One of the unintended side effects of living in the digital age is that we all inevitably experience digital clutter in one form or another. Known sometimes as storage creep, this phenomenon certainly applies to photographers as well. I personally know photographers that have a drawer containing nothing but hard drives and memory cards that are full of images (you know who you are). That doesn’t even include all the photos we have taken or saved on our phones or tablets. If you were Marie Kondo, having to juggle thousands of images across all of these devices certainly doesn’t spark joy. This is where Mylio comes in, with the goal of bringing order to your digital chaos. Mylio allows you to consolidate all of your photos and videos into one place, syncing them across all of your devices so that you can access them everywhere. Sounds promising for sure, but does Mylio deliver? Find out after the jump.
Pros and Cons
- Easy to use
- Cross-platform support between mobile devices as well as computers running MacOS and Windows
- Competitively priced
- Image editing capabilities are fairly rudimentary
- Can only backup images and videos
- Numerous functionality quirks across the mobile and desktop apps
Mylio’s interface looks very polished on both the desktop and mobile apps. Once you’ve set up the program on your computer (we’ll touch on this in more detail when we go over Mylio’s ease of use), you can begin importing your images stored on your hard drives and SD cards, as well as online services such as Facebook, Flickr, and Google Photos/Picasa. The imported images are organized within Mylio’s “Life Calendar,” which is basically the program’s name for its visual timeline. You can browse your images using a number of different views:
- “All Photos” is self-explanatory
- “Calendar” sorts your images by decade, year, month, and date
- “Map” organizes your photos by location provided your images are geotagged
- “People” sorts your images by face. (This works similarly to photo tagging on Facebook and requires you to go through all of your images and tagging all of the faces Mylio detects. Mylio’s face detection AI is generally fairly competent, although you will notice some occasional detection mishaps that can be rather hilarious.)
- “Albums” allows you to create virtual photo albums within Mylio to organize your photos into
- “Folders” works similar to “Albums” but creates folders within your storage vault. This is where imported files reside, as well as where you can find the XMP sidecar files if you do any photo editing within Mylio.
Navigating to a particular image will display the image’s corresponding metadata. Opening up an image within Mylio gives you the option to apply ratings and face tags, share it through a variety of options, as well as the ability to do some simple editing using Mylio’s built-in photo editing tools. These include
- The ability to apply some basic presets
- The ability to switch between color and black & white
- Access to sliders for adjusting the exposure, white balance, contrast, highlights, vibrance, saturation, sharpening, noise reduction, etc.
Mylio’s photo editing chops are rudimentary at best and will surely leave seasoned professionals accustomed to working in Capture One Pro or Lightroom wanting. For hobbyists photographers and laypeople, know that Mylio is standard, and a way’s away from changing the game.
Ease of Use
Setting up Mylio is very easy. To get started, install Mylio on your computer, and make sure you have at least one drive large enough to create what Mylio calls a Vault. This is where Mylio will store a copy of all the images that are imported. While you can setup Mylio without setting up a Vault, this isn’t advised as it prevents Mylio from saving a copy of your original files. In fact, Mylio recommends having at least two vaults for data redundancy purposes. During the initial setup process, you can also sync your calendar with Mylio so that photos will be automatically sorted into corresponding events. As you add new events to your calendar, Mylio will automatically associate photos captured during the event as they are imported.
Once Mylio is installed and your vaults are configured, you can begin importing images into Mylio from your external hard drives, SD cards, other storage devices, and photo sharing services like Facebook, Flickr, and Google Photos/Picasa. With the Mylio app installed on your phone or tablet, new images in your camera roll will automatically be imported every time you fire up the app. If you’ve got tons of images stored within your camera roll, you’ll probably want to leave your phone plugged in and connected to wifi as the initial upload can take quite some time.
“While Mylio worked flawlessly, for the most part, we did encounter occasional issues when trying to edit select raw files that we uploaded to Mylio from our iPhone 7 Plus.”
Editing photos within Mylio is incredibly easy. Photographers familiar with Capture One Pro or Lightroom/Camera Raw will be able to familiarize themselves with Mylio’s photo editing tools in minutes. As we’d previously mentioned, however, do note that Mylio’s photo editing tools are very bare bones. They should be adequate for average consumers, but professional photographers aren’t likely to migrate from their raw editor of choice.
While Mylio worked flawlessly, for the most part, we did encounter occasional issues when trying to edit select raw files that we uploaded to Mylio from our iPhone 7 Plus. We’d previously imported some raw files onto the iPhone 7 Plus from a Canon EOS R in order to do some quick mobile editing, and decided to use them to test Mylio’s photo editing capabilities on mobile. As you can see in the above image, the screenshot on the left indicated that Mylio was only able to render a blurry thumbnail after importing the raw file. We were met with the error message seen above when attempting to edit the file within Mylio. The screenshot on the right is the same raw file when viewed through the iPhone 7 Plus’s camera roll. The difference in fidelity is night and day.
We suspect this was due to Mylio’s limited raw file support (the Canon EOS R is not yet supported). Hopefully, this is something that Mylio can address down the line with software updates. Interestingly, we were able to edit raw files captured on a Sony A7R IV that’s also not yet supported by Mylio. Below is one such raw file, presented in straight out of camera form as well as edited using Mylio’s basic image editing tools.
While I prefer to do my post-processing on my desktop or laptop using Capture One Pro, I was able to produce decent results using Mylio that are good enough for sharing online. If you’re a photographer who mainly shares your work through social media, the basic editing capabilities Mylio offers should suffice. If you’re shooting work intended to be printed or requires retouching during post-production, stick to Capture One, Lightroom, and Photoshop.
We also ran into another quirk when attempting to duplicate the same Sony A7R IV raw file so that we could keep an unedited version along with the edited jpg. The raw file can still be located within the import folder within the Mylio vault, so this is likely a bug of some sort that should be easily remedied in a software update.
Mylio offers an interesting value proposition for photographers. The free version of Mylio includes basic image editing capabilities (raw files are not supported) and has a limit of up to three different devices and 25,000 photos. Mylio Premium is a subscription-based service that costs $9.99 monthly or $99 annually. The premium subscription removes the limit on the number of devices and photos supported and includes raw image editing capabilities as well. On one hand, it’s cross-platform organizational capabilities works incredibly well. On the other hand, the photo editing capabilities, while easy to use, are rudimentary at best when compared to professional raw editors like Capture One Pro or Lightroom. Frankly, there are more advanced photo editing apps like Snapseed that can be downloaded gratis.
It’s also worth noting that Mylio is not a cloud storage service in the traditional sense despite having the ability to sync files with Amazon Drive or Google Drive. There is currently no sync support for Dropbox, OneDrive, or Box. With Mylio, you’re using your own storage device as what amounts to a private cloud that only works with photos and videos. As an organizational tool, the free version of Mylio is certainly worth checking out if you prefer to edit elsewhere and you’re within the three devices and 25,000 photos limit. We’re hesitant to recommend the Premium versions, however. By comparison, the competing premium cloud storage services like Amazon Drive, Google One, and Dropbox Plus all have subscription plans that cost $9.99 or less per month and allow you to store your data remotely without the need for local storage or have a file type limit. You do lose the organizational smarts that Mylio brings to the table, but you’re likely a working professional that already has everything organized within Capture One or Lightroom if you’re juggling north of 25,000 images. You’ll probably also find the raw editing capabilities that Mylio Premium offers to be far too basic for your needs.
Mylio Premium earns three out of five stars.