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All your photos in 1 place: Mylio review
You'll need two hard drives and some patience
What if instead of photos and videos scattered among multiple devices, you could have access to your complete library, at the touch of your fingertips, on phone, tablet and computer?
Mylio Photo does this. Apple’s iCloud promises something similar, but there’s a 2 terabyte limit on how much you can store (I have 40 TBs!) and if you respond to a nag message by deleting something from your phone to make room, it gets killed from iCloud too. (Plus, Android users aren’t welcome.) With Google Photos (Android and Apple-land) pricing is confusing, because it also includes Google Photos and Drive. If you go over your limit, your Gmail will suddenly become agonizingly unusable.
So let’s talk Mylio Photos, a subscription program that looks to take your collection and get it under control, without Big Tech issues.
Mylio was with us for October and November, and it took me awhile to post this, because, frankly, it took me awhile to get Mylio set up. The nice thing about not working for a daily newspaper anymore is that I have the time to not have to make a snap judgement. I can live with a product for an extended period of time, and really get to know it.
But once I got through the growing pains, I appreciated that I went through the process. Because now my photos and videos* are backed up and much safer than they were previously.
Mylio is a different way of looking at online backup. Because while yes, it’s online retrieval, it’s also traditional hard drive backup. Fine print: make that connected hard drive backup, where you can access your images from wherever in the world you are, via the Mylio app.
You’ll pay $99.99 a year for the features, and in the process of setting it up, you’ll have a stronger backup system than you had before. In an era where we’re shooting more and more high resolution photos and videos, our collections are constantly growing, so let’s face it, we need all the help we can get.
What you need: Two hard drives
In order to make Mylio work for you, you’ll want two extra hard drives with lots and lots of room. You’ll use them to create “vaults” which will automatically back up every photo and video you snap on your phone or camera. By having two drives, you’re covered in case one fails. (And it will. That’s a given.)
I recommend buying two brand new drives and using them as your connected backup. I found these Seagate drives with 5 TB of space and they sell for just over $100. Five TBs should be able to handle several years of shooting.
If you try to connect Mylio to a pre-existing drive that’s not chock full of room, you’ll probably run out space quickly.
Connect the drives to Mylio, create “vaults” and be patient. You need to “sync” everything from your library, which can take as long as a day, if you don’t have much media, or much longer. In my case, I have so much media it took over a month.
Once you’re in sync, you’ll need to take time to begin the organization process. Tag your faces, to help Mylio figure out who everyone is. Create albums from specific shoots. Add your social media photos to the collection, if you like, but fair warning–any image from Facebook or Instagram will be very low resolution, because that’s what the Meta company does. The good news: you’ll have all your social images in one place. The bad: they might not look very good. (See below.)
I spend way too much time every day searching for photos, so I’m all in for anything that can make it easier to find them.
I really like Mylio’s calendar view, which shows you a highlight from each day’s shoot. For instance, I know I was in Paris just after Halloween, and after that went to other France cities, but can’t remember the date. Mylio shows me exactly when I got to Lyon and Avignon. It’s fun to look back and see where I shot during the year.
You can finally tame your collection, outside of the hands of Big Tech, and you know where everything is. Snap a photo or video on your smartphone and watch with wonder as it shows right up in the Mylio app seconds later. Transfer a memory card worth of photos into a hard drive and watch it show up in the app as well, thanks to the Vault. That’s pretty amazing.
Slow to set up and learning how to use it correctly can take a lot of effort. Hopefully this post today will be some help.
Because when all is said and done, congratulations, you’ve started taming your library. Your precious memories are being backed up–twice, if you follow my suggestions and get two drives. And it just might be easier the next time you’re at a party and want to show someone that great family photo or image from a vacation. You’ll actually be able to find them.
What’s My Backup?
With 40 TB of photos and videos on my desk, I’ve always had too much for pure online backup. The costs would be prohibitive. For the second layer of backup beyond the drives for photos, I have many options, including Amazon Photos (free, unlimited storage for members of the Prime shipping and entertainment service) and SmugMug, which I use as a virtual hard drive for all my shoots, family photos and it runs my website too. But when it comes to video, and those massively huge files, here’s where the * comes in. I can’t back up all my videos on SmugMug. I can on Mylio.
And what about SmugMug?
And speaking of SmugMug, the “do-it-all” photo place is also a PhotowalksTV sponsor, and I’ve had questions about whether to have Mylio or SmugMug.
Why not both?
Mylio for good, physical, backup and privacy focused online access to your photos; SmugMug for another layer of backup, with online, plus the ability to sell prints and downloads, present a great-looking online portfolio and run your website.
And both will set you free from the hands of Big Tech.
Both Mylio and SmugMug have good searches, but they’re not perfect. Sometimes I’ll find something in SmugMug that I can’t find on Mylio, or vice-versa.
Both have auto backup features. The SmugMug smartphone app is fantastic, saving every shot to the cloud right after you snap it. Mylio also saves those snaps to your Vault.
SmugMug has unlimited backup, which is something you won’t find with Microsoft, Apple, Google or Dropbox, but there are those *caveats. JPG photos are unlimited; RAW files can be backed up for an additional fee. Video files aren’t unlimited, unless they’re no larger than 3 GB and less than 20 minutes long.
These are tough restrictions for anyone who’s serious about their video making. Turn on your GoPro, snap it to the car and take a video of your drive, or let your drone fly in the sky for over 5 minutes, and you’ll easily get to 4 GB and higher. You won’t be able to save those files in SmugMug unless you process them into smaller files.
So if you’re someone like me with tons of video files, you need to back up your video on multiple hard drives. And here’s where the SmugMug/Mylio combo can work very nicely. I’ve got my photo collection handled in two places, and Mylio is covering me for photos and videos.
Mylio costs $99 yearly and has a free 30-day trial. SmugMug starts at $13 monthly (or $110 yearly) and offers a 14 day trial.
The holidays are a great time to get your photo collection in order, so why not give both a try and see what you think?
Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Hit me with whatever’s on your mind, and don’t forget to smash that Like button.