Searching For The Perfect NewsReader

By | July 19, 2004

I’m in the market for a new newsreader. Am I missing something, or are they all missing something?

I’ve tried dozens, all of which have their strengths, and most of which are good quality programs, but for me fall down on one thing or another — formatting issues, stability, bandwidth problems, look and feel, configurability (yes, I know I’m picky). These are my favourites:

I try something new but then I always return to SharpReader. Not because I love it, but because it seems to do what I need it to do most, namely, format the postings well, allow me to have subfolders of items, and to be able to view items either collectively in folders and subfolders, or individually via feed.

What SharpReader doesn’t do is update particularly well — it often gets stuck halfway thro a refresh — and it doesn’t look really nice. What I’d like to see is being able to alter the look and feel of folders, for example, so I can quickly move around a large collection of feeds.

Simple question, then: When is the killer newsreader coming? Or is it here and I’ve missed it?

6 thoughts on “Searching For The Perfect NewsReader

  1. Bryan Price

    I’m using Bloglines. Yes, it’s web based, but I rather like that. I can go anywhere, on anybody’s machine and access it. Windows, Mac, Linux, SGI, it works. It does folders. It now sorts them, even if I put new stuff in them (an option that you can turn off). It sorts the folders. I don’t know how many feeds you think is a lot, but I’ve currently got 322 feeds on my account. Have a peek at what I have here (, and you can publish (or not! or just some of) your list, and even make a blogroll out of it. Visit my site for that example (I have two blogrolls, so watch out…).

    I am not affiliated with Bloglines either. šŸ™‚ Just a happy user. Go give it a try. Dump your OPML file up to it, and see how it works out for you.

    Oh, and they only start you out with one item, Bloglines news, unlike others that have you preloaded with 20 or so feeds.

  2. Espen

    Do agree with you on Sharpreader – I have ended up with that one, too. Would love to have a way to get rid of the flags that show up on screen over your other programs, though. And the hangups can be pretty bad, especially if you have many (10+ applications) running in addition to Sharpreader.

  3. David Brake

    I’m another (fairly) happy bloglines user. I move from machine to machine from time to time so I need an RSS reader that knows what I have read and what I haven’t. I would have thought one of the RSS reader makers would create a way to export/import a simple file that indicates what you’ve read so you could use the same application on different machines but until they do bloglines works for me.

  4. Mike

    Just wanted to echo the other Bloglines recommendations. I prefer the fact that it’s web-based, actually. It certainly never has bandwidth or update issues because it’s always being updated out there, not directly on my machine. Seems to do almost everything you want. The only thing it doesn’t do is allow for offline reading, but whose offline these days? šŸ™‚

  5. Buzz Bruggeman

    I am a huge fan of both NewsGator and FeedDemon, and have scripted both using ActiveWords.

    As I think we have discussed the test isn’t whether these all are innovative products, but whether you can aggregate innovative products together to create a great solution.

  6. Nathan

    We’ve been working very hard on Sauce Reader and are doing interesting things with it. The integrated weblog posting has complete offline support with synchronisation. Our Windows Messenger integration allows you to share items with your contacts through virtual feeds. And much more…

    cheers, Nathan


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