Often times, I’m asked the question, “Which RSS FeedReader Do You Use“? I reply with “FeedDemon” which is then followed up with a response of “Feed What?”. I suppose no one knows of any other feed reader outside of Google Reader. I have Dave Gray, host of TheGlobalGeekPodcast to thank for pointing me towards FeedDemon. My first RSS reader was called SAGE which was an RSS Reader FireFox extension which allowed me to view my RSS feeds from within FireFox. Then, after I talked with Dave for quite awhile concerning RSS and how he manages to get all of the stories for his podcast, he told me about FeedDemon.
FeedDemon is commonly known as “The most popular Windows RSS Reader“. I’ll up the ante and call it the best reader money can buy. FeedDemon is a desktop based RSS aggregator that is currently only supported on Windows machines. So why is it the best?
FeedDemon has a wide assortment of features. One of those features is an online account with NewsGator.com. NewsGator.com is an online based FeedReader. Anything that you do within the desktop client can by synchronized to your online NewsGator account. This means that, whatever feeds you are subscribed to in FeedDemon, will be the same feeds you are subscribed to in your NewsGator online account. Each time you start or close FeedDemon, you’ll be giving the option to synchronize your account. This is awesome because, when you don’t have access to a machine with a copy of FeedDemon installed, you can use your online NewsGator account and never miss a beat.
FeedDemon begins to really shine once you end up subscribed to a bunch of feeds. If you are subscribed to a particular website, chances are you’re interested in that content. But FeedDemon has something called WATCHES. Watches provide a way to look for keywords in news items as they’re downloaded. For example, if you create a watch that looks for the word “election,” then every news item containing the word “election” will be stored in the watch. A watch searches only in feeds you’re subscribed to. I am subscribed to a number of feeds and have set up particular watches for the keywords, ICONS and Web Based Comics. Each time a post is published from a site that I am subscribed to with any of those particular keywords in the title or the content, they will show up in my watches folder. Now you know my secret as to how I find out about all of those icon packs being released on the web.
Another feature of FeedDemon that I really enjoy is called NewsBins. News Bins enable you to store news items in a central location, providing a handy way to collect items from different feeds. If you find an interesting item that you might want to read again, you can store it in a news bin for future reference. In my case, I have three particular news bins setup. One for my link blog, one for something I call WordPress weekly, and the last one is for stuff to write about. What’s neat about these newsbins is that you can share them as an RSS feed. That’s how I’ve been able to establish and update my link blog. I share my Link Blog newsbin as an RSS feed and have plugged that into the Simple Pie RSS plugin for WordPress. Check out ( How To Create A Link Blog ) if you want to do the same thing.
As for a built in browser, FeedDemon uses what looks like an edited version of Internet Explorer. The browser supports tabbed browsing, auto discovery of RSS feeds, Favorites, and a few other nifty features. This is all related to the actual web browser built in.
The actual RSS feed browser is a little different. You can browse by Full posts, Summaries or Headlines that can be grouped by Feed, Date or Title. The layout and presentation of the feedreader resembles a newspaper. The buttons from left to right are as follows: The envelope is the icon to trigger an item Read or Unread, the flag gives you a chance to flag an item. Flagged items stay around forever (or until you unflag them). The X icon deletes the specific item. The trash bin is actually the news bin icon that when clicked on, provides you a list of newsbins to copy the item to. The arrow icon is the SEND TO function. You can email the news item, copy it to your clipboard, publish it to your blog, or send the item to Delicious or Digg. The last icon will show you who is linking to that particular news story.
Organization is handled via a folder structure. It is up to you to determine how you will organize your feeds via folders. I love organized feeds as it makes browsing through them much easier. Here is an example of how I’ve decided to organize mine. Each one of those blue numbers represents the amount of new posts for those feeds.
What I’ve given you in this review is actually just a small sampling of what this program is truly capable of. They call it the best FeedReader for Windows for a reason and it truly lives up to that claim. FeedDemon costs $29.95 which is insanely cheap if you ask me. This program has so many features and the built in online account synchronization stuff should make this thing worth $100.00 or more. If you really are interested in checking out this program, they do offer a Free trial which lasts for 30 days.
This is the feed reader I use. Which one do you use and why?