August 19, 2002
The quest for the ideal news aggregator (part 5) - Review: FeedReader

Wow! This is cool!

FeedReader is a small, lean, light standalone application for Windows. It runs in the system tray (can start automatically at startup) and checks your predefined news sources (includes a large list of feeds from moreover.com and newsisfree.com, plus, of course, you can add your own) at a configurable interval (want to check BBC News every 5 minutes but some random blog only every hour? no problem!) ... well... in theory....

I downloaded the beta of version 2.3 available on the site, but the downside is that while I get to use all the funky config options and I do get to read all my feeds; automatick background updates doesn't seem to happen (yet). When it becomes available, this will indeed be the best I've seen so far! It sure beats AmphetaDesk!

The layout is familiar for anyone that has used Microsoft Outlook - clean, new headlines in bold; doubleclick the headline for the full webpage (opens in the main pane - elegant!

For now, the workaround for the non-automatic download is to shut the application down, then restart it and hit refresh. When it finds new headlines, it pops up small MSN Messenger-type notifications in the lower right corner of the screen. Nice!

Possible improvements:

  • Get updates to work
  • some "bookmarklet"-type addition of new sources (a la Amphetadesk and others)
  • kill popups when visiting news sites that use those (would be a very cool perk! :-)

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