but it is important to understand what Mylio is and why it is helpful when considering what that subscription pays for.

Mylio is neither a sharing site nor a storage service.  It turns out that Mylio is planning to offer a separate storage service for users who want to store one copy of their pictures in the cloud, but one of the unique strengths of Mylio is that it also allows users to be fully protected without having to store their pictures in the cloud.  So, the value in the base service is based on the functionality provided to users and not based on the provision of (commodity) storage.

Friends for many years, Kevin Gilbert, lead Mylio Memory evangelist and Mylio's CEO and developer David Vaskevitch share dome down time on a tundra butty while photographing polar bears.

Friends for many years, Kevin Gilbert, lead Mylio Memory evangelist, and Mylio’s CEO and developer David Vaskevitch, share dome down time on a tundra buggy while photographing polar bears. Two real photographers now working on getting the world a new software program to save our memories.

What does Mylio do?  It brings all your pictures together in one place so you can organize and work on them.  It replicates your pictures at very high speed to all your computers and devices so they are available to you wherever you are.  Mylio is cloud agnostic in many ways.  So, for example Mylio can replicate your pictures to all your devices even in places where there is no internet access — on an airplane, a cruise ship or in a car, or out in the wilderness far from home.  How does Mylio do this?  By using WiFi, if necessary even having your computer set up a temporary self-contained network not only does Mylio let you replicate everywhere; replication performance is so fast it’s almost hard to believe.  Mylio provides rich tools for organizing and working with your pictures.  Again work on pictures on your iPad on an airplane, and when you land, all the changes will automatically make their way back to all your other computers and devices all on their own.  Mylio’s organizational capabilities include people tagging, folders, albums, stars, colors, ratings, keywords, albums and more; again all available on every computer and device you own (Android support is on it’s way).

TV personality Al Roker and David Vaskevitch discussing all things polar bears on a Tundra Buggy in Churchill, Manitoba.

TV personality Al Roker and David Vaskevitch discussing all things polar bears on a Tundra Buggy in Churchill, Manitoba.

One particularly unique feature of Mylio is its ability to scale in multiple dimensions.  First Mylio is designed to handle hundreds of thousands of pictures.  For the first time you can manage all your pictures all at once and all in one place.  While Mylio the company conservatively rates Mylio as scaling to 500,000 pictures many users now have libraries with 600,000, 800,000 and even over one million pictures.  And, Mylio continues to be responsive and fast.  Mylio also scales to multiple computers and devices.  If you have two desktop computers (one at the office and one at home), a laptop, a phone and two tablets, Mylio takes all of this in stride and seamlessly coordinates changes across all your devices.  In a family or small team with 10 or more computers, phones and tablets, Mylio still seamlessly scales so that pictures are always available everywhere, changes transparently replicate, and the whole thing seems like one big system.  Finally, Mylio scales to multiple locations.  Multi-location is important both at home and while travelling.  Work on pictures at home on your tablet or computer; when you get to the office the changes are just there (before you are).  Add a large set of pictures at the office and those pictures are  automagically at your home.  While travelling the same multi-location support means that your pictures often get home, travelling from your hotel room to your office or home, before you do.  Even in an extended family situation with perhaps several homes and an office thrown in for good measure, Mylio just takes care of it all making everything seem local.

A shot of what Mylio looks like as I was searching my Catalog of photos for David and Kevin.

A shot of what Mylio looks like as I was searching my catalog of photos for David and Kevin.

Protecting our precious pictures is something we all think and even worry about, but also too many of us keep putting off getting it done.  Here is where Mylio really shines.  Ideally you would keep your pictures protected all the time.  Whenever you add pictures or make changes, protection would just kick in.  What does protection look like?  Everybody needs a protection “policy”.  The one I like, as a minimum is 3, 3, 2: three copies of every original, on three disks, in two locations.  So, that means your starting point is two copies of those originals wherever you work with your pictures the most – at home, at a studio, or at the office.  Many people do this, but they don’t do it constantly because it’s too much work and who wants to think about protection all the time.  The second location is usually the rub for most people.  I’ve lost count of how many people tell me either “I know I should have a copy of my pictures somewhere else, but it’s too hard”, or “I make a copy occasionally and put it somewhere else but not often enough”.  What does that second location look like?  It could be the cloud and for many people that is the easiest and most convenient.  That said, there are many issues with cloud based storage including cost, performance and trust.  If you have, say 2TB of pictures, getting them into the cloud could take weeks or even months.  And, what about if you have to get them back?  Mylio gives you another choice:  set up your own second location.  That location could be your office, your studio, even a friends house if you can make that work.  Run Mylio at that second location and it will automatically keep your pictures in sync across both locations.  And, as a side benefit, if you work on pictures in both locations, all the changes will flow back and forth faster than you can go back and forth.

What is really unique about Mylio’s protection services is that once you set them up they run automatically and continuously.  You no longer even have to think about it; Mylio just makes your policy true in the background.  Mylio can even protect you while you travel.  If you specify that a second (or third)  copy of your originals is to go on a USB disk you carry with you, Mylio will automatically track the changes and get them there without you having to think about it.  More: if you are in a hotel with a decent internet connection, Mylio can also send your pictures home and often they will arrive before you do.

