Pimp my feeds
April 26, 2007 7:09 AM   Subscribe

I keep up with alot of rss feeds. I read them at work on my breaks, and then at home before bed and in the morning before work. I would like a reader that will synchronize between the two locations so that I know where I left off at work, or at home. I allways forget my USB memory stick, so having a portable app doesn't work well for me. I haven't found a web based RSS reader that was fast enough, and designed the way I like it, I like to have my feeds grouped into folders, and read them one at a time by clicking on the item and reading the article.

I tried the bloglines sync with Snarfer, and it really doesn't work the way it should, because it will mark items read from home, and then when I get to work, mark the items unread.
I tried feedreader on my usb stick, but I always forget it plugged in at home when I'm rushing around in the morning. I don't really care for the scrolly interface of google reader, and the web interface for bloglines marks entire feeds read as soon as you click on them, which doesn't suit my one or two articles at a time lifestyle.

Ideally it would just sync via magic voodoo similar to google browser sync syncs my bookmarks.
posted by JonnyRotten to Computers & Internet (32 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I guess I should append that with:
"Ideally this solution would be free/really cheap"

posted by JonnyRotten at 7:15 AM on April 26, 2007

Google reader? Has folders...
posted by Ferrari328 at 7:16 AM on April 26, 2007

You can use NewsGator. It has a function where you can turn off the "Mark read as you scroll" function. It's not called that, but I assume that's what you want.

When I used NewsGator, when I got done with a page of feeds, I could just mark that page as read and then move on. This sounds like what you want.

I've since moved to Google Reader, but that was because I like to have everything under one roof, not any inherent problem with NewsGator.
posted by reenum at 7:23 AM on April 26, 2007

yeah. Google reader has folders, but I don't like how it marks them read as you scroll, I rather click each one like reenum mentioned.
posted by JonnyRotten at 7:28 AM on April 26, 2007

I, too really like Google reader. There's also free third-party Google Reader notifiers for Mac, Windows, and Firefox, which I think will work in the way you want (click each item to mark it as read).
posted by myeviltwin at 7:33 AM on April 26, 2007

I really like the way that programs like Snarfer and feedreader present them.. Folders and feeds on the left, Article title on the right top, article presented in right bottom when you click on the title. I guess you would call it outlook style, or mail reader style.
posted by JonnyRotten at 7:36 AM on April 26, 2007

I'm all about Google Reader. It's the only RSS tool that has kept me coming back and using it regularly. Think about making the adjustment and going with it.
posted by FlamingBore at 7:39 AM on April 26, 2007

I've tried many readers and have yet to find something that pleases me as much as Netvibes.

You said you didn't like web based readers but its quite speedy provided you dont load too many feeds into your first tab. Separate feeds into tabs and theres an option to not load feeds in tabs until you open that tab.

You can mark an entire feed read by clicking on the number in brackets in the feed header and read/unread individual items with a click.

The coriander skin is very clean and web2.0 and if you use Firefox you can set Firefox to always add RSS feeds in Netvibes.
posted by Ness at 7:44 AM on April 26, 2007

nthing Google Reader.

You can turn off the "mark read as I scroll" feature. It's in settings > preferences.
posted by desjardins at 7:46 AM on April 26, 2007

Netvibes is the shiznit.
posted by mkultra at 7:52 AM on April 26, 2007

posted by unixrat at 8:06 AM on April 26, 2007

FeedDemon (desktop Windows app) syncs with NewsGator (online reader). The interface lets you specify "locations", so I assume that you can sync multiple FeedDemons with your NewsGator account, and thus sync one FeedDemon with another via NewsGator. (But I haven't tried it.)

Failing that, any of the Firefox plugins that provide a feed-reader interface to Live Bookmarks ought to sync automatically when your bookmarks sync.
posted by mendel at 8:07 AM on April 26, 2007

Just use bloglines online? The keyboard shortcuts are awesome. And it is usually blazing fast. Every once in a while you get a repeat or two because I think of some weird caching stuff, but its acceptable.
posted by zackola at 8:07 AM on April 26, 2007

Add my voice to the choir singing the praises of Google Reader.
posted by DWRoelands at 8:16 AM on April 26, 2007

Thirding Netvibes here.
posted by fallenposters at 8:23 AM on April 26, 2007

no no no - Bloglines is the shiznit, damnit

< / shameless fan of bloglines, even with its slightly clunky ui>
posted by rmm at 8:23 AM on April 26, 2007

I don't get the objection to bloglines. Why are you using it with software? Just...use it.

