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At start I wanted to make a list of the most used desktop based RSS readers, but as I searched through the Internet, I found out automatically the best choice for me and I am ready to tell You why and maybe I will persuade You too. Yes, and all other RSS readers just stand behind – for me Google Reader, Netvibes or Bloglines just didn’t work out. And yeah, at the start I must say actually there is not one right choice – what to use, it’s all dependent from Your own situation.
So the first question is – Why to choose web based readers instead of desktop based?
As I looked at other articles – everybody uses web-based readers, because You can access them from anywhere where You’ve got Internet connection and one more thing is that desktop based RSS readers usually have to retrieve feeds, then using very big amount of bandwidth while You are downloading them. Of course, we could dig even deeper, but I just wanted to look after few key concepts.
And why some people prefer desktop based RSS readers?
1. Usually if You haven’t got Internet connection You can’t follow Your RSS feed, but if You use for example FeedDemon – it offers excellent offline support, allowing You to browse You feed without an Internet connection. It will also download the images articles contain and pages they link to – giving You excellent offline reader too.
2. For me it’s much easier to follow about news in my feed from little popup windows, as soon as new article has been submitted. It’s very important for bloggers – I am sure You know this marketing trick – that You must comment other popular blogs to get some traffic to Your site back. And yeah, if You comment article as one of the first You have great choice to get some attention. I think this one point is worth considering.
3. Desktop based RSS readers offer a choice keeping feeds completely private. Just put those feeds in a new folder that’s not synchronized, and You got subscription seen only on Your local computer.
4. Also speed is one of the benefits, there is no way for now that web based applications can be faster than native performance!
But actually why to choose at all?
NewsGator’s RSS readers offer synchronization. You can read Your feeds on desktop with FeedDemon, but alternatively You can read news at web-based RSS reader ( NewsGator Online), mobile RSS reader or iPhone RSS reader – so NewsGator offers You everything 4-1 pack. That means – You can choose each of those for using daily or use FeedDemon as desktop based reader and if You are not working on Your own computer, You can just use NewsGator Online reader, which is web-based and the best thing is – everything is synchronized automatically! You can even switch to mobile RSS reader and again You don’t need to import and export Your feeds – everything is done already for You.
Okay and as desktop based reader, why I enjoy FeedDemon most of all?
1. Offline browsing
I already mentioned FeedDemon great support for offline browsing – if You are planning to go somewhere where is no Internet connection, You can let FeedDemon download all images and links for You, so You can read everything, while You are offline. Pretty great – I remember I used Offline Enterpriser to download web pages for browsing them later offline. Now I have a feature to do it much more easier.
2. Desktop Pop-up Alerts
Every blogger will evaluate this feature – FeedDemon will show desktop alert as soon as new story arrives in Your RSS reader, to give You a chance to fight for the first comment! For me offline browsing and pop-up alerts features are the reason why I enjoy desktop RSS readers the most as blogger.
3. Delete Inactive Feeds
FeedDemon shows You RSS feeds in Your subscriptions which are not updated for last 2-3 months or feeds You read rarely, so You can easily know that and unsubscribe from them.
4. Popular Topics
You can easily see Your most popular topics and everyone’s most popular topics too from NewsGator’s thousands of online users!
See what’s popular! FeedDemon can use information from NewsGator’s online database to show you which articles in your subscriptions are most popular and what’s most popular with NewsGator’s thousands of online users.
5. Panic button
This is new feature in FeedDemon – it detects when You have a ton of unread items and pop-up Panic Button offers to mark older of those as read.
6.Browser in FeedDemon
One more great thing – You can use Your RSS reader as browser – entering new tabs, URLs etc. and when You are subscribing You can just type web page address and FeedDemon search for RSS feed automatically!
7. Powerful search
There are very powerful search built-in FeedDemon. You have great range of options You can choose from, to select exactly what and where are You searching for.
About NewsGator RSS readers – You can use FeedDemon, iPhone reader, mobile reader or web based RSS reader NewsGator Online together and every subscription You create will be synchronized automatically! I love this one too!
And one more thing – there are NetNewsWire for MAC users too.
All RSS reader releases from NewsGator You can download here:
As I said I started to make a list of best and most well known desktop RSS readers, so here You have simplified list:
2. SharpReader (win)
Very simple RSS reader, but it’s working good – it’s handling all RSS versions, Atom 0.3 and 1.0 etc.
Eluma is Windows application working as RSS reader and bookmark manager. There are also browser toolbars available for FF and IE for easy feed adding with just one click, if a web page doesn’t have own RSS feed, You have an option to just mark web-page and save it.
4. Feed Reader (win)
Lightweight, user friendly RSS reader with classic RSS reader features.
5.Mozilla Thunderbird (win and mac)
Mozilla product – e-mail application with built-in RSS reader, supports different skins and addons – pretty useful.
This RSS reader has nice feature synchronizing easily with other readers from Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google etc. and bookmarking.
8. Great News (win)
Offers abilities for fast reading displaying full pages of news articles, letting You easily look through those and You can choose to highlight articles customized with keywords You choose.
9. ReadAir (mac and win)
ReadAir is an OSX Themed Desktop Client for Mac or Windows. Build with Adobe Air and has pretty nice and user friendly design too.
11. Attensa (mac and win)
RSS reader that integrates with Outlook express, can be used as standalone desktop RSS reader and has advanced feed organization.
12. Omea reader (win)
Very powerful RSS reader with many features for bookmarking, organizating, searching with different browser integration and much more.
13. RssOwl (mac and win, linux)
Reader with very good and modern design and has all standard features plus easy importing blogrolls, switching to internal browser and internal panels are highly customizable.
14. Active RSS reader (win)
Very fast and it takes only 1 MB Your hard disk’s space!
15. Feed Amasser (win)
Also light weight RSS reader for reading RSS feeds only.
16. RSS bandit (win)
Translated in several different languages offering wide range of standard features and little more
So that’s it for now! I would be very happy to hear Your opinion too about web based or desktop based RSS readers! There are also Google Desktop with Google reader embedded, so it can be called almost as desktop reader. Which RSS reader do You use?
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Dainis Graveris is 23 years old blogger and designer, founder of 1stWebDesigner, now more silently managing everything behind the scenes. He usually hangs out in Twitter tweeting design related links and chatting with people. If you have any questions or feedback that's the best place to start! Cheers!
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