Adding a New Vault is an Awful User Experience

Hello.

I have been using Mylio for several months now and am adding a OneDrive vault in addition to my existing Google Drive vault. Since I use an iPhone and a Windows laptop, Mylio is how I sync photos (as supposed to iCloud photos), meaning I have a lot of photos (~20K). I understand that there is an insane amount of downloading, decrypting, encrypting, and reuploading happening. However, the experience has been far from smooth, and I think there are several ways to improve the syncing process when lots of data is being synced:

  • More clarity about what the arrows mean
  • Better efficiency
  • More clarity when uploads/downloads “hang”

More Clarity About Arrows

I have no idea what {down arrow} 21,033 means. 21,033 download makes it seem like I am “downloading” 21,033 images from the OneDrive vault. However, my understanding is that I am “uploading” images from Google Drive to OneDrive. I think there needs to be some additional context of what an up arrow and down arrow means, maybe even have some text saying “We are uploading 21,033 images to OneDrive” so that it is unmistakable. Admittedly the “sync” panel buried in settings offers slightly more information, but it still isn’t clear.

Better Efficiency

I used to have a dedicated vault, but after I moved (and my new place doesn’t have room for a dedicated machine), my laptop is now the primary device that I use to sync. I have no problem with background tasks running, as long as the background tasks are efficient. Right now, Mylio is using 70% of CPU, or 100% of the total available CPU resources not used by other applications.

Using all available CPU is insane, especially when no explanation is given for what exactly is going on. While this is annoying when plugged into a wall, I found that Mylio background tasks (even when I had closed the Mylio desktop app) were using 100% of CPU and draining my battery. I eventually turned off background sync when I discovered that Mylio was using more CPU and hurting my battery more than running 3 VMs on VMWare Workstation. For context, my laptop has a 4750U, which while certainly not a Xeon, is not a bad chip. Running Mylio is the only time it has gotten even close to 100% CPU utilization, and as the next section will show, I have no idea where all of this CPU is going.

Sync “Hangs”

There is a behavior that I have repeatedly seen where Mylio is using 100% of available CPU, it says “syncing,” but the numbers next to the arrows don’t change. I don’t know whether media is syncing or not. For example, the entire time that I have been writing this post, the OneDrive says 21,033. This could be a bug or it could be that I had a particularly large piece of media that it was syncing, but that information is not clearly communicated.

Conclusion

I know that processing ~100 gb of data is not an easy task. But Mylio takes weeks to do so while eating up all system resources and not communicating to the user effectively what is happening. The hangs mean that it is not as simple as leaving the app open in the background, since it seems like I constantly need to be monitoring to check if the sync is actually happening or if it has hung up. I don’t know the deep internals of what is happening, but the syncing process (especially with lots of files) is an unacceptably bad experience. To test, I copied my entire Google Drive to Box.com using Windows Explorer and the file sync applications for both applications, and it took about an hour to do so, including my entire Mylio vault. I have been struggling with syncing my vault through Mylio for the past month, and these are the results:
Mylio_k3XesmEpp5

I don’t know why Google, Box, and OneDrive are so much more efficient (possibly since they are not electron), but this has been an incredibly frustrating experience to an otherwise good product.

Thinking about these arrows in terms of “uploading” and “downloading” I find to be confusing. What I think these REALLY mean is:

Down-arrow: this device WANTS XXXX photos that are stored on other devices.

Up-arrow: this device has XXXX photos that are WANTED by other devices.

The terms “uploading” and “downloading” imply those actions are actually happening. In fact, nothing may be happening. The WANTS/WANTED terminology more accurately reflects that this is just the current “sync status”, not the current “actions”.

EDIT: further, these arrows also do not tell you WHICH DEVICES your files are going TO and FROM. It just tells you the WANTS / WANTED status for each device. There could be multiple routes for file transfers to be able to satisfy the WANTS / WANTED state.

3 Likes

Ok. That makes a lot more sense, especially when someone has a dedicated vault. Since I primarily approach Mylio as an interface to cloud storage, I thought of the process of “uploading to OneDrive.” Thank you for clarifying!