Mylio May Just Be the Next Big DAM Thing

Posted Apr. 7th, 2015 by Daniel J. Cox

Mylio May Just be the Next Big DAM Thing. A few months ago I introduced the readers of this blog to a new piece of software called Mylio by way of my friend Kevin Gilbert’s guest appearance on TheGrid. When I first heard of Mylio, my gut reaction was hmmm…that’s kind of a cool name, but I also thought it certainly needs to offer more than just a catchy title. Thankfully, after a bit more research, I’ve found it does offer more. All coolness aside, Mylio  actually stands for something quite logical. It’s an acronym of sorts for a shortened version of My Life Organized. And for this converstion, My Life refers to, My Pictures. I like names that stand for something, especially when that something is a goal I’ve been perusing for literally decades–photographic organization.

[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/110821798[/vimeo]

With Mylio, photographic organization refers to collecting and storing every image you’ve ever shot or even pictures that others have shot of you, placing them all in one catalog, and keeping them in a safe place off site, also known as the cloud. The final icing on the cake is the fact you can see all those images, or as many as you choose, on each and every device you own, including your phone, tablet, PC, Android, on both Mac and Windows platforms. The key to the brilliance of this idea is Mylio’s ability to sync just THE PHOTOS YOU CHOOSE, unlike Apple’s new Photos program which requires a full-blown commitment of your entire library to the cloud. Mylio doesn’t. Keeping a backup of your photos off site is a great idea and the video below helps drive the point home.

[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/106542474[/vimeo]

As I said above, my search for photographic organization has spanned decades and I’m not exaggerating. I bought my first MS-DOS PC, an Epson Equity, clear back in 1981. I desperately wanted to buy a Mac  but I had a good friend who was involved with computers that convinced me to buy the software first and then buy the computer it would run on. In those days THE software was a program known as Phototrack. Phototrack was simply amazing in its ability to create a database of images based on captions, keywords, and bar codes that all attached via small labels to the cardboard mounts of my nearly 500,000 transparency/slide collection. My father told me early on that if I was crazy enough to try and make a go of photography I had to treat it like a business. To that end I went out and bought an MS-DOS based Epson Equity personal PC and started organizing my photographic life.

Tanya sorting through a small collection of my over 500,000+ slides/transparencies that were filed in plastic sleeves twenty to a page and hung in filing cabinets.

Tanya sorting through a small collection of my 500,000+ slides/transparencies that were filed in plastic sleeves, 20 to a page and hung in five drawer filing cabinets.

It was very rewarding to submit to publishers a well organized package of images that included a contract listing all photos by way of their individual ID, info regarding how many pictures were contained in the package, each image’s lost or damaged value, as well as a caption for every single picture. All these details were printed out on computer paper in triplicate so I could keep one, the editor would keep one, and the last was returned to my office signed and dated. It was pretty intimidating for most editors to get such a well organized package from a 21-year-old businessman/photographer. Ok so I was a kid 🙂 Anyway, I was all business and being so well organized gave the perception of value which helped drive interest in the photography in each package.

Fast forward from 1981 to 2015, and along comes Mylio. Mylio came onto my radar with the demise of my favorite Digital Asset Management program, Aperture. I had hoped that Apple was going to give us more professional plug-in options for the new Photos program that’s replacing Aperture and iPhoto; however, based on what’s being written and seen by beta testers, the ability to make Photos more powerful through plug-ins will most likely not happen for at least a couple of years and very likely never. So…I’m looking for something else, and Mylio may just be the answer.

This post is not a full-blown review. Actually, I’m writing this more out of excitement for what I think Mylio is and where it will most likely be headed.

Mylio’s Cost: It’s A Subscription Service

First let’s talk about the cost. It’s subscription based and there are many who just don’t like the idea of paying a monthly fee. Monthly payments make some folks crazy. However, you can gat a free account that will hold up to 1,000 photos. For any serious photographer, you would need to move up to Mylio Basic which is a reasonable $50.00 per year. That’s less than $5.00 per month! With the Basic plan you get to sync three different devices, upload up to 50,000 pictures, and you get 5GB of Mylio cloud storage.

Mylio pricing structure. Click on the image to be taken to the Mylio page describing costs.

Mylio pricing structure. Click on the image to be taken to the Mylio page describing costs.

