RSS Readers

My goal last night was to find a decent RSS reader that worked in the way I wanted.

I can’t be bothered to do the linking, but in my Downloads folder I have: Feedreader, Jyte, Jaeger, Tristana, Novobot, Blogbridge, BottomFeeder, Awasu. Previously I had tried, and disliked: Abilon, EffNews, RSSOwl.

Many many others all wanted the .NET framework installing .. why ?? It’s 20MEG, it’s M$, it’s only for this one damn program. Quite a few would only talk to IE, so they were out automatically.
I wanted the following:

  • Freeware
  • that would use Firefox
  • desktop, not online (no ads thankyouverymuch)
  • clear, uncluttered display
  • must run in the systray

I didn’t think it was much of a wishlist, and I certainly don’t think anything there would fall into the ‘bells and whistles’ category. Yet with the exception of one program, all those above failed. Not on aesthetics (but FeedReader is ugly) but purely on functionality. Even the one I’m keeping for now – Tristana – isn’t so hot (It still uses the IE engine, but popups do not appear). Anyone used Pears ? This one needs python downloading, but that’s okay because M$ didn’t write it.

Yes, I know exactly where to look to get hold of cracked programs, and I know they are meant to be very good, but I made a decision ages ago to move to as much freeware as I could, and with only one exception, I have succeeded. There’s no moral crusade behind it, I would just prefer freeware – I’ve found such programs to be better at what they do simply because they concentrate well on one or two functions instead of many.

News. I like news, I read tons of it, and that’s primarily what I want the program for. Not blogs. Last night, with Tristana I did load the blog feeds into it as part of seeing how it worked. Noooo. I have said before that RSS and blogs shouldn’t go together, and I stick by it. RSS strips the personality and the feeling from what someone has typed. There is no sense of personality there – why someone would want a feed from say Shadow in preference to actually visiting his site is beyond me, it really is. Want to read BoingBoing by RSS ? Fine, it’s not really a blog is it, it’s a project, it’s a thing, it convey’s no sense of person. But a real blog ? Use the browser, not the feed. Anyway, before I go off on one yet again…

About the best listing of readers I found was here:

Does anyone know of an RSS reader that fits the above ?

Edit: RSSOwl seems to have been updated since I last played, so that’s running too now.

4 thoughts on “RSS Readers

  1. Where exactly did Awasu fall down? To address your requirements:

    – it doesn’t need .NET
    – it’s free
    – it can use the Mozilla browser (you need the latest 2.0.2 beta for ease of use).
    – it runs on your desktop
    – clear, uncluttered display – well, that’s a matter of personal taste 🙂
    – it can be configured to run from the system tray (Tools|Options|Run from the system tray).

    If you have any questions, post them in the forums ( and we can answer them there.



  2. I have, yes. I tried it ages ago, and again yesterday just to compare it again.
    I find the display very ‘busy’, though I have heard some good things about it.

    I’m trying Abilon again – it has been updated since I last tried it, and if memory serves, it was program instability that put me off the first time, so I’ll see how it goes.

    Thanks for posting !

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