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Switching Aggregators?

I’ve used the open source feed reader Vienna for sometime now. It’s done well, but it’s begun to buckle all of the feeds I have. Re-arranging feeds can take sometime, and waiting for it to load up a list of items can take even longer.

I’d love to keep using it, but I feel like it’s slowing me down.

To that end, I’m re-evaluating two other desktop feed readers: endo and NetNewsWire.

I really want to like endo, but so far it just feels like a bad fit. It doesn’t use the traditional 3 pane view which I like. With 14,000+ unread items, a river of news would be a flood. The UI seems kind of weird to me, and I don’t get the sense that it’ll be fast, which is what I’m looking for.

NetNewsWire, on the other hand is doing well so far. It’s really, really quick. There’s some sort of bug in the posting (where it put some ARRAY index code crap as the URL), but maybe that just means I need to register it.

Before locking down on one or the other: does anyone else have favorite desktop OS X feed readers? I say desktop because, yes, I know all about online ones. I used them (bloglines and feedlounge) for years. I have nothing against them, really. At the moment, I just like desktop readers. As I’ve said before, on OS X, the desktop actually looks and feels nice: web pages not so much in comparison. Or, you could say, I’ve just gotten hooked on OS X desktop apps in this case.

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Categories: The Analyst Life.

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12 Responses

  1. Coté – NewsFire. Highly recommended, and cheap.

  2. Raven: thanks for the tip. It's kind of sucky that they limit the trial to just 15 feeds as being able to handle 350+ feeds is the key feature I'm testing for. Nonetheless, I'll check it out 😉

    Niels: I understand the Google Reader is fantastic. Perhaps some day I'll go to it 😉

  3. Why a desktop feed reader?

    I recently switched from a ‘home hosted’ lylina river of news aggregator, to Google Reader. Mostly for performance and availability reasons, and must say, the Google Reader rocks. I should have made the switch months ago. Tagging, starring, sharing and the ‘new’ key driven interface make for quick and easy reading.

  4. and then I read your last paragraph.. never mind. : )

  5. I’m pretty sure it supports 350+ feeds. I must be close to that. If you’re not running an Intel Mac or a Dual/Quad G4, the load time (beachball mode!) for the RSS feeds can be a bit annoying.

  6. I would have to second NetNewsWire. I have tried different aggregator (both desktop and web based), but I keep going back to it. I use the Widescreen View since it allows me to take advantage of the wide screen attached to my PowerBook. I hide the tool bar and use a modified Lucida Complete theme. As a result, I have a very clean interface. NetNewsWire performs extremely well, even on my (now aging) PowerBook. I am very happy with it.

  7. I was hoping you might fare better than I did with Vienna. I started using it again about the same time you did, but after a couple weeks it started to crumble when faced with several hundred feeds. So I gave NetNewsWire another shot, but once again it just got too slow after a few weeks, mostly at startup. Not to mention difficult to organize. RSSOwl held up a bit better, but it’s no slick Mac UI. Back to online readers for me. Let us know if you find something you like.

  8. Another vote for NNW. I haven’t had speed problems with a couple hundred subscriptions and thousands of unreads. A couple of suggestions:

    Try several styles util you find one you like. I’m using Ollicle Reflex ( at the moment.

    Try using groups as precendence bundles. I have several groups, each of which contain several feeds. I order the groups in the order of the importance of the feeds therein, so I can always be up-to-date on the most important stuff.

  9. What do folks think of NewsFire?

  10. Thanks for the recommendations! NetNewsWire did actually work out all right. I’m using NewsFire at the moment (I went ahead and bought it to test out more feeds).

    NetNewsWire seems to “just work” and it scaled up to the initialnumber of feeds and items I had (about 4,000). I didn’t test it working with 14,000 which was where Vienna started slowing down.

    Like I said, I’m using NewsFire now. Why? Because I’m willing to try out gadgets and new things. It really annoys me that I can’t manually order the feeds (FeedLounge had the same problem), but I’m trying to like the way it “wants” me to read feeds: newest first.

    There’s actually quite a lot of advantage to ordering feeds, esp. when you subscribe to comments for feeds. It’s silly to read comments before you read the feed item they’re commenting on.

    So, I’ll give NewsFire a few more days, but if it’s lack of manual ordering gets on my nerves, I’ll probably load up NetNewsWire.

    NewsFire is fast, though. That much is nice. And, of course, it looks great.

  11. I hope it's not offensive to plug my own product, but have you checked out BlogBridge, – open source, mac, windows and linux, free, desktop aggregator – with a free service to keep multiple copies in sync. Please write me if I can shed more light! Thanks.

  12. No problem, Pito. Thanks for the link 😉