The next plan is called Mylio Standard.  The Standard plan is $100.00 per year, or $8.33 per month. You get an account that allows for 100,000 photos, 10GB of cloud storage, Adobe Lightroom integration, as well as non-destructive RAW editing of all your digital images. Mylio allows RAW editing on ANY device including iPhone and iPad.

Last and definitely the most expensive is Mylio Advanced. The Advanced plan will set you back $250.00 per year or just short of $21.00 per month. You get to sync up to 12 devices and upload up to 500,000 photos. It also includes 25GB of cloud storage, Adobe Lightroom integration, RAW editing, and Shuffle. By the way, I have no idea what Shuffle is.

So those are the costs and quite frankly, I don’t feel they are all that bad. I’m guessing they may even come down in the future since all things digital typically do. But if they don’t, the value is still pretty amazing. I’ve always thought subscription plans were great incentives for a good software company to continue innovating. When they don’t, you just drop your account and find something else.

What does Mylio do and how does it do it?

Mylio Saves Your Memories

Mylio is a home base for all your photos or the ones you really want to make sure to save, back up, and protect. You can have all your photos on a local hard drive located in your home or office. You can then tell Mylio which of those images you want a copy of in the Mylio cloud. The cloud images are the ones you’ll be able to edit and see from any device. Those that are not in the cloud won’t be seen by your other devices unless you’re in the area of your main database connected via WiFi. At least that’s how I understand it. If somebody from Mylio is reading this, please jump in and clarify that for us if you would in the comment section below.

[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/122489876[/vimeo]

Mylio Allows Instant Editing Capabilities

When you see editing changes made on your iPad pop up within seconds on your iPhone, desktop PC, or Mac, it’s hard to believe. You make a crop, change the white balance, change exposure, sharpen the photo, or anything else on the device in your hand and within seconds it shows the same changes on ALL of your other devices. It’s as close to magic as I’ve ever seen. Many of us who travel with small groups of like-minded photographers know how easy it is to get caught up in your tent or cabin working on your pictures. With Mylio you can bring your iPad with you, work at your leisure, and leave the tent or cabin behind. Mylio has the potential to make our trips more social and get work done to your images to boot.

Mylio Works with X-Rite on Your iPad for Goodness Sakes!

This is an industry first as far as I know. A photography program that will automatically connect to the X-Rite iPad app and sync the color profile on your iPad. Keep in mind that a supported X-Rite measurement device is required for the calibration process. Supported devices are ColorMunki Smile™, ColorMunki Display™, i1Display Pro™, and i1Pro 2™, but color calibration is possible. This gives you the ability to tweak your photos from your iPad! When you return home or to your office, all the changes are already in your main desktop library, with the color calibrated changes you made while you were on the road. This is going to be a huge time saver. Video below shows the X-Rite app.

[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/123988894[/vimeo]

Mylio Has A Superb Leader And Is Driven

If you know the history of the lead developer and CEO of Mylio, you come to realize this is going to be the sleeper program nobody dreamed of. David Vaskevitch was one of the head Mucky Mucks of software design at Microsoft for many years. He left, as many MS employees have done, and decided to do something on his own. What’s important to this story is, David LOVES photography and he’s in charge of making sure ideas are implemented in the Mylio software. Like the color calibration option for iPad. That’s the kind of commitment we’re going to see over time I believe. I don’t see Mylio trying to compete with Lightroom as editing software, but I do see it competing on the DAM side with basic to moderate tools for adjusting your pictures. I believe Mylio is going to be the answer for making the DAM (Digital Asset Management, a.k.a., keeping track of your precious memories) simple and efficient and at the same time leaving the heavy lifting for digital editing to the likes of Photoshop, Pixelmator, or DXO for creative changes or tweaking. Bottom line is Mylio has a driven leader and that is always a huge bonus.

Mylio Has An Aperture Migration Tool Coming Soon

In my recent discussion with the folks over at Mylio, they have informed me that they’re nearly finished with building an Aperture migration tool. I’m being told it won’t just be keywords and captions but actual edits as well. I’ve been warned the edits won’t be perfect as far as colors and other details but they will be close. For me, I’m not that worried about edited images exporting from Aperture to Mylio. I’m mostly interested in the keywords and captions. I’m being assured that keywords and captions are going to import without a hitch. I do know there are others that are very interested in edits being exported, and for you folks it’s amazing to hear it has the ability to happen. Aperture to Lightroom migration tool doesn’t even mention edits coming over in any way. And that’s if you can get it to work. I’ve tried and never was able to get an Aperture library migrated to Lightroom.

