I'm looking for a RSS Aggregator to use on WinXP.
January 8, 2004 10:25 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a RSS Aggregator to use on WinXP. I'd prefer one that has its own front-end instead of using a browser. Basically something that works like a Newsreader or e-mail program. Free would be good. Any recommendations? Thanks.

I've tried a few of the ones that exist, but to be honest, there are too many for me to try them all, so I was wondering if there's a consensus as to which is the best. Additional features I am looking for (but don't necessarily require) include the ability to import/export feed lists, notification of new posts, displaying images/html in posts (with the ability to turn them off), feed-specific configuration options (refresh rates, number of posts to keep in memory, etc.), mark read/unread, etc. Basically treat RSS feeds like newsgroups and have the same flexibility in managing them.
posted by EatenByAGrue to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
I'm a fan of Feed Demon.
posted by Mick at 10:57 PM on January 8, 2004

I tried several last year before I settled on one. It's not free but NewsGator meets almost every one of your requirements, and at $29 I think it's quite a reasonable deal. It works as an add-on to Microsoft Outlook. (So if you don't already own Outlook, then I guess you can probably disregard this advice.)

Since it piggybacks off of Outlook, you get the benefit of all the umpteen-million manhours of UI development that Microsoft has poured into it (which nobody would ever do just for a lowly RSS feed reader), as well as benefit from all the VB scripting power that Outlook has, 3rd party add-ons, etc. It certainly "works like an e-mail program" (since that's what it is), can import/export, can view images/html in the posts, you can configure refresh rates per feed, and mark items as read and unread.

A couple features I'm not so sure about: Notification is actually a little tricky, since by default the feeds aren't delivered into Outlook the same way that email is. I haven't been interested in notification, so I've never tried to figure it out, but I'd bet that, given the power and extensibility of Outlook, it's gotta be possible.

As for turning off html in posts, I think, but I'm not positive, that that can be done in Outlook 2003. (I know it has that feature for email, but since the Newsgator feeds are resident on your local machine, it might treat them as less suspect than an email.)

Anyway, I've been running it since last February and I couldn't be happier with it.
posted by llamateur at 10:59 PM on January 8, 2004

Yeah, Feed Demon is good.
posted by holloway at 11:04 PM on January 8, 2004

SharpReader is free, and has all the features you mentioned, except the ability to turn off images/HTML in posts (though I haven't found this to be a problem yet).
posted by waxpancake at 11:10 PM on January 8, 2004

Feed demon is the best I've used, but there are a zillion for windows now. FD does use IE as an internal browser but Nick Bradbury wrote about the difficulty of getting mozilla into a windows app successfully and said he'd do it if it was possible and stable.
posted by mathowie at 11:10 PM on January 8, 2004

Have you looked into nntp//rss? Runs under Java, and makes your RSS feeds appear as newsgroups you can then read with whatever Usenet newsreader you prefer (Outlook, Mozilla, tin, Free Agent, etc.) Haven't tried it myself but it might do the trick.
posted by arto at 11:26 PM on January 8, 2004

I'd vote for Feeddemon too, if you're looking for an app, but then again, I just use bloglines when I'm in a feed-reading mood.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:26 PM on January 8, 2004

SharpReader. Something of a memory hog, but I like it. Free, no bugs I've been able to find.
posted by gramcracker at 11:37 PM on January 8, 2004

bloglines.com - browser based, thus portable to any terminal you happen to be at.
posted by gen at 12:43 AM on January 9, 2004

on the same lines as the nntp suggestion, there's also a script kicking around to convert feeds to email. iirc it's perl, so you could probably persuade it to work on windows.
posted by andrew cooke at 4:20 AM on January 9, 2004

I know it's not really what you are looking for but I am a big big fan of Feed on Feeds. You can't beat the portability, and the ability to integrate the output in any damn way you wish. I t requires PHP and MySQL. If you get it, I stronly recommend looking at Milo's posts about it, and use his scripts and suggestions to improve the output.
posted by riffola at 5:55 AM on January 9, 2004

I use FeedReader, it's free and does most of the things you mentioned (I'm not sure about importing/exporting). It gives you feed-level control of refresh rates and archiving, keeps track of read/unread messages and shows images in feeds. It has the same three-panel layout as most email programs do. In addition it can run as a web server, so you can browse to your machine and see all your feeds when you are not at your computer.
posted by mfbridges at 7:07 AM on January 9, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions. Feed Demon looks tempting, but I'm not willing to pay for it at this point. I'm currently trying out SharpReader, which is fine for my purposes (except it doesn't seem to have a filter to view only unread posts).
posted by EatenByAGrue at 12:17 PM on January 10, 2004

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