So, there you have it.  Mylio is not a storage service or a sharing site.  It is though in many ways much more than that: a complete way of working with and managing your pictures including keeping them protected.

An NBC TV crew doing a story on polar bears. David Vaskevitch in the red and black jacket on the right with the big furry hat getting still photos.

An NBC TV crew doing a story on polar bears. David Vaskevitch in the red and black jacket on the right with the big furry hat getting still photos.

Mylio and Cloud Storage

Sometimes people ask about Mylio and cloud storage.  Mylio’s base subscription price does include a modest amount of cloud storage, but at it’s core Mylio is not a cloud storage site (but more on that later).  That said, Mylio does offer something much more important, in some ways: choice.

Cloud storage is great for people with small sets of pictures.  If you have, say, 10,000 jpg’s, taking up perhaps 80GB then cloud storage is a perfect solution and Mylio later this spring will offer cloud storage at prices competitive with Apple’s pricing.  Even then Mylio provides extra functionality that you need even with your pictures in the cloud.

The real challenge arises for people with large collections.  Apple doesn’t even sell over 1TB of storage and if they did the amount of time it would take to get pictures into the cloud or to get them back if you ever needed them, would virtually make the whole thing impossible.

Cloud storage actually serves two purposes: protection, and synchronization.  I want to have pictures on my desktop computer, my notebook computer, my tablet and my phone.  In the pure cloud world all those pictures first have to go to the cloud before they can even start going to any other machine.  Besides the fact that this makes replication slow, I often travel to and work in places with either no internet service, or very expensive (and slow) cloud connections.  And, often that is when I most want that replication to work.  Again Mylio provides a choice.

Kevin Gilbert, photojournalist and lead Mylio Memory Evangelist photographing polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba.

Kevin Gilbert, photojournalist and lead Mylio Memory Evangelist, photographing polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba.

Mylio replicates to my computers and devices using WiFi whenever it can.  If there is no WiFi around, Mylio will even turn my computer into a local hot spot so my devices can talk to each other.  This is where fast comes in.  In a single day in Africa or the Arctic, I can easily shoot 25-50GB of pictures.  It would take days to get those to the cloud if the connection was even present.  Mylio replicates all those pictures from my notebook to my devices in literally minutes.  That’s a choice I like.

The choice I like the best is around protection.  Mylio allows me to choose to keep the offsite copy of my pictures at my house.  So, all my originals are at my office, but they are also at my house.  And, Mylio keeps them in sync continuously and automatically.  I don’t store any pictures in the cloud but I am still protected against something happening to my office or home. And, as a side benefit I can work on pictures at either location and the changes are just automatically already there at the other location when I get there.

Finally there is one more choice.  Even if I did keep a copy of my originals in the cloud – which I don’t – I still would want another additional copy on a USB drive or RAID system.  Mylio manages that for me too.

So, when you pay for Mylio you are not paying for storage, but you are paying for power and choice.  And, if your choice does include cloud storage you will be able to buy cloud storage at Apple competitive prices very soon.

Let us know what you guys and gals think. I’m really excited about the possibilities. I know there are some of you who hate the idea of a subscription service but the costs of Mylio are quite reasonable, and when we pay for products we encourage them to keep making more and better. That’s my thought. Would love to hear what you all think. 

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There are 2 comments on this post…
  1. Tom OcasekOn Apr. 17th, 2015

    Dan, Tell me what you think of this option to the Apple/Aperture support discontinuation. I am a member of Apple’s Business Team and I have used it to force my way “upstream” to find out how they saw the aperture conversion options. They were aware of Mylio, but not conversant.

    One option for those Aperture owners/users who are not interested in being leading edge “image creators” and are satisfied with Aperture’s existing administrative, organization and adjustment capabilities is to simply – do nothing…………and continue to use Aperture as they have been. We own it and know how to use it and it is ensconced in what ever systems we use to edit and store images. The software has been around long enough to have been cleansed. If this is a true option it is the least disruptive and would allow conversion to another software at a later date when that software has been refined. My “IT guru” won’t “allow me” to change software in the first year from launch. Your thoughts as my “Photographic Guru”. Aloha, Tom Ocasek

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 18th, 2015

      Tom, The idea of sticking with Aperture in the short term is sound. However, as the operating system moves ahead it’s going to leave Aperture behind. No way around it. I still have two, older, but perfectly good Mac Pros in the office that run just fine, but they have no ability to run the latest and most powerful software. At some point Aperture will meet the same fate. Your idea not to update to sofware unless it’s been out for a year is sound. That said, I’m already enjoying the sharing benefits of Mylio. When I say sharing I mean being able for my office staff, Tanya and Jill, to easily see the shared Mylio catalog and pull photos from it from their own computers. This is a feature I’ve been waiting for since I started shooting digital. Not Aperture nor Lightroom or any other program I know of can access the same catalog across a network without screwing things up. Adobe says it can’t be done, Apple chose not to do it. Mylio is doing it with what looks like ease. I still sell a good number of images so having the ability for my office staff to have access to my pictures, that reside on my hard drives, without having to go to my machine, is priceless. Without letting the cat out of the bag, I can tell you there is something very special coming from Mylio for all Aperture users in the near future. Hopefully no longer than 2-4 weeks. That’s all I can say right now but keep your eyes peeled here on the blog for further info.

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