That said, a lot of people are Nthing netvibes. I should check that out--never heard of it. (Google Reader is awful, though.)
posted by DU at 8:23 AM on April 26, 2007

Newsgator and FeedDemon (Windows) or NetNewsWire (Mac).
posted by andrewraff at 8:33 AM on April 26, 2007

I love Netvibes for exactly what you're looking for... I use it at home & at work, my boyfriend also has his own tabs & feeds on it & logs into the page at work (i.e. at the same time as me) with no problems. It's a beautiful thing.
posted by Laura in Canada at 9:20 AM on April 26, 2007

Netvibes is great. While you don't say how many feeds you actually read and what you think "a lot" is, but I use netvibes for about 100 feeds with an average of 3-400 unread articles at any one time, and it's really starting to drag. So much so that I've been culling my feeds to get the thread and memory usage of Firefox down to a manageable level.

The thing that I've learned, though perhaps someone here knows more about the mechanics involved, is that Javascript is terribly implemented and is single-threaded. Either that or browsers have bad thread management. Regardless, when I have a tab with my netvibes open, all other pages (such as this one, where I'm getting two-second freezes every five seconds as I type) are affected by the resource usage of NV. I'm not sure what to do about it other than reducing the amount of feeds, but this seems to be a chief sticking point in the strengths of web-based and stand-alone RSS readers.

GreatNews (Windows) was the one I used previously, but I moved everything over to NV a month or so ago for the centralized marked-read'ness features. I'm not sure what I'll use next, but the resource problem of web-based readers is a problem for me.
posted by rhizome at 9:59 AM on April 26, 2007

Oh, and before it comes up, my 100 feeds are spread amongst 10-12 tabs, averaging 5-10 feeds per tab.
posted by rhizome at 10:01 AM on April 26, 2007

nthing Bloglines. It has the folder features you want and the synchronicity between other locations...just use it as normal, don't try to make it complicated, some things are just that simple!
posted by iamkimiam at 10:31 AM on April 26, 2007

nthing Google Reader.

You can turn off the "mark read as I scroll" feature. It's in settings > preferences.

what desjardins said.

although the mark read as I scroll thing is the very reason I prefer it to other readers.

posted by juv3nal at 10:58 AM on April 26, 2007

I am confused. Bloglines does all the things you say you want. You can create folders to organize like feeds. You can open the folder and click on individual feeds if you don't want to click on the folder and read all the feeds in that folder. You can check the "keep new" box at the bottom of each item if you want to see it "fresh" later. You can even refresh feeds based on set time frames if you accidentally view them all and they are no longer showing up. It is web-based and therefore portable.

Each person will like different feed readers, obviously, but it seems that maybe you aren't getting the maximum out of the readers you have already tried. Perhaps reading the help sections will assist you in getting more out of a reader?
posted by terrapin at 11:00 AM on April 26, 2007

Thinking differently, have you considered a USB stick on your keyring? You'd be less likely to leave it at home (it works for me).

Otherwise, I'll add to the NetVibes suggestion.
posted by Lionel d'Lion at 12:04 PM on April 26, 2007

Oh man, I am 100% with you on the hating the puzzlingly common "scrolled= read" feature.

If you know a bit of web nerdery (PHP, MySQL) and have server space, reBlog/reFeed is what you seek -- it does everything you want it to.

Here's an article on reBlog / refeed by our fearless leader, Mathowie.
posted by adamkempa at 1:25 PM on April 26, 2007

I heart Netvibes
posted by dripdripdrop at 2:01 PM on April 26, 2007

FeedDemon syncs with NewsGator... load up a few different copies of FeedDemon (which is pretty snazzy, I used to use it before I moved ot Google Reader) and it will sync with the online version.
posted by toomuchpete at 3:17 PM on April 26, 2007

For the mth time, just use Bloglines straight up. It does exactly what you want
posted by EiderDuck at 3:19 PM on April 26, 2007

Google Reader. I use "list view", which makes the feed items look exactly like my Gmail inbox. Just like Gmail, you can read the title and preview a few words, then decide to open it, skip it, star it, or mark it as read.

I also love the Google Reader Quick Links Greasemonkey script for Firefox, giving gobs of great keyboard shortcuts.
posted by puddleglum at 3:38 PM on April 26, 2007

I had the same problem. I solved it with a unix program running a cron job: feed2imap.

Basically, it uploads all of my feed items as mail on my IMAP server. Each feed gets a new folder. I then just use Thunderbird or any other IMAP client and read my news. Since it's IMAP, the messages are marked as read on the server.

It's definitely not ideal, but it does work.
posted by fros1y at 4:04 PM on April 26, 2007

P.S. - There's a firefox extension called "Better Gmail" (see lifehacker.com) that puts your Google Reader feeds right in your Gmail account.
posted by desjardins at 6:01 AM on April 27, 2007

« Older Missions trip or vacation which is it?   |   Where is the Palm Treo 700wx data usage coming... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.