Mylio Does XMP Side Car Files

One of the downsides when I moved from Lightroom to Aperture was the loss of the ability to generate XMP side car files in Aperture. Aperture had this ability when I exported a file but unlike Lightroom, I could not tell Aperture to make an XMP side car file for every image in the library without exporting. Why is this important? Because side car files are small little computer generated files that contain all the info of each one of your RAW files. It has the exact same number as your RAW file but with a different extension.

[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/123987465[/vimeo]

An example would be D123456.RW2 and right along side of it you would have D123456.xmp. This is the most effective way of keeping track of all the things you do to your RAW files without directly embedding those changes in the RAW file itself. This is the safest way you can work with RAW files and Lightroom did this with ease. Now Mylio has the same capabilities. Think of it as having a miniature backup of everything you’ve ever done to any particular picture. If you would ever lose your library, all you would have to do is reload your folders of images back into Mylio and all of your changes, edits, keywords, captions, etc. are loaded with the original RAW file. This is the ultimate in catalog/library backup.

Mylio Has Phenomenal Support

When I decided to give Mylio a go, I started loading my nearly 700,000 images and all did not go so well. I had some technical difficulties so I had to contact Mylio support. It began with Matt, and like a dog on a bone, he never gave up. I’m still having some issues with getting all Nikon D2H and D2Hs photos to be seen by Mylio, but Matt’s working on it even as I write this. Seems the D2H and D2Hs were such a bomb for Nikon, the Mylio team overlooked it. They weren’t the only ones. Even so, Matt’s been incredible and this was before he knew that I knew the boss. Now compare this with Adobe Lightroom where I’ve tried a dozen times to find a phone number to call for support, and nowhere am I able to find any number to call. I’m told that if I was on the Photoshop/Lightroom subscription plan I would be able to speak with somebody in India. Mylio doesn’t have a call center, but when I’ve emailed I’ve never waited longer than 30 minutes to get a response with somebody ready to sort things out.

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There are 10 comments on this post…
  1. Martin KleinsorgeOn Jan. 9th, 2016

    Hello Dan,
    I have been using Lightroom for years. I have been using Lightroom 5 for for over a year with nothing but problems. Sooooooooooo many problems. Do feel that Mylio can replace lightroom?

    Martin Kleinsorge

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 10th, 2016

      I’m not sure Martin but I have high hopes. The Mylio team is super responsive an constatnly making positive updates. Only time will tell.

  2. James C CortezOn Apr. 28th, 2015

    Mylio is incredible. I have been an Aperture user since day one and the demise of it has left me like many others; high and dry. I decided to start with LR which I just cannot wrap my head around yet-hate the UI etc but do like editing in it. LR Mobile leaves much to be desired ie it is SLOW. Tried Mylio as I shoot mostly now with my iPhone 6plus and all I can say is WOW. Not mentioned here is the workflow between Mylio and Lightroom: an added plus. Everything I shoot syncs between my Mac and all my devices seamlessly and immediately, and anything that needs extensive editing I shoot over to LR and back to Mylio. I cannot wait for the Aperture to Mylio tool, as the LR plugin was just a mess. Ended up leaving everything in Aperture and using LR only for new shoots after it is all in Mylio. Also: Mylio support has to be the most amazing support I have ever experienced. Raiza and Teo are just awesome. They answer immediately and are so helpful. Teo has even made private youtube videos to help me. Never have I experienced that ANYWHERE before. Hell I almost purchased out of guilt the support was so amazing!! LoL Try and buy Mylio you will not regret it!!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 28th, 2015

      James, all good additional info regarding the Lightroom and Mylio connection. And yes, I also agree with your take on world class support. They have been amazing for me as well. Glad to hear your enjoying the Mylio experience. Thanks for adding your voice.

