A work associate asked me for opinions on RSS readers. I get asked this question from associates every few weeks or so, and that invariably leads me to look around for any new readers on the market. In addition to replying to my work associate, I figured I’d paraphrase my reply here, too.
Over the last few years, I’ve spent way too many hours trying every RSS reader I could get my hands on–freeware, shareware, open-source, commercial, and beta. My hard drive is cluttered with the many remnants of these programs. Oh, the sacrifices I make in my quest to find the ultimate RSS reader!
In the free price range, Dare Obasanjo’s open-source, .NET-based, RSS Bandit (www.rssbandit.org) has a lot of potential, but has far too many quirks, IMO. Still, you can’t beat the price. Support is very good. I also tried Microsoft’s RSS reader add-in for the Windows Live Toolbar, as well as its counterpart in IE7; however, both have very bare-bones functionality. Only useful for the casual blog reader, IMO–at least, at this point.
In the non-free price range, I keep coming back to NewzCrawler ($24.95; www.newzcrawler.com). Most recently, I tried the Feed Demon / Newsgator Online combination ($29.95 and up); nice, especially the automatic synchronization between PCs. But it has limited features, in my opinion.
NewzCrawler has, for me, the most useful features with the least number of quirks. Perhaps all of its many features have spoiled and jaded me whenever I go to look at the alternatives. I just wish the NewzCrawler folks would re-code their app for .NET.