There are two giants in the world of digital photo organization: Forever and Mylio. They are both rated superior and are highly recommended by experts, but there are notable and important differences. So, how do you know which is best for your needs? Let's review them both, and I'll tell you my experiences and opinions so far.
Why Pay to Organize Your Photos When You Can Do it Yourself for Free?
Because it's massively quicker, massively easier, and both Forever and Mylio offer extras that just make the entire experience more pleasant. For instance, instead of renaming each and every picture so that you can easily search for people, events, and locations, you can bulk tag and use face recognition to easily search and label your photos for quick retrieval.
What Mylio does is organize your photos and sync them between your devices using your devices' wifi, not your wifi network. This allows you to work offline - you don't need an internet connection to see your photos. Mylio allows you to choose the size of photos you want on each device, so you can view photos as needed and worry less about space. For example, I store originals on my Mac and thumbnails on my iPhone.
Mylio has a free version that allows you to sync up to 3 devices and up to 25,000 photos. I downloaded the program onto my Mac and the app onto my iPhone. I was able to choose how I wanted my photos organized (year and month folders) and slowly imported the photos into Mylio. Mylio also warns you of duplicates, so you're not importing and saving several of the same files.
More Mylio Facts
While Mylio primarily acts as a way to sync your photos between devices, once you start your subscription, you can connect to cloud services and have an encrypted version in the cloud for more protection.
Mylio collects photos and videos from your hardware (phones, computers, and cameras), from software (Photoshop and Lightroom - only with paid version), and from apps like Facebook and Flickr. Ever try to find a photo from years ago by scrolling through your Newsfeed or photos on Facebook? It's terrible. I'm a huge fan of this feature. And Mylio keeps the Facebook description with the photo.
You can use Mylio as a easy way to view and share your photos and as a way to organize, edit, and protect them. Their calendar view makes scrolling through memories MUCH easier than what you're able to do manually.
You can edit and share your photos from any device without destroying the original.
Mylio: Pricing & Plans
Once you have more than 25,000 photos, more than three devices, or decide you want cloud storage or Lightroom and Photoshop integration, it's time to pay. Mylio is a subscription service, which for me is not a positive. But subscription services are growing and are more common for all types of goods and services. So, it's not surprising that Mylio has chosen this price model.
Currently, Mylio offers two paid plans: Mylio Premium and Mylio Max. The difference between the two paid plans is simple: Mylio Premium allows you to manage up to 100,000 photos for $8.33/month and Mylio Max allows you to manage up to 500,000 photos for $20.83/month. These prices are good if you sign up for a 12-month plan. Month-to-month plans are a little higher.
And if you have any trouble along the way, Mylio has video tutorials and troubleshooting videos, so you can make the most of your journey.
Forever provides full-resolution online storage guaranteed for your life plus ONE HUNDRED YEARS, and they will migrate your content to the latest file format automatically, so nothing will be too outdated to open and enjoy.
When you buy Forever storage, a portion of your payment is deposited into the Forever Guarantee Fund, which continues to earn and grow to provide for the protection and conversion of your photos. That's pretty cool.
More Forever Facts
Beyond photo storage, Forever also offers scanning and conversion services, photo books, photo art, scrapbooking and more. You can keep your albums private, share them, or make them public.
Forever can also import your photos from Facebook. They offer a on-time sync and a continuous backup option. WIth the continuous backup option, any new photos will be stored with Forever. There's no need to remember to sync Facebook again in the future.
Forever also keeps your Facebook description and goes the extra step of tagging all your Facebook images so that you can easily search through them or create a separate album.
Unlike Mylio, however, Forever doesn't support video. It's a photo storage option only. It's a much faster upload process than Mylio with fewer choices. You'll have to weed out duplicates yourself, because Forever doesn't catch them. This isn't a deal-breaker, as there are other free resources for removing duplicates.
Forever's online storage model means you can access your files from any device that's connected to the internet. You can view all your photos at once, listed by date, and you can filter by year and month.
Forever prides itself on not being a subscription service. You buy a storage package based on your needs, and you're able to upgrade later as needed. Forever offers payment plans at every storage level, but once you pay the 12 monthly payments, you're done.
They also offer a free plan that gives you 2GB of space. The paid plans start at $199 for 10GB of space, which is enough for 2,500 - 5,000 photos, depending on the size. Make sure to check the website for coupon codes. Currently, there's an offer for 20% off single payments for 25GB and up.
And if you have any trouble along the way, Forever has a support center with video and written guides.
First, both Mylio and Forever are leaders in their field for a reason. They're great programs with a lot of options and proven support. There are three main differences you should consider: (1) How the photos are stored and accessed, (2) Cost and pricing models, and (3) Treatment of source files.
In the interest of full disclosure, if you buy a Forever storage package using the links I've used in this post, I do get a small portion that goes towards maintaining and running this site. Please know that my opinions are my own, and I wouldn't push a specific product over another for a few extra cents.
That being said, if you're interested in Forever, please use any link in this post to purchase. Just make sure it says "You are shopping with Ambassador Jennifer MacLean" at the top of the page.
How the Photos are Stored and Accessed
Mylio stores your photos offline on your devices. You designate which device(s) store photos at which size, and you can designate a backup drive (which I have yet to do - oops). Mylio isn’t a cloud service, but it can be configured to sync with existing Amazon and Google Drive accounts.
Forever is an online storage system. You must be online to see the photos you've uploaded. Obviously, you can still open any image file stored on your devices, but you'll have to find it, which was part of the problem in the first place. But, when are we ever NOT online? And Forever is VERY easy to use.
Both offer mobile apps so that photos can be accessed from your phone or tablet.
My Take: Tomato/tomato. (I realize that probably read as the same word twice, but you know what I mean.) I'm currently using the no-cost versions on both platforms, and I'm not sure whether I prefer one type of storage over the other. You'll have to evaluate how you use your devices and which is better for you.
Cost and Pricing Models
This is a simple distinction: Mylio is a subscription plan, and you can upgrade at any time. With Forever, you own your storage, and you can purchase more at any time. Both have free plans available.
My Take: I really, really, really dislike subscription plans. The thought of paying something monthly for the rest of my life is just unpleasant. I'm not even paying TOWARD anything. Forever clearly wins here.
Treatment of Source Files
Mylio has reorganized the photos on my laptop - the actual source files. So, not only can I view the photos in Mylio as a calendar or by album or tags, etc, but I also have everything stored on my laptop in a way that makes sense and is neat and contained.
Forever is an online storage system, and while I'm sure everything there is safe, I just can't bring myself to delete the source files. Unfortunately, this means that while I can view them in an organized and logical way through Forever, they're still scattered on all my devices.
My Take: Mylio all the way. I just really enjoy the option of keeping my source files and having them organized. You may not have that concern. There is no right or wrong answer.
I still have both programs and am using the free version of both. For my needs, there's no clear winner across the board. I prefer Mylio's ability to organize source files and Forever's ownership pricing model.
The bottom line: either would be a great choice. Just think about what's important to you, and start organizing your photos!
This is Part 2 of a short series on digital photo organization (Click here for Part 1). Keep your eye out for future installments. I'll give you information on cloud storage, advice on decluttering your photos (digital clutter is still clutter!), and more!
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I'm Jen, a professional organizer ready to help you take charge of your space, free up your time, and lead a more organized life! (Read more about me here)