  3. Philip DownerOn Apr. 13th, 2015

    Hi Dan,

    Great find with Mylio! I’ve been staying tuned to your investigation as Aperture disappears. I’ve been using Lightroom for the most part, but as I don’t require many of the pro features it just seems like overkill. Plus, I’d love to have something that my wife actually wants to use.

    Thanks for pointing me in this direction. I’m going to give Mylio a go!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 13th, 2015

      Awesome Philip. Let me know your thoughts. I’ve been working closely with the Mylio team and they have some amazing new additions coming. It’s going to have tremendous tools eventfully but it will also be as simple as it can get, if that’s what the user wants. I’m currently helping them with an Aperture to Mylio tool and so far it is bringing over almost everything I adjusted in my files and brought those changes in to Mylio. Adobe makes an Aperture to Lightroom tool but tells us it will only bring over keywords, stars and captions and one or two other small things. And that is if you can get it to work. I’ve tried to import my Aperture library to Lightroom twice and it’s crashed my computer both times. I finally gave up. Mylio is bringing virtually all adjustments over along with faces, stars etc. Almost everything. One tool not supported yet is the dodge and burn tool. But other than that I’m missing nothing. Pretty impressive on Mylio’s part. Stay tuned.

  4. Portrait of Christine Crosby

    Christine CrosbyOn Apr. 12th, 2015

    Hi Dan,

    This may be an ignorant question, as I’m not as tech savvy as some . . . But you’ve got me acutely aware of concerns over copywrites on my images. How does that work with Mylio? I know anything in my FB folders would have my watermark on it but if say I’m editing some images on my iPad and then want to share them when finished, how would that work. Would I still need to go into Lightroom (for me) to add the watermark and still export from there? Just trying to get my head around the whole access concept. It seems really cool to be able to have support and inter connectedness on so many devices, but I wonder if I’d “get myself into trouble” with the sharing aspect. For example, I recently had the vet client that I told you about. We had agreed on several images that she wanted but wanted to add one more. I ended up going home and emailing her some options but it would have been great to be able to access those possibilities from my phone which I had with me but I’m just worried about the copywrite piece if I were to actually try to share that/those images in that circumstance (for her to look at the choice at her leisure instead of in real time on my phone). Does that makes sense? In this case I would never have worried about this particular client “stealing” or using my images inappropriately but I can see if it was someone you didn’t know wel . . . How you understand what I’m getting at. Mylio does look really interesting! Especially since I now have multiple Mac devices that could all easily sync. Interested to learn more.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 12th, 2015

      Christine, Great question. Right now Mylio is not up to speed on any of the devices with a quality watermarking option. However, I spoke with the Mylio team this last week and they’re going to make that happen sooner rather than later. It might be June or so but I’m told it is a high priority. I asked them the exact same question and you relating the same to me validates my concerns and desires. Your timing on this was perfect. And yes, if you had Mylio setup you wold have had access to your images on your iPhone and you could have actually sold your vet a print right from your iPhone. You have the Mylio concept down perfect. That’s the beauty of this system. All our pictures, or just the ones you want, across ALL your devices, ALL the time.

      The other extremely exciting part of the Mylio equation is their willingness to listen. When I approached them about the watermarking idea they were all ears. I showed them what Lightroom could do and they’ve assured me they are on the path to building something similar. It’s not often you get a company that asks you for ideas and then implements them so quickly. By adding your voice to this Blog the Mylio folks will see it’s not just me. Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned on Myio.

  5. Matt VolletOn Apr. 8th, 2015

    Hey Everyone – Matt from Mylio Support here. I wanted to touch on editing and keeping your photos with you. Mylio will allow you to keep a local copy of your photos (either a large size or a smaller size if you don’t have enough space) directly on your device so you do not need access to wi-fi, cellular data, or the cloud. This copy will be editable, and when you connect back to a wi-fi network (or enable sync using cellular on iOS devices) those edits will be sent directly back to your computer and other devices, even if you are not on the same wi-fi network. I’m happy to answer any other questions if you have them!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 8th, 2015

      Matt, great to have you online. As you can see I’m still getting my feet wet with Mylio. I appreciate you clarifying that Mylio DOES NOT require the Cloud. That’s huge bonus. I’m looking forward to digging in to it further and getting better aquatinted with what seems like it’s tremendous powers. I really appreciate you stopping by to add you voice.

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