RSS feeds are the best way to get a quick and effective way to get the latest updates from sites and blogs. You can efficiently manage and read news and updates from a site using a good feed reader. There is a list of feed readers available there. Some new ones are appearing and some other established ones (like Google Reader) are shutting down. In this contest CEF looking into some of the best feed readers and news aggregators available on the web. There are different types of feed readers available like installable type desktop ready feed readers like FeedDemon, Feedreader, etc. or online feed readers include Bloglines, Feedly, Google Reader (discontinuing July 1st, 2013), My Yahoo!, NewsBlur and Netvibes or browser extensions like Slick RSS.
Desktop RSS Tools (Windows)
Feedreader is one of the most robust, personal aggregation solutions. It reads, collects, and organizes syndicated Web content, and seamlessly delivers it directly to user desktops. With Feedreader, you have instant, convenient access to the up-to-the-minute news you need, without information overload. It is an open-source aggregator that supports RSS and Atom formats. Feedreader automatically downloads updates from your favorite Web sites. So, it eliminates the need for you to constantly monitor multiple Web pages, while allowing you to immediately identify and retrieve new articles.
Let’s start with some desktop feed readers. FeedDemon is the most popular RSS reader for Windows which I am using for a long time. It has an easy-to-use interface that makes it to stay informed with the latest news and updates. You can assign your own keywords to items for making it easy to classify and locate articles you’ve previously read. You can get alerts when your keywords appear in any feed, regardless of whether you’re subscribed to it. Another important feature is, FeedDemon automatically downloads audio files and copy them to your iPod or other media device.
It is also a free RSS Reader and Newsgroup Aggregator. It is an easy to use RSS reader, NNTP newsreader, and web bookmark manager. It’s fast, it aggregates and equipped with fast desktop search, flexible information organizer, contextual access, and quick extensibility for developers who want more. You can read RSS feeds, Atom feeds. Also, read newsgroups and bookmarked web pages, all in one easy to use information environment.
NewzCrawler is an RSS/atom reader, news aggregator, browser, and blog client for Windows which provides access to a news content from various sources. It gathers news content from each source channel and displays them in a number of views: News List, News Balloon, and News Ticker. NewzCrawler’s user interface is similar to an ordinary MS Outlook Express-like user interface. It supports many back-end headline syndication file formats and embeds web browser for extra fast news surfing.
Awasu Personal Edition
Awasu is a professional feed reader that comes loaded with features for both casual personal use and professional, high-powered information management.
SharpReader is an RSS/Atom Aggregator for Windows. It handles all RSS versions, ATOM 0.3 and 1.0, modules like Dublin core, content: encoding, XHTML: body, etc. Advanced threading support allowing you to view connected items together in a threaded fashion. SharpReader detects and shows connections between items if they have the same link if one item links to another if two items both link to the same external webpage. But remember, prior to running SharpReader, you will need to install the .NET Framework, version 2.0, or version 1.1 SP1.
GreatNews displays full pages of news articles across RSS feeds, optimized for fast reading. So you can skim through pages in seconds, and pick interesting ones to dig in. Even with hundreds of RSS feed subscriptions, GreatNews’s response is always instantaneous. You can opt to show news from all channels on the same page. And you have full control over how many articles can be displayed at once.
Desktop RSS Tools (Linux)
Wondering about RSS tools in Linux. Liferea is a nice and free RSS reader for Linux.
Akregator is a news feed reader for the KDE desktop. Akregator automatically collects stories from RSS/Atom-enabled websites. Akregator has the ability to store and archive the contents of subscribed feeds for as long as you set it to.
WebReader is a free desktop RSS reader (Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X), also available for Android, iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire, and PlayBook.
Desktop RSS Tools (Mac)
RSSOwl (Win, Linux, Mac)
RSSOwl is a free and powerful news feed reader. RSSOwl lets you gather, organize, and search for news in a convenient, easy to use interface with endless flexibility.
Feed Notifier is a free, configurable application for Windows and Mac OS X that runs in the system tray.
Now discuss some online RSS tools, which give you more freedom. As the application is online, you can use it on many platforms and also on many devices. Google Reader was a nice tool, but it is discontinued. So we omitted it from our list.
Feedly is the most popular service in this category. Organize your favorite blogs, news sites, podcasts, and Youtube channels and access them all in one place. Multiple layout options, auto-mark as read, tagging, advanced sharing, keyboard shortcuts. Save articles across devices or share them on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Evernote, Pinterest, or LinkedIn. Directly or via Buffer, Pocket, or Instapaper.
Bloglines is also the best way to find and track your favorite websites and blogs in real-time. Easily customize your dashboard with multiple view options, drag and drop organization, and exclusive widgets. Get the latest news on all your interests and trending topics exactly the way you want it, with the Bloglines Reader.
NewsBlur is a personal newsreader. NewsBlur is free on the web, iPad, iPhone, and Android. Free Account has some limitation, the number of sites is limited to 64 sites, if you need more then you must purchase the premium account.
Feedreader Online is an alternative to Google Reader allowing you to view all of your feeds any way you want: in any browser, on any device, without installing a single application. The only thing you need to do is just sign in and enjoy your feed.
Netvibes is a social dashboard. The personal edition of Netvibes is free.
FeedBooster is a free, web-based RSS reader that allows you to customize your reading experience and read and access feeds from your favorite browser.
NewsGator Online Services make your RSS feed follow you. NewsGator does the very right thing of integrating RSS feeds (and Usenet news) with an email client. NewsGator lets you read, archive, organize and search news with all the power of Outlook.
Now moving to browser extension and add-ons. As we are using fast browsers to check the internet, the best option is to use an extension to read RSS feeds. Earlier I heavily depend upon desktop RSS readers like FeedDemon, but now I am using the Slick RSS extension for chrome. As it is integrated with the browser using as an extension, we can easily check the updates.
A full-featured RSS reader that’s fully contained within the browser. One of the main drawbacks is no option to add folders in the sidebar and the downloaded feeds vanish after a browser restart. But a nice extension for average users.
Slick RSS: Feed Finder
This is not a feed reader but a companion extension for Slick RSS. What this extension is doing is, it auto-discovers RSS and Atom feeds to subscribe to. You can see from the below picture that an RSS icon is visible in the address bar if the site has an RSS feature. Click the RSS button will enough to subscribe to the feed. It works with Slick RSS to discover RSS and Atom feeds within web pages and it directly communicates with Slick to subscribe and unsubscribe from feeds. It works in both Slick Managed or bookmark modes.
RSS Feed Reader
If you want to get a simple overview of your RSS and Atom feeds in the toolbar, RSS Feed reader is the right extension. It is a simple and pretty way of keeping track of your latest RSS and Atom feeds. This extension is inspired by Firefox’s Live Bookmarks.
It is a chrome extension for the popular Feedly RSS Reader. Feedly combines the visual appeal of a magazine with the efficiency and convenience of an RSS reader. This is a powerful tool that allows you to organize, read, and share information which helps you stay current and creative in your life.
The brief makes reading RSS feeds as easy and intuitive as it gets. Designed to have exactly the right set of features, it is powerful and simple at the same time. Feeds are presented on a seamless, interactive page that lets you bookmark and tag items with a single click.
What do you think about these extensions? As I said earlier, that a year back I heavily depended on desktop RSS readers like FeedDemon, but now I am using the Slick RSS extension for chrome. As it is integrated with the browser using as an extension, we can easily check the updates. I am also using FeedDemon, as it stores the feed permanently and also has the ability to arrange feeds in categories and in folders. Which RSS Reader you are using? Do you have a Google Reader account? What do you think about Google’s decision to discontinue Google Reader?