RSS Aggregators

I’ve been poking around a bit looking at RSS Readers/Aggregators because I want to increace the number of blog-like sources of information I read without significantly expanding the amount of time I spend on the activity. Having everything reviewable in one place, with the ability to see at a glance what’s new and what isn’t should really help towards that goal.

So far FeedDemon seems like the most featureful and polished application. It provides various filtering functionality, Outlook-like previews of unread items and a nice “newspaper” like view of all the entries in a particular grouping. It also has an easy to use clipping bin allowing the archiving of interesting entries.

Unfortunately, it lacks some other features I find desirable. There is no way, so far as I can tell, to use the outlook inbox-like listview to scan items from multiple feeds in a single window (unless you kludge something with the filter functionality). The only way to do this is with the newspaper view, but in that case, it appears to insist on doing a top-level grouping by source, so that all the new items for a given feed are clumped togeather. I’d rather have the option of merely sorting them all in reverse chronological order. The other issue is that it seems this grouping can only be done for a single “folder.”

The OpenSource .NET based Sharpreader seems to address many of these issues. It allows you to create a nested hierarchy of feeds, and by simply clicking on a given node of the hierarchy, it will roll all the feeds contained below it together and display them in chronological order, interleaving items from multiple feeds. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include the preview functionality, nor does it have the option of viewing the full content of all enties in a sort of webpage view like FeedDemon and some other products. It also doesn’t have a bin for archiving items of interest.

I’ve yet to explore the support of any of these products for posting to blogging tools. Also, if I were currently working, I’d be interested in the ability to synchronize state between two machines, so the articles I might have skimmed at work would show up as read when I read from home.

More later….