Does an RSS feed reader exist that can save the linked HTML pages locally?
November 24, 2009 10:04 PM   Subscribe

Is there an RSS reader that can follow a feed's links and download html pages for offline reading?

I'm primarily a Google Reader user, but its offline mode only downloads the content of the RSS feeds themselves. Many of my feeds hide some of their content "after the jump", so getting just the feed doesn't help me.

I'm looking for a script or program that will follow the links, then pull down the html page (including associated images) and save them locally so that I can peruse them on my laptop at 30,000 feet.

I could slap something together with an XML parser and wget, but I'd rather not reinvent the wheel. I feel like someone has probably solved this problem already.

I'll be using this on linux, but I'm willing to consider windows software as well, if it's something that might work reasonably under Wine.

I'll take a look at anything from full-blown desktop readers to cli scripts in perl/ruby/python etc.
posted by chrisamiller to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
FeedDemon has prefetching of images and links
posted by FuManchu at 12:05 AM on November 25, 2009

Google Reader now offers this feature.
posted by sararah at 6:52 AM on November 25, 2009

Sorry didn't read the entire question. I fail.
posted by sararah at 6:52 AM on November 25, 2009

Response by poster: I may try out FeedDaemon later, but trying to get windows software working under linux is kind of a last-resort option for me.

While doing more searching of my own, I've found the Read it Later firefox extension. It integrates with Greader and allows me to add things to a read it later queue. It's also capable of downloading everything in the queue for later reading.

This is a nice tool, but I'd still like to find something that's a little more automated. If there are more suggestions, I'd like to hear them. If I don't find something soon, I may roll my own.
posted by chrisamiller at 8:46 AM on November 25, 2009

I have created Yahoo pipes for a lot of my feeds which follow the item link, fetch the page, and insert the full page as the item description. It's a lot of work, but might be a decent alternative if you're only talking about a few feeds. Or, if they're on the same site (e.g., Wordpress, Blogger), you could probably combine them into a single pipe for less work.

I can provide links to example pipes if you need.
posted by timepiece at 2:12 PM on November 25, 2009

A similar but IHO better service to Read it Later is Instapaper. It will download images within blog posts if you have the new text parser turned on and the bookmarklet for saving articles integrates with google reader so you can queue up things from your RSS feeds. The problem in your case though is that instapaper is itself a webapp and although there is an iPhone client that can save things to (including blog posts with images) for offline viewing, I'm not aware of any desktop equivalent.
posted by dyslexictraveler at 12:22 PM on November 26, 2009

One more thought: there's a little full-text RSS parser over at echoditto labs that will adapt a headline only feed into a full text feed by parsing the original feed and tean fetching the content from the actual web pages.

I can't find the web page that describes the project right now, but if you append your headline-only RSS feeds onto this URL ( ) , you should get a full text version. I'm subscribed to several blogs in google reader using this tool, and I find it works quite well, although occasionally I'll get an entry that will say "full-text retrieval failed".
posted by dyslexictraveler at 12:35 PM on November 26, 2009 [2 favorites]

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