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  RSS Readers and the Ultimate Sadness 


It's been over a week since my post about starting up my search for a new RSS Reader with the demise of my current aggregator Sauce Reader. Why is it so hard for me to find a reader that I actually like? I mean, there's a lot of them out there that are OK, but nothing that I can get really excited about.

The ones that are on the top of my list are: RSSBandit, FeedDemon, Omea Reader, and just sticking with a stagnant Sauce Reader. There's good things about all of those, but also a lot of things I don't like.

  • RSSBandit - I am sure I'll get back to using this one. I mean, I did really like it at one time. I just can't bring myself to put that stupid smiley-face icon back in my tray. I don't like the OneNote look of the application. Also I miss how Sauce Reader grouped the posts by Today, Yesterday, Last Week, etc like Outlook 2003 does. I also really miss how Sauce Reader displays comments right under the post text [view], so I don't have to expand them and click to read each one. I guess I am a bit turned off by the look of the UI as a whole.
  • FeedDemon - This one is actually the one I think I like the best out of the top ones I'm using now. It has a snappy UI (which admittedly is something that Sauce Reader was lacking a bit). It does the Outlook style grouping on date like Sauce Reader did. Something about how you group feeds in groups doesn't quite sit well with me, so I feel like I can't get things as organized as I would like. I don't see any way to display comments under a post which is a big turn off for me. I don't like to have to click to navigate to the actual webpage to read through comments.
  • Omea Reader - While I do think it has potential as an RSS Reader, I don't care for the “bloatedness“ of the application. There's way more there than I actually want. If I could turn off about 50% of the application then I would like it a whole lot more. The app looks really nice, but the UI isn't as snappy as I would like, and it is a bit of a memory hog, but overall it is OK, if you could get rid of the bloated features to thin it out a bit
  • Sauce Reader - While I did like Sauce Reader quite a bit, it's just not where it needs to be. There was a lot of work needed, and now knowing that it won't ever happen (like anyone's really going to buy the source) I know I can't stay with it forever. My search definately won't stop here, but I may linger a bit until I find something I like more.

Well, I guess the search goes on. I know for sure that I don't want something that is web-based, inside of IE, or something in Outlook. I am also a big fan of Desktop Sidebar, which has a built in aggregator plugin, but I don't want to sift through that to read stuff either. I want a nice looking Windows application, that is organized, well written, allows me to easily read through comments, and has a snappy and responsive UI. Is that too much to ask? Maybe it is. Maybe it is time to write my own (I'll add that to the list of ~2.57 billion applications I'd like to write when I find the time). Am I expecting too much? Am I just too picky or hard to please? Am I missing out on some great reader out there I haven't found yet? What does everyone else use out there?

BTW, I also checked out RSS Feeder on CodeProject (See RSS Feed Aggregator and Blogging Smart Client by Omar Al Zabir on CodeProject also it's SourceForge home), which has some great features and a lot of work into it. It is still a bit too crude to use as my regular reader, but I just had to mention it.

And so the search continues...  :-(




                   



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Comments

  1. David Barkol 8/26/2005 1:44 PM
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    I prefer Omea Reader, but it's 'bloatedness' and memory needs are overkill like you mentioned. Hopefully with the integration of RSS into Windows Vista, Microsoft will actually provide their own aggregator. Wishful thinking....
  2. Ryan Farley 8/26/2005 1:48 PM
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    David,

    That's not a bad thought. If they did it right, I could be happy with that. But to be honest, I'm not going to hold my breath. I think my best bet would be just bite the bullet and write my own.

    -Ryan
  3. Dave Burke 8/26/2005 8:18 PM
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    "Stupid smiley on my desktop." Funny! Yeah, I have to agree.

    Good review. Thanks.
  4. Milan Negovan 8/28/2005 5:30 PM
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    Aaaaah, so you did get hooked on Desktop Sidebar? :D
  5. BTX 8/29/2005 7:42 AM
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    SharpReader
  6. Ryan Farley 8/29/2005 7:55 AM
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    BTX,

    Boo ;-)

    I don't care for SharpReader. Too plain and unpolished UI. Functionality-wise it is fine, but there's too much missing that I've grown to love from other readers.

    -Ryan
  7. Neil 9/1/2005 4:30 PM
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    Just curious. Why don't you want something inside of IE or Outlook? IE I kind of understand but if someone wrote something great for Outlook why would you not use it?
  8. Ryan Farley 9/1/2005 7:40 PM
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    I actually did use NewsGator for a long time, it sits inside of Outlook and worked well for the most part. But having it inside of Outlook just stresses me out. I have a hard enough time keeping up with my personal and word e-mail, I just don't like to open Outlook and see all these unread items. It is all just a psychological thing. I feel like I am behind, and I don't like that.

    Having it in the same app where I receive things that I *have* to keep on top of (read all & respond) just gives me too much extra stress.

    If it is in a different app, I don't feel so behind, I can even choose to not read everything because my mindset is different.

    Anyway, that's the way it was for me.

    -Ryan
  9. Benjamin 9/16/2005 4:53 AM
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    full ack with your post, ryan!!
  10. Carl Dichter 9/17/2005 7:33 AM
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    Omar's RSSFeeder is now pretty good. It also has very nice Outlook integration and definitely the best redable view.

    http://rssfeederdotnet.sourceforge.net/

    You can create a different personal folder and put your RSS Feeds there so that it don't disturb your regular work on Outlook.

    I jist love the Blogpaper concept. Everyday I open the blogpaper read them all and click the mark as read button and I am done!

    Besides, the built-in blogging feature is definitely a good point.
  11. haacked@gmail.com (Haacked) 9/19/2005 1:41 PM
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    I should note that RSS Bandit is actively looking for a new logo... http://www.rendelmann.info/blog/default.aspx?date=2005-08-12

    If all it takes is to get something better than the existing smiley to get people on board, please spread the word and get your designer juices flowing. ;)
  12. Ryan Farley 9/19/2005 1:44 PM
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    Hehe. Yeah, I've seen that Phil. I suppose I should stop complaining and just try to pitch in a little.

    -Ryan
  13. Mike King 9/27/2005 11:40 AM
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    I use sharp reader but am looking for something better. I'd really like to find something that does kill files.
  14. angryman 10/15/2005 6:05 AM
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    I'm quite happy with Newz Crawler.
  15. Nick Parker 11/28/2005 5:43 AM
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    Have you considered RSS Popper (http://rsspopper.com), it integrates into Outlook and is completely free.
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