At the Photo Plus Expo a couple months ago in New York, a new photo management software solution was introduced to much fanfare: Mylio. Mylio aims to solve a lot of problems that other companies seemed to be floundering around. It would give us complete access to our images no matter what platform we were on, and would regularly back them up across platforms and in the cloud or through whatever system you were currently working. It also brought something else to the table that immediately caught my interest: an in-house, custom built raw editor that worked on iPad, iPhone and desktop computers.
Mylio is a full service platform that is designed to maintain access and control of images and video. "We are the only company dedicated to memories," a Mylio representative who can speak for the company told me. "We help you gather your images from all the varied locations they are....online, on disks, or in your computer. This includes camera phones to dSLRs," a Mylio representative told me. "On import, we help you set up a system of protection and backup that once done, you won’t have to set it up again. Total peace of mind is the goal."
"Our Previews and Thumbs are always the same size for all devices. The reason for this is that then allows us to replicate Previews and Thumbs from any device to any other device. For example, you can sync Previews from your iPad to your PC without an internet connection and know that the PC will still end up with the ‘right’ size Preview. Other solutions don’t have this ability to do true peer to peer replication - instead they require a connection with the Cloud in order to do any sync’ing.
"For the first time, all your pictures are with you all the time, wherever you are and on whatever device you want them on."
If you look at what Mylio is doing, how they are storing information and displaying content, it might sound eerily familiar to the sad story of Everpix. But Mylio is approaching things differently, and won't succumb to the same problems Everpix did. "Everpix was really cool, but did not have the breadth of features, and spent very little time working with the photo industry and marketing. We hope that the industry and Mylio will form broad partnerships to solve the photo chaos people have in their lives. It is our mission to change the way the world remembers, and that includes all memories, not just a few from one device."
Mylio has lofty goals and looks like they are capable of meeting them. For example, building a custom engine for raw processing was not a necessary step, yet they decided to tackle it nonetheless. Though Mylio should obviously have many advantages over using strictly Capture One or Adobe Camera Raw via Bridge, Photoshop or Lightroom, I was curious how it would stack up toe-to-toe in just photo editing.
Because I spend most of my time in video edit bays, I decided to see if my friend and high end retoucher Pratik Naik would take a look at the raw processor that Mylio built and offer his opinion on the product. To keep the playing field completely fair, Pratik judged the platform on how it read a raw file initially, with no edits made to the images. Here are his thoughts on Mylio:
Mylio Raw Conversion
Photo copyright Dani Diamond Photography and used with permission.
- This is the most user-friendly design I’ve seen on an image processing software. It took me under 5 minutes to figure everything out.
- It’s really easy to use and inviting for people who are new to shooting raw images and want to process them without being intimidated by the other options.
- The importing process was very quick, probably the fastest of the bunch.
- The biggest selling point was the ability to access all your photos on each one of your devices or computers as they tout.
- When it comes to processing, this is a huge downfall. The range of adjustments are so minor that I cannot foresee anyone using this in a professional setting... at least not yet.
- Bringing the image in, I could immediately tell the algorithm was amateur in relation to Capture One or even Camera Raw. It even started out darker in comparison. The colors were not there either. I also tried to upload a few medium format files, and as was somewhat expected due to the limited camera support lineup, they were unreadable.
- Upon further tweaking the image, the fidelity of the shadows and highlights did not hold up as well as the competitors.
- If you want to tweak individual colors, adjust curves, or mask and use adjustment brushes, this would not be your tool.
- The Export options are almost too basic. If, for example, you want to export a PSD or smart object and work in Photoshop right away, it’s not possible.
Mylio has a lot going for it. The way the system works together no matter what platform you are on to immediately (and I seriously mean immediately) show updated files across your media is unprecedented. Their organizational methods, the way their system is smartly designed and the dedication to development the team has is great, but they have a long way to go when it comes to competing in the image editing space. Creating this kind of software is incredibly difficult, and both Adobe and Capture One have had years of development to refine their software. Based on where Mylio is now, they are off to an excellent start, they just aren't ready for a hardcore professional to take the reins just yet.
"The most important things are importing from everywhere, and making all the images of your life equal to a degree. Meaning my camera phone images can be just as important to me as my DSLR shots.
However, how Mylio renders raw files shouldn't keep you from trying it out. Mylio knows it has some ways to go yet in the raw processing department, so they have a built-in connectivity with Lightroom. "We love Lightroom and it does so many great things. With every 100 photographers, there are 100 different workflows. We compliment Lightroom, not replace it." You can select multiple images, edit them in Lightroom and export results, and those results will be visible across your Mylio devices. "The Mylio system of creating Previews and Thumbs is similar to Lightroom Mobile but Mylio provides much more control over how and when your machines stay up to date.
"In Mylio, all folders, albums, people, locations, etc. always sync across all devices always. You do not need to create ‘special’ albums just to get your photos to sync to other devices. This allows you to use exactly the same workflow on your PC or Mac as you do on your iPhone or iPad.
"Mylio provides a true Peer to Peer sync model that allows you to sync between any device at any time. No cloud connection is necessary. Mylio doesn’t even need an internet connect to sync. This means you can sync your devices no matter where you are to ensure your photos are protected and allows you to work on your workflow at anytime (ie. airplanes, cars, on a boat, camping, etc.)
"[It] gives you complete control over how photos sync to each device. You can control sync at the photo or folder level. You can control whether a photo sync a thumb, preview or original to each device separately. And you can even control what photos sync based on queries of rating, label or keywords. Finally, Mylio will also ‘demand sync’ a photo it doesn’t already have if you navigate to it and another machine is online that has the photo."
Mylio's goal is clearly to go fix the problems with photo organization and access first, and tackle how to make pictures prettier second. Right now, that's a completley legitimate hierarchy of goals that fits well into what the industry desperately needs. Though it can't do batch processing yet, when that becomes available it will surely interest wedding photographers. "Wedding photographers are actually already pitching us ideas on how they want to use Mylio and leverage its power."
Mylio has some lofty ambitions, a powerful business strategy and a dedication to proper marketing as well as internal engineering. Though it's not quite there yet, I see promise here. With more developments and releaseses coming next year, we will likely see some pretty amazing things coming out of the Mylio camp. For more information, head over to Mylio.com.