Do you collect RSS feeds? Instead of browsing and clicking on web page after page, an RSS reader on your Mac can save time and clicks while showing you more web pages. Alas, my favorite Mac RSS reader is forcing a major change on RSS addicts like me.
RSS is often called Syndicated Feeds, but stems from Really Simple Syndication, a data format which grabs headlines, summary, and a link from a web site.
Safari users on the Mac have quick and easy access to a built-in RSS reader. In typical Apple style, it’s no frills or features, but gets the uninitiated user acclimated to the benefits of RSS feeds. If you’re not into RSS test it out by clicking on the RSS button to the right of Safari’s URL bar. That’s an RSS feed for NoodleMac. There’s no need to scan dozens of pages. RSS brings the headline and summary right to you.
By far, the most popular RSS reader for Mac users is the free NetNewsWire, now a part of NewsGator Online. NNW syncs your selected RSS feeds via NewsGator to your iPhone. But not after August 21, 2009.
NewsGator Online users will need to migrate to Google Reader by August 31, 2009. In addition, NewsGator will no longer support the free version of NewsGator Inbox, NewsGator Go!, and NewsGator’s RSS features (Shared Clipping Feed, Blogroll, Ratings, Headlines, Browser Toolbar, and Desktop Notifier).
I Heart RSS
Like it or don’t, NetNewsWire goes to Google Reader for syncing RSS feeds. Despite a great price, I don’t particularly care for Google Reader. Ubiquitous or not, it’s online, not on my Mac.
So, I’m in the market for a new RSS reader. Mac or iPhone, the choices are many, though most iPhone readers also sync with Google Reader. Is there no way to escape Google?
What I liked about NetNewsWire is the built-in web browser and RSS feed synchronization. The latter is worth the price of admission if you have multiple Macs and an iPhone. Is there a better alternative? I don’t think so. Alternatives? Yes. Better? It depends.
RSS has two main versions, RSS 2.0 and Atom. NoodleMac uses both, but provides Atom as RSS because of superior text handling.
NewsFire is one of my favorites and I used it for years before NetNewsWire went free.
NewsFire is a RSS news aggregator that takes a sharp departure from existing interface paradigms. Its interface is very similar to a dubbed down iChat interface, where the latest feeds move up to the top of the list in the same animated fashion as iChat users becoming available.
NewsFire is slick, full featured, fast, and free.
Vienna is another free RSS reader, though it’s more spartan, fewer features, with an elegant toolbar, and a tabbed browser.
Vienna is a freeware and open source RSS/Atom newsreader with article storage and management via an SQLite database, written in Objective-C and Cocoa for the Mac OS X operating system. It provides features comparable to commercial newsreaders.
Times is a unique RSS reader that looks like a digital newspaper, complete with headlines, pages, and a shelf to store items.
Instead of treating news like email (as most RSS readers do), Times presents you with headlines and photos from a variety of sources all in one place, letting you more easily discover the news you want to read. Like your own personal newspaper, you can put feeds into separate areas, create pages for different subjects, and more.
For now, I’m using all three while I transition from NetNewsWire. Times is fine for casual RSS reading. Vienna seems a little sparse. NewsFire is classy looking. None of the three will sync with my iPhone.
Must we all move to Google Reader for RSS synchronization? Should I stay with NetNewsWire and feel jilted by NewsGator?