Backup strategy and Mylio Vaults

Hi, I’m relatively new to Mylio. Curious what other folks do regarding Vaults and backup strategies. I’m on Mac. Planning to use Mylio as my DAM and do basic editing of old family snaps in Mylio. I’ve just bought Affinity as well so I can use its more powerful RAW editor when I want to for more recent RAW photos. I’ve read in the forums that Mylio does not back up the sidecars of external editors. I also have a copy of Chronsync. I’m not too concerned about needing multiple external drives. they are pretty cheap. What backup strategy would one suggest when using Mylio with external editors? Thanks in advance

You’re right that Mylio does not copy files it does not understand between devices, and this includes sidecars or other native-format files from external photo apps if they are not image or XMP files. Affinity saves images in its own native format, with .afphoto as the extension. If that’s the only external editor you plan to use, and you only use it on a small proportion of the whole, I think I would save its files in a separate set of folders outside Mylio, and back that up using Time Machine and ChronoSync - belt and braces!

The result of your work in Affinity can be exported as a JPEG and saved in the same folder as the raw original in Mylio by naming it with a _display suffix (so P1234567.RW2 in Mylio would need P1234567_display.JPG). Mylio will then display or export the final JPEG instead of the original, and will prevent you from making any further image edits in its own edit pane - you would need to go back to Affinity to do that, and re-export the _display version.

One way to deal with fire risk is to keep multiple Mylio vaults on external drives, and store at least one of these offsite, cycling them around for updating regularly (monthly, for example). An alternative is using a cloud storage service such as OneDrive as a vault. Both of these approaches work, if they suit your circumstances.

I use a range of external apps as well as Mylio, so I have a complete second folder hierarchy for them, which I sync between machines using Resilio Sync. This keeps things more simple, at the cost of disk space. I’m allergic to deleting things and paranoid about backups!

Aearenda, thanks for this. It confirms what I thought. I will be using Affinity and ON1 actually on a small subset of the 40,000 photos I have because 95% are family snaps and in jpeg quality. I’ve read about the _display scenario and the exported edits from external editors. So it’ll be jpeg with edits baked in… that’s ok.

I envision the following sort of workflow moving forward. For iPhone or point and shoot camera photos, I’d import those directly to Mylio and have it be the main DAM and editor. For other more creative photos I’d have a folder structure to be used with Affinity and or ON1. I’m hoping that I can set those up as “watched” source folders with Mylio. I haven’t set any of that up yet so need to understand it better.

And use Time machine, Chronosync to back those source folders up. I have a 1tb HD on the iMac, four 4tb external desktop drives - 1 as External auxiliary storage, 2 for TM, and 1 as a Mylio vault. Plus other 4tb portable external drives. One for TM, two for chronosync labeled blue and white and 1 for a Mylio vault. The portable TM drive goes into a fireproof safe, the two chronosync drives rotate to a bank safety deposit box in town. There’s plenty of extra space on the blue and white labeled portable drives. Should I place a vault on each of those drives? My vaults at present are only about 350mb.

I don’t need to “back up” the vaults with TM or chronosync do I?

Online backups are not practical for me as I’m rural with barely adequate internet and a monthly cap. Another reason I like Mylio.

One might wonder with all those external drives why I don’t set up a NAS, but at this point I don’t want to invest in a NAS. Every few years I retire the oldest external drive and buy a new one. It works for me.

I might reach out to you and the community forum on external editors when I get to that point. I like ON1 and only purchased Affinity because it was half price recently, and it reportedly has better healing tools. Haven’t looked at it yet.

Many thanks

You can certainly do this. The terminology can be confusing, and in the latest version they have tried to simplify it. Changes will be noticed in and below all source folders - they are there so you can manage space usage on the computer’s various drives. Since you can change the sync policy for what was originally called a vault, so that it doesn’t actually replicate everything, they seem to have dropped the word ‘vault’ - it’s just a drive that syncs originals now.

The folder structures and any files Mylio does recognise under a source folder will be synced to the other devices as well - so when there are files Mylio doesn’t recognise, life Affinity’s .afphoto or PhotoLab’s .DOP files, the other devices would end up with partial copies of what is really in the folder on your main computer. I use Exposure X as well, and if I mix it in with Mylio, the other devices get the folders it creates for sidecars, but not the sidecars themselves. Mixing the folder usage has the benefit that your external editor need only save a JPEG back to the same folder and Mylio will see that. Some external editors will also pick up keywords, ratings, titles and captions from Mylio’s sidecar files, and less commonly colour labels, but once read they often don’t notice any further changes. Mylio does generally recognise changes they make to the sidecars for these items.

I prefer to keep an entirely separate set of folders for the other tools, and I use a set of scripts to manage transfers of metadata between the two.

I would, if ChonoSync will tolerate it on its target drive - but Mylio will keep flagging that the offline ones are out of sync, of course. Mylio’s vaults always start with a folder in the root of the drive. I don’t use ChronoSync so I’m not sure how it would go - I do use Carbon Copy cloner, and it can be told to ignore the presence of extra items like this.

If you want a ‘history’ of changes, then yes, you do - Mylio’s vaults are always a mirror of the current state when online, so an unintended deletion (or a file corruption) happens everywhere.

It should be perfect for this scenario!

I don’t bother with NAS devices either, for similar reasons. Also, Mylio always accesses data on a NAS through a single computer acting as a relay, exactly as if it were an external drive.

There’s a learning curve for Affinity - I don’t use it often enough to be comfortable with it. I find Mylio’s editor to be generally good but limited in its abilities (no vignette, curves or levels tools, weak noise reduction, no white balance picker) while Affinity is often overkill, so other tools like ON1 fit nicely in between. Having said that, I don’t have ON1, and can’t speak for how well it works alongside Mylio.

Thanks for the detailed suggestions


I‘ve suggested multiple times, that Mylio should sync all files with the same name as the picture but any file extension and/or allow us to set a list of file extensions we want to be synced. Mylio does not have to understand the content of that files but only sync them between vaults so they are backed up and move in sync with the picture when pictures are moved/renamed within Mylio which is the recommended way to do organization in Mylio. Unfortunately Mylio developers do not see the huge benefit of such a feature and not enough users are voting for it. :frowning:

What are these scripts and what kind of metadata are you actually transferring? In Mylio created metadata to your external folders or metadata from external editors into the Mylio folder structure?

That’s a shame, and I think I ‘liked’ it - it would be very useful.

I am working on a Mac, and they are scripts written to use the ‘bash’ shell in the Terminal app. The scripts can transfer metadata in to Mylio, or copy it out. They rely heavily on Exiftool working with Mylio’s sidecar XMP files.

I have links to the scripts in a photography menu in the dock at the bottom of the screen. I use them to sync labels, ratings, captions, and titles from Mylio to another app that uses its own sidecar folders, or vice versa; to copy entire XMP files for use by apps that understand them; to set keywords for Mylio based on a variety of conditions; to import images to Mylio using a renaming format that includes sub-seconds, which Mylio doesn’t support, making second backups to a different drive at the same time; to relocate and distribute images exported by Mylio to family members, based on people, keywords and labels; to fix certain formatting issues, such as a space character and duplicate keyword that Mylio seems to leave at the start of keyword strings sometimes; to adjust the time of exports from another app, which saves the time in the Universal Time zone instead of a local zone that Mylio understands; and similar repetitive things. The scripts rely heavily on my particular file naming format, keywords and folder structure.

Edit: It turns out I commented on the older thread about sidecars from other apps - I have ‘liked’ your newer thread now!